Originally published June 9, 2015

The field of knowledge management (KM) is now about 20 years old. As Patrick Lambe previously pointed out, knowledge management existed before 1995, but the term KM was not widely used.

I have been active in this field for most of that time, and I am often asked how to develop expertise in it. As with most fields, there are no shortcuts to becoming an expert. You have to read, write, listen, attend training and events, and interact with others in the field. But mostly, you need to practice the profession by actually doing the work of knowledge management.

On May 13, 2011, I presented at APQC’s annual KM conference on Building KM Expertise.

Here are 10 ways to build expertise in KM.

1. Assess yourself against the list of 100 KM Specialties

  • If you were asked to meet with a client as an expert in the specialty
  1. would you be comfortable doing so?
  • Choose one or more specialties in which
  1. you are an expert, or
  • Focus your development on those specialties

2. Read books, blogs, periodicals, and sites

  • Read books — start with these dozen, then choose ones that match your chosen specialties:
  1. The Future of Knowledge: Increasing Prosperity through Value Networks by Verna Allee

3. Join, participate in, and help lead communities — start with the SIKM Leaders Community

  • Subscribe: Get email or RSS and regularly read the threaded discussion board

4. Attend conferences — start with these two:

5. Tweet, retweet, and follow tweets

  1. Schedules: TweetReports and Twubs
  1. #MM Meeting Monday: Link to upcoming conferences and events for the week

6. Present, speak, lead discussions, and deliver training

  • Present at
  1. internal meetings
  • Ask an established expert to allow you to co-present

7. Post, write, and publish

  1. test your ideas

8. Attend training

  • Online

9. Learn by doing

10. Find a mentor

  • Ask someone you respect for a short initial conversation, to be followed by recurring ones if the first one goes well


This summary of recommendations and this list of 100 resources may be helpful. What do you recommend?

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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