Where in the world is KM going?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
Looks like a great panel on the topic with three presenters, prepared to discuss the future of KM - this on the heals of Snowden's comments about KM being dead.

First up: Tom Reamy, Chief Knowledge Architect, KAPS Group.

Reamy: Two Futures of Knowledge Management:
A crisis in KM?
- Death of KM (Snowden, et al)
- CIO reporting to CFO, not CEO
- CIOs seen as a tactical rather than strategic resource.
- Second or third identify crisis - lurch not build

Stage One - all about information
Stage two - repudiated stage one - about social

Web 2.0 is not the answer, whatever the question may be...

Things that led to boutique KM (Little KM)
- Peripheral to main activities of the organization
- KM as collaboration (COPs), expertise location), Best practices
- KM as high end strategy - management fad
- Divorced from information

History of ideas - Knowledge & Culture in KM
Only two ideas
- Tacit Knowledge - no such thing as pure tacit
- DIKW Model (Data, information, Knowledge, Wisdom)
       - Used to avoid discussions of nature of knowledge

There are problems with this:
Isolates knowledge from information
Restricts meaning of knowledge - leaves out body of knowledge

KM and Culture:
Too often - culture = readiness for KM programs
Need to take a more anthropological look at culture (consider them as tribes). E.g. IT, HR, Sales, as "Tribes"

Sources for new ideas and directions to revitalize KM:

Philosophy: there are other philosophers besides Polyani
Cognitive Science
- Example of economics - need better modules of consumers
- Basic level categories, Prototype categories, intertwingledness
History of ideas, Education, Language

Essential features of big KM

Semantic infrastructure/Foundation of Theory - big vision, small integrated (cheaper & better) projector.

Two futures of KM possible:

1. Big KM

2. Little KM - Dead KM walking

Next up, Terri Rollins, CKO, Federal Systems, Unisys

Perspective on enterprise transformation in government. KM from a federal perspective is different than KM in the business perspective. It's about life and death as a part of this country. We need to understand the issues of KM and how they affect our government and our country. This is a serious need.

ROLLINS: The case for action: a KM message for the next administration.
  • National Security - how to share information in a post 9/11 world
We must learn. If we do not, the same mistakes that led to 9/11 and Katrina will be repeated.
  • Integration into the Presidential Management Agenda
  • Poorly manages citizen services
  • Intelligent Policing for counter-terrorism
  • Human Capital/Brain Drain/Multi Generational challenges - the impact on federal marketplace is huge.
60% of federal government executives are eligible to retire in next 5 years. Less than 50% of agencies capture their processes in writing. It's an issue of national security.
  • Leverage public/private partnerships
  • Increased reliances on contractor and off-shore services.
  • Capture best practices and lessons learned.
  • Knowledge collection, Storage, and reuse
  • Disparate agency operating processes
  • Loss of life and property.

KM is focused on enabling communications so agencies can tap into its greatest knowledge base - its employees. Terri plans to present a KM initiative to the next administration.

Not since the early days of Y2K, have I heard a more passionate speaker about the imperative for KM. Outstanding case. Terri's a go-getter and I look forward to reading and learning more from her. Well done.

Next up, Dave Pollard. (you know who he is) one of my favorite KM speakers:

POLLARD: The emerging role of IP

The switch of KM focus from content and collection to context and connection.
1. Improving the way in which we connect with people - from collection to connection.

2. Improving context through the use of environmental scanning & sensemaking
3. Improving personal productivity

What's driving that more than anything else s the entrance of generation millennial.
       This generation will determine what KM 2.0 is...
       (See Dave's earlier presentation.)

KNOW WHO is becoming more important than KNOW WHAT


Question directed to Terri about KM in federal government: Who's leading? What do we need?
Knowledge Management Professional Association is working in conjunction with the federal CIO council. Problem with the current situation is that there is no one at the executive or cabinet level to address KM issues.

Pollard comments that 9/11, Katrina, and last week's Wall Street fiasco are all failures in knowledge management. We need to frame these as such. All the information was there yet we did not make sense of it in time to be proactive. (Great potential blog topic!)

Question: Is SharePoint the future of KM?

Pollard: SharePoint was and is still a content solution. It is not anywhere near what is required to support knowledge management. (Room applauds)

Can someone tell us a story about a successful SharePoint implementation? Room erupted in laughter.

Reamy: SharePoint is a technology that will be a part of the toolkit. It is only a piece. It's not even a major piece.

Rollins: Many federal agencies are deploying SharePoint - they see it as a solution?  

(Eric: Aren't these organizations repeating the misdates of the past with Lotus Notes? These are tools not solutions. This is not what KM is all about. There's People, Process, Technology and strategy.)  

The challenge for people in KM is not to let people think of IT as a KM solution.

Discussion/Comments (1):

Where in the world is KM going?

Disagree with Pollard (re: "All the information was there yet we did not make sense of it in time to be proactive.").

Warnings about 9-11 (e.g., Able Danger data mining) and Wall Street were out there for months and years. The leftist politics of Democrats and the media by and large hindered connecting the dots and/or taking action.

Posted at 09/28/2008 15:42:37 by Mike Sivertsen

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