Friday 30 September 2016

How an industry manages its knowledge - the IAEA KM school

It is not often you see a whole industry uniting around Knowledge Management. Here is a story from the Nuclear sector.

As I describe here, KM in the Nuclear industry is a bit different.

For a start, in the Nuclear sector KM is a shared priority. Every Nuclear orgnization in the world understands that knowledge is of value, which is why we see the KM program within the International Atomic Energy, and the tremendous cross-organisational knowledge resources which it coordinates, such as the NKM Wiki.

However KM is not just about shared online resources, it is also about the KM roles and skills in the organisations.  That is why the IAEA sponsors an annual Nuclear Knowledge Management school, and the twelfth school has just completed in Trieste, Italy, as described here.   Attendees were new graduates and young professionals from many different types of organizations including nuclear power plants, regulatory bodies, universities, and even nuclear medicine departments in hospitals.

As the article describes:

The NKM School is delivered using a modality known as 'blended learning': a pre-training course must be completed several months in advance through the IAEA e-learning platform. The online pre-training ensures that the applicants develop a common understanding of the basics of nuclear knowledge management beforehand. This enables them to participate more actively in the face-to-face part of the course.  
In order to reinforce the knowledge acquired through the lectures, exercises, and practical examples, the students work together during the week to complete a final group project, which is presented and evaluated during the last day. 
However learning is not all about classroom training - much of it comes through networking, and the school also allows the participants to form strong networks, which will be an important source of knowledge and support for young professionals tackling the implementation of their first knowledge management projects.

One of the interesting aspects of this latest school was that it got very close to gender parity, even through Nuclear engineering is traditionally seen as a male-dominated area.

 The 2016 edition of the NKM School had a remarkable characteristic: 46% of the selected participants were women. This is the highest level of female participation in the history of the school. Achieving near gender parity is worth mentioning in the nuclear field, even bearing the school's conscious selection criteria in mind, which takes into consideration gender balance and the added value of cultural diversity.

If you are not in the Nuclear Industry, but feel such training would be of value to you, consider my open KM training course in London in November.

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