Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 10 Issue 7
Is KM finished?
Every now and then, something comes along to shake people out of complacency. This month’s case report – and related debate between Jerry Ash and David Snowden – is just such an occurrence.
Initially, we had planned to make the future centres feature our cover story, but when David Snowden requested a right of reply to Jerry Ash’s opinion piece we immediately changed tack.
Snowden’s contention is not that knowledge management (KM) is dead, but that it has ceased to be cutting edge and is now entering the so-called ‘long tail’ – the twilight years of life for any idea. KM, argues Snowden, is merely following ‘quality management’ and ‘business process re-engineering’ (BPR).
However, it could likewise be argued that neither quality management, nor BPR are dead. Rather, their central principles have become universally accepted and while there may be arguments over methodology and approach, both have become integral parts of modern management theory and practice.
What this means, perhaps, is that the principles of KM have become widely accepted just at the time that the technology is finally delivering – social-media software especially has made collaboration more universal and affordable than ever, for example.
Maybe what Snowden really means is that he has moved on and that, while retaining a strong interest in KM, the epicentre of his intellectual (and business) endeavours has shifted, as he says, to such KM-derived concepts as sense-making – how we make sense of the world so we can act in it.
In the meantime, the increasing acceptance of KM – or at least, its main principles – may well entail great change for practitioners in the field.
Either way, I urge you to read the debate between David and Jerry and to form your own opinions – and to e-mail me with them at the usual address.
Advertising feature: Competing on Analytics
Take some overweight players, batters that dont hit home runs and pitchers that dont strike out and what do you get? A winning Major League Baseball team. That's what the Oakland Athletics discovered in 2002 when they turned to analytics to make up for the second-lowest payroll in baseball.
Workshop: Master-data management
Master-data management managing key sets of data centrally instead of in application silos is becoming a element of information management. But where to begin? By Mike Fleckenstein
Workshop: Enterprise content management
There is no special formula for selecting the right enterprise-content-management package. However, with the breadth of users, business processes and applications involved, purchasers must nevertheless choose carefully. By Alan Pelz-Sharpe
Case study: Setterwalls
KM manager Joakim Edoff talks about understanding, establishing and nurturing a knowledge-sharing culture at Swedish law firm Setterwalls.
EI: BPM and SOA
When service-oriented architectures are the norm, new and more sophisticated applications will be possible. But to succeed, it will need to be tackled in tandem with business process management. That is easier said than done.
The big debate: David Snowden
David Snowden responds to Jerry Ashs defence of knowledge management, arguing that while KM is far from dead, it is coming to the end of its natural lifecycle and that we should prepare to move on.
The big debate: Jerry Ash
In the first of this two-part debate, Jerry Ash argues that KM is not just alive, well and prospering, but is still in its infancy.
Case report: Is KM finished?
Some prominent figures are questioning whether the knowledge management agenda has moved on. By Jerry Ash
Case study: Arup
The culture of an organisation is inseparable from the way it manages its knowledge. And the culture of Arup is a little bit different from the average organisation, says Colin Henson.
Masterclass: Obtaining support for KM
Stan Garfield discusses the importance of securing high-level support for knowledge management is widely acknowledged, but little discussed.
Welcome to the future centre
Future centres are proliferating. But what are they and how do they differ from knowledge cities? By Graeme Burton.
Thought leader: Long live the 'network'...
THROUGHOUT HISTORY, humanity has looked to leaders and gurus to provide ideas and direction. By Oliver Schwabe.
Opinion: Complementary communities
When building a community in your organisation, or for members or customers, dont follow the crowd. Work with them instead. By Lynda Rathbone
The Gurteen perspective: Get found!
IT SEEMS to me that one of the key attributes of a successful knowledge worker is the ability to easily connect with people. People whom you can learn from, share knowledge with, collaborate with and get things done together.
Book review: Organizing knowledge
It was Jan Wylie who persuaded Inside Knowledge to rush out a review of Organizing Knowledge, the moment our review copy arrived.
Profile: Jerry Bowles
Jerry Bowles gives Sandra Higgison five good reasons why CEOs simply shouldnt blog.