Monday 17 January 2011

Upcoming KM trends

There's a thread going on at Linked-In about KM trends for 2011. Most of the answers talk about trends in KM approaches, like increased application of social tools etc. But I think there are a couple of industry or context changes beginning to show up, which (if they materialise) would have a far greater impact on the KM industry.

A few of the large multinationals are now beginning to ask their contractors to demonstrate that they have an effective KM system (or at least an effective lessons-learned system) as part of their qualification for contracts. If this continues, then the contractors will pass this down to their own subcontractors, and so on. Like an effective safety system, an effective knowledge system may well become a prerequisite for gaining work in many industries, which will spur the adoption of serious KM.

And a second trend which I am catching faint inklings of - there are some indications that in some cases "failure to learn from the past" may put companies at legal risk. Particularly any sort of repeat incident - if the company or organisation can be shown not to have learned and applied lessons from the first incident, they may be at risk of being deemed negligent.

Either or both of those would create a real external commercial and/or legal pressure to develop effective learning systems in organisations. That's when KM could really go mainstream

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