Topics

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


Stephen Bounds
 

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 



Patrick Lambe
 

Hi Stephen

I’m with you on items 1-3.

On items 4-5 we need greater depth and diversity I think, we are not yet far enough out of the “Age of Braggadocio”. For item 4 we need more diversity of communities in place, the fewer there are, the more dependent any “learned society” will be on the personalities at the core. I’d give it another 20 years.

For item 5, as we are very much in a complex space, we need to feel our way rather than to design our way - which is to say every designed effort helps, but we need diversity of effort and perspective for something durable to emerge.

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383



twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

On 13 May 2020, at 10:31 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

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

<email footer small.jpeg>


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 




Murray Jennex
 

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 



Stephen Bounds
 

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 



Murray Jennex
 

good question Stephen, when I think syllabus I think a set of modules that have specific hours assigned to specific topics.  When I say domains of knowledge I am referring to the large buckets of knowledge, for instance one domain in cybersecurity is risk management that has a large number of sub topics.  No hours are assigned to modules or anything so the knowledge domain is more a list of topics with no hours or modules assigned to it.  A syllabus would be constructed to implement a study of the knowledge domain and the syllabus would assign the number of hours to each module.  A subtle difference.  The knowledge domain allows the instructor the freedom to focus on what they think is important but still tells the student what all the topics are.  The syllabus is very prescriptive on how much time is spent on each topic, what learning objectives will be tested (and how), etc.

I look at the ISO standard as a set of knowledge domains as it does not dictate how things must be done, just what must be addressed.  I hope this helps....murray


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds <km@...>
To: Murray Jennex <murphjen@...>; SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io>
Sent: Thu, May 14, 2020 5:28 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

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 



Stephen Bounds
 

Ah, I see. I was using the term "syllabus" for the general and had imagined "curriculum" to be the term for the prescribed course.

It seems like the terms operate a bit interchangeably, a bit like I see people mix and match "Aims", "Objectives", "Outcomes", and "Goals".

Suffice to say that we agree on the correct level of specificity that would be useful for KM practice. I am talking about domains of knowledge rather than anything more detailed.

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 15/05/2020 10:37 am, Murray Jennex wrote:

good question Stephen, when I think syllabus I think a set of modules that have specific hours assigned to specific topics.  When I say domains of knowledge I am referring to the large buckets of knowledge, for instance one domain in cybersecurity is risk management that has a large number of sub topics.  No hours are assigned to modules or anything so the knowledge domain is more a list of topics with no hours or modules assigned to it.  A syllabus would be constructed to implement a study of the knowledge domain and the syllabus would assign the number of hours to each module.  A subtle difference.  The knowledge domain allows the instructor the freedom to focus on what they think is important but still tells the student what all the topics are.  The syllabus is very prescriptive on how much time is spent on each topic, what learning objectives will be tested (and how), etc.

I look at the ISO standard as a set of knowledge domains as it does not dictate how things must be done, just what must be addressed.  I hope this helps....murray


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds <km@...>
To: Murray Jennex <murphjen@...>; SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io>
Sent: Thu, May 14, 2020 5:28 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

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 



Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Patrick,

I see your point on 4, and would be happy to explore alternative structures. My main objective wasn't to put the knowledge of certain people on a pedestal but to provide a stronger scaffolding for respected figures in the community to have referred authority to start conversations and drive awareness in the global community. How would you feel about an elected "Council of Stewards" or similar?

On 5, I wonder if there are ways to encourage eventual convergence while recognising the need (right now) for divergent exploration of "what is KM anyway" through better labelling of our various "schools of thought". A taxonomy even ;-)

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 14/05/2020 9:48 am, Patrick Lambe wrote:

Hi Stephen

I’m with you on items 1-3.

On items 4-5 we need greater depth and diversity I think, we are not yet far enough out of the “Age of Braggadocio”. For item 4 we need more diversity of communities in place, the fewer there are, the more dependent any “learned society” will be on the personalities at the core. I’d give it another 20 years.

For item 5, as we are very much in a complex space, we need to feel our way rather than to design our way - which is to say every designed effort helps, but we need diversity of effort and perspective for something durable to emerge.

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383



twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

On 13 May 2020, at 10:31 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

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

<email footer small.jpeg>


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 




Patrick Lambe
 

Hi Stephen

to put the knowledge of certain people on a pedestal

seems to me to be just a more concise way of saying

but to provide a stronger scaffolding for respected figures in the community to have referred authority to start conversations and drive awareness in the global community.

Frankly, as soon as any semblance of “authority” or “status” starts to be inferred by a community or society initiative, the honey bees come a buzzing.

KM is such a hard space to make a living in, it’s hard not to engage in self-promotion, whether we are KM practitioners looking to build a career past our current job, or consultants/product developers struggling to win business, or educators trying to get visibility, or researchers trying to build a portfolio - nor should we be too school masterly about trying to contain it. It’s just a fact of life as we now live it. 

There’s still a great deal of testosterone about as well, though thankfully it seems to be past its peak.

I’m much more comfortable with an agora, where people’s “authority" is recognised contingently based on their contributions on a day to day basis (and on a cumulative reputation over time).

I believe CILIP is looking at their Fellowship scheme in relation to KM, and that kind of neutral body with a pre-existing framework will have its limitations, but also a neutrality that we need. It might provide a kernel, let’s see.

There are three reasons why I suggested 20 years:

1) I’m unlikely to be around to take flak if it takes a lot longer
2) People who stick around consistently over the current and coming period of non-KM sexiness are likely to be solid, reliable people, who will have a good track record by then
3) We don’t yet have enough diversity (i.e. the number of breadth/depth/duration people is still low - the Nancy Whites, Nancy Dixons, Stan Garfields - i.e. gender, geography, corporate/non corporate, people who consistently point to and build on other people’s wisdom and not just their own) - no offence meant to anybody in this community, the conversations and the sharing are excellent, I just don’t think we are mature enough or diverse enough to be able to sustain what you seem to have in mind.

But that’s just my opinion!

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383



twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

On 15 May 2020, at 8:59 AM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

Hi Patrick,

I see your point on 4, and would be happy to explore alternative structures. My main objective wasn't to put the knowledge of certain people on a pedestal but to provide a stronger scaffolding for respected figures in the community to have referred authority to start conversations and drive awareness in the global community. How would you feel about an elected "Council of Stewards" or similar?

On 5, I wonder if there are ways to encourage eventual convergence while recognising the need (right now) for divergent exploration of "what is KM anyway" through better labelling of our various "schools of thought". A taxonomy even ;-)

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 14/05/2020 9:48 am, Patrick Lambe wrote:
Hi Stephen

I’m with you on items 1-3.

On items 4-5 we need greater depth and diversity I think, we are not yet far enough out of the “Age of Braggadocio”. For item 4 we need more diversity of communities in place, the fewer there are, the more dependent any “learned society” will be on the personalities at the core. I’d give it another 20 years.

For item 5, as we are very much in a complex space, we need to feel our way rather than to design our way - which is to say every designed effort helps, but we need diversity of effort and perspective for something durable to emerge.

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383

<email footer small.jpeg>


twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

On 13 May 2020, at 10:31 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

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

<email footer small.jpeg>


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 





Patrick Lambe
 

On #5, I think a thesaurus-cum-glossary or at most a knowledge graph.. a taxonomy would stifle emergence ;)

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383



twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

On 15 May 2020, at 8:59 AM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

Hi Patrick,

I see your point on 4, and would be happy to explore alternative structures. My main objective wasn't to put the knowledge of certain people on a pedestal but to provide a stronger scaffolding for respected figures in the community to have referred authority to start conversations and drive awareness in the global community. How would you feel about an elected "Council of Stewards" or similar?

On 5, I wonder if there are ways to encourage eventual convergence while recognising the need (right now) for divergent exploration of "what is KM anyway" through better labelling of our various "schools of thought". A taxonomy even ;-)

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 14/05/2020 9:48 am, Patrick Lambe wrote:
Hi Stephen

I’m with you on items 1-3.

On items 4-5 we need greater depth and diversity I think, we are not yet far enough out of the “Age of Braggadocio”. For item 4 we need more diversity of communities in place, the fewer there are, the more dependent any “learned society” will be on the personalities at the core. I’d give it another 20 years.

For item 5, as we are very much in a complex space, we need to feel our way rather than to design our way - which is to say every designed effort helps, but we need diversity of effort and perspective for something durable to emerge.

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383

<email footer small.jpeg>


twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

On 13 May 2020, at 10:31 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

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

<email footer small.jpeg>


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 





Murray Jennex
 

sounds like we are agreeing Stephen.  in academia, the syllabus is what implements the curriculum.  A course catalog lists the name and general description of the course in the curriculum.  The syllabus specifies what the course covers, how it covers it, when, what the readings and assessments are, etc.  I totally agree that what you want are the "domains of knowledge" or whatever else we want to call it....murray


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds <km@...>
To: Murray Jennex <murphjen@...>; SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io>
Sent: Thu, May 14, 2020 5:53 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

Ah, I see. I was using the term "syllabus" for the general and had imagined "curriculum" to be the term for the prescribed course.
It seems like the terms operate a bit interchangeably, a bit like I see people mix and match "Aims", "Objectives", "Outcomes", and "Goals".
Suffice to say that we agree on the correct level of specificity that would be useful for KM practice. I am talking about domains of knowledge rather than anything more detailed.
Cheers,
Stephen.
====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 15/05/2020 10:37 am, Murray Jennex wrote:
good question Stephen, when I think syllabus I think a set of modules that have specific hours assigned to specific topics.  When I say domains of knowledge I am referring to the large buckets of knowledge, for instance one domain in cybersecurity is risk management that has a large number of sub topics.  No hours are assigned to modules or anything so the knowledge domain is more a list of topics with no hours or modules assigned to it.  A syllabus would be constructed to implement a study of the knowledge domain and the syllabus would assign the number of hours to each module.  A subtle difference.  The knowledge domain allows the instructor the freedom to focus on what they think is important but still tells the student what all the topics are.  The syllabus is very prescriptive on how much time is spent on each topic, what learning objectives will be tested (and how), etc.

I look at the ISO standard as a set of knowledge domains as it does not dictate how things must be done, just what must be addressed.  I hope this helps....murray


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds <km@...>
To: Murray Jennex <murphjen@...>; SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io>
Sent: Thu, May 14, 2020 5:28 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

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 



Tom Reamy
 

Patrick,

 

“stifle emergence” – I disagree.  If you combine the glossary/taxonomy/knowledge graph with the text analytics capabilities of auto-categorization and data extraction, you can explore and capture new ideas and topics – and both expand the new ideas and integrate them with existing concepts. 

 

Tom

 

 

Tom Reamy

Chief Knowledge Architect

Author: Deep Text

KAPS Group, LLC

www.kapsgroup.com

510-922-9554 (O)

510-333-2458 (M)

 

From: SIKM@groups.io [mailto:SIKM@groups.io] On Behalf Of Patrick Lambe
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 6:30 PM
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

 

On #5, I think a thesaurus-cum-glossary or at most a knowledge graph.. a taxonomy would stifle emergence ;)

 

P

 

Patrick Lambe

Partner

+65 62210383





twitter: @plambesg



Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

 

On 15 May 2020, at 8:59 AM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

 

Hi Patrick,

I see your point on 4, and would be happy to explore alternative structures. My main objective wasn't to put the knowledge of certain people on a pedestal but to provide a stronger scaffolding for respected figures in the community to have referred authority to start conversations and drive awareness in the global community. How would you feel about an elected "Council of Stewards" or similar?

On 5, I wonder if there are ways to encourage eventual convergence while recognising the need (right now) for divergent exploration of "what is KM anyway" through better labelling of our various "schools of thought". A taxonomy even ;-)

Cheers,
Stephen.

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

On 14/05/2020 9:48 am, Patrick Lambe wrote:

Hi Stephen

 

I’m with you on items 1-3.

 

On items 4-5 we need greater depth and diversity I think, we are not yet far enough out of the “Age of Braggadocio”. For item 4 we need more diversity of communities in place, the fewer there are, the more dependent any “learned society” will be on the personalities at the core. I’d give it another 20 years.

 

For item 5, as we are very much in a complex space, we need to feel our way rather than to design our way - which is to say every designed effort helps, but we need diversity of effort and perspective for something durable to emerge.

 

P

 

Patrick Lambe

Partner

+65 62210383


<email footer small.jpeg>




twitter: @plambesg



Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

 

On 13 May 2020, at 10:31 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

 

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


<email footer small.jpeg>




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 

 

 

 

 


Patrick Lambe
 

Tom, Tom, did ye not see the wink?

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383



twitter: @plambesg

Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

On 15 May 2020, at 11:35 PM, Tom Reamy <kapsgro@...> wrote:

Patrick,
 
“stifle emergence” – I disagree.  If you combine the glossary/taxonomy/knowledge graph with the text analytics capabilities of auto-categorization and data extraction, you can explore and capture new ideas and topics – and both expand the new ideas and integrate them with existing concepts.  
 
Tom
 
 
<image001.png>
Tom Reamy
Chief Knowledge Architect
Author: Deep Text
KAPS Group, LLC
510-922-9554 (O)
510-333-2458 (M)
 
From: SIKM@groups.io [mailto:SIKM@groups.io] On Behalf Of Patrick Lambe
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 6:30 PM
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?
 
On #5, I think a thesaurus-cum-glossary or at most a knowledge graph.. a taxonomy would stifle emergence ;)
 
P
 
Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383

<image002.jpg>



twitter: @plambesg


Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com
 
On 15 May 2020, at 8:59 AM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:
 
Hi Patrick,
I see your point on 4, and would be happy to explore alternative structures. My main objective wasn't to put the knowledge of certain people on a pedestal but to provide a stronger scaffolding for respected figures in the community to have referred authority to start conversations and drive awareness in the global community. How would you feel about an elected "Council of Stewards" or similar?
On 5, I wonder if there are ways to encourage eventual convergence while recognising the need (right now) for divergent exploration of "what is KM anyway" through better labelling of our various "schools of thought". A taxonomy even ;-)
Cheers,
Stephen.
====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 14/05/2020 9:48 am, Patrick Lambe wrote:
Hi Stephen 
 
I’m with you on items 1-3.
 
On items 4-5 we need greater depth and diversity I think, we are not yet far enough out of the “Age of Braggadocio”. For item 4 we need more diversity of communities in place, the fewer there are, the more dependent any “learned society” will be on the personalities at the core. I’d give it another 20 years.
 
For item 5, as we are very much in a complex space, we need to feel our way rather than to design our way - which is to say every designed effort helps, but we need diversity of effort and perspective for something durable to emerge.
 
P
 
Patrick Lambe
Partner
+65 62210383

<email footer small.jpeg> 



twitter: @plambesg


Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com
 
On 13 May 2020, at 10:31 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:
 
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

<email footer small.jpeg> 



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 
 
 
 
 



Tom Reamy
 

Patrick,

 

Of course I did, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to promote text analytics – something every KM program should invest heavily in.

 

Think of it as a statement for those who would say that without the wink – not you of course ;-)

 

Tom

 

 

 

Tom Reamy

Chief Knowledge Architect

Author: Deep Text

KAPS Group, LLC

www.kapsgroup.com

510-922-9554 (O)

510-333-2458 (M)

 

From: SIKM@groups.io [mailto:SIKM@groups.io] On Behalf Of Patrick Lambe
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 5:32 PM
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

 

Tom, Tom, did ye not see the wink?

 

P

 

Patrick Lambe

Partner

+65 62210383





twitter: @plambesg



Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

 

On 15 May 2020, at 11:35 PM, Tom Reamy <kapsgro@...> wrote:

 

Patrick,

 

“stifle emergence” – I disagree.  If you combine the glossary/taxonomy/knowledge graph with the text analytics capabilities of auto-categorization and data extraction, you can explore and capture new ideas and topics – and both expand the new ideas and integrate them with existing concepts.  

 

Tom

 

 

<image001.png>

Tom Reamy

Chief Knowledge Architect

Author: Deep Text

KAPS Group, LLC

510-922-9554 (O)

510-333-2458 (M)

 

From: SIKM@groups.io [mailto:SIKM@groups.io] On Behalf Of Patrick Lambe
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 6:30 PM
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

 

On #5, I think a thesaurus-cum-glossary or at most a knowledge graph.. a taxonomy would stifle emergence ;)

 

P

 

Patrick Lambe

Partner

+65 62210383


<image002.jpg>





twitter: @plambesg




Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

 

On 15 May 2020, at 8:59 AM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

 

Hi Patrick,

I see your point on 4, and would be happy to explore alternative structures. My main objective wasn't to put the knowledge of certain people on a pedestal but to provide a stronger scaffolding for respected figures in the community to have referred authority to start conversations and drive awareness in the global community. How would you feel about an elected "Council of Stewards" or similar?

On 5, I wonder if there are ways to encourage eventual convergence while recognising the need (right now) for divergent exploration of "what is KM anyway" through better labelling of our various "schools of thought". A taxonomy even ;-)

Cheers,
Stephen.

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

On 14/05/2020 9:48 am, Patrick Lambe wrote:

Hi Stephen 

 

I’m with you on items 1-3.

 

On items 4-5 we need greater depth and diversity I think, we are not yet far enough out of the “Age of Braggadocio”. For item 4 we need more diversity of communities in place, the fewer there are, the more dependent any “learned society” will be on the personalities at the core. I’d give it another 20 years.

 

For item 5, as we are very much in a complex space, we need to feel our way rather than to design our way - which is to say every designed effort helps, but we need diversity of effort and perspective for something durable to emerge.

 

P

 

Patrick Lambe

Partner

+65 62210383


<email footer small.jpeg> 





twitter: @plambesg




Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

 

On 13 May 2020, at 10:31 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

 

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


<email footer small.jpeg> 





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 

 

 

 

 

 


Richard Vines
 

On the subject of the linkages between text analytics and winking, this 12 min clip and the related assumptions it is built on outlined in previous clips is very interesting (and in my opinion helpful)

Practical issue at stake are is a coherent perspective as to the possibilities and lmites of artificial intelligence. 


Cheers,


Richard 

On Sun, May 17, 2020 at 1:53 AM Tom Reamy <kapsgro@...> wrote:

Patrick,

 

Of course I did, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to promote text analytics – something every KM program should invest heavily in.

 

Think of it as a statement for those who would say that without the wink – not you of course ;-)

 

Tom

 

 

 

Tom Reamy

Chief Knowledge Architect

Author: Deep Text

KAPS Group, LLC

www.kapsgroup.com

510-922-9554 (O)

510-333-2458 (M)

 

From: SIKM@groups.io [mailto:SIKM@groups.io] On Behalf Of Patrick Lambe
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 5:32 PM
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

 

Tom, Tom, did ye not see the wink?

 

P

 

Patrick Lambe

Partner

+65 62210383





twitter: @plambesg



Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

 

On 15 May 2020, at 11:35 PM, Tom Reamy <kapsgro@...> wrote:

 

Patrick,

 

“stifle emergence” – I disagree.  If you combine the glossary/taxonomy/knowledge graph with the text analytics capabilities of auto-categorization and data extraction, you can explore and capture new ideas and topics – and both expand the new ideas and integrate them with existing concepts.  

 

Tom

 

 

<image001.png>

Tom Reamy

Chief Knowledge Architect

Author: Deep Text

KAPS Group, LLC

www.kapsgroup.com

510-922-9554 (O)

510-333-2458 (M)

 

From: SIKM@groups.io [mailto:SIKM@groups.io] On Behalf Of Patrick Lambe
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 6:30 PM
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

 

On #5, I think a thesaurus-cum-glossary or at most a knowledge graph.. a taxonomy would stifle emergence ;)

 

P

 

Patrick Lambe

Partner

+65 62210383


<image002.jpg>





twitter: @plambesg




Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

 

On 15 May 2020, at 8:59 AM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

 

Hi Patrick,

I see your point on 4, and would be happy to explore alternative structures. My main objective wasn't to put the knowledge of certain people on a pedestal but to provide a stronger scaffolding for respected figures in the community to have referred authority to start conversations and drive awareness in the global community. How would you feel about an elected "Council of Stewards" or similar?

On 5, I wonder if there are ways to encourage eventual convergence while recognising the need (right now) for divergent exploration of "what is KM anyway" through better labelling of our various "schools of thought". A taxonomy even ;-)

Cheers,
Stephen.

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

On 14/05/2020 9:48 am, Patrick Lambe wrote:

Hi Stephen 

 

I’m with you on items 1-3.

 

On items 4-5 we need greater depth and diversity I think, we are not yet far enough out of the “Age of Braggadocio”. For item 4 we need more diversity of communities in place, the fewer there are, the more dependent any “learned society” will be on the personalities at the core. I’d give it another 20 years.

 

For item 5, as we are very much in a complex space, we need to feel our way rather than to design our way - which is to say every designed effort helps, but we need diversity of effort and perspective for something durable to emerge.

 

P

 

Patrick Lambe

Partner

+65 62210383


<email footer small.jpeg> 





twitter: @plambesg




Knowledge mapping made easy: www.aithinsoftware.com

 

On 13 May 2020, at 10:31 PM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

 

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


<email footer small.jpeg> 





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 

 

 

 

 

 



--
Richard Vines
Mob: 0467717431
Email address: richardvines1@...
Skype: projectlessons


Yasmin Khan
 

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 



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 



Yasmin Khan
 

Hi Murray, an MBA is an advantage. I'm also wondering if certification or licensing in HR, IT or Finance designations in some of these areas may also help KM practitioners obtain more advantages. This might be an alternate or complementary route to support front-line activities, and also add more dimension to KM roles.


On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 7:06 PM Murray Jennex <murphjen@...> wrote:
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 



Murray Jennex
 

I've always viewed a KM practitioner as being expert in KM plus a master of some discipline such as engineering, project management, retail, or etc.  The MBA gives you a broad back ground in business knowledge and processes as well as allowing the student to focus on an area.  I wouldn't make a MBA mandatory but I do think only looking at KM skills for certification is a mistake.  The KM practitioner needs discipline context in which to practice as well as the KM skills.  Note that this isn't just a KM issue, I also teach business analytics and the biggest problem there are students great at analytics but having no knowledge in the area in which the analytics they produce are being used, so they don't know if they did well or poorly, they just produce outputs...murray jennex


-----Original Message-----
From: Yasmin Khan <yk2644@...>
To: Murray Jennex <murphjen@...>
Cc: SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io>
Sent: Wed, May 20, 2020 7:41 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

Hi Murray, an MBA is an advantage. I'm also wondering if certification or licensing in HR, IT or Finance designations in some of these areas may also help KM practitioners obtain more advantages. This might be an alternate or complementary route to support front-line activities, and also add more dimension to KM roles.

On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 7:06 PM Murray Jennex <murphjen@...> wrote:
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 



Yasmin Khan
 

What I like about KM is that it attracts a wide variety of perspectives and skill sets that have the potential for cross-skilling. I don’t think there is a right or wrong path to practicing KM. If you come from a previous profession such as a lawyer or doctor, you have deep functional knowledge but might lack the holistic perspective of seeing knowledge structures, stocks and flows. You can have an MBA but it might not be enough, depending on what environment you are working in. You may also need the practical management experience to run a KM program. We have such a wide tool box that it is sometimes challenging to see the forest from the trees.

 I think each KM practitioner has to look at their specific skill sets and customize accordingly to see how they stand out and what organizations need in the job market. I think Nick Milton’s point about supporting the front line is a very important one, to make your KM practice visible and explicit. I also see analytics, facilitation, stakeholder management and UX skills to be fundamentally important. However, I think from my perspective having a finance knowledge is essential in order to understand funding allocations for KM and pitch the right business case and value.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Murray Jennex <murphjen@...> wrote:
I've always viewed a KM practitioner as being expert in KM plus a master of some discipline such as engineering, project management, retail, or etc.  The MBA gives you a broad back ground in business knowledge and processes as well as allowing the student to focus on an area.  I wouldn't make a MBA mandatory but I do think only looking at KM skills for certification is a mistake.  The KM practitioner needs discipline context in which to practice as well as the KM skills.  Note that this isn't just a KM issue, I also teach business analytics and the biggest problem there are students great at analytics but having no knowledge in the area in which the analytics they produce are being used, so they don't know if they did well or poorly, they just produce outputs...murray jennex


-----Original Message-----
From: Yasmin Khan <yk2644@...>
To: Murray Jennex <murphjen@...>
Cc: SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io>
Sent: Wed, May 20, 2020 7:41 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] A strategy to guide the KM discipline forward?

Hi Murray, an MBA is an advantage. I'm also wondering if certification or licensing in HR, IT or Finance designations in some of these areas may also help KM practitioners obtain more advantages. This might be an alternate or complementary route to support front-line activities, and also add more dimension to KM roles.

On Wed, May 20, 2020 at 7:06 PM Murray Jennex <murphjen@...> wrote:
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