You know your company has "made it" in KM when knowledge sharing is mentioned several times at the annual Analysts meeting.
That's a sign that Knowledge Management has been recognised at the very highest level in the organisation as a strategic support to operations. The challenge to you, as a Knowledge Manager, is to make this happen in your own organisation.
It can be done - here's the proof.
At the ConocoPhillips 2014 analysts meeting in New York last month (thanks Dan Ranta for the link), the use of Knowledge was mentioned 17 times. Here are a few examples (and see the link between knowledge and value in the third example - transcript here);
"we govern the work that we do in these unconventionals using this framework for thinking about our progress in order to ensure that we don't over capitalize as we develop these plays and also to make sure we have maximum knowledge sharing as we move from phase to phase and also from play to play"
"So I think those are a couple of great examples, many examples actually, of how we are able to leverage knowledge between the conventionals and unconventionals. But clearly there's a lot of value in being able to leverage knowledge within the unconventional portfolio"
"And all of the technology advances that Al was talking about are going to continue to improve not just our ultimate recovery but our cost per well drilled and completed. And that technology learning is really important, that ability to transfer this knowledge to our overall unconventional program".
This repeated mention of knowledge was striking enough to prompt a question from the floor -
"You several times alluded to knowledge share as a key enabler. Could you talk a little bit about the organization structure there or incentive structure that you are doing differently to drive the success?"
The answer was as follows, and I include it in full, as it is a rare example of a Company Vice President actually explaining Knowledge Management, and doing it really well.
"We're differential in our knowledge sharing capability in our industry. I think if you go Google ConocoPhillips knowledge sharing you will find a whole list of awards we have won in both the IT sphere and in the oil and gas sphere.If ConocoPhillips can gain such high level support that a Vice President explains the value of KM in an Analyst meeting, then that sets the bar for Knowledge Managers everywhere!
"We get a lot of requests every year from other companies to send our knowledge sharing guys over to come sort of show them what we do. It really has been a real strength in the company.
"It's been built into the way that we are structured for many many years. We have these what we call FETs, functional excellence teams, that use these knowledge sharing tools that we have built that are endemic all around the company. So it's a very international thing, it allows a very free flow of information from all our different groups.
"The knowledge sharing group that we have that drives all of this is embedded in our IT organization, which is embedded in our technology and projects organization.
So it's well integrated with all our other functional groups and we look at maps of how knowledge is being shared from one part of the world to the other and across different functions and can actually track how well that is working and it's been pretty impressive what it has done for us.
"It is actually one of the key tools that we are using today to combat the great crew changes, we call it in our industry, where we have so many people with so much knowledge who are retiring and we've hired all of these younger people. A big part of how we do that knowledge transfer from the experienced folks to the less experienced folks is using these tools"