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Bob Buckman on Knowledge Sharing

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 16 July 2007



Bob Buckman on Knowledge Sharing
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 85
Posted DateMonday 16 July 2007 18:07 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
PeopleBob Buckman

In last month's knowledge letter I included an item on knowledge sharing where I included a link to a post of James Robertson of Step Two Designs who suggested avoiding the term knowledge sharing!!

Bob Buckman contacted me by e-mail to express his experience at Buckman Labs.
David, I was struck by James Robertson's position that 'Knowledge Sharing' should not be discussed beyond the KM team. This is completely contrary to our experience at Buckman. Where we got into trouble was using the term 'Knowledge Management' to describe what we wanted to do. Immediately, everyone thought we were out to manage what was in their heads. 'Mind Control' was one term used.

After a few weeks of trying to get past that initial interpretation, we gave us and never used the term 'Knowledge Management' in the company again to describe what we wanted to do. Instead, we substituted the term 'Knowledge Sharing' and the rest is history as they say.

Frankly, in my opinion, if you cannot get an organization to share knowledge across time and space, then the opportunity for any significant value added for the organization goes out the window.

As a result of that experience, I have always felt that the term 'Knowledge Management' was the wrong term to describe what we were about. But, as you know, I have not had much luck in getting others over to that position.
I am a little split on this. If implementing KM as a strategic knowledge sharing initiative driven from the top of the company then I would totally agree with Bob. If the initiative is however being implemented in more of an operational sense at a lower level in the organization with very specific business objectives then I am more inclined to agree with James!

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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