Re: A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward? #strategy #maturity #knowledge-graph


Murray Jennex
 

I agree!  I've always thought that a KM practitioner should hold a MBA. Our MBA covers every topic that you listed.....murray jennex


-----Original Message-----
From: Yasmin Khan <yk2644@...>
To: SIKM@groups.io
Cc: Murray Jennex <murphjen@...>
Sent: Wed, May 20, 2020 2:36 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

Hi everyone,

I've been thinking a lot about Knowledge Management and the value of supporting the front-line of an organization that's been highlighted in previous SIKM discussions. There are definite core skills that Knowledge Management practitioners need to have, however I'm also wondering if it is worth investing in boosting general management skills in HR, Finance, Strategic Planning and/or Project Management. I think these skill sets may help us be more flexible. It's a good time to invest in learning when we are all at home either working remotely or looking for further work.

I'm definitely investing time to learn more about analytics and supply chain, as this is where most of my time is dedicated in my current position as a Manager of Legal Information Services at the Ministry of Attorney General in Ontario, with dual degrees in MLIS and Columbia's Information and Knowledge Strategy program. But I am thinking about boosting general management skill sets may also be worthwhile.

Does anyone have any further thoughts?

Sincerely,
Yasmin Khan


On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 8:28 PM Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:
Thanks Murray, that's very useful feedback.
I looked up the AACSB and it seems like they have a European equivalent in EQUIS. The "triple accreditation" standard that includes AMBA is probably too specific since that focuses solely on the MBA but I could see merits in approaching the first two. Do you see any detriment to pursuing both?
As it happens I have three AACSB-accredited institutions on my doorstep (Griffith University, QUT and University of Queensland) so I should reach other and see if there are any sparks of interest.
Point of clarification on 5 - what do you consider the difference between "domains of knowledge" and a "syllabus"? I see them as pretty similar.
Cheers,
Stephen.
====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 14/05/2020 10:37 am, Murray Jennex wrote:
Stephen, a couple of comments:

Item 3 - KM accreditation.  We need to be careful here.  Universities deal enough with accreditation, adding a new accreditation is not likely to be embraced.  I suggest we work on getting KM considered as part of the AACSB accreditation program.  AACSB is the top quality business school accreditation and is used world wide.  We could use the ISO KM standard as a "foot in the door" to get AACSB to consider KM a knowledge domain worth including.

Item 4 - a noble idea but fraught with possible stagnation.  Unfortunately, learned societies tend to embrace those that are already in them and are very slow to adopt new ideas, I recall that the learned physics society back in 1898 or so proclaimed physics a dead discipline because all was known.  What a mistake!  Also, selection criteria becomes contentious and divisive.  Not sure how to fix this as in the IS field we have a huge debate between the haves faculty and the haves not faculty and even claims of bias so I'm leery of starting something new

Item 5 - common syllabus - another noble idea but one that tends to lead to minimum levels of performance in the classroom.  Almost all for-profit universities use a common syllabus approach as a means to allow the use of less qualified professors.  Many times the value of having an expert teach a class (academic or professional) is the extra insight they bring in and you don't want to stymie this.  My suggestion is to instead do what the cybersecurity people do: establish domains of knowledge critical to mastering the discipline.  I also teach cybersecurity (I know, kind of weird to teach people how to share and how not to share) and I map my courses to the cissp (certifies information systems security professional) domains of knowledge as a way of showing students that they are getting the knowledge the profession deems critical.  This allows me the flexibility to teach my strengths while also ensuring students see they are getting what they need.

some humble opinions....murray jennex.  


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds <km@...>
To: SIKM@groups.io
Sent: Wed, May 13, 2020 7:31 am
Subject: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward? (was: In what Industries or Segments does KM Thrive? etc)

Wise words as always Patrick. I have also reconciled myself to a journey of decades, but I always ask "what more can I do?"
If we are seeking institutionalisation (and I think we should), I suggest that we have five key areas of effort:
  1. ISO KM Standard: ISO 30401 is great but needs to be seen as a "foot in the door" rather than a manual for good practice. Its adoption needs to be stewarded by the KM community, yes, but I feel like it will live or die by how well we progress in other areas.

  2. Broadening our contact base: The vast majority of people who list an involvement with "knowledge management" never interact with our community. For example, there are 21,000 people in Australia and 1,500 companies in Australia alone who list "Knowledge Management" as a current or past interest on LinkedIn, but we have very few ways to reach 99% of them.

  3. KM accreditation: We have made some good progress along the CILIP KM Chartership route. I know we are still in the pilot phase, but I would love to see this expanded to a formal international chapter structure similar to IIBA Chapters. We also need to look at how we reconcile private accreditation efforts such as the KMI.

  4. Learned society: Establishing a society or academy of fellows seems important to centralise the expertise needed to make progress on guiding academic discourse, influence and accredit university course content, and provide a voice for the discipline. This is not an accrediting body so although I would see CILIP KM Fellows as being likely invitees to the society, I personally believe the roles are distinct. This could be new, or we have a number of candidate organisations that could fill this role including KMGN and SIKM itself. As we know though, governance and funding are not free or simple to stand up.

  5. Common syllabus: Probably the most time consuming but most important long term initiative for professionalising the discipline. I have made my own start at the Open KM Syllabus but this is as much about getting past the "blank page" as anything else and encouraging contributions from others.
I feel like it would really help if our community had a written strategy developed around these pillars. Do others agree? I would be more than happy to coordinate or participate in a working group around the idea.
Cheers,
Stephen.
====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 12/05/2020 5:52 pm, Patrick Lambe wrote:
I feel your frustration Stephen. And these words resonated:

<<While the braggadocious over-promising and under-delivery of the 90s and oughts led to a serious credibility problem for KM, now we are afraid to promise much of anything at all. Worse: since there is no common underpinning of skills as a practice, we can't even point to successes in one organisation as a reasonable predictor of likely success in another.>>

[Not that braggadocio has disappeared from our community]

However, I don’t think we are failing to make progress. It’s just slow to institutionalise a profession as young as we are. Theoretical frameworks are not enough. We haven’t yet mastered the art of the societal politics of KM. We have to be prepared to think in terms of decades, and looking after the continuity of our profession, helping our successors, and constantly hammering away at the same basic things.

I think we are making progress, painfully slow though it is. You are right to be impatient, of course. Impatience is what propels us forward. Patience is what keeps us from giving up. There you go, another contradiction we must embody.

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383



twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

On 12 May 2020, at 3:39 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

Hi Patrick,
Oh, I completely agree that KM is hard.
My frustration stems from the occasional feeling that people in the KM community have resigned themselves to the implementation of amateur-level KM with amateur-level knowledge of the discipline on the basis that it is better than having no KM at all.
KM should be at the absolute forefront of public discussions about the global COVID-19 response. What has played out across the world is absolutely not just luck (while still being a factor). We have the theoretical frameworks relating to complex adaptive systems, knowledge creation and diffusion, risk, trust, and communications to understand the problem and contribute to future solutions.
Yet I don't think I've heard KM mentioned even once in public discourse. Right now there is minimal understanding that this is at the very core of our discipline.

While the braggadocious over-promising and under-delivery of the 90s and oughts led to a serious credibility problem for KM, now we are afraid to promise much of anything at all. Worse: since there is no common underpinning of skills as a practice, we can't even point to successes in one organisation as a reasonable predictor of likely success in another.
We have to work out how to address this lack of coherence as a discipline. Otherwise we're just going to spend the next 20 years talking to each other and not to the people who need to hear it.
Cheers,
Stephen.
====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 12/05/2020 3:59 pm, Patrick Lambe wrote:
Hi Stephen

I don’t think hardness is really a factor in survival of KM functions. Lord knows, KM is hard.

Financial Management (and its embedded threadlets, financial management norms institutionalised into general management practice) have had 600 years to become institutionally and societally embedded. They are propped up and reinforced through pervasive laws, regulations and standards. Legally you can’t operate as a business of any size without this function. It has become a key mechanism in the whole capitalist way of creating and moving value around in society - and taxing and regulating value creation. This means you can fire any given CFO or accountant and hire another one to the same specification. Financial management has become mechanised to a large degree in many organisations. All of these factors act on its “indispensability” and none of them pertain to knowledge management at its current state of maturity. 

So while I think the metaphor of embeddedness does apply across management disciplines, and can be applied to knowledge management as to financial management, this metaphor does not extend to dispensability. KM just doesn’t have the same depth of institutional rootedness to compare with a function like FM. That’s why KM has to demonstrate value, repeatedly, win and retain support, repeatedly, play the political game, repeatedly, in addition to becoming embedded. In fact, I know of cases where over-successful embedding has rendered KM effectively invisible, and the phenomenon happens that Matt talks about - periodic loss of support, followed by reinvention of a new function a couple of years later.

Perhaps this was more to your point Stephen?

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383

<email footer small.jpeg>


twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

On 12 May 2020, at 1:10 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

Hi Murray,
I think it matters quite a lot in the context that this conversation arose, which was around KM jobs.
Similarly to engineering, Patrick made comments about the pervasiveness of "small f small m" financial management -- yet I see no signs of a world in which the CFO and accountants are all made redundant. Chartered professionals have reached a level of specialised expertise where there is a broad recognition that their skills cannot be easily replicated by a lay person. 
To be blunt, if "frankly KM isn't that hard" then we need to make it harder. Otherwise, we will continue to see dedicated KM roles being shed from companies en masse when there are economic downturns.
Cheers,
Stephen.
====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 11/05/2020 4:53 pm, Murray Jennex wrote:
I have worked with people who didn't know they were engineers (but its not real common).  I'm not sure why you are sensitive about this, that people can do KM without knowing they are doing KM.  The name KM came about in the late 90s with it being OM, organizational memory or perhaps OL, organizational learning before that.  Those practitioners didn't know they were doing KM until they embraced the term KM.  Managing knowledge is not something that KM invented, people have been managing knowledge for centuries without knowing they were doing KM.  Now I didn't say that people adopting a knowledge practice are knowledge managers, but they can be and are managers and frankly, smart people in any discipline can figure out how to adopt and implement good knowledge practices.  I won't say they are as good at as a KM professional but they get by.  This is not unique to the world as the world is full of amateur engineers, astronomers, photographers, farmers, financiers, etc.  Heck, even on this list I've seen many posters complain about doctoral level KM professionals who teach KM.  It sounds elitist to suggest that only KM professionals can do KM, frankly KM isn't that hard if you study the different disciplines that we combine and have the vision to see what needs to be done.  This is why we are seeing some KM positions eliminated even though we know we provide value.  Heck, we are seeing MBA enrollments decline because gifted amateurs such as Mark Cuban say you don't need to be a MBA professional to be a good business person; and to some degree he is correct.  Same applies to KM....murray jennex


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds <km@...>
To: SIKM@groups.io
Sent: Sun, May 10, 2020 10:53 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] In what Industries or Segments does KM Thrive? #discussion-starter #futureofwork #kmers #proven-pra ctice #jobs

Is there such a thing as an "embedded engineer"? If not, why not?
I have some issues with the idea that people "don't even know they are doing KM" unless people also "don't even know they are doing engineering".
I don't think workers who know how to assemble Ikea furniture "are" engineers, and I don't think people who informally adopt a sound KM practice within their teams "are" knowledge managers either.
Cheers,
Stephen.
====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 10/05/2020 6:24 am, Murray Jennex via groups.io wrote:
I understand your point Nick, but I look at embedded KM much like I would look at a embedded system, something that works but is buried in the innards of the system and is something nobody notices until it doesn't work.  I see embedded KM as KM built into the work practices: knowledge capture a part of the analysis of problems, knowledge sharing a part of the setup of how knowledge is saved and searched, collaboration with colleagues a part of the work culture and evaluation system, and etc.  You don't need a KM function to monitor this as monitoring is also embedded.  In these organizations they don't always even know they are doing KM, it is just good practice or common sense (I think this is something we have said as KMers for many years).  Where you do need some KM function is in governance of processes and data: mainly for ensuring knowledge alignment with strategic goals, incorporate process changes, and to anticipate future needs and process modifications.  How large this function is I'm not sure and it probably varies widely in practice.  How did embedded KM get there in the first place? That is where KM may have had a role (and I would agree it is done better if KM did have a role in initial design) but with knowledge workers it will happen even if there is no formal KM guidance as it is just good sense.....murray jennex


-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Milton <nick.milton@...>
To: SIKM@groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 9, 2020 7:40 am
Subject: Re: [SIKM] In what Industries or Segments does KM Thrive? #discussion-starter #futureofwork #kmers #proven-pra ctice #jobs

I don’t think embedded KM means no KM department, its just that they have a different function – support, monitoring, coaching, training, measuring, rather than doing. .
 
After all, most organisations have embedded financial management, but still have financial professionals and a CFO. 
 
 
 
Nick Milton

 
 
From: SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io> On Behalf Of Chris Jones
Sent: 09 May 2020 15:09
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] In what Industries or Segments does KM Thrive? #discussion-starter #futureofwork #kmers #proven-pra ctice #jobs
 
Rahul - sure, my ask is to understand the industries or sectors of the economy (or perhaps more broadly, the global organizational landscape, to include NGO/NFP's & Government agencies) where KM is successful. For me, with on-going threads about KM job losses, demise of KM, and the like, I'm wanting to learn whether success is tied to unique industry needs.

Bill - thanks again for these inputs.

Murray - the examples are helpful; in my work in utilities, I've learned that fault intolerance tends to show up as increased, very detailed processes and controls, where knowledge is clearly integral - so I see your point.

Nick - execellent chart !! and I was hoping this sort of analysis had been done.  Interesting that you show embedded KM as the ideal end state in an applied maturity model rather than an alternative approach to a functional "KM department".  Curious if there's another thread on KM maturity models - guessing yes? I'll check - 

Appreciate all the responses, you're definitely advancing my thinking - thanks much for taking time to weigh-in.

Chris 


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