• Managing the Collect - Connect Spectrum in Knowledge Management

    One of the things that I have learned is important in KM is awareness of the Connect – Collect spectrum; not just technically but the cultural implications too.

  • Strategic versus Tactical Knowledge Management

    In talking to organisations about KM this week, the question of strategic v tactical came up so I thought I’d re-share this post from a few years ago.

    I have heard and been involved in quite a few conversations over the years (including before my involvement in KM) along the line of “what’s the difference between strategy and tactics?”. In the early days they were interesting but they tended to be quite rambling and I was never quite sure that anyone, including me, really had the answer.

  • Patterns & Priorities in Lessons Learned - a Knowledge Management Case Study

    I thought I’d share once again a story from a few years ago. It talks about how routine organisational learning can identify patterns and priorities in Lessons Learned.

    I was providing Knowledge Management to a Humanitarian Aid Agency. Knowledge Planning was in its infancy at the time but the approach was being welcomed as a means to structure things across the Regional Desks. I was new to the sector and learning as I went – it was a steep learning curve!

  • The benefits of Knowledge Management in Bouncing Back from Covid 19

    The benefits of KM come from managing our most important asset – what we know. It’s often said that People are our greatest asset – my view is that it is true because of what they know, both individually and collectively. This is why we need people – because of what they know!

    We need peoples’ knowledge to Flow. It mustn’t sit in pools and become stagnant; it needs to flow between people, teams, projects and functions. This is what good KM achieves.

  • Emotional Engagement in KM

    How do you really get people engaged and inspired by Knowledge Management?

    Was looking back at some past posts and found this one in my archive which I thought I’d share again - advice, feedback on any of this are most welcome!

  • Knowledge Flow in Bouncing Back from Covid-19

    In the current Covid-19 climate, the need for organisations to bounce back, and increasing interest around Knowledge Management (KM), I was asked recently what KM actually is. It’s important to remember the foundational principles while adapting them to the current situation.

  • 7 things Knowledge Managers can be doing now

    7 things organisational Knowledge Managers and other KM staff can be doing now

    1. Keep the knowledge flowing

    At the level of principle, nothing has changed Knowledge Management is still about managing the organisational knowledge asset including knowledge flow, learning, and sharing. This principle still applies even though many are working from home.

    2. Keep up morale

    Knowledge Managers tend to be quite people and socially-minded, and can help maintain morale by building connections, communicating and encouraging staff to be proactive in networking and building their own and the organisation’s knowledge. They can help energise the organisation when many staff may be feeling a little flat.

    3. Maintain Knowledge Plans

    Knowledge Managers assigned to Projects and Functions can maintain their Knowledge Plans, this helps to give confidence to staff that learning is taking place and the corporate memory is being maintained. Team learning processes may need to be done virtually instead of face to face, but a combination of phone conversations and online meetings can help this to happen.

    If Projects and Functions are being paused due to the current situation, then the Knowledge Manager should be making sure the Knowledge Plan is brought up to date so that it is easier to re-start business when the time comes.

    Knowledge Managers themselves should themselves be connecting regularly to share insights and lessons from across the organisation.

    If a business is continuing, even if at a slower rate, then Knowledge Managers can organise virtual events where business players share their progress and lessons with others across the organisation.

    4. Maintain Communities of Practice

    Communities of Practice can be maintained assuming staff can still have access to a platform to connect and share. Community Leaders and Facilitators need to be proactive in encouraging their members to participate, and a review of the community Terms of Reference or Charter may help to remind people of why the community is important to the organisation and the value it brings. Even if staff are unable to access the usual platform, then key community members should be encouraged to remain in contact using other media such as by voice or virtual meetings respecting security issues.

    (I once knew a community member who was in a war zone – he’d only be available to contact others at night as his satphone was hidden underground during daylight hours! But he made the effort because it helped him to talk to others with similar roles and seek their advice).

    Again, if the business is paused then the Community Leader and Facilitator needs to capture community documentation and discussions for storage so that they can be re-started at a later date, ideally with a good re-launch event.

    5. Knowledge succession planning

    Some key members of staff may be coming up for retirement in the coming months or perhaps a year ahead. They, their line managers, key staff remaining and Knowledge Managers need to outline a plan for how the risk from knowledge loss can be mitigated. This whole approach applies in normal circumstances and shouldn’t be forgotten in this period.

    6. Run training courses

    KM training courses can still be run individually or in groups virtually for staff across the organisation – this will help to reinforce the need for knowledge flow and maintaining a corporate memory.

    7. Keep in contact

    The senior KM leader needs to remain in contact with senior management in the usual way, championing the KM cause and clarifying which knowledge needs to receive focus given the business strategy, direction, and objectives.

    In summary, many of the principles of KM remain in place during this period – all those in KM roles need to play a key leadership role in maintaining the organisation.

  • Effective Communications in Knowledge Management Implementation

    A colleague recently pointed out that I have implemented KM in organisations within three different sectors (humanitarian aid, energy and defence engineering) and asked what my single most common learning was. (All three implementations, applying change management principles, brought sustained change and each took 3 – 4 years).

  • Achieving Knowledge Flow - The Performance Aspect of KM

    A couple of days I go was watching the old movie “The First of the Few” which told the story of R.J. Mitchells’s development of the Spitfire fighter plane starring Leslie Howard as Mitchell and David Niven as his exuberant test pilot. The film is old, black and white and tells quite a story.

  • Knowledge Management: Building the Bridge while Crossing It

    Some time ago I was invited to lead KM implementation at an Oil & Gas Major Projects Contractor. Strategic KM is about taking a holistic approach that is a blend of roles, process, technology and governance – supported by very effective communications to deliver the change in outlooks required. Crucially, it also requires a great deal of piloting to find out and tailor what works...

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