Thursday, 19 February 2009

Accountability in Knowledge Management (1)

Here's another quote from the Peter Senge video I mentioned yesterday. He implied that - never mind arguing about the definition of Knowledge, we can't even agree on the definition of Management. He proposed this definition

'Being a manager means taking accountability for the work of others'

Now, this is a definition of a manager, rather than a definition of management, and we could extend it to say

Management is a system of assigning accountabilities, and ensuring people deliver against these.

I wonder what would result if we took that idea, and applied it to Knowledge Management? I was interested to try this, because for me, accountability is key to management, and accountability is seldom a concept people apply to knowledge*

Perhaps if we follow this train of thought, we could conclude

Knowledge Management is a system of assigning accountabilities for Knowledge, and ensuring people deliver against these.

That's a very interesting definition, and I think it could take us to some powerful conclusions, which I would like to develop further in another blog post, when I have clarified my thinking a bit more.

* However I think they should! One of the recent breakthroughs we made at BP was assigning clear accoutabilities within KM. Read more in our Dec 07 Newsletter

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