Management, Leadership, and KM Roles; Future of e-Learning; Anecdote Workshops; Sensing the Future

20-Feb-08 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Question of the Week

Q: I want to know three things:

  1. What is the role of management in an organization?
  2. What is the role of knowledge management programs in an organization?
  3. Why is knowledge management of great interest to business today?

A: There are many roles for management in an organization. Here are three important ones:

  1. Ensure that the organization has people who help the organization accomplish its goals by recruiting, retaining, and replacing team members as required.
  2. Administer processes, allocate resources, assign projects, and approve key decisions to ensure the success of the organization.
  3. Support team members, shield them from problems, and help them to progress in their careers.

Related to management, but not the same, is leadership. Here are three key roles of leaders:

  1. Establish principles, values, and objectives for the organization.
  2. Communicate these to the members of the organization to inspire them, align them, and motivate them to achieve the objectives.
  3. Empower everyone by trusting them, allowing them to make their own decisions, and listening to them.

Knowledge Management programs enable sharing, innovating, reusing, collaborating, and learning within and across organizations. Here are three basic roles of KM programs:

  1. Determine the knowledge-related needs and opportunities in an organization, and establish and communicate goals which address these.
  2. Create, communicate, and support people, process, and technology components to enable the goals to be achieved.
  3. Model the desired knowledge-related behaviors by creating and using communities, virtual teams, and resources to lead by example.

Knowledge Management is of great interest to business today for many reasons, including:

  1. Enabling better and faster decision making
  2. Making it easy to find relevant information and resources
  3. Mitigating information overload
  4. Avoiding redundant effort
  5. Avoiding making the same mistakes twice
  6. Taking advantage of existing expertise, experience, and networks
  7. Communicating important information widely and quickly
  8. Promoting standard, repeatable processes and procedures
  9. Providing methods, tools, templates, techniques, and examples
  10. Making scarce expertise widely available
  11. Showing customers how knowledge is used for their benefit
  12. Accelerating delivery to customers
  13. Enabling the organization to leverage its size
  14. Making the organization’s best problem-solving experiences reusable
  15. Stimulating innovation and growth

KM Blog of the Week

The Future of e-Learning: a shift to knowledge networking and social software by Mohamed Amine Chatti

Our journal article has been published. The article can be downloaded, and your comments are welcome!

Abstract: The main aim of Knowledge Management (KM) is to connect people to quality knowledge as well as people to people in order to peak performance. This is also the primary goal of Learning Management (LM). In fact, in the world of e-learning, it is more widely recognized that how learning content is used and distributed by learners might be more important than how it is designed.

In the last few years, there has been an increasing focus on social software applications and services as a result of the rapid development of Web 2.0 concepts. In this paper, we argue that LM and KM can be viewed as two sides of the same coin, and explore how Web 2.0 technologies can leverage knowledge sharing and learning and enhance individual performance whereas previous models of LM and KM have failed, and present a social software driven approach to LM and KM.

KM Link of the Week


Anecdote can help a company develop and embed its strategic story, help its leaders develop the skills to share stories that reinforce the strategy, and help develop a process for finding and sharing success stories for everyone to tell.

KM Book of the Week

Get There Early: Sensing the Future to Compete in the Present by Bob Johansen

These days, every leader struggles with a paradox: you can’t predict the future, but you have to be able to make sense of it to thrive. In the age of the Internet, everyone knows what’s new, but to succeed you have to be able to sort out what’s important, devise strategies based on your own point of view, and get there ahead of the crowd.

Bob Johansen shares techniques the Institute for the Future has been refining for nearly forty years to help leaders navigate what, borrowing a term from the Army War College, he calls the VUCA world: a world characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. As the institute’s ten-year forecast makes clear, leaders now face fewer problems with neat solutions and more dilemmas: recurring, complex, messy, and puzzling situations. Get There Early lays out the institute’s three-step Foresight to Insight to Action Cycle that will allow readers to sense, make sense of, and win with dilemmas. Johansen offers specific techniques, ranging from storytelling to simulation gaming, as well as real-world examples to help readers turn the VUCA world on its head through creative use of vision, understanding, clarity, and agility. This book offers hope for leaders facing the constant tension — a dilemma in itself — between judging too soon and deciding too late.

Publisher Site

  • Offers a proven approach for making sense out of future challenges and devising positive responses, using methods developed by the respected Institute for the Future
  • Features examples of how organizations like Procter & Gamble, Disney, Reuters, UPS, and the Centers for Disease Control have put the approach into practice
  • Includes the institute’s ten-year forecast of trends, challenges, and opportunities

Table of Contents

Foreword: W. Stanton Smith, National Director, Next Generation Initiatives, Deloitte & Touche

Introduction: Foresight to Insight to Action

Part I: Foresight: Sensing Provocative Futures

1. Thinking Ten Years Ahead to Benefit Today

2. Institute for the Future’s Ten-Year Forecast

3. The VUCA World: Both Danger and Opportunity

4. What’s Different About Dilemmas?

Part II: Insight: Sense Making to Inspire Strategy

5. It Takes a Story to Understand a Dilemma

6. Immersion: The Best Way to Learn in the VUCA World

7. Sensing and Sense Making

Part III: Action: To Get There Early

8. From Insight to Action

9. Flexing and Flexibility

10. Flexible Firms

11. Foresight from Hindsight

Conclusion: Making Your Peace with the VUCA World

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