Monday, 28 June 2010

Don't steal with pride - don't steal knowledge.

You often come across the phrase "Steal with Pride" in a Knowledge Management context. Try googling it and you will see what I mean.

Personally, I don't like the phrase, because there IS such a thing as knowledge theft, and it's a KM crime.

Knowledge theft is when someone else's takes your material, or your idea, or your knowledge, or your practice, and passes it off as their own. People hate that - they hate seeing their knowledge or their material being used and someone else getting all the credit (for example, follow the link under the picture to the right - reproduced with acknowledgement).

As Terry Pratchett says in "Unseen Academicals", its a short step from Adopt, Adapt, Improve to Steal, Use, and Look Innocent.

Knowledge sharing and reuse is great, provided due credit and acknowledgement is given. This is not theft, this is intellectual recycling. In all the knowledge assets and knowledge bases and lessons learned systems I am involved with, we make sure that the name of the orginator stays with the knowledge, and that they get credit for sharing.

So ladies and gentlemen, please don't steal with pride. Please don't steal, in fact, and don't encourage knowledge theft either.

Reuse with pride; yes. Reuse with acknowledgment. But don't steal.

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