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


Hi Matt - this question gets dangerously close to the neverending debate about what the definition of KM is. At the risk of falling down that rabbit hole, I would offer the following:

1. "KM", the way I've heard it used, and seen it approached in large enterprises, tends to emphasize document/information management - capturing, storing, taxonomizing, and driving re-use. Of course this will vary, but that has been my experience, working with large companies on "KM".

2. This was never my personal focus in the work I've done - it's always been more about people-to-people connection, collaboration, and the social aspect of getting work done in large, process- and project-driven enterprises.

3. Therefore, the turn of phrase I prefer, particularly of late, is "Enterprise Social" or "Enterprise Collaboration". To me this is the current front when it comes to thinking about and working on helping large organizations/enterprises best leverage their knowledge resources (which include the tacit knowledge and social capital embodied by their people).

4. As a further alternative to the now fusty-sounding "knowledge management", if you are looking to avoid such esoteric or jargony sounding turns of phrase, you could always just revert back to simply referring to it as "Management." After all, that is really what it should be all about - managing the resources you have at your disposal to maximize their value add to the firm. In a service economy, it is no longer about land, labor and capital. It's about ideas, people, tacit knowledge and collaboration (with due respect to Peter Drucker, et al).

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