Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 8 Issue 9
Welcome to the June edition of Inside Knowledge. After five years working in various capacities with the magazine, this will be my last issue; I am off to pastures new. Rest assured, however, that the magazine will be in very safe hands. Jason Schofield, editorial director here at Ark Group, will be taking over the reins, and he will be assisted by
Like the magazine itself, knowledge management has come a long way since the turn of the millennium. I recall the conviction with which many industry analysts dismissed KM as yet another IT-industry bandwagon that its proponents would abandon as soon as an alternative marketing vehicle came along. Though sceptics remain, KM has defied its critics. Few now dispute that knowledge-focused principles and processes sit at the heart of any organisation’s commercial success and longevity; knowledge management, which many now accept as an umbrella term for a raft of different, if overlapping, disciplines, has flourished rather than floundered.
Ironically, the criticism that greeted knowledge management’s inception has been instrumental in its growth. The debate that has always surrounded KM has prompted a sustained and vigorous analysis of the concept, which in turn has allowed knowledge management to develop in line with practitioners’ needs and keep pace with economic realities, rather than stagnate. Few comparable movements have prompted such lively, healthy discussion.
The result is that the generation of knowledge management currently being practised in those organisations at the vanguard of the movement is unrecognisable from that which analysts disparaged so heartily in the early days. Indeed, KM today is a holistic, dynamic collection of disciplines, which will only grow in importance over the coming years.
Just before I go, I’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make Inside Knowledge a success: the magazine’s editorial team, the editorial board, all of those practitioners who have taken the time to write and share their experiences with their peers, and, above all, you, the reader. Your input and support over the years has been invaluable, and I wish each of you the very best in all your future endeavours.
Case study: Lend Lease
Garry Cullen was taking a break from his job as matchmaker for knowledge seekers and sharers in the Australia office of Lend Lease Corporation when he checked into the Association of Knowledgeworks K-Net discussion group. There he spotted another knowledge seeker, KM maven Melissie Rumizen, saying: Ive benchmarked expertise locators such as BP Connect and others. Ive heard presentations from software vendors such as Tacit. What Ive never heard is anyone who can tell me what value they have delivered. Is there anybody out there with experience with either an in-house expertise locator or one generated by software?
Case study: Oracle
Oracle has over 14,000 employees in over 50 offices across 36 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). A decade ago, Oracle EMEA looked more like a loose federation of independent companies than a single organisation. People who were with the company then describe the offices in various countries as having been akin to kingdoms, fiefdoms and silos, and the organisation as a whole as having been fragmented.
From laggard to leader
In case-based magazines such as Inside Knowledge, it is often the companies doing the risky trailblazing work that get all the column inches. The rest of us pick out the nuggets from these experiences and look for places to embed them in our own environments. In the slipstream of these pioneers, listening to their lessons learnt and working towards their examples of best practice, are the followers who can see the vision but want to lessen the risks and avoid the pitfalls.
The knowledge: Euan Semple
Running the unusual line between rebelling against senior-management expectations and over-delivery on objectives seems to be Euan Semples forte. Since his appointment as head of KM solutions at the BBC, he has jumpstarted collaboration and knowledge sharing among employees on a budget that would make most software vendors squirm.
Knowledgeworks: Playing dumb
As the story goes, a bright young man was hired by Bethlehem Steel as a management consultant, because of his reputation as a leading light. Almost immediately the young man realised that, as he was not a relative of anyone on the board of directors, he had been hired primarily as an ornament. So, he wore his golf shoes to the board meetings and practised his golf swing. When asked what he was doing, he said that, until he was allowed to perform, he would keep practising golf.
KM toolkit: Information lifecycle management
Maintaining peace and public order in and around the urban conurbations of Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham in the UK is the daily challenge faced by the men and women of the South Yorkshire Police Force. Managing the data that they create in their daily working lives, meanwhile, creates another daily challenge this time, for the forces IT team.
Masterclass: Social-network analysis
Lets face it: your organisation is a networked organisation whether or not top management thinks it is one, and whether management wants it to be or not. Informal networks have always played a huge role in how work gets done in organisations; good managers have understood the role of these networks and people who know how to leverage them. Whats different today is that a convergence of years of research in the social and physical sciences has provoked interest in a new set of methods for mapping and mining insights from these networks.
Trend tracker: KM tools
I am still regularly asked, Which technologies do I need to implement in order to do knowledge management?, even though the KM community has been pointing out for many years that the most important (and difficult) issue relating to KM is changing peoples behaviour to create an effective knowledge-focused environment.
Knowledge advisory centre: The new fundamentals
Agility, rapid response, execution, customer intimacy all are strategic capabilities managers are being asked to achieve, usually in impossibly short time frames. Meeting such demands requires mastering new business fundamentals across three core arenas.
Thought leader: Paul Louis Iske
In the modern economy, the importance of knowledge is often reflected in the use of phrases like competing with knowledge, knowledge as a key differentiator, the knowledge economy and the like. But how sustainable is the thinking on which such concepts are grounded?