A number of people have already picked up on Dave Snowdon’s excellent article on the future of KM. Just mentioning it here mainly for my own future reference. There a couple of points that particularly resonate for me. One is the growing recognition of the (much under-hyped) role of Librarians in bringing intellectual rigor to KM, and the other is the (much over-hyped) importance of "tacit to explicit" knowledge transformation. Dave reminds us that the key components for effective KM are connecting and collaborating as human beings, and that structuring and organising information (usually with the help and assistance of IT) may help us to make more sense of the environment we work in, but doesn’t necessarily help us to improve our knowledge. For me, ‘KM’ means human interaction of some sort, and anything that makes this easier is to achieve – whether it be social networking tools or Web 2.0 – has my full attention.
Published November 26, 2006 by Stephen Dale
The future of KM
Stephen is Director and founder of Collabor8now Ltd, an organization focussed on developing collaborative environments (e.g. Communities of Practice) and the integration of knowledge management tools and processes to support business improvement. He is a certified knowledge manager with the Knowledge Management Institute (KMI) and the author of several published research papers on collaborative behaviours and information technology.
Good point. Trying to cram tacit knowledge into a rigid information framework tends to make my head hurt, so I like the way you’ve phrased it along the lines of human interaction.
I suppose we’re all looking to find ways to interact without the other party actually being there — a shortcut which brings the challenges of maintaining the richness of face-to-face communication against the benefits of not imposing on the other party’s time. Knowledge repositories and information databases are common attempts at this, with varying degrees of success in transferring experience. I’ll be interested to see if we can strike a more effective balance through that KM focus on people-interaction. Thanks for the insights.