Tuesday 9 March 2010

Wrong Knowledge, the new barrier to KM

Once upon a time, the main barrier to introducing KM to a new client, was that they didn't know anything about KM, so had no idea of the value it could deliver. Their lack of knowledge made them suspicious - made them see KM as some sort of fad.

Now there is a new barrier. Now they think they know what KM is, and have dismissed it already. They have heard stories of KM being "all about content management" or "all about SharePoint" or "all about social networks", and they think that this is the totality of the topic. They either say "No thanks, this is not for us", or they say "We are doing Knowledge Management already because we bought SharePoint". They have been trapped in one of the "partial views" that I blogged about here.

If anything, this new barrier of "wrong knowledge about KM" is tougher than the old barrier of "no knowledge about KM". Back then, we just needed to educate. Now we need to re-educate.

However the means of breaking the barrier is the same as it ever was - tell stories, show videos of other people telling stories, or engage the client in their own "KM story" through participatory activity such as the Bird Island knowledge management exercise.

Let them experience it - either personally or vicariously - and then they will "get it".

1 comment:

Ivan Webb said...

The brain struggles with the idea that what it believes is true might actually be wrong. This is the actual barrier.
The way around this is to have two ways: an Old Way and a New Way with the emphasis on thinking about KM rather than which is right and which is wrong about KM.
The idea here is that there is a 'new way' to think about KM. The 'old way' may be 'all about content management, etc" but this does not preclude new emerging ways. After all KM will always have some aspects of 'content management'.
Ivan Webb, Tasmania

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