In this article from Forbes Magazine in 2012, Steven Denning, once head of KM at the World Bank, and one of the wiser writers on Knowledge Management, describes his ten principles for Knowledge Management.
These are as follows
- The amount of money that could be spent on accumulating knowledge is infinite: Knowledge is in principle limitless.
- However Knowledge has no value per se: Knowledge acquires value from use.
- Spending on knowledge has negative value if organization doesn’t use it.
- Institutional knowledge may serve as blinders to effective action (he cites this example where gaining more documented knowledge sometimes hindered performance).
- The most valuable knowledge increasingly lies outside the organization.
- Knowledge can require deep expertise to access it:
- The deep expertise needed to access knowledge can be lost:
- The value of knowledge lies in improved outcomes for external customers or stakeholders.
- What constitutes an improved outcome depends on the organization’s strategy.
- Outcomes need to be measured against the organizational strategy.
These principles are admirably focused on knowledge use, and the outcomes of knowledge use. This should be the focus for all KM programs.