Knowledge Management is a topic that is near and dear to all our hearts. As the information profession has evolved and morphed into the digital present, KM has become the very bedrock on which our industry is built.
So sit back, dig in, and enjoy. And I invite you to share your own favorite KM resources—mention it’s for John D and our webmaster will make sure I get it.
Knowledge Management missing needed context?
Ken Grady stirs things up at LLRX by questioning the “missing knowledge” in the process of Knowledge Management. Speaking specifically from his experience as a lawyer drafting agreements, Ken writes,
“Each agreement has its own story. What the drafters put in, what they kept out, and how they crafted each provision is informed by discussions, emails, documents, and other data that no one captured. All you have is the final product, not the context.”
This is a KM issue prevalent throughout the legal industry. Ken goes on to say,
“Law firms and law departments share this problem. They all have thousands upon thousands of end products without the stories. When the lawyers drafted the documents, no one thought (assuming the technology was up to the challenge) to capture the stories. So they have the ‘what’ but not the ‘why’. Assuming one can fill in the gaps in a story by looking at the final product, or even drafts along the way plus the final product, is risky.”
Ken makes a compelling case—find out if you agree by reading the provocatively titled, Why Knowledge Management Is A Misnomer.
Knowledge Management and the “Deliberately Developmental Organization”
Nancy Dixon reviews a new book that looks at the power of Knowledge Management when it comes to building an organization on her Conversation Matters blog. She calls it “A Book That Will Blow Your Mind About How to Make Use of The Knowledge in Organizations”.
The book, An Everyone Culture, has the subtitle, Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization, and Nancy shares a few KM examples from some “DDO” businesses covered in the book, including private investment company Bridgewater Associates, e-commerce company Next Jump and movie theater management company Decurion Corporation.
Personal Knowledge Management systems
Springing up in large law firms and corporations everywhere is a growing tangle of new KM “systems”—Outlook and other email accounts, not to mention cloud storage services like Google Drive and DropBox. It’s a technology management problem, but more critically it’s a growing Knowledge Management problem. CIO magazine offers some insights from Mike Song, CEO of GetControl.net and author of The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You in: How to maximize email productivity and retain corporate knowledge.
Mastering Knowledge Management with expert guidance
Finally, but far from last, no Knowledge Management round-up would be complete without input from KM guru Nick Milton, the mind behind the Knoco Stories blog. To start, he reminds us that there is often more to KM than meets the eye and that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach. He writes,
“A large organization, with many different divisions working in different ways, may need more than one strategy and more than one framework.”
Yes, Knowledge Management can be complex, which is why professional guidance is needed to plan for success. Don’t miss: Why you may need more than one KM strategy.
His next article is on the KM topic of information governance. Nick writes,
“Governance is often the missing element in Knowledge Management, and although it is one of the four legs on the KM table, it is the one that gets least attention. This is partly because governance is not easy, and partly because there is no clear published model for KM governance.”
Nick breaks down the requirements for success in this area in expectation, metrics, reward, support—The KM Governance quartet.
My final shares from Nick reflect the current state of Knowledge Management. First, insights from the recent KM survey he conducted, revealing KM as an increasingly important organizational function in KM is dead? Here’s data that shows the opposite.
Second, he shares the terms associated with KM to give us the framework required to gain true understanding of a complex system. Knowledge Management is certainly complex enough to require a deeper understanding of the reality. This post provides analysis of a new list and concludes there is “confusion between KM and IM.” KM definitions – good, bad and ugly?