Friday, June 19, 2009

KM Solving Business Issues

There is an interesting post by Nick Milton about the need for alignment of KM with organizational strategies, but more so, about the utility of KM as a tool for solving real business issues. The ideas Nick points out here are quite interesting. Especially the part where he rightly says that talking to a knowledge manager would get you the response that they are working on SharePoint, or they are rolling out Communities of Practice. And the basic fact that these are not ends by themselves, but rather tools for achieving certain objectives. This, while it sounds logical, seems to be happening in only a few organizations i interact with.

I agree with this idea. KM needs to be incorporated into the toolkit which managers can leverage for solving specific business problems. Problem with KM, however, is that it doesnt lend itself well to point intervention. As such, KM needs to be an ongoing strategic area, while at the same time, KM needs to be develop a set of tools which can be handy to managers for solving specific business problems, within the scope of the overall strategic definition of KM. OK, so this sounds like a lot of jargon, but the point i am trying to make here is that we need to look at KM at two levels (maybe more? please feel free to comment your thoughts on this!), strategic and tactical.


Dinesh Tantri said...

Related post on Gurteen's latest Knowledge letter on why KM should focus on issues that keep the CEO awake -

I guess KM is at a chasm where the pressure to align with business is greater than ever before. One of the rhetorical questions I ask audiences I present to is "What will the impact if the CKO and the KM organization in a company is sacked?" - if there is no or minimal impact, I don't think the CKO and his/her team were creating new value.

Atul said...

but Dinesh, wouldnt that "thought experiment" be applicable to anyone in the organization?