Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 7 Issue 7
Personal knowledge management
Let’s talk about you. You work five days a week, from nine to five (and then some), you’re a valuable member of your team or department, and you support company strategies and work towards organisational goals. Along with your co-workers, you’re the company’s most valuable asset. But is that how you’re made to feel?
Every month we bring you some of the finest examples of companies harnessing their organisational knowledge to sharpen their competitive edge and working practices. Each of these initiatives relies on employees’ support and effectiveness to succeed. But how much help do individual knowledge workers actually receive when it comes to managing their own knowledge, information and competencies? Personal-knowledge management (PKM) offers the answer here, but has sat on the sidelines since the early days of KM and has so far failed to make a significant impact.
Organisations engage with employees on numerous levels through PKM to ensure they are able and motivated to deliver their best performance. This involves tools for managing their information, know-how and contacts so that they are meaningful and easily accessible, but then extends further to making the individual aware of his or her own strengths and value to the organisation. As Lilia Efimova says: “Organisations need to recognise that employees are investors that bring their expertise to a company and can withdraw it if the ROI is not compelling.”
With companies fighting the war for talent on a daily basis, it’s interesting, and frankly a little worrying, that the value of PKM has not been pounced on by organisations, regardless of industry or size. Indeed, workers themselves hold equal, if not more, responsibility for understanding that PKM is essential for their own personal development. Offering tailored support tools and training delivers a motivated and empowered workforce that recognises the value and investment their company places in them.
This month we explore PKM in depth. We find out why companies seem to shy away from such an essential subject in our Your Say feature, and Dan Holtshouse then examines some of the PKM tools in use at Xerox. Finally, John Eberhard outlines the ethos behind the newly formed Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture; as Holtshouse says, you can’t get more personal than the neuroscience exploration of the mind.
As this is such a thought-provoking subject, we’re keen to hear how you are managing your personal knowledge. Drop me a line at email@example.com.
EBRD overcomes corporate inertia
When creating and rolling out a knowledge-sharing initiative that would impact every part of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, Bruno Balvanera and Olena Koval had to address a number of cultural challenges to ensure senior-management supported their work and staff members bought into the overall objectives. Here they describe the key drivers that have enabled them to deliver successful knowledge-management programmes.
Plus GSM in Poland has successfully harnessed the power of knowledge management by linking it to innovation. The network operator launched a competition called Visionaries Wanted!, which encouraged employees and the public to share their ideas and knowledge in exchange for the ultimate prize: to see their idea become a reality. Adam Kowalik discusses the development of the competition and its direct relation to knowledge management.
Knowledge, know-how and knowing
By linking current neuroscience knowledge to the know-how used by architects, John Eberhard describes the philosophy behind the recently founded Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture that aims to understand how buildings and spaces can be constructed with the specific needs of the user in mind.
Tools for the personal knowledge space
The demands on today's employees to work more efficiently and effectively and create more value while workloads increase mean that managing one's personal knowledge is an essential skill. Dan Holtshouse examines some of the tools that organisations can invest in to help workers manage the information and knowledge they need on a daily basis.
Book review: Hyperinnovation
Wilma Garvin reviews Hyperinnovation: Multidimensional Enterprise in the Connected Economy by Chris Harris.
Five minutes with
Anouk van de Stedt
Jacquie Bran, head of Ark Group's events team, spoke to Anouk van de Stedt, KM project leader at ABN Amro. She has been involved in KM since its inception at the bank and has experience in developing and co-ordinating KM programmes, overcoming cultural barriers to new ways of working and successfully documenting their implementation process.
Country focus: Germany
Sandra Higgison talks to Oliver Schwabe, managing director at Eurofocus International Consultants, about the evolution of knowledge management in Germany.
Your say: Personal knowledge management
Focusing knowledge-management initiatives on the individual should not be a groundbreaking move within an organisation. However, few companies have taken the time to equip employees with the appropriate tools and techniques to support their personal-knowledge and information-management needs. Even fewer have identified and built on their employees competencies, or ensured they are motivated to deliver the best of their work and share knowledge. Sandra Higgison finds out why personal knowledge management has been ignored by organisations and traditional KM initiatives for so long.
The knowledge: John Seely Brown
Renowned for his groundbreaking work at Xerox Parc and pioneering thinking on the interplay between organisations, technology and people, John Seely Brown has had a significant impact on the knowledge-management world. He talks to Sandra Higgison about his major influences, describes selected highlights from his career and discusses his current challenge to bring joy and meaning back to the workplace.
Put it to the board: Paul Iske
In knowledge management, we often refer to the knowledge-value chain: identifying, creating, capturing, sharing, applying and evaluating knowledge. Value is created when these activities support the strategy of the organisation and its stakeholders.