Monday 12 October 2009

in defence of the K word - stop apologising!

Not Sorry
Originally uploaded by Poldavo (Alex)
I wrote this little polemic a while back in defence of the M word. Now here's a blog post in defence of the K word.

In this post "It's time for KM to come out of the closet", French Caldwell says

"A lot of KM professionals though have not been getting the love for a long time. Between the collapse of the tech bubble in 2001 and the economic collapse of 2008 they went into hiding — changing the names of their programs and projects — so they talk now about social networking, instead of tacit knowledge, or about being information-centric, instead of knowledge-centric.

All of us in the IT industry, whether we are vendors, service providers or users of IT, should quit avoiding the K-word. Alignment of information to business needs is job one, and KM is the strategic discipline for putting the right focus on that alignment. It is the most strategically valuable information risk management tool that is available to CIOs and other business leaders. For all those KM professionals, like me, who have been in the closet for the last eight years, in these tough economic times our organizations need us now more than ever — let’s bring KM into the light again".

Well, he's right.* We need the K word, and we need the M word.

I remember taking part in a discussion session in a KM Summit in Amsterdam back in 2004, with Jo Singel and David Gurteen, where one of our premises was "stop being apologetic about KM". Things have changed only for the worse in the intervening 5 years, and people have become, if anything, even more apologetic.

I am passionate about Knowledge Management.

I see knowledge as the last great untapped corporate resource, and knowledge management as the last great unaddressed management discipline.

Knowledge Management is the only thing that will deliver continuous performance improvement in a sustained way. Knowledge Management can deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in value. KM can cut project costs by 40% - I have seen it happen.

Is that anything to be apologetic about?

I don't think so!

* So long as we continue to be clear on the difference between IM and KM.

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