Re: KM - consulting firms #strategy #consulting

Douglas Weidner


Wise counsel as usual.


On Fri, Oct 5, 2018 at 6:16 AM, Patrick Lambe
[sikmleaders] <> wrote:

[Attachment(s) <#m_1870049062494611317_TopText> from Patrick Lambe
included below]

Hi Chuck

I can’t resist observing that visual frameworks and metaphors speak
volumes about the worldviews of their proponents. The hierarchy model,
especially the one that places DIK in an ascending hierarchy is a heavily
IT-centric model (it was originally developed in the 1970s as a way of
legitimising better data management in organisations), it’s fairly linear
in its implication, and it’s not particularly good at representing
organisational complexity, influences and interdependencies between

Chris’s model is a landscape mapping model showing relative distances,
overlaps between different practices. It is more humanistic and socially
oriented, but it is descriptive more than prescriptive, and it is not going
to predict how to do KM well in an organisation.. It might be better at
explaining how certain practices can and should inform each other, and who
you might talk to when engaging in certain activities.

That’s not to say that I disagree with your point about the importance of
good data management, information management, knowledge management as
important enablers for an organisation’s functions. My own background is in
information science so I get all that. But I’ve learned that models and
frameworks are only as good as the conversations they serve, at the time
you are having them, and they should be dumped as soon as the model’s
implications start creating distractions or misleading implications.

I think they should be treated with some lightness of touch, to
communicate specific things, and they should not be used as doctrinal
devices to frame and plan in detail. Because they all fail at some point,
and as soon as they are used doctrinally, and pitted against other models,
you’ll find arguments and counter-arguments surfacing about differences and
shortcomings instead of dialogue about what you actually want to achieve.
They are only useful as long as they focus you on things to be done, and as
soon as they distract from that, they are not useful.

I’m thinking in particular of the very acrimonious debates that took place
on a number of KM forums in 2003-4 when the Interim Australian Standard for
Knowledge Management AS 5037 was released for discussion. A lot of the
animus was inspired, it seemed to me, from the privileging of one
(process-based) model for representing KM in that Interim Standard over
legitimate alternatives (it was dropped pretty quickly in favour of an
ecosystem metaphor). There’s no easier way to get knowledge management
professionals riled up, it seems to me, than to privilege one type of model
against others.

In that respect, I think yours and Chris’ frameworks can and should quite
happily co-exist, communicating different things for different purposes,
but useful to have on hand when needed. Not to be taken too seriously or
literally. Or too far. Stepping off the train now.


Patrick Lambe
+65 62210383

twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy:

On 5 Oct 2018, at 4:35 AM, chuck georgo
[sikmleaders] <> wrote:

[Attachment(s) from chuck georgo included below]

I guess, for me, the train analogy causes me discomfort as it would imply
that you can achieve effective KM (or components of KM) without effective
data/information management; I feel both are required to identify
capture, evaluate, retrieve, and share an enterprise's information assets.
In fact, most of the KM failures I have seen were attributed to either a)
weak or missing DM/IM capabilities or b) failure to connect KM value to the
organizations KPIs.

Conversely, I feel that many other process frameworks suffer when
disconnected from core KM (and DM/IM) capabilities, such as Strategic
Planning, Enterprise Architecture, Process Improvement, Program Evaluation,
and even Project Management and Application Development. After more than 30
years of observation, I can attest that the failure of these frameworks to
deliver real-world, meaningful results was because the efforts failed to
manage the data and information they consume/produce or a failure to manage
the knowledge those frameworks inherit or generate.

Great discussion….r/Chuck

Sent from Mail <> for
Windows 10

*From: *Douglas Weidner [sikmleaders]
*Sent: *Thursday, October 4, 2018 9:51 AM
*Subject: *Re: [sikmleaders] Re: KM - consulting firms


There is merit in your point about a pyramid hierarchy vs train stops.

What if your trip into center city must pass thru some essential/enabling
suburbs (IM and some cultural issues, e.g., empathize), but as you approach
town you may have to decide on local stops (slower) or express.

For example, the slower track may stop at *'quick wins'* and other
transformational essentials, but the seemingly faster track (express) might
go directly to Content Mgmt without some essentials such as a stop at

As we know, such an express track has the *risk *of a train wreck.

Cheers to all..


On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 11:35 AM, 'chuck georgo' [sikmleaders]
<> wrote:

I don’t think we can separate these disciplines this way…I believe there’s
a deeper dependency model between them, and those that eliminate one or
more layers risk achieving desired results at other layers…to me KM
underpins all organizational lines of business…

here’s how I see the different framework/discipline layers…r/Chuck

[image: cid:image004.png@01D45BD6.671056C0]

*From:* <>
*Sent:* Thursday, October 4, 2018 9:33 AM
*Subject:* Re: [sikmleaders] Re: KM - consulting firms


Potentially powerful metaphor, but many difficulties as you probably know,
such as Innovation being a different stop than KM.

Some might get off at KM, thinking they were arriving at innovation, etc.



On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 7:52 AM, Chris Collison [sikmleaders]
<> wrote:

*[Attachment(s) from Chris Collison included below]*

Hey John,

You reminded me of an attempt I made to show how several disciplines
intersect for a UN programme I taught a couple of years ago.

See the ‘metro map’ - it’s pretty basic, but perhaps some food for
further thought…

[image: cid:image001.png@01D45BC8.D37EB3F0]


Chris <>


*From: *<> on behalf of "Cristina Whelan [sikmleaders]" <>
*Reply-To: *"" <>
*Date: *Thursday, 4 October 2018 at 10:32
*To: *"" <>
*Subject: *RE: [sikmleaders] Re: KM - consulting firms

Thank you, John.

You suggest a very interesting approach. I certainly think we will have to
adopt a combination of disciplines, and it makes a lot of sense on paper.
My challenge is operationalising it in a sustainable way. I understand we
need to put some effort at the start to get things going and pilot some
initiatives to monitor and report success. I wanted to see if anyone has
experienced an approach that grows and develops organically without the
need for the constant push from the KM function.

Any thoughts or am I dreaming alone here?

*Cristina Whelan*

Knowledge Manager, Advisory Services

*D *+44 (0)20 7391 9528

*M *+44 (0) 7900 706468

*E * <>

** <>

*[image: id:image003.png@01D35DE2.3DE8B7D0]*

Grant Thornton International Ltd
20 Fenchurch Street, Level 25

London EC3M

[image: rant Thornton logo]

*From:* <>
*Sent:* 01 October 2018 14:47
*Subject:* RE: [sikmleaders] Re: KM - consulting firms

Fun and challenging questions here, thanks for sharing. Not sure if it
helps to hear this Cristina, but I think you’re not alone in that challenge
(e.g. preference for personal relationships and minimal international

I wonder if this is an example of where the convergence of a few
disciplines is helpful – I’m thinking about KM, Org Development, Diversity
Inclusion, and Design Thinking in this case? In other words, its
collaborative on the content side (e.g. capturing/sharing) and its
collaborative on the design side (e.g. sharing/capturing techniques, group
dynamics, culture, empathy, etc.)?

So many more thoughts/questions here, but I’ll pause, thanks for sparking


John Hovell <>

*From:* <>
*Sent:* Monday, October 1, 2018 9:05 AM
*Subject:* Re: [sikmleaders] Re: KM - consulting firms

Hi All

Vladis, you hit the nail on the head here! This is the most challenging
part of KM from my perspective: fostering the development of right
relationships to deliver value to your most valuable users. Still, I spend
most of my time concentrating on 'stocking info for the bottom 1/3'..

I wanted to know how you think mapping flows and relationships helps with
knowledge sharing? Also, how can we forge new relationships when you
realise the connections aren't happening?

I work for a global organisation and I know we have people with very
similar expertise across the globe that would benefit from connecting with
each other. Yet, due to the profile of these professionals (senior
executives), the use of a digital workspace or collaboration platform is
not front of mind as they prefer to interact with peers on a direct basis.
We are missing incredible opportunities to capture and share their
knowledge more widely due to these one-to-one relationships.

Anyone has any ideas of how we can transform one-to-one interactions into
resources that can be accessed by others? I've tried CoP's but struggled to
get traction...

Thank you in advance!

---In, <orgnet9@...> wrote :

But managing “stuff” (knowledge as a stock) isn’t the same as managing
expertise (knowledge as a flow).

So true, Tom!

Expertise/wisdom/context is best managed as a flow via *trusted
relationships*. Flows and relationships are more important as you move up
the organizational hierarchy. You can stock data/facts/info used by low
level folks in the org, but you can't do that with execs, who not only need
cross-cutting ties within the organization, but trusted relationships on
the outside with advisors, customers, suppliers, and even regulators and

Based on our 20+ years of org consulting, *stock the data/info for the
bottom 1/3 and map the flows and relationships for the top 2/3 is a pretty
safe rule-of-thumb for KM in modern organizations*. Yet, like all rules,
it can vary according to context -- consulting orgs will be much different
than product-based orgs. A sub-rule of the above is: *the more the
performance of your job depends upon an unknown/non-predictable future the
more you will rely on trusted relationships and networks to make-sense of
what is happening and what choices may be available*.

Valdis Krebs

Orgnet, LLC


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