- the simple sharing of thoughts, experiences, ideas, articles and musings (via internal and external blogs and microblogs, bookmarking),
- discovering colleagues who might collaborate, guide, mentor, or support employees (via internal social networking, author-discovery, people search),
- collaborating efficiently to co-create content and innovate through collective wisdom (via workspaces, conversations apps, wikis, community-platforms, discussion-Q&A forums).
- Additionally, KM also includes softer techniques like
- storytelling for effective knowledge sharing,
- checklists for effective knowledge capture and reuse
- after action reviews for learning from the past,
- unconferences for unstructured and serendipitous exchange of knowledge,
- social network analysis for finding important information nodes in the organization, job rotation, succession planning etc.
This may be painfully obvious to KMers who've been in this field for a while, but what could be the reasons why organizations typically stick to content management rather than pursue other ideas as well, as a part of their KM initiative?
1. They live in the past and believe knowledge equals (or almost equals) structured content
2. They're not comfortable with spending energy and resources on things that are hard to control and bring discipline to (content collection and reuse is relatively easy to define, control and monitor)
3. They're not comfortable with spending energy and resources on things whose benefits cannot be accurately quantified (content reuse is relatively easy to measure and quantify in terms of time saved)
4. They don't see the connection between the 'new' techniques/tools and KM, as they know it. Therefore, they'd leave the pursuit (and facilitation) of these ideas to, say, the HR or Operations or IT functions, or the Project teams themselves
Which brings us back to the rhetorical question. Should we call Knowledge Management something else and wrap it up in something that sounds more commercial rather than academic? Will a rose by any other name smell better? And, not to forget, is it already happening in organizations that are using the label of Enterprise 2.0 or does that sound equally esoteric?