Friday, March 17, 2006

Technology Saves KM!! Pshaw!

I am getting to see more evidence of the fact the most organizations are technology-focused when it comes to KM initiatives despite repeated discussions on the inadvisability of adopting the “build it and they’ll come” approach. Why is this so?

Because we are most comfortable doing short-term thinking. Management wants to see the results in no less than a few months. The “best” of results are technical in nature because that is what can be ‘seen’! Culture will take a long long time. Most people anyways don’t understand it, feel they can’t influence it, are not comfortable talking people issues. Process enhancements can be painfully slow as well and moreover, it isn’t easy to convince stakeholders to modify a process unless the results are clearly beneficial (in the short-run again) and the change(s) promises not to be ‘killing’. While the easiest thing to do would be to get some of the existing process requirements, use a product or develop a stand-alone application and throw it into the ring and ask people to use it. You’ve shown something. What does it matter if people jump into the ring and examine the product with sticks and other such equipment, play around with it for sometime and then go away disappointed that it is not embedded in their day-to-day work? What if they see it as temporary entertainment and no more? What if it solves no critical business problem or is not integrated with the rest of the system? Tchah! Watch this space….I may be coming back with more…!

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