The following is a briefing for a new approach to ‘KM’ in that I’m attempting to get Local Government to buy into. These concepts are not new to the provate sector, but seem to be fairly radical ideas for the public sector. Will report later on whether this strategy takes hold.
Knowledge Management – Connections not Collections
What is KM?
is about enabling people to improve how they work. It involves capturing,
creating, distilling, sharing and using know-how in order to help individuals,
teams and organisations improve their performance.
We need to embark on a new approach to knowledge
management that will realise a step-change in local
government improvement over the next few years. The key emphasis is on connecting
people with similar needs and objectives and facilitating a far more
collaborative approach to developing efficiency and performance solutions. The
approach requires the development of social networking techniques rather than
compiling collections of best practice case studies and success stories. These
collaborative networks are commonly referred to as â€˜communities of practiceâ€™
Definition of CoP: â€˜â€¦a group of people geographically
separated who share learning, knowledge and advice about a common interest or
The role of networks and communities
The r ole of CoP and networks in local
government will be key going forward. Perhaps the most consistent of KM success
stories in large privat sector organisations has been the evolution of CoP as the primary
mechanism for learning, knowledge sharing, and helping between people who
perform the same role but in different departments (or in this case local
authorities). This project will be looking to support the development and
maintenance of healthy CoPs and networks across the local government landscape,
as a key tool in self-improvement.
What might the future look like?
In 2009, sector knowledge will be owned and maintained
through properly resourced communities and networks. These communities will be
run by trained facilitators, which will connect community members (local
authority employees) to the knowledge they require, in order to solve immediate
organisational challenges. Local Government will play a key role in supporting and
nurturing these communities, as well as acting as a key first point of contact
to search for knowledge and expertise. It will act as a knowledge broker for
all local authority employees.