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Introduction to the April 2009 Knowledge Letter

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 23 March 2009



Introduction to the April 2009 Knowledge Letter
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 106
Posted DateMonday 23 March 2009 09:04 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

I mentioned recently that there are a number of KM groups on LinkedIn. and some interesting discussions are taking place on many of these forums. One recent question I responded to in the VNKMC - Vietnam Knowledge Management Community was this one "How do we justify a knowledge sharing initiative in our company or community?" but there have been several others in a similar vein. Its a common question.

This was my answer:
A knowledge sharing initiative is a "response" to a problem. It is not something you do for its own sake. 

What business problem are you trying to solve? Do you want marketing to work better with R&D to develop new products? Do you want salespeople to understand more about your products to increase cross-selling? Do you want programmers working on a software product to communicate more to avoid design oversights and bugs? 

Start with the problem(s). And then ask how can "knowledge sharing" help in responding to them? If you are responding to a business problem then you have your justification! 

Oh by the way improved "knowledge sharing" is probably only part of the response to any business problem.

Also note I say "response" and not "solution" - in complex systems - there are no "solutions". 
The bottom line here is that to my mind "you don't do KM, you respond to business problems and opportunities with appropriate KM tools and techniques".

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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