Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Knowledge doesn't have to be captured to be managed


capture I Another new client, with another example of the same default KM model - a Loop that begins with Capture.

I have already blogged about this a few times, because there are two things wrong with this model.

Firstly, knowledge doesn't have to be captured, to be managed. As Stephen Denning pointed out recently,  there is some knowledge that can be collected or captured (he calls it precision knowledge) and some that cannot (he calls it intuitive knowledge). He concludes that "It is only in the area of precision knowledge that a knowledge collection (captured knowledge) will offer a clear guide to action".

Can you manage knowledge if it is not captured? Sure you can - you manage it through conversation - through arranging the right conversations between the right people;

  • conversation within the team, for example through after action reviews
  • conversation from on team to another, for example through peer assist or knowledge handover
  • conversation within a community of practice, for example through knowledge exchange
  • conversation from one person to another, through mentoring, coaching, knowledge interviewing
Now, in each case, there may be a case for capturing the knowledge as well, if there are other people who also need to learn, but the point is that this is option, and that the capture is not the point - the point is transfer, and that the transfer will be richer than the capture, and will include the intuitive as well as the precision knowledge. 

Secondly the model is a push model. It starts with a piece of knowledge, which needs to be captured. There is no indication in the loop that there is a need or a demand for that knowledge - only an arrow from "knowledge" to "capture".

Knowledge management is not as simple as a one-way loop. There are two main paths for knowledge - Connect and Collect - not merely Connect. And there are two directions on each path - Push and Pull. If you are operating a KM system based on a one-way loop that starts with capture, you may need to broaden out somewhat!

"photo credit : Olivier Bacquet".
Olivier Bacquet
Http://www.flickr.comme/photos/olibac/

4 comments:

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for having chosen my photograph for your post, but would you please add, in order to respect the CC license, my name somewhere in your post, maybe under labels : "photo credit : Olivier Bacquet".
    Olivier Bacquet
    Http://www.flickr.comme/photos/olibac/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello,

    Thanks for having chosen my photograph for your post, but would you please add, in order to respect the CC license, my name somewhere in your post, maybe under labels : "photo credit : Olivier Bacquet".
    Olivier Bacquet
    Http://www.flickr.comme/photos/olibac/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Olivier

    I have done as requested (also a mouse-over of the image already credits you via Flickr)

    great picture by the way

    ReplyDelete

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