Re: List of Knowledge Management Topics #roles #KM101 #definition

Patrick Lambe

To be fair to Dennis, Arthur, there is still a fair amount of bullshit floating around in KM (less, happily, than there used to be) - the word I would have trouble with is “grovelling”, simply because the bullshit artist generally doesn’t grovel.

And to be fair to Arthur, Dennis, there’s a fair amount of bullshit floating around in the cognitive sciences too, not least in the numerous attempts to describe human cognition only in terms that can be modelled through technology - a classic case of retrofitting a theory to fit the tools not the object of study.

But I suspect that if you guys had shared that steak, wine and Old Tennessee, you’d find yourself closer than this exchange would suggest.


Patrick Lambe
Straits Knowledge

phone:  +65 98528511

knowledge mapping:

On 14 Jun 2021, at 5:56 PM, Arthur Shelley <arthur@...> wrote:


Not sure what knowledge community you refer to as grovelling in bullshit - its not one I recognise or choose to engage with. There are some information professionals who mistakenly use the term KM to refer to what you mention. However, we all know this is a very limited scope and certainly only the tip of the iceberg.

The Knowledge Community I engage in shares deep insights in a trusted environment that engage in conversations about future possibilities for humanity. One that cocreates options that computers are incapable of dreaming about (yet).  Perhaps when sufficient Knowledge professionals influence these other fields to think divergently and include socialised half- thoughts to form new possibilities, we can combine ideas across all fields.

Yes computers are good at recognising patterns in data and visualising these to highlight gaps. But it takes humans to determine what the best options are to fill the gaps, of to understand which gaps are most valuable to address.

Mathematics are cool and great for informing quantitative aspects of our world. However, humans and society are subjective and qualitative - thankfully. To me the highest form of Knowledge professionalism is to fuel the flow of knowledge between people. We do this to optimise the value we cocreate when we interact to adapt and apply our collective knowledge (which by the way exists only in peoples' heads - NOT in a computer).

Lets hope that professionals from other fields are open to principles of KM as I am certain that they will accelerate their performance by being so. 

Arthur Shelley
Founder, Intelligent Answers
Producer Creative Melbourne
+61 413 047 408

On 14 Jun 2021, at 12:24, Dennis Thomas <dlthomas@...> wrote:


I like this article you referenced.  The “mold” example exemplifies the consciousness issue.  It’s a great example of the issue that data scientists are grappling with.   The physical world can be defined with great precision using mathematics, and objectively, the progressive steps defined in the article can be defined, but what about the consciousness, or intelligence that allows the mold to adapt to an respond to the conditions described?

To me, the behavioral dimension is beyond mathematics and AI.  If I were to extrapolate from this example in regard to the human-machine relationship, I would have to say that once people have had enough of the subversive control “the machine” has over them, it will be rejected.  

We know this to be true because if people do no not use a technology for whatever reason, it becomes obsolete.

For this reason, KM should establish and demand, technological standards that promote honest behavioral human-machine interactions.  This includes the delivery and behaviors that support human behaviors, rather than machine behaviors.  

This means (related to my world) cognitive technologies that work the way people naturally think.  

Dennis L Thomas

DL Thomas

On June 13, 2021 at 9:34:36 PM, Stephen Bounds (km@...) wrote:

Hi Dennis,

100% agree that we're going to have to grapple with a changing definition of "knowledge" as AI and augmented intelligence continues to mature.

For what it's worth, I like the Bitbol and Luisi model for cognition. The lack of a reproduction and self-maintenance drive does prevent us from talking about AIs as "living" although I think we can and should start talking about their "knowledge". From my perspective they are just a different form of agent in a system.


Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
On 14/06/2021 10:42 am, Dennis Thomas wrote:
Stephen, Arthur & others.  

Michigan was the #1 State for investments in the U.S. in 2020.   This state has more mechnical engineers in the U.S. and perhaps the world. It is all about the 4th Industrial Revolution.  This is about AI, Internet of things, and Cognitive technologies.  

AI may deliver consumption-based information, which is low level knowledge, but cognitive technologies delivers high level how, why, and what if knowledge that includes dependencies, contingencies, cross-silo, cross-functional- cross-refernce, and causal knowledge.  The stuff that real knowledge is based on.  We are people.  We are not components of the machine. 

Mathematics is a precise and superb language for defining the physical world, but sucks when it comes to representing actual behavioral knowledge outside of the realm of its own data and self-serving data patterns identified from within its own skewed stores.  Where is Knowledge Management when KM doesn’t even know where it stands in relation to the big question - human consciousness?   Data scientists, neurologists, and cognitive scientists want to know?   So do I.

Is it about Controlled Vocabularies and their relevant conceptual representations, cognitive schemes that provide the frameworks for unlimited ontological expressions or something else more relevant to human consciousness?   When will the knowledge management community stop groveling in the mundane world of how to bullshit?

It’s time to pierce the vail of what human consciousness is and establish a real 4th Industrial Revolution knowledge science that makes unequivalent sense.   That’s what the data scientists are trying to do.  Why not us? 

Ghee, that steak, wine, cigar, and Ole Smokey Tennessee Liquor sure was great tonight! 

Dennis L Thomas, CEO, IQStrategix

DL Thomas

On June 13, 2021 at 7:23:50 PM, Stephen Bounds (km@...) wrote:

Hi Tim,

I agree that the next evolution of this list has to be along the lines you describe.

In terms of your broader point, I think it is important to acknowledge both that the application of KM will mostly fall within the remit of organisational management in the short to medium term and that if KM is to survive and thrive, it must define itself through theory, concepts, and principles that transcend that straitjacket.

See for example Bruce Boyes' article on KM disciplines, proposing that we are likely to see evolution of distinct KM methods and best practices in different domains including:

  • Organisational KM
  • KM for Development
  • Societal KM
  • Customer Experience KM

I believe we'll see more – Medical KM and Sports KM being the most obvious candidates but there are undoubtedly others.

I think we are getting there as a community, but we must always seek a richness of understanding rather than confining ourselves to the KM techniques that work for a 9-5 desk-based work paradigm (not least of all for the reason that it is disappearing before our eyes in a post-COVID world).


Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
On 14/06/2021 5:34 am, Tim Powell wrote:

Hi Stephen and all,


Thank you all for these insightful and thought-provoking comments.  I’ll second and amplify Stephen’s comments.


Making a list (and checking it twice) can be a first step toward…what, exactly?  What’s the desired endstate?  Though I may have missed this earlier in the thread, I always want to know, even before the WHAT, what is the SO WHAT?  What is the PURPOSE-mission-goal of capturing such a list?  Who is it for?  How is it to be used?  What authority will it convey (if only by implication)?


What begins as a list can increase in value and usefulness by being then grouped into categories (i.e., a taxonomy), then including definitions (i.e., a dictionary) and synonyms (i.e., a thesaurus.)


To me, a list could be most helpful if it’s dynamic, inclusive, and client-centered.  Does it focus on solving client problems, does it change as those problems change, does it continually expand to meet new needs?  When knowledge becomes static and/or hide-bound — as happens too often — its relevance to client benefits plummets.


Given that some of us define “knowledge” as a part of IT, others as part of HR, others as part of strategy, and still others as its own thing entirely — it’s not surprising that any such list could expand rapidly to include those closely-related fields.


For example, in my book on the value of knowledge — a thin wedge of the knowledge universe, albeit, to me, one of paramount importance — I describe 267 key concepts for that niche alone.  My point is not to throw my picks onto the pile — but, rather, that for each specialized set of client needs, there could be (and should be) a pretty deep and unique lexicon.


Words matter — and our language to describe knowledge should be just as Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive as our workforce hiring policies.


My formal training is in management, and the other thing I notice is the list is growing to include much of the language of management.  That’s fine, to me — given that I see “knowledge management” as a sub-discipline of “management,” which also governs the other enterprise resources of land, labor, and capital.  But it seems to me that if that is the case, the list could expand almost infinitely – with its meaningfulness and impact diluted as a consequence.


If Knowledge and Management are overlapping circles in a Venn diagram, is Knowledge Management their sum (either-or) or their intersection (both-and)?


Please forgive my digressions.  Saturday (when I drafted this) is my day of rest, reflection, and renewal -- and this fascinating group always gets my wheels turning!


Have a great week,




TIM WOOD POWELL | President, The Knowledge Agency® | Author, The Value of Knowledge |

New York City, USA  |  TEL + | 




From: <> on behalf of Stephen Bounds <km@...>
Reply-To: "" <>
Date: Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 12:39 AM
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [SIKM] List of Knowledge Management Topics #definition #KM101


Hi Robert,

My conclusion is that the "core" of knowledge management is (or at least should be) the analysis of organisations, diagnosis of dynfunction, and prescription of suitable treatments. Whenever a KM person picks some KM method to apply, it is implied that they are intuitively performing each of these steps. The problem is that this typical KM approach is unsystematic, unreliable, and often unreplicable (even if it is successful).

I try to be a cheerleader for all initiatives that improve standards in KM language, analysis and diagnostic methods. I strongly believe this is the only path to a "true" and sustainable KM discipline. While Stan's list would likely benefit from summary pages as well as links to longer articles, there is no doubt in my mind that it is a really valuable jumping-off point.


Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096

On 12/06/2021 10:36 am, Robert M. Taylor via wrote:

I like the list - Stan you are nothing if not the encyclopedist of KM. I thought a while about what bothered me and it's this. I have a conviction that KM is an open kind of thing. It's not a fixed kind of thing like a proprietary method. Its boundaries are always going to be negotiable. So we're pretty much able to adopt, adapt, and co-operate with just about any kind of method or tool available. But what, if anything, is really ours?  I think there's a smaller list of key areas, and probably quite a small number of key strategies. Myriad bits and pieces, maybe, but they don't affect the core. We need all of the basics of business strategy, planning and management; project, process, service, product and change management for starters. We need information management and IT - especially content and collaboration IT. We need organisational, team and community leadership, organisational learning, innovation, communities (might be truly 'ours'), operating model. We're not, of course, trying to cover the totality of all of that, but we will use all of it at some time. The list is nice to have.

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