Thursday, 24 March 2011


KM by stealth? How about KM with passion instead.


Stealthy!
There's another discussion on Linked-In about "Stealth Knowledge Management". I must admit, I don't understand this "Stealth" approach.

It would be hard to imagine successfully introducing any other management discipline by stealth, so why KM? "Knowledge Management by stealth" makes no more sense to me than "Risk Management by stealth", "Safety management by stealth" or "Financial management by stealth". If KM is viewed with scepticism, then address the scepticism, don't hide from it.

I agree that there can be an early stage where KM activities have not yet reached management attention, and I have heard this referred to as Guerilla KM, but the point of Guerrilla activity is to make a big impact so that everyone sits up and takes notice. The use of stealth is only in preparing for the Big Bang. Think of the stealth bomber - it's stealthy only until something large explodes - then everyone knows about it.

I don't see the need to be apologetic about KM, or to avoid using the terminology. There are plenty of success cases of big value added, and the need to apply systematic management disciplines to maximise the value of your core assets (and knowledge is surely a core asset) is at the heart of all management theory.

Ladies and Gents, we believe in the value of Knowledge Management.  We can show the huge value it can add. We stand by KM as the management discipline that drives continuous performance improvement, and that addresses the last untapped wealth of organisations - the wealth of knowledge. We are passionate about the topic.

Let's be proud of KM, not apologetic. Lets introduce KM with passion, not stealth. Let's stop hiding under the covers.

1 comment:

gerald said...

Hi, Nick,
I can imagine two reasons that at the first look support the stealth approach:
A Scorched earth
B not convinced about KM themselves

B so you want to start with it, check whether it is successful, and then make the success public.
That is against the idea of KM in the first place, because the failure would be a very valuable experience to share. Secondly KM is a discipline not too new, so you can base on many good learnings already.

A Not all attempts in the past have been successful and the word KM has been burned and has a negative connotation. So in order to have an easy start, you avoid the reference. However same argument as above, if you haven't learnt (and externalized, discussed, verified) your lessons, there is a bigger probability to fail again. Apart from that, I received positive feedback when I presented: This is what we have done, and this is why it failed.

So I can understand, why the idea of stealth KM appears, but I agree that it doesn't make sense.


This statement I really like:
"the need to apply systematic management disciplines to maximise the value of your core assets (and knowledge is surely a core asset) is at the heart of all management theory."

regards
gerald


Lessons learned:
http://geraldmeinert.blogspot.com/2011/03/learning-from-failures-thou-shall-not.html

http://geraldmeinert.blogspot.com/2011/03/learning-from-failures-activity-based.html

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