Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 9 Issue 8
In some senses, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the technology that underpins the worldwide web, could be regarded as one of the most important knowledge management (KM) innovators ever – although he may not know it.
The reason, of course, is that without his altruism, his willingness to share his invention for the greater good – rather than trying to make a fast buck out of it – we might not be able to share our own ideas quite as freely and openly over the internet. And without the internet, some of the tools that provide the foundation of many KM projects would either not be possible or would be much less useful.
Instead of the single system, there might well have been competing technologies and standards. We might, for example, have to use multiple browsers to view different websites or have witnessed a situation take shape in which dominant standards emerged in different parts of the world, making it even more difficult for geographically dispersed people to communicate.
In some senses, the unity of the web today and the ease with which information can be shared has had a powerful influence on mindsets. If you can easily e-mail friends anywhere in the world, then there is no excuse for failing to share important information with colleagues in far-flung offices, let alone the office next door.
Indeed, there is little excuse for not sharing experiences and lessons even more widely than that, which is exactly what many personal websites and wikis are all about – and the reason why they are growing in number at such a fast rate.
The point is that the technology has become not just a physical enabler of knowledge sharing, but a mental enabler, too. The open sharing of information does not just help to educate, it helps organisations to make better decisions, too. That is also why so many governments around the world are moving in the direction of freedom of information, however imperfect many of those laws are at the moment.
Feature: Not invented here
Introducing solutions to knowledge-sharing problems can be hampered by a not invented here syndrome among the beneficiaries. Victor Newman discusses the problem and suggests a number of approaches.
Masterclass: Change management Part II
The second in a two-part masterclass exploring KM-driven change-management strategies.
Case study: NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
The peer assist method is helping the NHS to overcome patient fears of so-called superbugs.
Case study: Allen & Overy
Knowledge management that goes beyond document standardisation is a tough challenge for most law firms, but Allen & Overy was keen to focus not only on the capture of existing knowledge, but on the creation of innovative content.
Case report: Cisco Systems
There was always an undercurrent of KM at Cisco, even if the company did not formally recognise it. But thats all changed now. By Jerry Ash.
KnowledgeWorks: Golden rules
The most frequent opportunities for external collaboration come through consultants and subcontractors. But Michael Heaney of Benchwhistler Associates, based in Aberdeen in Scotland, says that in the end the Golden Rule generally prevails that is to say, whoever has the gold makes the rules.
KM toolkit: Semantic web
The semantic web project could take the internet to another level of automation and interactivity. But some key challenges need to be overcome first.
The knowledge: Martin Dugage
Communities of practice hold the key to the learning organisation. Martin Dugage tells Sandra Higgison how he has unlocked their value at Schneider Electric and examines the roles of trust and knowledge spaces in ensuring success.
Thought | leader: Learning for sustainability
KM needs a clear purpose. All management efforts need a purpose. I believe the best purpose of knowledge management (KM) is to save organisations.
Letter from... Oman
At the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Muscat in Oman, Powerpoint slides were mercifully banned. Instead of speeches, guests were encouraged to participate in dialogue, to build upon each others ideas and be inspired with calls to action.
Book review: Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships
Once I got beyond the cover and the title, 'Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships' was full of real-world insights and practical, detailed case studies. It provides a very useful (some might say crucial) slant on KM for professional services firms. On the downside, it is a little heavy on jargon and theory.