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The best defintion of KM yet!

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 27 September 2009



The best defintion of KM yet!
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 111
Posted DateSunday 27 September 2009 00:15 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://www.cognitive-edge.com/blogs/dave/2009/09/defining_km ... 
CategoriesKnowledge Management
PeopleDave Snowden

The best definition of KM yet and some excellent guiding principals from Dave Snowden in a recent blog post.

The purpose of knowledge management is to provide support for improved decision making and innovation throughout the organization. This is achieved through the effective management of human intuition and experience augmented by the provision of information, processes and technology together with training and mentoring programmes.

Why do I like this? It starts with the purpose; the business outcome that you wish to achieve. And then follows through with the "how". To my mind, all definitions of activity should take this format. So if I ask "What is your KM project about?" The reply should not take the form "We are implementing COPs" but "Our aim is to improve innovation in R&D through the use of COPs". Start with the specific purpose and then the how.That way you don't get to take your mind off what you are really aiming to achieve! Its the "outcome" that is important not the "how". KM is a how not an outcome! That's why I always say "You don't do KM!".

And another reason, I like it? Well in my Knowledge Cafe Masterclasses I say this (influenced and adapted from the words of David Weinberger in the Cluetrain Manifesto):

KM should not be about "knowing more" - it should be about "understanding better". Better understanding leads to improved decisions and innovation. How do we understand better; how do we make sense of the world? Through conversation!

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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