5 Key KM Activities, Sanitization Obsession, K-Audits, Sustaining CoPs, Suggested Books, Crowdsharing Your Library

22-Jan-08 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Question of the Week

Q: I was listening to the podcast of Dan Keldsen’s interview with you where you mentioned five key activities of knowledge management. Can you provide more details about these?

A: Sure. Here are five key activities of Knowledge Management.

  1. Share what you have learned, created, and proved to allow others to learn from your experience and reuse what you have already done. This provides a supply of knowledge.
  2. Innovate to be more creative, inventive, and imaginative, resulting in breakthroughs from new and improved ways of thinking and doing. This creates new knowledge.
  3. Reuse what others have already learned, created, and proved to save time and money, minimize risk, and be more effective. This creates demand for knowledge.
  4. Collaborate with others to yield better results, benefit from diverse perspectives, and tap the experience and expertise of many other people. This allows knowledge to flow at the time of need, creates communities, and takes advantage of the strength in numbers.
  5. Learn by doing, from others, and from existing information so you can perform better, solve and avoid problems, and make good decisions. Learning is the origin of knowledge.

You can remember these 5 ways by using the acronym SIRCL, taken from the first letters of each word.

KM Blog of the Week

Enterprise KM — Obsession With Sanitization by Dinesh Tantri

Over the past couple of years that I have been involved in KM and Collaboration, one of the problems I see consistently is the obsession with “sanitizing” content that goes into the KM system. This sanitization usually involves removing confidential information, client names in some cases, project estimates etc., — essentially stuff that cannot or should NOT be shared. While I acknowledge that this is a need in many industries where security and compliance are key, there is a risk of this need becoming an obsession.

When this happens, so called “Knowledge champions” and content managers in the company spend 80% of their time in ensuring that 20% of the content that should not be shared doesn’t get to the system. “Knowledge champions” ought to be community builders and evangelists for a bigger cause — connecting people to drive conversations and getting stuff that matters into the system. Which leads us to the question as to who should be sanitizing content? My gut feeling is that this should either be the individual who is uploading this document into the system who is responsible enough or trained to understand this or some kind of a back office — It cannot be the knowledge champion in the organization. Liberate them to do better things — to create connections, foster conversations and drive change.

KM Link of the Week

A Knowledge Audit Must be People-Centred & People Focused by Ann Hylton (via Jack Eapen in KM-Forum) — The knowledge audit, also known as the K-Audit, should always be the first major stage of a knowledge management initiative. A knowledge management program or system should never be implemented without a knowledge audit having been conducted. Most importantly the precursor to ‘big spend’ on knowledge management technology is a proper knowledge audit to determine exactly what tools and solutions are most appropriate to enable better knowledge management by the knowledge people in the organization. It is people that will be required to use the newly procured technology and adapt to the new KM system. It is therefore prudent that every attempt be made to consult with all or most knowledge people in the organization before any KM system is purchased and implemented. This is where the knowledge audit plays a pivotal role in a new knowledge management initiative. The company’s ‘knowledge people’ are the core of its knowledge audit and hence no knowledge person should be marginalized during the knowledge audit initiative/process.

Sustaining Communities of Practice by Bronwyn Stuckey and John D. Smith (via Joitske Hulsebosch in com-prac) — This paper reports on the activities and practices of leaders whose efforts to sustain their successful communities of practice have lessons for practitioners and researchers. These leaders kept their communities connected, helped them collaborate and working online to develop an area of expertise over sustained periods of time. The leaders attended both to assuring continuity and stability at the same time as they supported the evolution and transformation of their communities. The themes that these successful leaders focused on were: being together inside their communities, maintaining boundaries around their communities, and drawing nourishment from their communities’ environments as they responded to environmental challenges.

KM Book of the Week

Knowledge Management Bookshelf by Doug Cornelius

  1. Cluetrain Manifesto. Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, David Weinberger
  2. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knowledge Management. Melissie Clemmons
  3. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Etienne Wenger
  4. Effective Knowledge Management for Law Firms. Matthew Parsons
  5. Everything is Miscellaneous. David Weinberger
  6. Harvard Business Review on Knowledge Management. Peter Ferdinand Drucker, David Garvin, Dorothy Leonard, Susan Straus, John Seely Brown
  7. If Only We Knew What We Know: The Transfer of Internal Knowledge and Best Practice. Carla O’Dell, C. Jackson Grayson
  8. Intellectual Capital: The New Wealth of Organizations. Thomas A. Stewart
  9. The Knowledge-Creating Company. Ikujiro Nonaka in the Harvard Business Review (1991)
  10. Knowledge Leadership: The Art and Science of the Knowledge-based Organization. Steven Cavaleri and Sharon Seivert
  11. Knowledge Management and the Smarter Lawyer. Gretta Rusanow, Esq.
  12. Learning to Fly: Practical Knowledge Management from Leading and Learning Organizations. Chris Collison, Geoff Parcell
  13. The Long Tail. Chris Anderson
  14. We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash the Power of Crowds in Your Business. Barry Libert
  15. Wikipatterns: Stewart Mader
  16. Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know. Thomas Davenport and Laurence Prusak

Celebrate the end of 2007 with some books for your brain by Stephen Collins — Here are the books I’m giving away. They’re all books I own myself and value for the insights, teachings or help they’ve given me.

  1. Cubicle Commando (Lisa Messenger and Zern Liew)
  2. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization (Peter M. Senge)
  3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (David Allen)
  4. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (Chip Heath, Dan Heath)
  5. The Myths of Innovation (Scott Berkun)
  6. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable (Seth Godin)
  7. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Malcolm Gladwell)
  8. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (Thomas L. Friedman)

Crowdsharing your library by Stephen Collins — In the interests of sharing, and because I said I would, I can now share my professional library with my industry colleagues and my friends.



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

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Stan Garfield

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