posted 1 Mar 2011 in Volume 14 Issue 5
Eight questions: Part I
In the first of three interviews on what 2011 may have in store for KM, regular IK columnist and knowledge strategist Christian Young advises knowledge managers to take pleasure in what they do and let the results follow
What do you think have been the biggest developments in KM during 2010?
I think the biggest development was the demand for KM services. An increasing number of organisations across a variety of fields, including healthcare, the legal profession, and engineering (as well as rising demand in the public sector) seem to have recognised the value in a strategic approach to KM.
How will such developments affect the work of knowledge managers and their teams?
Now more than ever, there is a need Ė and an opportunity Ė for customer-focused education on KM. While organisations are clamouring for KM services there is still a tremendous amount of misinformation about what KM is and is not.
This will require KM professionals to pull double duty as both service providers and educators, to help keep their organisations and/or clients focused and on track.
Additionally, this demand will result in a growing need for creative KM professionals who possess a combination of strong strategic planning, project management and organisational development skills, as well as a talent for community development.
To this end, improved KM networks and quality professional development programmes will be integral to helping KM teams to be successful in the coming years.
What do you think are the technology buzzwords for the next 12 months?
Social analytics, continuous intelligence and information assurance.
How do you think management approaches will evolve in response to these developments?
I still believe itís important to take care in introducing technology simply because itís new and cool (even if itís free). You have to be sure the technology youíre implementing correlates to an actual organisational need and reflects the technical savvy of your users. That said, most of the technology tools that organisations are exploring in the hope of finding innovative ways to reach their target audience, or to leverage internally, come with a universal caveat. That is that more information creates more problems. Managing the influx of information and data will necessitate having more robust, secure, and highly customisable content management platforms.
What are your KM-focused New Year resolutions?
Primarily, to be more ambitious, yet less serious about work. Ultimately, I want to have more fun with KM. Itís amazing how much we imbue our work with our personal energy so I hope that my deriving more enjoyment from my work will rub off on my clients, co-workers and peers.
What will be your primary focus over the coming months?
This year, Iím working on developing and presenting KM branding workshops to help knowledge professionals improve the reach of their strategies. Iím also developing strategic planning workshops for organisations seeking to kick start their KM efforts.
Which organisations do you think are the ones to watch Ė and why?
Small and medium-sized businesses - including start-ups - with an eye on growth. Most KM efforts are taking place in larger, private and public institutions, but smaller ventures need KM too. In fact, itís possible that leveraging KM can help them to achieve their growth smarter and faster than their competitors.
What is the single most important piece of advice you would give to any knowledge manager?
Trust your instincts. If you love what you do, then you canít help but do it well.