Expertise Location, Layers of KM, KM Resources and Events, The Power of Intuition

01-Aug-07 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Question of the Week

Q: We are developing a database to track all employees (in a specific area of expertise) and their past work experiences:

  • to be able to assess where we need to develop training plans
  • as a reference database to locate individuals with necessary skills.

Do you think this fits in with knowledge management? Do you have any other advice?

A: Expertise location does fit in with KM. Community discussion forums are excellent for locating expertise. If there is already a forum or distribution list for the employees in a specific area of expertise, then it can be used. If not, you can recruit a thought leader, activist, or respected individual to create, launch, build, and maintain such a forum.

In order for such a forum to function as an expertise locator, it should have a critical mass of experts in the topic, an active moderator, and a community norm that questions and requests posted to the forum will receive timely replies. If these criteria are met, then you don’t need to know who the experts are — you just need to know that they belong to the forum, and how to post to it.

Even if you work with HR to create a skills inventory database, you will have a challenge in getting employees to enter their data and then to maintain it. Even in consulting firms where it is in the consultants’ interest in order to stay billable, they tend not to like updating their skills profiles.

If your company already has a training history database, you can use it to see which courses have already been taken and by whom. To develop training plans, you can ask the members of the community forum for their suggestions and requirements. A combination of collection (databases) and connection (communities) can yield the desired results.

KM Blog of the Week

Andrew Gent works in my team as the Technology Lead and Knowledge Architect. He recently started a blog which includes KM among the topics.

Incredibly Dull by Andrew Gent

Knowledge Management Posts

  • A Process for Defining Processes / Understanding the Layers of KM
  • Is There Only One Wiki in the World? and The “Other” Wiki
  • The Threat of Social Software and The Threat of Social Software, Part 2
  • What is Knowledge Management?

KM Link of the Week

Discussions on KM, Collaboration and Learning by Curtis Conley

So, why start a website? The ultimate purpose of this site is to serve as a personal knowledge management (PKM) tool for myself — a place where I can put down my own thoughts on a variety of subject matter prior them taking shape in say, a research-journal form. Also, I hope to build an online resource of information related to KM and other related subjects — so when I need to find a website or snippet of information I only have to come here to find it. To this end, this site will also serve as a resource for anyone else who may be interested in subjects such as knowledge management, organizational learning, human resource development, adult education, training, etc.

KM Book of the Week

The Power of Intuition: How to Use Your Gut Feelings to Make Better Decisions at Work by Gary Klein

Renowned researcher Gary Klein shows that intuition, far from being an innate “sixth sense,” is a learnable — and essential — skill.

Based on interviews with senior executives who make important judgments swiftly, as well as firefighters, emergency medical staff, soldiers, and others who often face decisions with immediate life-and-death implications, Klein demonstrates that the expertise to recognize patterns and other cues that enable us — intuitively — to make the right decisions — is a natural extension of experience.

Through a three-tiered process called the “Exceleration Program,” Klein provides students with the tools they need to build the intuitive skills that will help them make tough choices, spot potential problems, manage uncertainty, and size up situations quickly. Klein also shows how to communicate such decisions more effectively, coach others in the art of intuition, and recognize and defend against an overdependence on information technology.

Table of Contents


1. A pragmatic approach to intuitive decision making

2. A case study of intuition

3. Where do our hunches come from?

4. Intuition skills training: speeding up your learning curve

5. Using analysis to support our intuitions


6. How to make tough choices

7. How to spot problems before they get out of hand

8. How to manage uncertainty

9. How to size up situations

10. Getting creative: how to go beyond brainstorming

11. How to improvise and adapt plans

12. Molding your intuition — a case study


13. Executive intent: how to communicate your intuitions

14. Coaching others to develop strong intuitions

15. Overcoming the problems with metrics

15. Smart technology can make us stupid

17. Ten tips for intuitive decision making


Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager

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