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Knowledge Management in the E2.0 Environment
Transcript of Knowledge Management in the E2.0 Environment
It's not just another dirty corporate word anymore.
What was the solution? ...
What it is today...
Enterprise knowledge management has become (is becomming) an extension of what we do on a regular basis in our external lives. We share knowledge freely about ourselves and our interests and make it widely available to an unknown audience. The audience then searches for it, consumes it in part or in whole and even contributes to it until their need is met.
<joy> Data/information sequestered/
siloed on individual hard drives and
servers were supposed to be moved into a
"structured" environment (database/knowledgebase) where it would be
readily available to everyone. </joy>
Why has this become a "dirty" word? Because it was over-hyped as a panacea that would cure many corporate ailments, but the solution failed to deliver.
Why did it fail ...
How did we get here?
Knowledge transfer is one of the most natural of human behaviors. We do it all the time when there is a clear benefit. We teach our children to not throw food at the dinner table, not to take candy from strangers... We transfer knowledge within a framework in schools... Historically, tradesmen passed along knowledge through apprenticeships... We mentor our younger and less experienced peers.
Corrolary: Knowledge transfer is one of the most unnatural of human behaviors. When we are in a competitive environment or an insecure culture (unfortunately, the proprietary nature of scientific research fosters this environment) we are reluctant to freely share our knowledge... even when it serves the 'greater good' that benefits us indirectly. Human nature coupled with western social morays and corporate culture is the 'perfect storm' of self-serving beheviors.
The purpose of knowledge management is to counter this culture and bring about the free flow of information and knowledge for the benefit of the enterprise, organization, or business unit. The idea is to get the knowledge out of people's heads and into a consumable format to facilitate learning and progress, improving the organization's competitive stance in the marketplace.
80/20 - Are you kidding me??!!
In a scientific group you may be lucky to see 50% uptake of open sharing technologies.
Make it worth my while
Forget about corporate ROI. Show me the benefit for James. Does it get me a raise? Does it mean fewer hours at work? Does it increase my external stock price?
Make it easy
Knowledge sharing needs to be either easy (read "effortless") or fun, or both. The irrational fear of timewasting by employees set free on internal chats or Facebook has kept fun locked out of the enterprise for a long time.
Enterprise knowledge management is different today than it was five years ago.
This is being caused by a rapid change in the ways that people share information outside of the enterprise.
Social networks are the basic underpinning or infrastructure of knowledge management. They are the conduit through which information travels.
Enterprise culture is different than "real life" culture
Enterprise information is different than "real life" information
There is no reason why the information sharing/knowledge management technologies used in "real life" cannot or should not be used in the Enterprise.
Social networks make this FUN and PRODUCTIVE by connecting people with common areas of interest and/or expertise, who would otherwise never know they worked at the same company. It succeeds on a number of levels once you can get over the stigma of the technologies.
The 'social' part of social networking may always confound the micromanager, but it is what is driving the whole thing. People are social beings who will always rather ask than search. Giving them the opportunity to ask is giving them the opportunity to 'connect' either temporarily or permanently in a loose or tight manner. The 'tightness' of the connection is less important than the existence of it. The connections are the network.
this technology solution allowed us to search the information that made it into the structured environment. This was good as far as it went. It connected the people to the information.
What we didn't know (or didn't know how to deal with) was that people would rather ask another person than search for answers in a database.