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Monday, June 02, 2008

Jack Vinson's thoughts on Knowledge Management

I've been reading a lot of Jack Vinson's blogs on knowledge management and always found him to be a pragmatic knowledge manager. I'm pleased to see he's been quoted by Stan Garfield over at Hewlett Packard - who asked him what words of wisdom he'd want to pass on.

Jack has two points that he makes that chime in closely with mine

Words of wisdom on KM:
  • It's not about the knowledge, it's about connecting people who have useful information to those who need it - whether you connect them face-to-face, or it is mediated via technology (and time).
  • It is very easy to get locked into one method of doing knowledge management. Be curious about options for KM. Test things out, ask your colleagues. Then make your decisions as they work in your environment."
I've always believed that people are the most important element in knowledge management, but I am excited by the range of potential options that are available for firms to use - if they are brave and trust their staff. It reminds me of the conversations that I had when the Internet was in it's infancy and I campaigned with managers to allow it in. They felt that people would goof off and productivity would suffer. It didn't because people used it to access information that they recycled.

The second one is all too easy to get sucked into. The danger of a one size fits all paradigm - there are always some options and try to devise a system that is flexible and meets the internal communities needs. They may not always work first time out - but it is always a learning experience that we can use for version 2.

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