Date   

Re: Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction #state-of-KM

 

Here is an example of the filing cabinet KM system

 

Bill

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...]
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2017 11:51
To: ActKM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

 

Hi Stephen,

 

Regarding your definitions of Knowledge, Knowledge Management, and Knowledge Systems…  I did not use them because they are not consistent, standard, or widely accepted.  It’s not that I don’t agree with your definitions.  It’s just that, with all due respect, you alone do not define the industry (nor do I).

 

Regarding your view that a filing cabinet is not a Knowledge System.  I would disagree with you and there are many others who would.  For example, read the works of Cabitza and Locoro, just as a starting point.  In fact there is a very large community of KM researchers who believe that any and all human-generated structures are, in fact, knowledge structures and represent communicable knowledge. [I happen to agree with this assessment and interpretation.]  This also goes back to the reality that there are many others in the KM industry doing work that is not aligned with your thinking, definitions, etc.

 

Regarding your statement that “The systems engineering discipline has little to no training in how to define, design, or intervene in complex adaptive systems.”  If you truly believe this then I would have to respectfully suggest that you have no real understanding of engineering.  All forms of engineering are absolutely taught to deal with many different complex systems… adaptive systems included.

 

You say that I argue with a straw man but there is nothing (absolutely zero) that the has come from the KM industry that is considered transformative.  There is nothing in the KM industry that provides indisputable evidence that supports any KM definitions.  There is nothing being done in the KM industry, today, that hasn’t been done by others in other industries for generations.  I can point to endless significant solutions from other industries and you cannot point to one significant solution for KM.  It is not me trying to debate myself out of a hole, here.

 

My apologies if the above sounds short but I’m dealing with a lot of work, today, so I can’t really dig deeper into much of this for a while.

 

My Best,

 

Frank

Frank Guerino, Managing Partner

The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)

 

 

 

From: Stephen Bounds <km@...>
Reply-To: "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 11:46 PM
To: "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>, "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

Hi Frank,

your definition of a KS is vague and axiomatically true because all systems in an enterprise are "Knowledge Systems (KSs).

Not axiomatically true, no. A filing cabinet isn't a knowledge system, nor is a computer system in and of itself. It is only by encompassing the people who operate technology an arrangement of static components becomes a knowledge system. There's nothing vague about it, just a matter of determining where coherent boundaries lie.

most people do not point to something and say “that is a Knowledge System and it requires a Knowledge Manager.”  Instead, they say something like: "This is our Manufacturing System/Process and we need a Manufacturing specialist or a generalist like a Systems Engineer or Enterprise Architect who we know to have the skills to dive in and help solve our problems/challenges."

And that is our challenge as a profession, to make our work something people think to ask for when they come across system-level problems that are not getting solved. People never used to think they needed a psychiatrist either. Things change.

With the utmost respect, please understand that what you believe to be your definitions of a KS and a K Mgr and what the world believes about them are not in line.  Again, this is where the job boards help support the statements.  Virtually no one writes a job requisition asking for a Knowledge Manager to solve their Sales process/system problems, their Support process/system problems, etc.  And, I’m going to bet there are almost zero requisitions, globally, that ask for someone to deal with their Knowledge System.  Broad “systems" problems are handled by roles like Systems Engineers, Enterprise/Solutions Architects, Analysts, etc… not Knowledge Managers.

 

And, while such statements represent an assessment of the industry and not an attack on it, I believe they all further strengthen the argument that for the KM industry to gain credibility and correct its direction it must stop pretending it represents or operates in spaces that already have formal/specific labels, titles and roles.  The KM industry will have to find its own unique space of operations with its own unique set of solutions.  After many decades, there appear to be none left.

See, I really struggle with this. Look at the successful knowledge management consulting firms out there -- to a lesser or greater extent, what they do really does align with the definition I give you. I have told you this definition multiple times, yet you refuse to reference it in your articles or discussions on KM and instead are content to say, "Look! here's a list of other things that aren't KM. So therefore KM is not real."

Forgive me for failing to be impressed when you choose to argue with a straw man.

If you want to have a discussion about the overlap between knowledge management and system engineering, enterprise/solution architecture and analysts, great! Let's do that.

The systems engineering discipline has little to no training in how to define, design, or intervene in complex adaptive systems. There is enterprise systems engineering but that itself is immature and struggling for recognition. To the extent that ESE and KM do overlap, I see no reason that we need to exist in conflict. Long term I suspect (hope!) we will converge on theory, but sometimes people need a field surgeon, sometimes they need the full operating theatre. I don't personally care what the job title is called, just that someone is doing the job.

Enterprise/solution architecture and analysts similarly could occupy a space similar to KM, but they mostly don't at the moment. I would be extremely happy to see a greater evolution in thought by the majority of EAs/SAs to include KM principles. As a rule, most analysts seem to work from intuition rather than research into complex systems behaviour, and I think it's led to some very damaging results over time.

For me, this is not zero-sum. If a job title that isn't "KM" gains widespread acceptance and respect, and it's doing what I think needs to be done in organisations, I will happily re-brand.
Until then, I will keep fighting for recognition of the benefits of the work that I do -- and will continue calling it "KM" unless a better fit comes along.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

 


Re: Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction #state-of-KM

Frank Guerino
 

Hi Stephen,

Regarding your definitions of Knowledge, Knowledge Management, and Knowledge Systems…  I did not use them because they are not consistent, standard, or widely accepted.  It’s not that I don’t agree with your definitions.  It’s just that, with all due respect, you alone do not define the industry (nor do I).

Regarding your view that a filing cabinet is not a Knowledge System.  I would disagree with you and there are many others who would.  For example, read the works of Cabitza and Locoro, just as a starting point.  In fact there is a very large community of KM researchers who believe that any and all human-generated structures are, in fact, knowledge structures and represent communicable knowledge. [I happen to agree with this assessment and interpretation.]  This also goes back to the reality that there are many others in the KM industry doing work that is not aligned with your thinking, definitions, etc.

Regarding your statement that “The systems engineering discipline has little to no training in how to define, design, or intervene in complex adaptive systems.”  If you truly believe this then I would have to respectfully suggest that you have no real understanding of engineering.  All forms of engineering are absolutely taught to deal with many different complex systems… adaptive systems included.

You say that I argue with a straw man but there is nothing (absolutely zero) that the has come from the KM industry that is considered transformative.  There is nothing in the KM industry that provides indisputable evidence that supports any KM definitions.  There is nothing being done in the KM industry, today, that hasn’t been done by others in other industries for generations.  I can point to endless significant solutions from other industries and you cannot point to one significant solution for KM.  It is not me trying to debate myself out of a hole, here.

My apologies if the above sounds short but I’m dealing with a lot of work, today, so I can’t really dig deeper into much of this for a while.

My Best,

Frank
Frank Guerino, Managing Partner
The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)



From: Stephen Bounds <km@...>
Reply-To: "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 11:46 PM
To: "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>, "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

Hi Frank,

your definition of a KS is vague and axiomatically true because all systems in an enterprise are "Knowledge Systems (KSs).

Not axiomatically true, no. A filing cabinet isn't a knowledge system, nor is a computer system in and of itself. It is only by encompassing the people who operate technology an arrangement of static components becomes a knowledge system. There's nothing vague about it, just a matter of determining where coherent boundaries lie.

most people do not point to something and say “that is a Knowledge System and it requires a Knowledge Manager.”  Instead, they say something like: "This is our Manufacturing System/Process and we need a Manufacturing specialist or a generalist like a Systems Engineer or Enterprise Architect who we know to have the skills to dive in and help solve our problems/challenges."
And that is our challenge as a profession, to make our work something people think to ask for when they come across system-level problems that are not getting solved. People never used to think they needed a psychiatrist either. Things change.

With the utmost respect, please understand that what you believe to be your definitions of a KS and a K Mgr and what the world believes about them are not in line.  Again, this is where the job boards help support the statements.  Virtually no one writes a job requisition asking for a Knowledge Manager to solve their Sales process/system problems, their Support process/system problems, etc.  And, I’m going to bet there are almost zero requisitions, globally, that ask for someone to deal with their Knowledge System.  Broad “systems" problems are handled by roles like Systems Engineers, Enterprise/Solutions Architects, Analysts, etc… not Knowledge Managers.

And, while such statements represent an assessment of the industry and not an attack on it, I believe they all further strengthen the argument that for the KM industry to gain credibility and correct its direction it must stop pretending it represents or operates in spaces that already have formal/specific labels, titles and roles.  The KM industry will have to find its own unique space of operations with its own unique set of solutions.  After many decades, there appear to be none left.
See, I really struggle with this. Look at the successful knowledge management consulting firms out there -- to a lesser or greater extent, what they do really does align with the definition I give you. I have told you this definition multiple times, yet you refuse to reference it in your articles or discussions on KM and instead are content to say, "Look! here's a list of other things that aren't KM. So therefore KM is not real."

Forgive me for failing to be impressed when you choose to argue with a straw man.

If you want to have a discussion about the overlap between knowledge management and system engineering, enterprise/solution architecture and analysts, great! Let's do that.

The systems engineering discipline has little to no training in how to define, design, or intervene in complex adaptive systems. There is enterprise systems engineering but that itself is immature and struggling for recognition. To the extent that ESE and KM do overlap, I see no reason that we need to exist in conflict. Long term I suspect (hope!) we will converge on theory, but sometimes people need a field surgeon, sometimes they need the full operating theatre. I don't personally care what the job title is called, just that someone is doing the job.

Enterprise/solution architecture and analysts similarly could occupy a space similar to KM, but they mostly don't at the moment. I would be extremely happy to see a greater evolution in thought by the majority of EAs/SAs to include KM principles. As a rule, most analysts seem to work from intuition rather than research into complex systems behaviour, and I think it's led to some very damaging results over time.

For me, this is not zero-sum. If a job title that isn't "KM" gains widespread acceptance and respect, and it's doing what I think needs to be done in organisations, I will happily re-brand.
Until then, I will keep fighting for recognition of the benefits of the work that I do -- and will continue calling it "KM" unless a better fit comes along.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================


Re: Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction #state-of-KM

 

Thanks Frank..I understand your perspective.

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 14:27
To: SIKM Leaders
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

 

Hi Bill,

 

Please know that I don’t interpret your question as flip/flippant.

 

I believe your question can be answered multiple ways, depending on a given context.  I will do my best to provide some practical and realistic examples of contexts…

 

Student: If you are student evaluating whether or not you wish to pursue a formal degree in Knowledge Management, you might care because it helps you understand what the benefits might or might not be for pursuing a formal degree in KM.  It helps understand just how much demand there is for such title-related jobs when you graduate, what you can or can’t do with your degree after graduation, how big the industry is for long term career growth, what you’ll be perceived as when you graduate with that degree, etc.

 

Practicing KM Professional: If you are a practicing KM professional who is trying to improve your career and/or find work, you might care because it helps you understanding industry demand and supply, understand how the industry will view a KM title, what other title options are, how big the KM industry is, how much room there is for positioning yourself within it or movement across and/or up it, how you will be perceived by people you work with, etc.  For example, you might make more money doing Knowledge Work labeled as an Enterprise Architect, a Solutions Architect, or a Business Analyst and there is usually far more demand for such roles with higher pay levels.

 

Hiring Manager: If you’re a hiring manager, it will help you decide whether you want to give your employees titles like “Knowledge Manager,” given how they will be perceived within the organization.  It will help you understand how to better write job requirements and define roles & responsibilities.  It will help you understand how thin or thick the market pool is when looking for replacement resources to fill such jobs.  It will help you better understand what you can pay people to fill such roles.

 

Human Resources Professional: If you’re an HR and/or Org. Dev. Professional, it will help you better define standard roles, expectations, and pay grades that align with industry baselines and perceptions.  Given your job in HR or OD is to help define, standardize, and fill jobs/roles, it will help you work with hiring managers to describe their open jobs, better understand market & hiring expectations, assign bands to titles, understand how high such titles and roles allow people to move in your organization (at least before they take on new titles).  Also, given your standardized definitions of such roles and grades, it will help you better develop career development programs that can be offered through the hiring managers to staff who hold such related titles.

 

Non-KM role Interacting w/ “formal” KM Professional:  If you’re in a non-KM role or a non-formal KM role and you have to speak with people who call themselves things like Knowledge Managers, it helps you understand them better: Who they are.  What they think they can do.  How others perceive them.  What others think they can do.  What their true freedoms and constraints/limitations are. Etc.

 

I hope this helps answer the question.

 

My Best,

 

Frank

Frank Guerino, Managing Partner

The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)

 

 

 

From: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Reply-To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 1:25 PM
To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: RE: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

 

I have been watching this discussion...and others like this.

 

Would you please share why this is important in the larger scheme of things?  Not trying to be flip.

 

Best

 

Bill

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 09:21
To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

 

Hi Stephen,

 

You wrote: “We've already debated most of the points you make in this article ad nauseum, so I won't rehash those arguments.

 

Yes.  The article was meant as more of a public collection of those thoughts and concerns for anyone interested in KM, including those outside this community.

 

You wrote: “I will note, for the record, that your list of "roles related to knowledge" do not include this role description:

                The systematic analysis of organisational knowledge systems[*], and the design and implementation of interventions

                acting on these systems to improve an organisation's problem-solving and decision-making capability. "

 

I agree with your definition of a Knowledge System (KS).  However, there is a problem with your definition that only further highlights challenges for the formal KM industry.  Like  that the definition of Knowledge, your definition of a KS is vague and axiomatically true because all systems in an enterprise are "Knowledge Systems (KSs).”  And, since all systems are KSs, just like roles each system has a very specific purpose and can be named, whether it be broad (e.g. The Organization, Marketing & Sales, Product Dev, Support, etc.) or narrow (e.g.  Claims Intake, Claims Validation, Claims Adjudication, Claims Payment).  This being said, just like specific knowledge worker roles that have specific titles (not being the generic Knowledge Manager), such KSs also have specific roles and titles associated with them.  And, while I agree that there are more generic roles that have more generic titles and purposes that span across such systems (e.g. Business Analyst, Enterprise Architect, Solutions Architect, Systems Engineer, etc.), most people do not point to something and say “that is a Knowledge System and it requires a Knowledge Manager.”  Instead, they say something like: "This is our Manufacturing System/Process and we need a Manufacturing specialist or a generalist like a Systems Engineer or Enterprise Architect who we know to have the skills to dive in and help solve our problems/challenges."

 

The simple fact is that most enterprises rarely bring in someone with the title of “Knowledge Manager” to address system/systematic problems.  They either bring in domain/area specialists (e.g. Organizational Development Specialist, Learning Specialist) because they are directly aligned with the problem or more commonly accepted generalists (e.g. Analysts, Architects, Engineers) because such generalist roles have become far more of the norm when dealing with systems of any form.  We can see the data that supports this by simply performing searches for “Knowledge Manager” and “Knowledge System” in any of the world-wide job boards.  This only enforces the simple reality that most of the world does not view a Knowledge Manager as more than a documenter (addressed in the section on perception of the K Mgr).

 

You wrote: “Regardless of usage of the title in practice, I firmly believe that this role description is the only sustainable definition of a "Knowledge Manager”"

 

With the utmost respect, please understand that what you believe to be your definitions of a KS and a K Mgr and what the world believes about them are not in line.  Again, this is where the job boards help support the statements.  Virtually no one writes a job requisition asking for a Knowledge Manager to solve their Sales process/system problems, their Support process/system problems, etc.  And, I’m going to bet there are almost zero requisitions, globally, that ask for someone to deal with their Knowledge System.  Broad “systems" problems are handled by roles like Systems Engineers, Enterprise/Solutions Architects, Analysts, etc… not Knowledge Managers.

 

And, while such statements represent an assessment of the industry and not an attack on it, I believe they all further strengthen the argument that for the KM industry to gain credibility and correct its direction it must stop pretending it represents or operates in spaces that already have formal/specific labels, titles and roles.  The KM industry will have to find its own unique space of operations with its own unique set of solutions.  After many decades, there appear to be none left.

 

My Best,

 

Frank

Frank Guerino, Managing Partner

The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)

 

 

From: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Reply-To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:38 AM
To: "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>, SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

 

Hi Frank,

We've already debated most of the points you make in this article ad nauseum, so I won't rehash those arguments. I will note, for the record, that your list of "roles related to knowledge" do not include this role description:

The systematic analysis of organisational knowledge systems[*], and the design and implementation of interventions acting on these systems to improve an organisation's problem-solving and decision-making capability.

Regardless of usage of the title in practice, I firmly believe that this role description is the only sustainable definition of a "Knowledge Manager". I cannot reconcile this to any of your other 'knowledge' professions, nor can I think of another existing role that would be better qualified to perform this function. Nor can I see how any of your listed IT solutions will make this organisational capability redundant.

[*] To pre-empt a possible question: a knowledge system is any combination of interacting components which incorporates one or more intelligent, autonomous agents.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

_,_._,___


Re: Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction #state-of-KM

Frank Guerino
 

Hi Bill,

Please know that I don’t interpret your question as flip/flippant.

I believe your question can be answered multiple ways, depending on a given context.  I will do my best to provide some practical and realistic examples of contexts…

Student: If you are student evaluating whether or not you wish to pursue a formal degree in Knowledge Management, you might care because it helps you understand what the benefits might or might not be for pursuing a formal degree in KM.  It helps understand just how much demand there is for such title-related jobs when you graduate, what you can or can’t do with your degree after graduation, how big the industry is for long term career growth, what you’ll be perceived as when you graduate with that degree, etc.

Practicing KM Professional: If you are a practicing KM professional who is trying to improve your career and/or find work, you might care because it helps you understanding industry demand and supply, understand how the industry will view a KM title, what other title options are, how big the KM industry is, how much room there is for positioning yourself within it or movement across and/or up it, how you will be perceived by people you work with, etc.  For example, you might make more money doing Knowledge Work labeled as an Enterprise Architect, a Solutions Architect, or a Business Analyst and there is usually far more demand for such roles with higher pay levels.

Hiring Manager: If you’re a hiring manager, it will help you decide whether you want to give your employees titles like “Knowledge Manager,” given how they will be perceived within the organization.  It will help you understand how to better write job requirements and define roles & responsibilities.  It will help you understand how thin or thick the market pool is when looking for replacement resources to fill such jobs.  It will help you better understand what you can pay people to fill such roles.

Human Resources Professional: If you’re an HR and/or Org. Dev. Professional, it will help you better define standard roles, expectations, and pay grades that align with industry baselines and perceptions.  Given your job in HR or OD is to help define, standardize, and fill jobs/roles, it will help you work with hiring managers to describe their open jobs, better understand market & hiring expectations, assign bands to titles, understand how high such titles and roles allow people to move in your organization (at least before they take on new titles).  Also, given your standardized definitions of such roles and grades, it will help you better develop career development programs that can be offered through the hiring managers to staff who hold such related titles.

Non-KM role Interacting w/ “formal” KM Professional:  If you’re in a non-KM role or a non-formal KM role and you have to speak with people who call themselves things like Knowledge Managers, it helps you understand them better: Who they are.  What they think they can do.  How others perceive them.  What others think they can do.  What their true freedoms and constraints/limitations are. Etc.

I hope this helps answer the question.

My Best,

Frank
Frank Guerino, Managing Partner
The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)



From: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Reply-To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 1:25 PM
To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: RE: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

I have been watching this discussion...and others like this.

 

Would you please share why this is important in the larger scheme of things?  Not trying to be flip.

 

Best

 

Bill

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 09:21
To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

 

Hi Stephen,

 

You wrote: “We've already debated most of the points you make in this article ad nauseum, so I won't rehash those arguments.

 

Yes.  The article was meant as more of a public collection of those thoughts and concerns for anyone interested in KM, including those outside this community.

 

You wrote: “I will note, for the record, that your list of "roles related to knowledge" do not include this role description:

                The systematic analysis of organisational knowledge systems[*], and the design and implementation of interventions

                acting on these systems to improve an organisation's problem-solving and decision-making capability. "

 

I agree with your definition of a Knowledge System (KS).  However, there is a problem with your definition that only further highlights challenges for the formal KM industry.  Like  that the definition of Knowledge, your definition of a KS is vague and axiomatically true because all systems in an enterprise are "Knowledge Systems (KSs).”  And, since all systems are KSs, just like roles each system has a very specific purpose and can be named, whether it be broad (e.g. The Organization, Marketing & Sales, Product Dev, Support, etc.) or narrow (e.g.  Claims Intake, Claims Validation, Claims Adjudication, Claims Payment).  This being said, just like specific knowledge worker roles that have specific titles (not being the generic Knowledge Manager), such KSs also have specific roles and titles associated with them.  And, while I agree that there are more generic roles that have more generic titles and purposes that span across such systems (e.g. Business Analyst, Enterprise Architect, Solutions Architect, Systems Engineer, etc.), most people do not point to something and say “that is a Knowledge System and it requires a Knowledge Manager.”  Instead, they say something like: "This is our Manufacturing System/Process and we need a Manufacturing specialist or a generalist like a Systems Engineer or Enterprise Architect who we know to have the skills to dive in and help solve our problems/challenges."

 

The simple fact is that most enterprises rarely bring in someone with the title of “Knowledge Manager” to address system/systematic problems.  They either bring in domain/area specialists (e.g. Organizational Development Specialist, Learning Specialist) because they are directly aligned with the problem or more commonly accepted generalists (e.g. Analysts, Architects, Engineers) because such generalist roles have become far more of the norm when dealing with systems of any form.  We can see the data that supports this by simply performing searches for “Knowledge Manager” and “Knowledge System” in any of the world-wide job boards.  This only enforces the simple reality that most of the world does not view a Knowledge Manager as more than a documenter (addressed in the section on perception of the K Mgr).

 

You wrote: “Regardless of usage of the title in practice, I firmly believe that this role description is the only sustainable definition of a "Knowledge Manager”"

 

With the utmost respect, please understand that what you believe to be your definitions of a KS and a K Mgr and what the world believes about them are not in line.  Again, this is where the job boards help support the statements.  Virtually no one writes a job requisition asking for a Knowledge Manager to solve their Sales process/system problems, their Support process/system problems, etc.  And, I’m going to bet there are almost zero requisitions, globally, that ask for someone to deal with their Knowledge System.  Broad “systems" problems are handled by roles like Systems Engineers, Enterprise/Solutions Architects, Analysts, etc… not Knowledge Managers.

 

And, while such statements represent an assessment of the industry and not an attack on it, I believe they all further strengthen the argument that for the KM industry to gain credibility and correct its direction it must stop pretending it represents or operates in spaces that already have formal/specific labels, titles and roles.  The KM industry will have to find its own unique space of operations with its own unique set of solutions.  After many decades, there appear to be none left.

 

My Best,

 

Frank

Frank Guerino, Managing Partner

The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)

 

 

From: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Reply-To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:38 AM
To: "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>, SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

 

Hi Frank,

We've already debated most of the points you make in this article ad nauseum, so I won't rehash those arguments. I will note, for the record, that your list of "roles related to knowledge" do not include this role description:

The systematic analysis of organisational knowledge systems[*], and the design and implementation of interventions acting on these systems to improve an organisation's problem-solving and decision-making capability.

Regardless of usage of the title in practice, I firmly believe that this role description is the only sustainable definition of a "Knowledge Manager". I cannot reconcile this to any of your other 'knowledge' professions, nor can I think of another existing role that would be better qualified to perform this function. Nor can I see how any of your listed IT solutions will make this organisational capability redundant.

[*] To pre-empt a possible question: a knowledge system is any combination of interacting components which incorporates one or more intelligent, autonomous agents.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

_,_._,___


Re: Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction #state-of-KM

 

I have been watching this discussion...and others like this.

 

Would you please share why this is important in the larger scheme of things?  Not trying to be flip.

 

Best

 

Bill

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 09:21
To: SIKM Leaders
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

 

Hi Stephen,

 

You wrote: “We've already debated most of the points you make in this article ad nauseum, so I won't rehash those arguments.

 

Yes.  The article was meant as more of a public collection of those thoughts and concerns for anyone interested in KM, including those outside this community.

 

You wrote: “I will note, for the record, that your list of "roles related to knowledge" do not include this role description:

                The systematic analysis of organisational knowledge systems[*], and the design and implementation of interventions

                acting on these systems to improve an organisation's problem-solving and decision-making capability. "

 

I agree with your definition of a Knowledge System (KS).  However, there is a problem with your definition that only further highlights challenges for the formal KM industry.  Like  that the definition of Knowledge, your definition of a KS is vague and axiomatically true because all systems in an enterprise are "Knowledge Systems (KSs).”  And, since all systems are KSs, just like roles each system has a very specific purpose and can be named, whether it be broad (e.g. The Organization, Marketing & Sales, Product Dev, Support, etc.) or narrow (e.g.  Claims Intake, Claims Validation, Claims Adjudication, Claims Payment).  This being said, just like specific knowledge worker roles that have specific titles (not being the generic Knowledge Manager), such KSs also have specific roles and titles associated with them.  And, while I agree that there are more generic roles that have more generic titles and purposes that span across such systems (e.g. Business Analyst, Enterprise Architect, Solutions Architect, Systems Engineer, etc.), most people do not point to something and say “that is a Knowledge System and it requires a Knowledge Manager.”  Instead, they say something like: "This is our Manufacturing System/Process and we need a Manufacturing specialist or a generalist like a Systems Engineer or Enterprise Architect who we know to have the skills to dive in and help solve our problems/challenges."

 

The simple fact is that most enterprises rarely bring in someone with the title of “Knowledge Manager” to address system/systematic problems.  They either bring in domain/area specialists (e.g. Organizational Development Specialist, Learning Specialist) because they are directly aligned with the problem or more commonly accepted generalists (e.g. Analysts, Architects, Engineers) because such generalist roles have become far more of the norm when dealing with systems of any form.  We can see the data that supports this by simply performing searches for “Knowledge Manager” and “Knowledge System” in any of the world-wide job boards.  This only enforces the simple reality that most of the world does not view a Knowledge Manager as more than a documenter (addressed in the section on perception of the K Mgr).

 

You wrote: “Regardless of usage of the title in practice, I firmly believe that this role description is the only sustainable definition of a "Knowledge Manager”"

 

With the utmost respect, please understand that what you believe to be your definitions of a KS and a K Mgr and what the world believes about them are not in line.  Again, this is where the job boards help support the statements.  Virtually no one writes a job requisition asking for a Knowledge Manager to solve their Sales process/system problems, their Support process/system problems, etc.  And, I’m going to bet there are almost zero requisitions, globally, that ask for someone to deal with their Knowledge System.  Broad “systems" problems are handled by roles like Systems Engineers, Enterprise/Solutions Architects, Analysts, etc… not Knowledge Managers.

 

And, while such statements represent an assessment of the industry and not an attack on it, I believe they all further strengthen the argument that for the KM industry to gain credibility and correct its direction it must stop pretending it represents or operates in spaces that already have formal/specific labels, titles and roles.  The KM industry will have to find its own unique space of operations with its own unique set of solutions.  After many decades, there appear to be none left.

 

My Best,

 

Frank

Frank Guerino, Managing Partner

The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)

 

 

From: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Reply-To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:38 AM
To: "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>, SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

 

Hi Frank,

We've already debated most of the points you make in this article ad nauseum, so I won't rehash those arguments. I will note, for the record, that your list of "roles related to knowledge" do not include this role description:

The systematic analysis of organisational knowledge systems[*], and the design and implementation of interventions acting on these systems to improve an organisation's problem-solving and decision-making capability.

Regardless of usage of the title in practice, I firmly believe that this role description is the only sustainable definition of a "Knowledge Manager". I cannot reconcile this to any of your other 'knowledge' professions, nor can I think of another existing role that would be better qualified to perform this function. Nor can I see how any of your listed IT solutions will make this organisational capability redundant.

[*] To pre-empt a possible question: a knowledge system is any combination of interacting components which incorporates one or more intelligent, autonomous agents.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

_,_._,___


Re: Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction #state-of-KM

Frank Guerino
 

Hi Stephen,

You wrote: “We've already debated most of the points you make in this article ad nauseum, so I won't rehash those arguments.

Yes.  The article was meant as more of a public collection of those thoughts and concerns for anyone interested in KM, including those outside this community.

You wrote: “I will note, for the record, that your list of "roles related to knowledge" do not include this role description:
The systematic analysis of organisational knowledge systems[*], and the design and implementation of interventions
acting on these systems to improve an organisation's problem-solving and decision-making capability. "

I agree with your definition of a Knowledge System (KS).  However, there is a problem with your definition that only further highlights challenges for the formal KM industry.  Like  that the definition of Knowledge, your definition of a KS is vague and axiomatically true because all systems in an enterprise are "Knowledge Systems (KSs).”  And, since all systems are KSs, just like roles each system has a very specific purpose and can be named, whether it be broad (e.g. The Organization, Marketing & Sales, Product Dev, Support, etc.) or narrow (e.g.  Claims Intake, Claims Validation, Claims Adjudication, Claims Payment).  This being said, just like specific knowledge worker roles that have specific titles (not being the generic Knowledge Manager), such KSs also have specific roles and titles associated with them.  And, while I agree that there are more generic roles that have more generic titles and purposes that span across such systems (e.g. Business Analyst, Enterprise Architect, Solutions Architect, Systems Engineer, etc.), most people do not point to something and say “that is a Knowledge System and it requires a Knowledge Manager.”  Instead, they say something like: "This is our Manufacturing System/Process and we need a Manufacturing specialist or a generalist like a Systems Engineer or Enterprise Architect who we know to have the skills to dive in and help solve our problems/challenges."

The simple fact is that most enterprises rarely bring in someone with the title of “Knowledge Manager” to address system/systematic problems.  They either bring in domain/area specialists (e.g. Organizational Development Specialist, Learning Specialist) because they are directly aligned with the problem or more commonly accepted generalists (e.g. Analysts, Architects, Engineers) because such generalist roles have become far more of the norm when dealing with systems of any form.  We can see the data that supports this by simply performing searches for “Knowledge Manager” and “Knowledge System” in any of the world-wide job boards.  This only enforces the simple reality that most of the world does not view a Knowledge Manager as more than a documenter (addressed in the section on perception of the K Mgr).

You wrote: “Regardless of usage of the title in practice, I firmly believe that this role description is the only sustainable definition of a "Knowledge Manager"

With the utmost respect, please understand that what you believe to be your definitions of a KS and a K Mgr and what the world believes about them are not in line.  Again, this is where the job boards help support the statements.  Virtually no one writes a job requisition asking for a Knowledge Manager to solve their Sales process/system problems, their Support process/system problems, etc.  And, I’m going to bet there are almost zero requisitions, globally, that ask for someone to deal with their Knowledge System.  Broad “systems" problems are handled by roles like Systems Engineers, Enterprise/Solutions Architects, Analysts, etc… not Knowledge Managers.

And, while such statements represent an assessment of the industry and not an attack on it, I believe they all further strengthen the argument that for the KM industry to gain credibility and correct its direction it must stop pretending it represents or operates in spaces that already have formal/specific labels, titles and roles.  The KM industry will have to find its own unique space of operations with its own unique set of solutions.  After many decades, there appear to be none left.

My Best,

Frank
Frank Guerino, Managing Partner
The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)


From: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Reply-To: SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:38 AM
To: "ActKM Discussion List <actkm@...>" <actkm@...>, SIKM Leaders <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: Re: [Actkm] [sikmleaders] Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction

 

Hi Frank,

We've already debated most of the points you make in this article ad nauseum, so I won't rehash those arguments. I will note, for the record, that your list of "roles related to knowledge" do not include this role description:

The systematic analysis of organisational knowledge systems[*], and the design and implementation of interventions acting on these systems to improve an organisation's problem-solving and decision-making capability.

Regardless of usage of the title in practice, I firmly believe that this role description is the only sustainable definition of a "Knowledge Manager". I cannot reconcile this to any of your other 'knowledge' professions, nor can I think of another existing role that would be better qualified to perform this function. Nor can I see how any of your listed IT solutions will make this organisational capability redundant.

[*] To pre-empt a possible question: a knowledge system is any combination of interacting components which incorporates one or more intelligent, autonomous agents.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
_,_._,___


Re: Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction #state-of-KM

Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Frank,

We've already debated most of the points you make in this article ad nauseum, so I won't rehash those arguments. I will note, for the record, that your list of "roles related to knowledge" do not include this role description:

The systematic analysis of organisational knowledge systems[*], and the design and implementation of interventions acting on these systems to improve an organisation's problem-solving and decision-making capability.

Regardless of usage of the title in practice, I firmly believe that this role description is the only sustainable definition of a "Knowledge Manager". I cannot reconcile this to any of your other 'knowledge' professions, nor can I think of another existing role that would be better qualified to perform this function. Nor can I see how any of your listed IT solutions will make this organisational capability redundant.

[*] To pre-empt a possible question: a knowledge system is any combination of interacting components which incorporates one or more intelligent, autonomous agents.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 23/02/2017 12:20 PM, Frank Guerino wrote:
Hi All,

Given some of the recent conversations, the article Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction covers some of the issues that drive negative perceptions of the KM industry.


I hope you find the materials interesting and worth sharing.

My Best,

Frank
Frank Guerino, Managing Partner
The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)




_______________________________________________
Actkm mailing list
Actkm@...
http://actkm.org/mailman/listinfo/actkm_actkm.org


Article: Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction #state-of-KM

Frank Guerino
 

Hi All,

The article “Knowledge Management - An Industry Without Focus and Direction” covers some of the issues that drive negative perceptions of the KM industry.


I hope you find the materials interesting and worth sharing.

My Best,

Frank
Frank Guerino, Managing Partner
The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
http://www.if4it.com
1.908.294.5191 (M)



Re: Yahoo security concern #cybersecurity

Susan Ostreicher
 

Hello Mark, 

This is an interesting question. Are there specific security features that you would want in a different platform? 

From a non-expert perspective, it seems as though security breaches are becoming more and more common. It's not clear to me if a different platform would be safer just by being a smaller target, or if there are precautions other sites take that Yahoo doesn't. 

Thanks,
Susan


Re: February 2017 SIKM Call: Phil Verghis - Empowered Experts Everywhere #monthly-call #expertise

Susan Ostreicher
 
Edited

TO: SIKM Leaders Community
 
Today we held our 138th monthly call. Here are the details:
  • February 21, 2017 SIKM Call: Phil Verghis - Empowering Experts Everywhere: Practical ways this works in Customer Support/Operations
  • Slides
  • Recording
Thanks again to Phil for presenting. You can continue the discussion by replying to this thread.


Yahoo security concern #cybersecurity

Mark C Harris
 

Hello. Have you considered moving the SIKM forum to a more secure platform? Yahoo has experienced repeated significant security issues over the years, continuing to now. Thanks.

Mark Harris


February 2017 SIKM Call: Phil Verghis - Empowered Experts Everywhere #monthly-call #expertise

Stan Garfield
 

This is a reminder of next Tuesday's monthly call from 11 am to 12 noon EST. Susan Ostreicher will lead the call in my absence.

SIKM Leaders Community Monthly Call

Dial-in Number: United States and Canada (712) 770-4035

Access Code: 178302
You can join online using your computer’s speakers and microphone at http://join.freeconferencecall.com/stangarfield

If you have problems connecting, see the options listed at the end of this post.

International Dial-in Numbers

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United Kingdom +44 330 088 1904



Re: ESNs... more than "like" capabilities #ESN

dennis.pearce@...
 

We use Jive here.  It has many "structured outcomes" as they call them.  
  • You can mark a comment in a discussion as "helpful."  Links to helpful comments are aggregated at the top of the discussion so that readers can jump to them.
  • If someone asks a question, a single response can be marked as "correct."  This places a copy of the response directly under the question, with a link to "see this in context" which jumps the reader down to the point in the discussion where the answer was posted.
  • A discussion can be marked as "final."  This collapses the discussion so that only the original post and the correct answer are visible, although there is a link that will allow readers to open it back up to view the full discussion if they want.
  • A document can be marked "official" or "obsolete."  These can be used as filters across the document repository and affect the weight of the search results positively or negatively, respectively.  The "obsolete" designation throws up a flag when someone clicks on a link to the doc, and allows the user to provide a link to content that should be used instead.
These various designations are all configurable as to who can mark what under what circumstances.


ESNs... more than "like" capabilities #ESN

Jamie Martino
 

Hello everyone, 


Is anyone using an ESN (even SP addon) that has more than just a "like" and "share" button, but goes further into "this helped me" or "solved my problem" for content, posts and replies? If so, which one(s) is it?


Many thanks in advance. 
Best, 

Jamie


Re: SNA: utterly worthless and possibly damaging? #SNA-ONA-VNA

Patti Anklam
 

Hi, all,

Certainly I have to respond to such a provactive subject line!  Thanks, @katepugh for the mention. Nils argues that the SNA is only a snapshot in time. That is what I always say when I teach SNA. But the snapshot can lead to useful questions and insights...

More, however: Once I saw where the article and "complexitools" was going with value creation structure I kept looking in the original and the comments for a nod to Verna Allee, who really broke this ground a long time ago; I have long been a believer (I almost always use a value network analysis when I work with organizations). So it is nice to see it rise again, but it would also be good to see some attribution or reference.

/patti



Re: SNA: utterly worthless and possibly damaging? #SNA-ONA-VNA

Katepugh <katepugh@...>
 

Resending with Tom's original post (and the link) below Fred's 

On Feb 16, 2017, at 7:25 AM, Katepugh katepugh@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:

 

Tom, Nils et al

Nice article! I think Nils has taken what we all do with SNA (map structures as they show flow of information, disease, influence, etc.) and just singled out the "reputation" structure into its own science.

At Columbia Information and Knowledge Strategy Master's we have been teaching about SNA for six years. It is just basically graph theory (and mathematics) where the "nodes" are people and the "edges" can be anything. We have students include reputation or influence as one edge, and describe potential interventions. 

I agree we all should do SNA for a reason, and understandings of value creation and reputation are great reasons. Giving a specific SNA that maps reputation a privileged spot in our thinking is a good idea. It i s not a new science. But it is a valuable focus, and so are others like managing addiction, obesity, and reproductive health. 

@Patti Anklam, who has influenced my thinking, has always said that SNA -- or rather, the mapping part -- is just the first step. It provokes questions. Putting a lens on the org or other set of connected items, even machines, and representing it visually in a novel way is a worthy art. 

Kate


Katrina Pugh
Academic Director 
Columbia University Information and Knowledge Strategy Master's Program

On Feb 16, 2017, at 6:24 AM, fred@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:

 

Thanks for the link, Tom.  Very interesting read.


Fred Nickols

From Tom Short 


Re: January 2017 SIKM Call: Arno Boersma - Design Thinking for KM #monthly-call #design-thinking

joanna_pierce@...
 

Greetings All:

I'm sorry to have missed this call last month, but just got around to reviewing it the other day. I must say thank you to Arno--this was a very enjoyable presentation, and I wish I could have been there for the discussion. So, hoping to continue it here.

I love the idea of a "Fail Fair," to show how you've failed to others in the organization, but staying optimistic and possibly sharing how you're going to pick up and start again. Doing a "lessons learned" analysis isn't something that my organization does a lot with projects, and we have a lot of silos. I think this would be a great opportunity to bridge the gaps across the company and show what we've done, getting feedback and similar insights from other departments. 

From a KM perspective, there's a definite fear about failing in this space as there have been many iterations of this effort in my department. The rest of the organization is just starting to get a toe in the water in the KM space. I believe our current KM solution will stick (we're about 2-years in and growing every month). Some other areas are starting to reach out to us, having their own failed attempts and looking for something that's showing ROI, strong user adoption, etc. But, we still have much to learn.

Has anyone else had success with getting something like a "Fail Fair" off the ground? How can we get leadership buy-in to start something like this? What are scaling options?

Best,
Joanna


Re: SNA: utterly worthless and possibly damaging? #SNA-ONA-VNA

Katepugh <katepugh@...>
 

Tom, Nils et al

Nice article! I think Nils has taken what we all do with SNA (map structures as they show flow of information, disease, influence, etc.) and just singled out the "reputation" structure into its own science.

At Columbia Information and Knowledge Strategy Master's we have been teaching about SNA for six years. It is just basically graph theory (and mathematics) where the "nodes" are people and the "edges" can be anything. We have students include reputation or influence as one edge, and describe potential interventions. 

I agree we all should do SNA for a reason, and understandings of value creation and reputation are great reasons. Giving a specific SNA that maps reputation a privileged spot in our thinking is a good idea. It is not a new science. But it is a valuable focus, and so are others like managing addiction, obesity, and reproductive health. 

@Patti Anklam, who has influenced my thinking, has always said that SNA -- or rather, the mapping part -- is just the first step. It provokes questions. Putting a lens on the org or other set of connected items, even machines, and representing it visually in a novel way is a worthy art. 

Kate


Katrina Pugh
Academic Director 
Columbia University Information and Knowledge Strategy Master's Program

On Feb 16, 2017, at 6:24 AM, fred@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:

 

Thanks for the link, Tom.  Very interesting read.


Fred Nickols


Re: SNA: utterly worthless and possibly damaging? #SNA-ONA-VNA

Fred Nickols
 

Thanks for the link, Tom.  Very interesting read.

Fred Nickols


SNA: utterly worthless and possibly damaging? #SNA-ONA-VNA

tman9999@...
 

I have never thought about it that way, but in a conversation on LinkedIn that is exactly how Niels Pflaeging put it in response to my comment about this excellent LinkedIn article, "Org Physics: How a triad of structures allows companies to absorb complexity".


My comment may be found below the article - as of today it is the newest comment there. Niels replied to it, defending his position. 


I thought some of the siKM folks might be interested in joining the discussion, and perhaps providing some alternative perspectives on this front. 


-Tom Short


 

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