Sunday 9 November 2014

What is Knowledge Management?

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  Not since before Labour Day.  Sorry for my silence.  I’ve been working with a software start up to help them stop being a start up and be a going concern. This work has required start up hours. It is worth it though.  They are well and truly trying to be a real business.

Earlier in the fall, I had been talking with a colleague of mine, Laura from Micaura Consulting, and we were looking to better define what my practice area is and how that could help Micaura’s clients.  What follows is the guest blog Laura asked for near the end of that conversation.

So here is a philosophical and, more importantly, practical answer to the question in the title.  I do have to acknowledge some help in creating this answer: my thanks to Stephanie Barnes whose new book on Knowledge Management Strategy was launched this past week at KM World and Sarah Stephens who lives this stuff every day as KM Director at McMillan LLP.  They are both friends, colleagues and mentors of mine.

So without further ado, the philosophical:

KM is getting vital business knowledge into the brains and hands of people so they can make better decisions.

KM is what you know and how you know it, what your organization knows and how they know it and finding solutions to leverage that for business success.

From which follows the practical:

KM is people.

KM is engagement.

KM is people having conversations.

KM is getting people to talk to each other and tell stories about how things get done.

KM is getting people to talk to each other to make new things.

KM is getting the information you need fast and easy.

KM is discovering that the mail room clerk has a story of an experience that the CEO would find useful in making a pressing decision.

KM is better decisions.

KM is making sure your boomers and millennials are productive together. 

KM is making sure you can still operate when your boomers retire.

KM is making sure you still deliver on time when your project manager leaves for a new job.

KM is the first part of the innovation process.

A better mousetrap is not KM. KM is how that better mousetrap happened and capturing that so it can happen again.

KM is when you do something again, you do it better than the last time.

KM is confidence in processes and policies.

KM is not the database. KM is the movement of information in and out of that database.

KM is teaching.

KM is modeling.

KM is learning.

KM is master and apprentice working together.

KM is how that apprentice becomes a master.

KM is asking questions and finding answers.

KM is reading and writing and talking about what you've read and written.

KM is how your organization gets out in front.

KM is helping people find out that they have knowledge they didn't know they had.

KM is holding onto the knowledge that walks out the door every night.

Are any of these statements familiar or do any of them strike a chord? Cool! Let’s talk!

See you next week!

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