Find Your Centre in Your KM Spin

Recently, there was a question on actKM from a member who wanted to know where to start his journey in the KM “milky way” (those were my words, btw).  As usual, and kudos too, many members of the community put forth their best recommendations in terms of literature (print and otherwise), blogs and websites as well as courses that could help (actually many felt courses were not that critical). 

In any case, it got me thinking about my own KM learning journey and how, given the environment that I was in, and the drivers that came along with it, I was more steep in the RM/IM/IT domain, looking at processes and supporting systems – records and document management systems, CRM systems, data warehouses, ERP systems, etc. With my work now at Straits Knowledge, I have leaned more on to the humanistic side of KM with techniques on cognitive task analysis, sense-making, anecdotes and archetypes, etc. No doubt both domains need to tango, but they are still quite distinct disciplines.

So it begs the question of what do I want to be steep in, because there is too much to know and so little time and limited mental energy (I do mean energy as opposed to capacity, ha ha…smile ) to absorb it all. What would reside within my ken (using my dictionary word of the day btw)? Rather than be a Jack of all trades, I think one has to make a choice at some crossroad of one’s KM journey, of where the inclination is… or for the bold, should be. It is not a “one way or the other” question hopefully but a question of relative orientation.

Whatever the orientation, an understanding of strategy and how it drives interventions on both sides of the spectrum is still necessary, like a “pivotal” hand when you do a spin in salsa (oops, still hung up on salsa, I’m afraid). Strategy is like that hand, something you stay in touch with and serves as a guiding object, to let you know that you are where you should be, but it is ultimately the dancer who does the spin. Not with the use of her head, nor with the arms, legs or feet but with the shoulders. It is the shoulders that create the spin and the speed of the spin, and bring the other body parts along – that’s like the job of a KM manager, being between management (the head) and operations (the limbs) and influencing them to create the KM spin. But as in a salsa spin, it is not just about using your shoulders but also finding your centre? When you are able to find your centre, you stay on your feet and avoid the awkward tumbling. So where is your centre in your KM spin? Which way do you want to go and how fast? (a post for another time?)

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