Blog Post

Don't do KM!

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 27 March 2011



Don't do KM!
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 129
Posted DateSunday 27 March 2011 11:58 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://www.kmtalk.net/blog/?p=161 ... 
http://www.slideshare.net/KMMiddleEast/david-gurteen-km-midd ... 
http://thinkingshift.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/making-km-proj ... 
http://www.nickmilton.com/2011/03/km-by-stealth-how-about-km ... 
http://www.ikmagazine.com/xq/asp/txtSearch.Intranet/exactphr ... 
PeopleNaguib Chowdhury 

My recent keynote talk at KM Middle East was titled Dont do KM. You can find the slides on SlideShare.

This was clearly a provocative, catchy marketing title but I had a very strong message nevertheless! It was based on a talk I gave at the HK KMS Conference in 2010 which was titled less provocatively "Making KM Projects Work". Kim Sbarcea blogged about it and her post sums up my views on the matter quite well..

Naguib Chowdhury picked up on my recent presentation in Abu Dhabi and blogged Don’t do KM - then let’s not have a term called- KM! Naguib, pretty much supports what I have to say but adds at the end of his post:
So, David is right. Let us not do KM as a project itself, it is embedded in the organization already. But then I cannot call David a KMer or we cannot have any conference/forum called KM!

I think this is meant to be toungue-in-cheek, but let me answer it any way. This is a step too far. I am not advocating we get rid of KM or even that we adopt a stealth approach.

So often when people start a so called KM initiative they ask the question "How do we do KM?" and "What are the benefits?". To my mind this is the wrong place to start. We should start with the question "What are the business problems we are facing and how can KM help." This ensures a sharp focus on business outcomes. The benefits? - well they are your desired outcomes. Simple really! Hence "Don't do KM!"

I have written more on this subject in Inside Knowledge Magazine see: What keeps your CEO awake at night?

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
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