19 March 2009

A bright definition for Knowledge Management

Yesterday KM4Dev (@km4dev) pointed out Steve Barth's blog Reflexions with an aptly titled piece on defining knowledge management, "All the right words", which says:

Knowledge Management is the cultivation [and facilitation] of an environment within which people want to share, learn and collaborate leading to individual, team and organisational improvement.

This is a great definition that Steve should be praised for putting out for us to read and ponder. Finally a definition that with a positive spin that doesn't allow us to forget organizational culture , reward systems, individual characteristics/preferences; a definition that preempts the need for discussion on the fact that we cannot manage knowledge (I agree, but we are somewhat stuck with the "KM" term now aren't we?); a definition that KM leads to improvement ... what senior bureaucrat could argue with that?!?

I wonder if others feel the same about this definition? Or would anyone adapt or even completely revise it?

This is an important issue. We in KM may know very well what we do, but are we good enough at the quick sell when it counts? @NancyWhite once referred to being able to explain something convincingly to an important individual who's just stepped into the lift with you before s/he gets out of the lift one minute later.


Nancy White said...

Nice round up, Michael. One thing I noticed about the network effect of those interested in this topic. I tagged the Steve Barth post with KM4Dev and whomever is KM4Dev on Twitter is picking up tags that the community makes on resources and is retweeting them. That is a fascinating form of filtering and amplification!

Michael said...

Thanks Nancy. I've just done a quick search on the KM4Dev tag and see what you mean about the filtering and amplification. Are we heading towards a hive mind? (Meant in the good sense.)

My viewpoint on Twitter is evolving here. The ambient awareness concept is still fascinating to me, but this ability to quickly spread concepts is powerful.

Oh and I think it's Lucie Lamoreaux tweeting on KM4Dev.