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KM Elevator Speeches - 6 Fatal Errors

KM Elevator Speeches - 6 Fatal Errors | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Delivering a Killer Knowledge Management Elevator Speech - Avoid These 6 Fatal Errors!

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

If you do a quick Google search you can certainly come up with discussions regarding the need for a Knowledge Management Elevator Speech.  And you may even find some good examples to "repurpose" for your own usage.  But when I'm asked about delivering a KM elevator speech one particular question comes bubbling to the top each time -- "I think that I have a good one, but how do I know if it's going to achieve the right results?"

Unfortunately the only way that you'll ever know if your KM elevator speech is a "good one" or not, is when you deliver it.  If it's a good one, then hopefully you will have achieved the right results.  Having said, after having delivered thousands of KM elevator speeches, I think that there are a handful of important considerations to keep in mind, to help ensure that your own KM elevator speech doesn't end in a free-fall (that's what might happen on a really bad day in the elevator).

Goal of a KM Elevator Speech

First things first -- before you even identify your potential "target" for your elevator speech you need to determine what your goal is.  That sounds simple, but it's not.    You might think that your goal is to secure funding for the KM program, but it's not.  And if you don't understand that, you're more likely to free fall than not.  A KM elevator speech is a technique used to help someone understand what KM is and why KM is important to them and the organization.  And based upon that an effective KM elevator speech will provide just enough information to give your "target" a strong sense of what you're talking about and want to know more.  That is in fact the goal of a KM elevator speech -- to generate interest for the NEXT discussion.  Nothing more, nothing less.

With that in mind I've identified SIX key considerations (read that as potential problems and probable fatal errors) for your KM elevator speech:

#1 Pea or Not to Pea (and that is not a question)

We've all no doubt long ago heard of "WIIFM" --  the "what's in it for me factor."  But I think that concept doesn't really hit the critical point and so I'd like you to consider, Pea or Not to Pea.  I'd like you to imagine your manager/boss KM elevator speech target as someone who is walking around with a large metal colander affixed to the top of his or her head -- sitting upright, not on their head like a helmet.  Upright.  Yeah, literally think of that image, right now.  Okay.  Now take one very old, very hard, shriveled up pea and toss it into the colander.  And then imagine your manager/boss/target walking around with that hard pea rolling around in that colander.  Do you hear the sound, the racket that it would make?  Excellent.  So there you are, approaching your elevator speech victim...who has that noisy pea rolling around.  And your goal then should be all about giving them a reason to stop making their noise and instead start listening to you (and your noise).  That pea, to your manager/boss/target, is their critical issue.  The one that is always, and I mean always, rolling around in their thoughts.  They seem to be oblivious to the rest of the world because the sound of that pea is louder than all else. 


So here you are with your KM elevator speech, hoping to give them a reason to cease making that racket and instead listen to you.  Do you now understand the critical need for whatever you're about to say needing to actually addresses that pea, the thing that was on their mind a moment ago?  Good.  So make sure you know what their "pea" (problem or issue or concern) is -- for whoever you're targeting for that particular elevator speech.  You'd better be addressing that need or they're going to simply start the racket back up and if they do, you've lost them.  And this is decidedly different than a WIIFM.  A WIIFM is nice, warm, fuzzy and promises to keep you toasty on a cold winter night. 


Addressing their pea might just possibly provide your KM elevator speech target with the first opportunity to believe that someone, anyone, can help address their need.  In short, help them to understand exactly how KM can improve their day, week, month, fiscal year.

#2 Land Mines

A land mine is an explosive device concealed under or on the ground designed to destroy enemy targets that pass over or near the land mine.  The critical issue with a land mine is that failure to be aware of their location in advance often can have fatal results.  Dealing with the land mines for your KM elevator speech are all about recognizing that there are some things that if discussed at the wrong time or in the wrong manner can cause the same fatal problem.  The goal in dealing with the potential landmines for your KM elevator speech is to know in advance where they are and what they are so that you can clear a safe path for your discussion.  I'm talking about the organizational politics.  You need a good situational awareness of those managerial "hot buttons" that can derail your elevator speech and then either avoid them altogether or be prepared to face them head on.  So to avoid those organizational land mines it is important to keep abreast of key organizational issues, and have a good sense of how those politics might either impact  or influence your potential KM elevator speech target.

#3 Weasel Words

These are words and phrases that can create an impression that isn't necessarily accurate, convey specific meaning, or are vague or even ambiguous.  An example of this can be seen in advertisements that promise "savings up to 50%" which doesn't necessarily mean that any particular savings may be offered (as ZERO could be included to be an amount "up to" that 50%).  We all have long since become quite good at recognizing those ads as attempts to lure us through the door, and so we simply pass most of them by. 


When delivering your KM elevator speech you should avoid those ambiguous statements that sound like you're not promising anything at all, and instead back your claims with factual information regarding actual accomplishments or benefits to the organization.  Yes, that does mean that you need to do your homework prior to attempting to deliver a KM elevator speech....but to be blunt, if you don't right now, right this very moment, have a good understanding of specific quantifiable benefits of successful Knowledge Management -- well, you're simply not ready to deliver any KM elevator speech.

#4 Buzzword Bingo

This is what happens when someone attempts to cover or discuss a topic while including seemingly never ending strings of organizational "buzz words."  Buzzword bingo became popular within the workplace by workers who grew tired of predictable references to either out of date business practices or a usage of cliche business terms by those who seem to lack any real understanding of the concepts behind the terms.  Buzzword bingo was popularized by the Dilbert comic strip and was the subject of one episode of "The Office."  Don't engage in buzzword bingo. 


Within a KM elevator speech, buzzword bingo begins the moment you try to include what you believe are "key words" that may (or may not) be important to management and they're often included because of a mistaken belief that by simply mentioning those buzzwords that management will then be drawn to the message like moths to a light.  Unless of course your potential elevator speech target recognizes it for what it is and simply tunes your pitch out as another fine example of buzzword hyping.  That sinking feeling experienced at that moment is elevator speech "free fall."  Again, don't engage in buzzword bingo (and try not to be "buzzword compliant" or use "loaded language" -- and if you aren't familiar with either of those, Google can help with that).

#5 Fighting Words

These are words or phrases that when used can provoke a strongly negative response from a listener, and are often associated with acts of violence and hatred.  Fighting words are usually intended to provoke the listener to have a reaction to the speaker.  In a KM elevator speech you may evoke a strongly negative response if you make a statement which causes your target to then feel compelled to defend that very issue.  For example, you state that "our search capabilities are completely broken and worthless here but KM would fix that."  Fighting words, especially if the target happens to either be the individual responsible for the repository or simply doesn't understand what you mean by "broken."  A better approach might be to state your case as:  "I believe that we're not taking full advantage of our search capabilities and I have some thoughts on how we might improve upon that."  Or, "We have a lot of organizational knowledge that is about to leave out the door but I have some ideas on how we can retain that and in turn ensure that we remain competitive in our marketplace."  Those examples would hopefully induce a desire to continue a thoughtful conversation rather than to invoke a desire to "defend turf."  Words have meaning and this is especially true when you hurl fighting words at your KM elevator speech target.

#6 Doughnut Effect

This happens when you provide so much information so that they feel overwhelmed (and of course then tune you out), causing their eyes to simply "glaze over" (hence, like a glazed doughnut).  To be clear, this is not the time for introducing the concept of drinking from a fire house using a tiny cup but is instead the time for a leisurely sip from a water fountain (refreshing, meets that need, leaves you feeling quenched, but not water-logged).  You need to ease your target into the KM pool, and not throw them into the deep end to see if they can keep up with you.  You need to go slowly, provide clear indications of what you're trying to tell them so that they can then stop and sniff the flowers along the way -- catching up to you only as they are ready.  You're the KM'er.  This isn't new to you.  You know the lingo, the concepts.  Hopefully, right?  Your target needs to develop an appreciation for what it is that you're trying to convey.

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management
Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management viewpoints and curations by a world-wide recognized Knowledge Management Expert and Consultant: President/CEO of Knowledge Management Professional Society (KMPro) - the world's largest KM professional society; Creator of the first KM certification program and remains today after 21 years as the world's longest serving provider of Knowledge Management training and certification with more than 6,500 individuals certified and more than 3,000 in other KM training.
Curated by Dr. Dan Kirsch

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Welcome to my Knowledge Management Scoop.it Page!

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Knowledge Management viewpoints, curations, tips, quotes, implementation guides by a world-wide recognized Knowledge Management Expert and Consultant:

  • President/CEO of Knowledge Management Professional Society (KMPro) - the world's largest KM professional society;
  • Creator of the world's first KM certification program and remains today after 21 years as the world's longest serving provider of Knowledge Management training and certification with more than 6,500 individuals certified and more than 3,000 in other KM training;
  • More than 21 years of Knowledge Management experience


If you have an interest in Knowledge Management, you might want to consider joining the Knowledge Management Professional Society (KMPro).


If you find the KM tips and "rules" (implementation guidelines) to be useful, you may find the KMPro Certified Knowledge Manager (CKM) certification workshop to be of interest as the workshop covers these same KM implementation issues (curriculum information).


You might also find my KM blog to be of interest:  Dr. Dan's Daily Dose.

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KM - changing hearts and minds one at a time

KM - changing hearts and minds one at a time | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

It's an old saying; How do you change hearts and minds? One at a time!

Implementing Knowledge Management is a change process - we all recognise this. Implementation involves changing behaviours and attitudes as well as changing workflows and toolkits.
You are tying to change attitudes towards knowledge; from people seeing it as a personal attribute to seeing it as a collective resource, from seeing it as a source of personal power to seeing it as a source of company power, and from seeing it as something acquired in the classrooom to seeing it as something acquired every day through work (see more details on the KM culture shift)

Via Development Policy
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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - Peter Drucker on Confusing Data with Knowledge

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - Peter Drucker on Confusing Data with Knowledge | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Which is exactly why a focus upon Big Data isn't the same as having a Knowledge Management Strategy.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"The computer is merely a tool in the process...To put it in editorial terms, knowing how a typewriter works does not make you a writer. Now that knowledge is taking the place of capital as the driving force in organizations worldwide, it is all too easy to confuse data with knowledge and information technology with information."

Peter Drucker

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Back into things!

Back into things and posting again shortly.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

If you've noticed my absence for awhile it has much to do with having made five moves over the past eight months.  I'm now quite settled in a place I knew little of not all that long ago, and find myself immersed in a culture unfamiliar to me but learning more with each day.  But I hope to be back to posting directly and look forward to sharing with you!

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Why dialogue is so important for Knowledge Management

Why dialogue is so important for Knowledge Management | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
thanks! @LOMBARDI_GLORIA Knowledge transfer is a #social process: you have to engage with other human beings http://t.co/NjTLzxOMFb #esn #km
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:
Why is dialogue so important in Knowledge Management? 

"The majority of knowledge within any organization is held in people’s heads. Indeed some would claim that ALL the knowledge is in people’s heads, and that anything which is written down becomes information, rather than knowledge."

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Rémy Ginoux's curator insight, June 7, 7:08 PM

Dialogue and communication is the clue...

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Can't force collaboration - Knowledge Jolt with Jack

Can't force collaboration - Knowledge Jolt with Jack | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Collaboration is important to buisness, but it isn't the only thing. And it can't be forced by merely rearranging the deck chairs. Peter Vander Auwera gives me incentive to think about these things.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite:  "Commit to learning from one another as a regular part of how we do things.  No, not a "database", but people.  Sure a database or SocBiz tools can provide pointers to people, but only the people can give you a feel for the experience and watch-outs.  They are the ones that can also ask interesting questions."

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4twenty2's curator insight, June 4, 8:18 AM

Collaboration, both within a company and outside too, perhaps even with your competitors, is an important aspect of business.  Understanding how to build it and work with it is an important part of Global business.

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Surveillance: an important facet of KM The knowledge dilemma - KMWorld Magazine

Surveillance: an important facet of KM The knowledge dilemma
KMWorld Magazine
Organizations find themselves on the horns of a knowledge management dilemma. Capturing emergent information may make some senior managers uncomfortable.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite: "Traditional knowledge management does not focus on the implicit or emergent information that employees possess. With the economic pressures of today, many organizations want to tap into information that will provide a competitive advantage."

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For $30 monthly, you can play guitar like Martin Taylor (knowledge transfer and capture in action)

For $30 monthly, you can play guitar like Martin Taylor (knowledge transfer and capture in action) | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
VISALIA, California: What if the Internet had been around in the classic rock era, and guitar players could reach out to say, Jimi Hendrix or Duane Allman for tips on how to be better players? Or, jazz fans
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

And the connection to Knowledge Management?  It was this particular sound bite that got my attention: "What the Internet has done is sped everything up. Something that took me 10 years to get to a certain level, now I have students who will get there in about 18 months."


The article discusses how students can now use the internet and associated tools to directly access musicians, and how that then reduces the learning curve -- or from a KM perspective, the rate of knowledge transfer and the ability to capture and utilize knowledge.

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Knoco stories: The creation of Knowledge

Knoco stories: The creation of Knowledge | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
RT @nickknoco: The creation of Knowledge http://t.co/Ibxgeccpau #KM #KMers #knoco
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite:  "The main enemy of receptivity is prior knowledge. As Epictetus said, "you cannot teach someone something they think they already know". This means that if you give people problems they know how to solve, they will not look for additional knowledge, and they will not think outside the box."

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In Loving Memory of Don Kirkpatrick

In Loving Memory of Don Kirkpatrick | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
It is with much sadness but also great joy for his rich, full life that we announce that Don Kirkpatrick passed away last Friday. Read his obituary here.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

From Don's LinkedIn profile:  "Don Kirkpatrick is the creator of the Kirkpatrick Four Level Evaluation Model, the foremost training evaluation tool in the world."


Don was a major influence in my life and he will be dearly missed by many who knew him, and be everyone in the organizational learning and training communities.

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Knowledge Management and the Energy Sector: Part One

Knowledge Management and the Energy Sector: Part One | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Problems develop when management teams forget this fact and, instead, treat it as the goal or objective. It isn't. Knowledge Management is a tool that, when implemented properly by management, helps a company to achieve ...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite:  "Knowledge Management is an enabler; it’s one of the tools in the toolkit.  Problems develop when management teams forget this fact and, instead, treat it as the goal or objective.  It isn’t.  Knowledge Management is a tool that, when implemented properly by management, helps a company to achieve its actual business goals and strategies."

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Applying wikis to knowledge sharing and creation

European Conference on Knowledge Management, Barcelona, 2007 (Full-text paper on: Applying wikis to knowledge sharing and creation http://t.co/Qm2UMqvNGK #KM)...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

European Conference on Knowledge Management, Barcelona, 2007 (Full-text paper on: Applying wikis to knowledge sharing and creation.

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Using Analogies and Metaphors to Enhance Learning

Using Analogies and Metaphors to Enhance Learning | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
The use of analogies and metaphors in learning programs can have a powerful impact on a learner’s understanding of new or complex concepts.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Just because....learning and knowledge go hand in hand, and if you're a KM'er out implementing KM, your trade stock is in good analogies and metaphors.

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Customer knowledge management via social media: the case of Starbucks: Journal of Knowledge Management: Vol 17, No 2

Customer knowledge management via social media: the case of Starbucks: Journal of Knowledge Management: Vol 17, No 2 | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Knowledge management as an important business strategy http://t.co/efiKEr1821 #UKZN2014
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Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Mentor Someone

Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Mentor Someone | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Mentoring is key to both Organizational Learning and successful Knowledge Management implementation.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

With so much effort spent in so many organizations on building the knowledge repositories it is unfortunate that those same organizations have failed at tapping into and sharing the organization’s most valuable "knowledge base" -- the knowledge held by its people.  Mentoring is a key way to tap into that vast amount of held but seldom shared knowledge.


Mentoring traditionally tended to be more of a "one on one" relationship, but learning organizations now strive to create mentoring partnerships which generate learning opportunities across an organization.  Learning organizations allow for and actively encourage mentoring relationships that cross organizational boundaries, support project-based situations that directly address specific tasks or goals, or where mentoring teams are assigned to afford multiple mentors the opportunity to  mentor those with common developmental needs.  And so on.  The opportunities are many and the benefits are boundless.


When implementing Knowledge Management the issue shouldn't be one of whether or not mentoring should be viewed as a critical activity (because clearly it is), but rather one where the organization strives to find new ways to facilitate the form of learning and development across the organization.

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Searching For That KM Unicorn

Searching For That KM Unicorn | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Sometimes the greatest opportunities in Knowledge Management implementation can be found where nobody recognizes that the organizational environment is not supportive of Knowledge Management.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

The unicorn.  Talked about, rumored to be nearby, but not seen.  And sometimes finding an organization that not only "gets" the need for KM but also recognizes that the culture also has to be nurtured is a bit like looking for that unicorn.


Here's why this is currently on my mind -- this article on the "Six Signs They're Planning to Replace You" to be taken as warning signs that you're on your way out of your organization.  One of those cited six signs include that "All of a Sudden, Your Knowledge is Valuable."  I "get" the meaning, but would like to suggest that if you're in an organization where they don't already value your knowledge and broadly encourage knowledge sharing on a constant basis...you should already be planning your exit strategy.


Knowledge sharing and demonstrating an understanding of the value of employee knowledge are critical to maintaining an organization's competitive edge.  An organizational environment where it seems like a warning sign when employees are asked to share their knowledge...not so much.

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Learning Doesn't Progress the Way You Think It Does - TIME

Learning Doesn't Progress the Way You Think It Does - TIME | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
KQED
Learning Doesn't Progress the Way You Think It Does
TIME
As we learn, this model assumes, we steadily ascend in our knowledge and skills, leaving more elementary approaches behind.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite: "But in important ways, the staircase metaphor fails to capture the way cognitive change actually works. Research shows that children (and adults!) employ a variety of strategies to solve problems, not only the one “typical” of their stage of development."

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Knowledge Transfer Myths Continued - Ottavio Group

Knowledge Transfer Myths Continued - Ottavio Group | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Ron Ottavio answering more Knowledge Transfer Myths we have heard while speaking with business leaders.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite: "ANY employee’s knowledge, expertise and wisdom from any line of work can be packaged and measurably transferred—so long as the “apprentice” has the proper desire and capacity to learn it."


True that.

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Knoco Insights: Knowledge Capture

Knoco Insights: Knowledge Capture | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
When considering knowledge capture from an expert (a retiring person is a sub set of this) you might wish to put the following three steps in place before moving forward. · The expert is made accountable for the knowledge ...
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Wyrd Con: The Convention That's All About Storytelling - LA Weekly

Wyrd Con: The Convention That's All About Storytelling - LA Weekly | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
LA Weekly
Wyrd Con: The Convention That's All About Storytelling
LA Weekly
The convention organizers are bringing together the experts in a variety of fields to share knowledge with those who want to learn how to tell a good story.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Just because story telling is so important to successful KM implementation, knowledge sharing, and knowledge transfer.

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Knoco stories: The five decision points for KM implementation

Knoco stories: The five decision points for KM implementation | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

This falls quite a bit in line with my own Five Levels of KM Strategy Maturity!

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Knowledge Transfer Definition - Ottavio Group

Knowledge Transfer Definition - Ottavio Group | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Ron Ottavio, President - Ottavio Group, gives presents his knowledge transfer definition to a group of financial services industry HR Directors.
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Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) kicks off 3rd Knowledge Fair marked by innovative, smart events

Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) kicks off 3rd Knowledge Fair marked by innovative, smart events | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Zawya (registration) RTA kicks off 3rd Knowledge Fair marked by innovative, smart events Zawya (registration) The event, which runs through June 5th, encompasses a diverse cast of distinctive activities such as lectures, awareness & cultural...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, CEO of RTA Strategy & Corporate Governance Sector, said: "Holding the Knowledge Fair on an annual basis bears reference to the success of the past two editions of the event which has hit the targets set, particularly as the RTA is rolling out a plethora of events & activities of relevance to the promotion of knowledge among employees in order to optimize the use of knowledge resources and support decision-making in a bid to realize the concept of the Learning Organization."

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - Tom Davenport on KM Strategy

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - Tom Davenport on KM Strategy | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Absent a Knowledge Management strategy, an organization is simply doing stuff.  Doing stuff doesn't mean that you're successfully implementing KM.  Failing to successfully implement KM means that you're not utilizing organizational knowledge to gain competitive advantage.  Failing to gain competitive advantage is bad.  Don't be bad.  Determine your KM strategy.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"When an organization decides what principles it agrees upon with respect to knowledge management it can then create detailed approaches and plans based upon these principles."

(Tom Davenport)

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Social computing and knowledge creation

OLKC Conference, Copenhagen, April 2008 (Full text paper on #KM and related concepts - Social computing and knowledge creation http://t.co/OpFOGEIDtH)...
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Joseba Abaitua's curator insight, May 23, 2:39 AM

Social computing and knowledge creation, OLKC Conference, Copenhagen, April 2008 (Full text paper on #KM and related concepts -  http://t.co/OpFOGEIDtH)...

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Tribal knowledge and elders

Tribal knowledge and elders | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

"In all of our collective societies, elders have long been respected as the keepers of knowledge."

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite:  "Where we are collectively making a mistake is in believing that knowledge equals wisdom. There is currently no way to store and transfer wisdom effectively. We can create knowledge that describes the wisdom we see and experience, but we can’t transfer the experience itself."

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