Originally published on September 26, 2017

I have written and presented about my vision for knowledge management, and suggested that it’s important to clearly articulate your vision for how KM looks when it is working right. This article shares the KM visions of others.

1. Kent Greenes: One learns and everyone knows. Individuals, groups, and organizations share, transfer and apply their collective knowledge and experience to do what’s right AND deliver extraordinary performance.

What good KM looks like:

  • Reflective practitioners and leaders: self-guided learners, seekers and sharers of knowledge are sought after and highly rewarded. Everyone is highly participative in knowledge networks and communities.
  • Work is learning and learning is work: knowledge is embedded in processes and practices, and it’s all transparent.
  • People are highly aware of their digital presence: it’s easy and fast to find and collaborate with relevant people and content.
  • Stakeholders are aligned with common intent: People, Process, and IT.

2. Bill Ives: KM has potential to become a core value driver within the connected enterprise.

  • 1982–38% of enterprise value is within intangible assets.
  • 1999–84% of enterprise value is within intangible assets.
  • 2006 — McKinsey writes that the main value in enterprises lies within interactions, not transactions, but IT investment goes in the opposite direction.
  • 2010–2011 — McKinsey reports that within the connected enterprise, 77% found increased speed of access to knowledge assets, 60% found reduced communication costs, 44% reduced travel costs, and 40% had increased employee satisfaction.
  • 2012 — McKinsey estimates over a trillion dollars a year in benefits from social business, where KM in some form needs to be a foundation. Gains include enhanced internal communication and collaboration, searching for and gathering information, and increased productivity in role specific tasks.
  • 2012 — McKinsey writes, “Businesses have only just begun to understand how to create value with these new tools.” McKinsey notes that the potential is almost limitless as “almost any human interaction that can be conducted electronically can be made social, but only a fraction of the potential uses have been developed.” This is where KM can play a leadership role.
  • 2012 and beyond — KM needs to be integrated into task-oriented social functions to realize the value that McKinsey projects.

3. Chris Collison: You know knowledge is being effectively managed when there is:

4. Al Simard

  • Knowledge is the core strategic resource.
  • Knowledge flows efficiently from creation to application.
  • Knowledge work is productive and leveraged for multiple uses.
  • Knowledge products and services support organizational competitiveness.
  • Learning and adaptation ensure organizational sustainability.

5. Neil Olonoff

  • People are respected and trusted.
  • Their tacit knowledge is accepted as the key source of value in the organization.

6. Giovanni Piazza: One global community:

  • United by an uninterrupted flow of information.
  • Connected beyond boundaries.
  • Enabled by world-class technology.
  • Sharing the daily product of its efficient practice.
  • Open to the influx of worldwide content.

7. Jack Vinson: If it’s working well in an organization, I would expect to see evidence like:

  • People asking “dumb” or “naive” questions and getting useful answers from people they don’t necessarily know.
  • Projects (knowledge work) are getting better and better in terms of speed-of-completion.

8. Cory Banks

  • They wouldn’t know they are doing it: along these lines people wouldn’t know that what they are doing is called knowledge management. They do what feels right and what works, and it just so happens that someone else calls that KM.
  • Open not closed: we communicate openly and shout it to the void. We believe that others might have a better idea or be able to take your idea and improve on it. We are open to taking others’ needs and ideas and building on those. We monitor the feed/stream and see where we can contribute.
  • Supportive: people keep an eye out for each other and offer assistance when needed. They are not dominated by achieving their own personal targets but are focused on a higher level of success for the project, team, group, organization, community.
  • Information-literate: people know where to find what they need and know who to go to. Good communication, cooperation and collaboration are inherent.
  • They are successful! The organization and its people make better decisions and provide innovative solutions that set them apart from competitors/peers. They engage with their colleagues, customers, consumers and partners to solve problems.

9. Matt Moore: I’m interested in what people complain about, because when things are working well, no one says anything. What would I like people to complain about? For example:

  • People can find me too easily. And they seem to know what I’m good at and what my experiences have been. It’s unnerving.
  • We can quickly identify gaps in our information base — and I don’t like finding gaps.
  • We seem to be sharing a lot of our IP among ourselves — and sometimes with our customers and partners. I’m worried about the leakage risks.

10. Karla Phlypo-Price

  • I see an item on every community agenda regarding learning and knowledge transfer or creation. By virtue of seeing the words knowledge transfer or creation, I know that the culture has integrated learning, and cares about how knowledge flows.
  • I see common usage of words among cross-functional groups when collaborating. This means that there has been an effort to understand diverse perspectives of others outside their community.
  • I see a clear appreciation for context within knowledge exchanges.
  • I see an understanding that sometimes explicit knowledge needs to be captured (e.g., when dealing with technical understanding), and evidence of some kind of repository that is common for all to use, update and contribute to.
  • I see upper management openly using the same methods as everyone else. Running their meetings with the same agenda items contributing to explicit knowledge. Promoting wisdom and incorporating the wisdom from many voices.
  • I see a list by specialization on a shared intranet that has all the experts, enthusiasts, etc., so that others can find them easily.

11. Dean Testa: I like to keep things simple. Our vision is “Collect and Connect to provide associates the entire knowledge of the organization available at their fingertips.”

12. Tom Short

  • Work gets done easily and well.
  • There is a continuous wellspring of new ideas that lead to more efficient ways of working, less waste and increased revenue.

13. Kate Pugh: I would like to see the following measurements show positive indicators:

  • Lives saved
  • Budgets salvaged
  • Schedules met
  • Jobs spared
  • Innovations to market
  • Risks mitigated
  • Knowledge networks spreading good global health practices
  • Laughter
  • People going home at night at a reasonable hour, without redoing what’s being done elsewhere around the globe

14. Marc de Fouchécour: A knowledge-powered organization is an organization where all people Rip, Mix, Burn, and Thank:

  • Rip: gather pieces of information, ideas, news, conversations
  • Mix: them individually or collectively for my/our purpose or goal and with my/our own context and culture
  • Burn: (like a CD) transform this knowledge in concrete actions or decisions
  • Thank: recognize my sources of information and inspiration in order to stimulate them to continue to produce, and use my own results (KM process becomes a cycle)

15. Peter West: KM is working really well for an organization when:

  • The organization creates the conditions (and continues to refine them — in anticipation of or response to new developments) whereby its members and their stakeholders have access to (or the capacity to create) the knowledge they need to make decisions and take actions that add value to the organization and its stakeholders/shareholders.
  • The “conditions” vary according to organizational/situational context and applicability, but could include (in multiple combinations and permutations): establishing communities of practice; supporting mentorship/apprenticeship programs; encouraging storytelling; experimenting with safe-fail interventions; sharing good practices, convening a knowledge fair, etc.

16. Paul McDowall: The tangible outcome of effective use of KM principles and practices:

  • The organization is widely recognized as being highly effective and efficient, both strategically and operationally, in that it achieves or exceeds its strategic goals; responds to or anticipates market changes and conditions; manages all assets and resources prudently, and demonstrates creativity; innovation; adaptability and flexibility with continuous improvement. Knowledge and healthy communication flow afferently and efferently as the key mechanism in doing work. Knowledge Management practices and principles are used and lived as essential aspects of the organizational culture (“the way we do things around here”).
  • Customers and clients highly value the products and/or services, and a strong and meaningful relationship is evident between them.
  • Stakeholders and partners highly respect the organization and are keenly engaged in the active partnerships and relational activities, especially where ideas flow.
  • Leaders and managers make effective and timely decisions based on better knowledge and ideas, drawing on sound analysis and insight from all relevant individuals or groups in the organization.
  • Employees are highly engaged intellectually, emotionally and socially. Mutual respect between management and staff is evident.

17. Richard Vines: People and organizations, individually and collectively, have the cognitive clarity to articulate the:

  • Capabilities they draw upon.
  • Approaches they use.
  • Systems they continuously reform.
  • E-platforms that enable them to acquire, apply, create and store knowledge, for contexts such as realizing shared visions or minimizing the impact of disruptions.

18. Joel Muzard: Our point of view is that:

  • Knowledge is something alive, organic, a stream that flows between people who are facing a challenge or are in any disturbance or disruption in a specific context, with shared language and values that enables them to reach their purpose efficiently, expertly, with fun.
  • Our organization is an ecosystem where the solutions are co-constructed with commitments in real time and without barriers, and leaders act as conveners, motivators and facilitators of agile conversations.

19. John Hovell

  • Elevator pitch: “When you’ve been working on a project for 3 months and focusing on it every day, have you noticed that more than half the time someone somewhere else is usually working on something similar? You should try our new talent market — it really does a great job of connecting people, projects and capabilities.” Of course, talent markets aren’t the only KM deliverable, so you might need a broader example — or 20 more of these pitches depending upon your business need.
  • You know KM is working when the organization can continually answer “who knows who?”, “who knows what?” and “who does what?” It’s not the end-all, be-all model, but I sure think it’s apropos of today’s most typical organizational challenges, i.e., the kinds of challenges that aren’t necessarily owned by a particular function. It seems as though a model like that offers each organization an opportunity to define exactly how they’ll answer those questions to best fit their customer needs, strategy and culture — whether it’s talent markets and knowledge markets, or board meetings and discussion threads, or communities of practice and virtual worlds, etc.

20. Steven Wieneke: For a learning and knowledge aware enterprise, knowledge is:

  • Shared
  • Adopted
  • Adapted
  • Reused
  • Leveraged
  • Innovated
  • Valued
  • Accurate
  • Apparent
  • Visible
  • Accessible
  • Current
  • Relevant
  • Understood
  • Actionable
  • Active
  • Perennial

21. Arthur Shelley: What does good KM look like?

  • People naturally collaborate and have extensive global networks
  • Leaders support their teams’ collaboration activities across business and with external parties
  • There is a high level of adaptation and adoption of other’s ideas
  • Sharing behavior is acknowledged and rewarded
  • Tools enable learning before, during and after activities and events
  • Networks and communities are self-sustaining and refresh knowledge as they complete projects and rotate leader and administrative roles
  • Community activities are driven by business needs and deliver benefits, both tangible and intangible
  • Knowledge behaviors are embedded into everyday business processes
  • Intellectual property is defined and made available for others to use
  • Learnings from change programs are captured and reused in, or adapted for, related future projects
  • Information and knowledge is constantly refreshed and easily accessed by appropriate parties

22. Developing a Knowledge Management Vision by Lesha Van Der Bij

KM is seamlessly integrated into the life cycle of all of our matters — from client pitch and matter intake to performing the work and a post-mortem — ensuring that all steps are completed as efficiently as possible and reusable work product is continually captured as a part of the work flow.

23. The Federal Knowledge Management Initiative Vision

  • Every government worker, work group and department at every level of government have the knowledge work skills, access to data and information, rich contextual knowledge, and necessary relationships to collaborate successfully to help solve the complex problems we face as a nation.
  • Effectively leveraging these valuable knowledge assets creates the foundation necessary for a more prosperous future for all Americans.

24. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust: Vision for Knowledge Management

We are committed to using knowledge management to support its overarching Workforce and Organisational Development Strategy. Our vision is to harness the body of knowledge and exploit it at point of need so that the right information will be available to the right people in the right format at the right time. We believe that the effective management of knowledge and information is essential for the provision of the best patient care.

Individually and collectively we will:

  • Recognize the value of knowledge
  • Use and share knowledge for the benefit of the local health economy as a whole
  • Be equipped and skilled at exploiting and contributing to the knowledge base
  • Store information and extract and use knowledge cost effectively
  • Consider the evidence base before making decisions
  • Be effective as a learning organisation, learning before, during and after doing
  • Reduce variation in clinical practice and improve communication between care settings through Care Pathways

Our vision relies upon Trust commitment to the following:

  • Improving quality of care by referral to the evidence base
  • Creating a reflective learning culture
  • Research being embedded within the core business
  • Developing the talents of all staff
  • Working with partners
  • The use of innovative information and communications technology

25. Visions of Knowledge Management 2 — Knowledge Wave by Miguel Cornejo Castro

26. Knowledge management vision by Arun Hariharan

27. 15 Example Knowledge Management visions by Nick Milton

28. Knowledge Management Vision Statement by Chuck Tryon

29. Establishing a vision for knowledge management: Be like Gordon Ramsay. by Christopher Parsons

30. Presentation version of visions 1–20: What’s Your KM Vision?

My Vision


1. HP: Strategy, Structure/Processes, Metrics/Results/Rewards, Values/Behavior

  • Strategy Vision
  • Structure and Processes Vision
  • Metrics, Results, and Rewards Vision
  • Values and Behavior Vision

2. Vision using examples from Deloitte



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/