KM Blog Feb2007


Monday, February 26, 2007

Knowing is just half the story

I am constantly reminded how important it is to go beyond just knowing in my daily life.

I have the best knowledge on how to gain ideal health, but am I there yet?

I have the best knowledge on financial success, but am I there yet?

I have the best knowledge on how to create the best knowledge, but am I there yet?

The best knowledge is not much better than no knowledge, unless we APPLY knowledge.

So many KM initiatives have an end objective to create, store and share knowledge, but very few put enough emphasis on how to then best APPLY that knowledge.

I think this is the other side of the coin - 'competence'.

We need both the best knowledge and the competence to know when and how to apply it successfully!

For me, that's wisdom!

Ron Young

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Planetary Knowledge

Why, today, do we still try to compete with just the 'content' of our own proprietary knowledge?

Web 2.0 tools, and the promise of Web 3.0 tools, must surely teach us that the 'process' of continually profiling, alerting, accessing, creating, sharing, amplifying and applying knowledge, is now far far more powerful to sustain competitive and collaborative advantage.

After all, if the knowledge process is the best - the knowledge content will also be the best!

We can now design and set up a personal 'knowledge value chain' process, using these tools, and harvest what the world is thinking and creating.

Cool !

Ron Young

Sunday, February 18, 2007

KM and strategic planning

Are managers improving?

During the 1980's, the findings of a survey amongst managers and executives suggested that only 10% thought strategically, and valued time and resource to be allocated to strategic planning.

KM can be transformative and can be highly strategic to an organisation. It can even help organisations make quantum leaps in performance.

But it can also help improve business operations in many worthy ways, although not normally as innovative and transformative.

I often wonder how many managers think about knowledge and knowledge assets strategically today?

I suspect not more than 20% at the most.

One of my work colleagues doubts that it is still not more than 10%, even after 25 years. Another colleague argues that the worst thing for KM is strategic planning?

I still believe in the power of strategic planning of knowledge assets to help organisations better achieve or exceed their objectives; supported by robust knowledge processes, together with naturally flourishing networks and communities, underpinned by developing knowledge competencies and technologies?

What's your view on KM and strategic planning?

Ron Young

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

KM and One cause for everything

I remember a wise old management consultant telling me 30 years ago, 'Ron if you want to be a good consultant you need to know that all the organisational problems that you will encounter all have the same one cause!'

This sounded too good to be true, so, foolishly, I ignored it for many years.

He said that the primary cause of any problem is 'communications'. If, for example, you can improve the quality and quantity of communication of information in an organisation by just 10%, then many surface problems will simply fall away!

Now, in my later years as a management consultant, specialising in KM since 1993, I realise the profundity of the advice.

There is a virtuous circle :

...improved communication of information (two way) naturally leads to improved collaboration, which naturally leads to faster learning, which naturally leads to faster competence and confidence development, which naturally leads to better knowledge sharing.. and .....

Consider the example of KM blogging. So much more is communicated, much faster, more spontaneously, and far more openly than ever before. I certainly learn from KM bloggers much much faster than I did just 10 years ago.

So, I guess that management consultant (who told me this before the days of email and internet and, even, personal computers), would be quite happy with developments of global web 2.0 and beyond :-)

Web 2.0 needs IM & KM Consulting more than ever!

Once again, the pendulum swings. From structured to unstructured. From planning to instant gratification. Yet it has always been both/and and not either/or.

Apparently, now, we do not need KM and KM Consultants because blogging, wiki's, RSS feeds, iPod, Flickr, MySpace, YouTube name it..will do it all for us!

Google, Semantic Web and Autonomy still march on, developing and improving multimedia search and better meaning.

So now we have lots more of our valuable tacit knowledge captured all over the place, everywhere, easily, and found by others, everywhere, easily, within hours globally. Fantastic but ....

I remember, at a KM conference in the mid 1990's, the story of a legal firm who were so please to give everybody in the firm a laptop PC. Such a powerful tool for mobile email at the time.

The only problem was that nobody filed their correspondence in the traditional 'paper based' client file anymore, only on their own PC, so nobody could get at a central repository to see the complete picture. The valuable information was scattered around all the personal PC's instead. This is not a reason to go back to snail mail, but a reason to teach people how to use these new tools to maximise personal, team, organisational, and inter-organisational knowledge.

I cannot help but see the same thing happening with these wonderful new tools. Even more valuable, rich information and knowledge is captured and scatterd throughout the Web.

This is simply fantastic, but, what organisations need, even more than ever before, is:

1. help to develop effective information and knowledge strategies, that maximise the best processes, methods, tools and technologies, to better achieve objectives, at the top level

2. help to develop more naturally flourishing knowledge communities and networks, using these new tools and technologies

3. help to produce more innovative business processes, embedding these new tools and technologies

4. help to teach knowledge workers how to use these new methods, tools and technologies, to better communicate, collaborate, learn, share and apply knowledge

Web 3.0 tool developers, like Radar Networks, promise even more meaning and automation!

So I put it to you that Web 2.0, and future methods, tools and technologies that emerge, will give us all simply unbelievable and extraordinary potential to work in totally new ways.

But to optimise them, will require even more information management and knowledge management consulting - strategic, people centric, process centric and effective knowledge working centric - than ever before?

Ron Young

Go to daily KM-Blog 'KM-Consulting'


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