Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 12 Issue 8
From the editor: Getting the balance right
For as long as Inside Knowledge has been exploring knowledge and information management in the enterprise, the onus has been very much on capturing and disseminating knowledge – both tacit and explicit – throughout the organistion, to enable better business performance, improved processes and a more efficient and open workforce.
That’s all well and good, and as we have made the jump into Web 2.0 technologies and social-media applications, it seems that the sky is the limit when it comes to communication. There’s aslo a more ‘personal’ feel to collaboration and knowledge sharing as we bring our own ‘preferred’ tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, into the workplace. Surely this all a good thing, right?
Well yes, but at what cost this endless electronic toolkit, in particular when it comes to more ‘old-fashioned’ activities such as having a chat around the water cooler?
I spoke with IK’s regular columnist David Gurteen a short while back, the day after he ran a knowledge café on ‘How the knowledge café could best be used for business gain’ (see page 9). The overriding topic of the evening was conversation – or rather a lack of. In fact, many participants highlighted the fact that they just weren’t talking enough with their work colleagues. Barriers included a lack of trust, no communal spaces in which to gather, or a management style that discouraged time spent away from desks.
That raises an interesting point. As organisations place more emphasis on working smarter and optimising performance – especially in response to the recession – do any of us feel that we can justify getting up, walking around the office and having a quick chat with a colleague? While we may be discussing an important business point, to a manager in an office might it look like we’re wasting time? Surely, even if we’re playing online scrabble, as long as we are hunched over our keyboard looking busy, this sends the correct message to our boss? Clearly, this is far too simplistic an argument (and I’d also like to point out that none of the IK team is playing games throughout the week). But the fact remains that while it’s much faster to type up a query and hit the ‘send’ button, all we’re ever going to receive back is an equally rapid – and to the point – response. Great for productivity, but what happens to that little nugget of information that could have cropped up as a result of a quick, related question, or even what seemed like nothing more than gossip? Lost forever. The price we pay for relying more and more on electronic – not face-to-face communication. Mr Gurteen touched on the importance of real conversation in last issue’s ‘perspective’ and I have to admit he has a point.
It’s just a shame that so many businesses in this difficult economic climate are driven by factors such as sales call rates and time spent behind a desk – with no time for innovation or new ways of working (they have targets to meet and not enough staff to meet them, of course). Let’s hope that something changes soon, and that our Facebook and Twitter accounts become true extensions of our KM work, rather than merely a distraction.
Masterclass: Knowledge harvesting
Tom Young provides guidance on how to recognise, capture and retain the knowledge that can be used for business benefit, using the knowledge-harvesting process.
Case study: Accenture
Kieron Champion on how Accenture is utilising maturity models for KM performance improvement
Cover feature: LESSONS LEARNT FROM REALLY CHANGING INTELLIGENCE
In the December/January issue of IK, Adrian Zeke Wolfberg introduced us to the US Defense Intelligence Agency Knowledge Lab. In the second of this two-part series, he highlights the importance of relationships as the core value of the Lab, along with lessons learnt and plans going forward
Q&A: David Gurteen
David Gurteen provides insight in to the topics discussed at his recent London knowledge café namely conversation, or a lack of, in todays busy organisations. By Kate Clifton
Opinion: Strategy Development
Art Schlussel takes a look at the essentials of embedding an effective KM strategy to achieve organisational success.
Its not what you know, its who you know. Having connections across the firm means people are more likely to find what or who they want, when they need to. The rapid and highly-publicised uptake of online social networking is causing many firms to consider whether to block staff access to those sites due to concerns over security and time-wasting.
The Gurteen Perspective: Punished by rewards
In this issues perspective, David Gurteen argues that people should be motivated by their own desire to succeed not incentivisation schemes or rewards for doing what is, essentially, their job.