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


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Hi,
 
I am currently assembling a KM plan. However in the organisation I am working with, "knowledge management" is a toxic term (for a variety of reasons). I'd like to know what you call your program if you don't use the "KM" term. Please reply off-list if you would prefer. I will collate the list of responses, anonymise and then distribute. If such a list of names already exists then please point me towards it.
 
Any assitance much appreciated.
 
Matt


Stan Garfield
 

Hi, Matt.

I led a session on this at KMWorld last year. Here is a link to my presentation: I Say KM, You Say KS

Regards,
Stan


Guy St. Clair <guystclair@...>
 

Hello Matt,

About fifteen years ago our company began to work with the concept of knowledge services, which we define as "the convergence of information management, KM, and strategic learning."

Since then, we have found that "knowledge services" resonates well with enterprise leadership and, particularly, with decision makers who are dealing with all the (relatively) new issues having to do with information, knowledge, and strategic learning.

The focus with knowledge services is on success with organization knowledge development, knowledge sharing, and knowledge utilization (we use the acronym KD/KS/KU for these elements).

We find this concept particularly useful in terms of how organizations we work with move into stronger management with respect to what we like to think of as the "knowledge domain," where most of us work (and a management area with which many enterprise leaders - through no fault of their own - aren't very familiar).

If these would be of use to you, there are several items and special reports at our website, and we use these with clients and students (I teach a lot, both in webinars and seminars for clients and in the IKNS graduate program at Columbia University).

You might want to take a look at:
Knowledge Strategy: Your Leadership Advantage (for background - this was a paper prepared for and delivered by Anne Kershaw and me at the recent AIIM Annual Conference)
A Knowledge Services Glossary: A Guide for Conversation (while there are many glossaries having to do with KM, this one is focused on knowledge services, a recent - and in process - compilation for a discussion group with which I'm affiliated)

​Hope this information is of interest to you.

Good luck with your assignment.

​All the best,

Guy​


Guy St. Clair

President and Knowledge Services Evangelist

SMR International


Tel: 917.797.1500
Skype: guystclair
Sharing Guy’s Journey (personal blog): http://www.gstcjourney.blogspot.com/
SMR Int’l Corporate Blog: http://smr-knowledge.com/



On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:09 AM, Matt Moore innotecture@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:
 

Hi,
 
I am currently assembling a KM plan. However in the organisation I am working with, "knowledge management" is a toxic term (for a variety of reasons). I'd like to know what you call your program if you don't use the "KM" term. Please reply off-list if you would prefer. I will collate the list of responses, anonymise and then distribute. If such a list of names already exists then please point me towards it.
 
Any assitance much appreciated.
 
Matt



Chris Collison <chris@...>
 

Thanks Stan,
That’s a great compendium of terminology and perspectives. 

A few to add from my experience which weren’t on your list:
  • Learning from Experience
  • Knowledge Sharing & Collaboration
  • Insights
As an aside, I have to say I’m more aligned with the Guy Alvarez (Social Media in KM) than Bradley, McDonald or Hamilton’s more pejorative (Social Media vs  KM) - but I’m guessing they’re in there to provide a contrast.
Cheers,
Chris

From: "stangarfield@... [sikmleaders]" <sikmleaders@...>
Reply-To: <sikmleaders@...>
Date: Monday, 14 July 2014 14:35
To: <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: What do you call what you do? If you don't call it KM...

Hi, Matt.

I led a session on this at KMWorld last year. Here is a link to my presentation: I Say KM, You Say KS

Regards,
Stan


chuck georgo <chuck@...>
 

I actually don’t like to use the term KM – I prefer to use language more reflecting the outcomes it produces, so I usually integrate KM (or KS) into performance management activities – in other words, to me, KM becomes “how can I improve human performance through information sharing, knowledge management, collaboration, leadership, and effective information technology.” If we agree that KM is a MEANS to an END – then we can be more successful in implementing effective KM by looking at it from the POV of what the organization is trying to achieve…r/Chuck

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...]
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2014 9:35 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: What do you call what you do? If you don't call it KM...

 

 

Hi, Matt.

 

I led a session on this at KMWorld last year. Here is a link to my presentation: I Say KM, You Say KS

 

Regards,

Stan




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Andrew Gent
 

Hey Matt,

My response may fall outside your desired test group.  I no longer do "km" having returned to tech writing and information architecture. I also work for a small (~30 people) startup rather than a large corporation.  But this is a subject that interests me quite a bit as it applies to small, growing companies. 

As I say, I am no longer responsible for "KM". However, my background in the subject was significant in my getting the job -- I need to cover a lot of tasks, including establishing and facilitating customer forums, training, web content, etc. 

Although there is no defined internal "KM" program, as the company grew there were a number of activities instigated in the name of improving "group dynamics". Lunch & learns, monthly company meetings, 10 minute self-introductions for new members. I would classify these all -- as well as the daily scrum stand-ups -- as KM activities, although no one uses that term for them internally.

What interests me in particular is the unexpectedly rapid loss of connectivity between employees even at very low numbers. I have seen other startups in the ~100 employee range with a serious lack of communication between groups. But I was surprised to see this can actually start around 20 people.

It takes significant effort to overcome even early segmentation within the company and I see this effort being made -- more or less successfully -- in various startups. Almost never is it called "KM". It usually comes from several directions at once (not always coordinated) and is usually described as efforts to "make the organization effective". 

Matt, I realize this little ramble does not answer your question. But then again, maybe it does. The fact is in the startups I've seen these activities rarely have an umbrella name. They are seen as necessary, often ad hoc, and rarely persistent (interest and effort waxes and wanes as the need arises). I'm not saying that is the way it ought to be (having seen it fail in other companies), but I am describing what I have seen...

Andrew Gent





On Monday, July 14, 2014 9:37 AM, "stangarfield@... [sikmleaders]" wrote:


 
Hi, Matt.

I led a session on this at KMWorld last year. Here is a link to my presentation: I Say KM, You Say KS

Regards,
Stan



Michael Dieterle
 

Hi Matt,

I hope you can speak of KM in the inner circle!

For the rest of the company, just use general business terms that are either aligned with current strategic objectives or with larger initiatives that people are already familiar with.

Best Regards.
Michael


Douglas Weidner
 

Hi Matt, et al

 

At the KM Institute, we see KM as more than just another, familiar operational improvement discipline.

 

We see an emerging transformation into a post-industrial, K Age.

In that context, KM is the essential, strategic enabler, certainly aligned with an adaptive organization’s emerging new vision.

 

Some clarification: In this post-industrial context, we will still ‘make’ and ‘move’ things, but it will be done much more by robots and drones than humans and cogs/wheels/belts, etc.

In the formerly ‘white collar’ environments, computerization will finally and dramatically change the nature of jobs, even entirely replacing many.

 

This K-Age transformation was envisioned by Drucker in the 1990s, with many more recent advocates.

The K Age will radically change the nature of work, organizational structures and productivity, economic growth and productivity, national comparative advantage, and of course an individual’s employment skills, competencies, and engagement.

 

Focusing on knowledge is rapidly becoming the key to both organizational and individual survival and prosperity.

 

KM focuses on knowledge; it enables the requisite technology and methods to improve k-intensive activities.

KM is a catalyst for successful knowledge maturity and transformation, which we track with our Knowledge Maturity Model (KMM)™.

 

If that’s too radical for some, and it certainly is, then starting with ‘quick wins’ on k-intensive activities becomes a convincing pilot and proof for the way forward.

        

DOUGLAS WEIDNER  |  Chairman, Chief CKM Instructor

Home of KM Transformation Solution

O: 703-757-1395  

KM INSTITUTE – 2014 EVENT SCHEDULE

                

 

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...]
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2014 10:39 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: What do you call what you do? If you don't call it KM...

 

 

Hi Matt,

 

I hope you can speak of KM in the inner circle!

 

For the rest of the company, just use general business terms that are either aligned with current strategic objectives or with larger initiatives that people are already familiar with.

 

Best Regards.

Michael


Mark Bennett
 

Hi Matt

There are already some great comments here.  For 10 years I worked for a large mining company, and although we tried really hard, we also found that the term KM was toxic.  In cases like this I don't think there is much point in trying to make the term acceptable, and I agree that it's best to find a compromise.  The choice of terminology will really depend on what resonates most closely with corporate culture and management beliefs - it's not a case of right or wrong - pragmatism is the order of the day.  I think it's a bit like the old adage of "Marketing 101" - you don't sell a product, you sell the benefits.

In summary, there were words that have worked really well for me, both of which have already been mentioned, but I'd like to emphasise the point that we had considerable success when the language was changed - no more flogging of dead horses!  The term "collaboration" worked really well, especially when the qualification was added "we don't collaborate for collaboration's sake, we collaborate to create business improvement".  This was helped further when I started talking about Knowledge Transfer rather than Knowledge Management.  There were so many advantages: for example I found you didn't need to constantly explain to people what KM meant, somehow the value proposition of Knowledge Transfer was self evident, and of course one way of achieving Knowledge Transfer is by collaboration.  The other thing I really like about KT is that it is very obvious to people what the action verb is, whereas "management" can be very threatening to people, particularly senior people!

I realise that for some practitioners, KT is too limiting in its implied scope, but for me pragmatism wins out.  Once people were happy with the objective and actions required to achieve Knowledge Transfer, we didn't get caught up in a protracted debate about whether this excludes new knowledge being created - I would argue that most new knowledge is created by collaboration, so we had that aspect covered.  

By the way, another point I'd like to make that I never pushed for the establishment of a formal Knowledge Transfer Programme; again for some companies I know from experience that people can get very tired of new Programmes or initiatives - they've seen it all before, and "change fatigue" is a powerful barrier to action.  Instead I created and stewarded a portfolio of some 50+ Communities of Practice involving over 15,000 people, which had the explicit objectives (amongst others) of Knowledge Transfer and collaboration.  This is a subtle distinction, but in my view a very important one.  It made the scope very targeted and specific, rather than a broadly based KM Programme of which CoPs are one component.

For me, the key lesson is that one size does not fit all, and one set of terminology will not work for all organisations.  It was simply a case of applied pragmatism: finding out what worked, and doing more of it!

Best of luck, and please feel free to contact me directly if you would like more details.

Cheers

Mark

Dr Mark Bennett
LearningCollaboration
82 Richmond St
Leederville
WA 6007
Australia

 
Phone: +61 419 903 859


On 14 July 2014 21:56, Chris Collison chris@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:
 

Thanks Stan,
That’s a great compendium of terminology and perspectives. 

A few to add from my experience which weren’t on your list:
  • Learning from Experience
  • Knowledge Sharing & Collaboration
  • Insights
As an aside, I have to say I’m more aligned with the Guy Alvarez (Social Media in KM) than Bradley, McDonald or Hamilton’s more pejorative (Social Media vs  KM) - but I’m guessing they’re in there to provide a contrast.
Cheers,
Chris

From: "stangarfield@... [sikmleaders]" <sikmleaders@...>
Reply-To: <sikmleaders@...>
Date: Monday, 14 July 2014 14:35
To: <sikmleaders@...>
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: What do you call what you do? If you don't call it KM...

Hi, Matt.

I led a session on this at KMWorld last year. Here is a link to my presentation: I Say KM, You Say KS

Regards,
Stan



Kim Ahmer (ISACA HQ) <kahmer@...>
 

Stan, this is a great slide deck.  Thanks for sharing it!

 


Kim Ahmer 
ISACA/ITGI
Sr. Knowledge Manager
P: +1.847.660.5596  |  F: +1.847.253.1443
ENHANCE YOUR NETWORK AT ISACA'S GLOBAL CONFERENCES >

The information in this e-mail is confidential, and intended solely for the addressee. Access to this e-mail by anyone else is unauthorized. Any copying or further distribution beyond the original recipient is not intended, and may be unlawful. The opinions enclosed are those of the sender, and do not necessarily reflect those of ISACA/ITGI.

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...]
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2014 8:35 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: What do you call what you do? If you don't call it KM...

 

 

Hi, Matt.

 

I led a session on this at KMWorld last year. Here is a link to my presentation: I Say KM, You Say KS

 

Regards,

Stan


tman9999@...
 

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

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

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

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

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


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Hi,

Many thanks to everyone for their inputs. I am still combining them but some great commentary & suggestions. Some special mentions:
- Stan's presso is worth a look: http://conferences.infotoday.com/documents/181/C101_Garfield.ppt
- Likewise, Bill Dixon's list was handy.
- Chuck Georgo's comments came closest to where my own thinking is at the moment. I want the language to reflect quite specific business outcomes for both the organisation and its customers/stakeholders (which in a for-profit service firm firm have to include sales, service delivery and new service development).
 
Thanks again. Every comment was read and appreciated.
 
Regards,
 
Matt


Stan Garfield
 
Edited

Matt, thanks for starting the thread on what we call KM.  I updated the list of terms in use - see Knowledge Management: What's in a name?
 
Where is Bill Dixon's list?
 
Regards,
Stan