Re: What do you call what you do? If you don't call it KM. #definition #name

Andrew Gent

Hey Matt,

My response may fall outside your desired test group.  I no longer do "km" having returned to tech writing and information architecture. I also work for a small (~30 people) startup rather than a large corporation.  But this is a subject that interests me quite a bit as it applies to small, growing companies. 

As I say, I am no longer responsible for "KM". However, my background in the subject was significant in my getting the job -- I need to cover a lot of tasks, including establishing and facilitating customer forums, training, web content, etc. 

Although there is no defined internal "KM" program, as the company grew there were a number of activities instigated in the name of improving "group dynamics". Lunch & learns, monthly company meetings, 10 minute self-introductions for new members. I would classify these all -- as well as the daily scrum stand-ups -- as KM activities, although no one uses that term for them internally.

What interests me in particular is the unexpectedly rapid loss of connectivity between employees even at very low numbers. I have seen other startups in the ~100 employee range with a serious lack of communication between groups. But I was surprised to see this can actually start around 20 people.

It takes significant effort to overcome even early segmentation within the company and I see this effort being made -- more or less successfully -- in various startups. Almost never is it called "KM". It usually comes from several directions at once (not always coordinated) and is usually described as efforts to "make the organization effective". 

Matt, I realize this little ramble does not answer your question. But then again, maybe it does. The fact is in the startups I've seen these activities rarely have an umbrella name. They are seen as necessary, often ad hoc, and rarely persistent (interest and effort waxes and wanes as the need arises). I'm not saying that is the way it ought to be (having seen it fail in other companies), but I am describing what I have seen...

Andrew Gent

On Monday, July 14, 2014 9:37 AM, "stangarfield@... [sikmleaders]" wrote:

Hi, Matt.

I led a session on this at KMWorld last year. Here is a link to my presentation: I Say KM, You Say KS


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