Saturday, 10 January 2009

Managing as if knowledge mattered

Knowledge Management has been around for over a decade now, but it seems nobody can agree on what it is. There are still regular posts in the Linkedin groups asking for a definition, and the range of definitions they receive is huge. Some people answer with a technology viewpoint, some think it's about provision of information, some think its about changing the culture of the organisation.

For me, the shortest definition is the best.

Knowledge management is "Managing, as if knowledge mattered"

The analogy is with other management disciplines, such as safety management, and risk management. Safety management came to the fore when companies realised, or maybe acknowledged, that safety is a big deal, and that they needed to change the way they management the company as a result. Risk management came to the fore when companies realised that risk was important, and that they needed to change they way they managed as a result.

Knowledge management happens when an organisation, or a team, or a person, realises that Knowledge matters, it is important, and it has value. Then they change the way they operate as a result. They start to use new technologies, they start to introduce new habits and processes, and they start to assign new roles and accountabilities. They start to do "Knowledge

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