Where Do Knowledge Audits Come From?
In this thoughtpiece, from my forthcoming book Knowledge Audits and Knowledge Mapping (Oxford: Chandos, 2016) I trace the origins of knowledge audits in the communication audits of the 1950s. Knowing the history of knowledge audits gives us access to the incredibly rich set of tools and approaches developed by organisational communications scholars and practitioners after the Second World War (and also, incidentally, those developed to support information audits in the 1980s and 1990s). The article also gives a framework for identifying different types of knowledge audits for different purposes. Feedback welcome!
Why Taxonomy Projects Are Graceless and What To Do About It
Why do many enterprise taxonomy projects fail? In this thoughtpiece I explain why taxonomy projects are extraordinarily fragile in relation to the quality of the initial evidence gathering stage. I outline a methodology for improving the robustness and effectiveness of an enterprise taxonomy design, through a systematic knowledge audit at the project’s outset.
This article talks about the shifting sands of senior leader support as a risk to sustainable KM.
To read the article, click here.
Four Types of Knowledge Risk
We encounter four major forms of knowledge risk in organizations:
•Knowledge continuity risks
•Knowledge acquisition risks
•Knowledge outsourcing risks
•Knowledge articulation risks
To read more about these risks, download the article here
How and Why Do Organisations Inhibit Insights and Innovation?
Why do organisations seem to impose frictions on insights and ideas in ways that as individuals we find stupid and bureaucratic? Why do organisations fail to exploit the smarts and common sense of their people? In this paper, written for a Masterclass on Insight and Storytelling with Gary Klein and Shawn Callahan, I explore the idea that social collectives have cognitive behaviours that sit above our individual cognitive awareness, and that have strong and often unperceived influences on how we behave and feel.
Money, Testosterone and Knowledge Management
This article chronicles an acrimonious schism in the KM association KM Pro in late 2004, and puts it into the context of other KM association schisms in the USA during the late nineties. I wrote this article originally for the Global Knowledge Review in early 2005. They decided not to publish it after one of the protagonists in the drama claimed there were “serious errors of fact” in the article and hinted at legal action (as you’ll see, lawyers were liberally used as instruments of intimidation during the KM Pro episode). Despite several attempts to find out what those “errors” were, I didn’t get any clear answer, so I shelved the article. However, I keep getting asked to share it, so am now posting it here. Feedback appreciated! The drama, by the way, continues, with the shutting down of three Yahoo Groups KM communities in early 2006 directly attributable to the differences between the warring parties in this fight.
Why KM Is Hard To Do: Infrastructure, KM and Implementing Change
We recently did a small information management/knowledge management internal initiative at Straits Knowledge. The relative ease with which we did it, compared to the problems faced by several of our clients (much larger organisations) has got me pondering on the way that existing infrastructure impacts an organisation’s current effectiveness, both positively and negatively. In this article I use the case study of our internal initiative to analyse the way that infrastructure in large organisations imposes friction on the rate of change, and propose some project management and change management strategies to deal with that friction.
Conflict, Gender and Identity in Online Communities
In this paper, I look at how conflict within a community can function as a social device for identity-building. In particular, I look at a conflict that took place in late 2003 in the online public sector community of practice, ACT-KM . Shawn Callahan has described the evolution of ACT-KM in general terms. I compare the 2003 conflict discussion with a couple of other systematic online community conflict studies (there are not many). The analysis raises some interesting questions about the role of gender in influencing online behaviours, the role of conflict in community-building, and a community’s ability to self-moderate.
Practical Techniques for Complex Knowledge Transfer
Knowledge Management practice is heavily preoccupied by the problems, processes and technologies associated with explicit knowledge transfer. However, much of the most important knowledge to organizations resides in the heads and abilities of people, and is extremely difficult to transfer. This article reports on a research project that was focused on using practical techniques for eliciting and representing a particular form of complex, tacit knowledge described as “knowing as sensing”. It outlines the processes and methods used in the project to build realistic, complex and ambiguous case studies for businessmen who want to acquire greater sensitivity to the China business environment, using the input of experienced China hands. A technique for facilitating the final stage of knowledge transfer, internalisation, is also described.
KM Competencies: Is Certification The Way To Go?
How does a knowledge manager acquire the appropriate competencies in a professional, structured way? Knowledge management novices often look to certification programmes to give the necessary assurance, and there is no shortage of providers to step up to the mark. But to evaluate the merits of certification programmes, we really need to have a clearer understanding of the competencies we want to build.