Wednesday, November 12, 2008

People, Or Technology

As i have written before, Dr. Kavi Mahesh, moderating the panel discussion on the role of technology in KM, was of the opinion that at times its fashionable to downplay the role of technology in KM. My friend Anjali has raised a comment on this ... that people are the centre of KM.

I quite agree with that. In fact, theres no two ways about it. But, the way i see it, in practically most systems (and Peter Senge has mentioned this in Fifth Discipline as well), it is very, very difficult to attain an equilibrium. And, the larger and more complex the system, and the larger the gap, in terms of time, or otherwise, between cause and effect, the more difficult it becomes. Which is why, we fine, inspite of economic theory, hardly any markets which are at equilibrium. The way i see it, its like a pendulum ... it goes from one end, to the centre, which is the equilibrium, but due to intertia, it overshoots, and so on ...

I think this is, to an extent, happening in the people or technology aspect today. People are at the centre of KM ... there is no way i am going to try to negate that. But, after a decade of overemphasizing technology, the pendulum is now trying to move towards the centre, which is the equilibrium between the three aspects of people, process, and technology. Having said this, the changes in the technology landscape are such as they cannot be overlooked, which is somewhat bringing the technology dimension to the centre, along with the people.

In fact, you would find that i have a separate label on my posts for "People Aspect", which is the way i can show that i believe that the people aspect of KM is critical, but at the same time, the technology also is very important.


Anjali said...

Atul I like the theory and your explanation but I will continue to strongly believe in technology only as enabler:).

Atul said...

i actually agree with the technology as enabler. :-) but, an essential and important ingredient of the overall strategy!