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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management "Rules"

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


Rule #4: Understanding Pig Theory

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"Never try to teach a pig to sing.  It's a waste of your time, and

it annoys the pig."  (Robert Heinlein)


Many an enthusiastic KM'er has frittered away the hours, days, and weeks trying to do just that.  It is rather unlikely that you'll be able to simply turn senior organizational leadership into "senior leadership with a deep understanding of all things that are KM."  We can hope, but that's not exactly realistic.


"Understanding Pig Theory" is all about recognizing that It is by far easier and much more effective to instead have KM'ers learn how to develop organizational strategy, and then to push forward that strategy.  Identify the organizational performance gaps and then determine what knowledge gaps impact those.  Examine known knowledge gaps and determine what organizational gaps those in turn open or close.  Develop the right outcome-based performance metrics to validate the success of closing those gaps.  Tie all of this to the organizational strategy.  This is much less annoying than trying to teach the pig to sing, and the pig will appreciate it a whole lot more.


Rule #4 is all about showing how KM fits with the organizational strategy, and recognizing that this approach is much more likely to succeed than trying to teach the pig to sing.

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Karen du Toit's curator insight, November 14, 2013 5:12 AM

Interesting analogy!

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 20 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.
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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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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - ROI of Knowledge Management

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - ROI of Knowledge Management | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Are discussions about the ROI of something like KM really necessary?

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

“When asked how to best measure the ROI of KM I like to ask them to share how they measure the ROI of having a telephone on their desks.  Or the ROI of having a computer at their desk.  Just use that as an example of how to best measure the ROI of KM.  Nobody would of course question the ROI of having a telephone or computer.  And it is equally as silly to question the value of having shared knowledge."

(Dan Kirsch)

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5 Ways a Knowledge Management Strategy Could Benefit Public Health - Cadence Group

5 Ways a Knowledge Management Strategy Could Benefit Public Health - Cadence Group | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
The public health sector is particularly suited to an enterprise-wide Knowledge Management strategy. Read more to find out why. (5 Ways a Knowledge Management Strategy Could Benefit Public Health: Over the past two decades, “Knowledge Mana...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Another mostly self-licking ice cream cone as although they provide some nice sound bites for the "why" of Knowledge Management within an industry that surely needs it, it is also very much a marketing piece for a consulting firm that consists of a self-described "team of  information management consulting experts."  Which doesn't bode well for moving towards a KM strategy as they focus upon "improving information capture, organization and sharing" to "develop a KM strategy based on strategic business goals and information objectives."


So, lots of information management....and as said over and over, Information Management is NOT Knowledge Management.


But if you're looking for some nice bullet points to fill your quick pitch sheet, you could "re-purpose" what's here.

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - Ikujiro Nonaka & Hirotaka Takeuchi on Knowledge Through Relationships

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - Ikujiro Nonaka & Hirotaka Takeuchi on Knowledge Through Relationships | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Continuing on an apparent theme for the day, this also addresses the need for tending the knowledge ecosystem.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"Rather than substance, we should understand knowledge primarily as process, created and used in relation with the knowledge of other human beings who exist in relation with others."

(Ikujiro Nonaka & Hirotaka Takeuchi)

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“Cubed”: How the American office worker wound up in a box

“Cubed”: How the American office worker wound up in a box | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Salon “Cubed”: How the American office worker wound up in a box
Salon...In turn, the challenge of managing this new breed of “knowledge workers” became the subject of intensive rumination and theorizing.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

And we all know quite well what impact that "cubing" has had on organizational knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer.

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Retired but Not Forgotten: Three Ways to Keep Institutional Knowledge from Walking Out the Door (well, not really)

Retired but Not Forgotten: Three Ways to Keep Institutional Knowledge from Walking Out the Door  (well, not really) | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  This just in!  Baby Boomers are retiring!  Knowledge is "apparently" going out the door!  Shocking details!  Massive head shaking!  And not much really being done about it.  Still.  Yet.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite: "Of the 80 million baby boomers born from 1946 to 1964, 45 percent are now retired, with 3.6 million becoming eligible to retire each day. And the impact on their employers can be substantial. Up to 50 percent of most company institutional knowledge is expected to be lost when baby boomers leave their jobs. And 72 percent of HR professionals see that as a big problem."


The unfortunate part of all of this not that the loss of organizational knowledge through the retirement of the baby boomers is not new nor unexpected.  It is that the whole problem "gets better" by simply using a "knowledge base tool(s)" to "easily unload knowledge into a knowledge base...."


Yup.  Easily.  Just somehow dump all knowledge in the collective minds of those 3.6 million retiring each day, and then use that "company-wide."  Piece of cake.  No concern over how to determine what knowledge is critical, or how it could be use, or who needs it and for what reason.


Once again what we have is a complete, absolute failure to understand Knowledge Management.  And a total lack of any kind of KM strategy other than to simply put schtuff into a database "thingie."


EPIC FAIL....occurring at the rate of 3.6 million times each and every day.

Of the 80 million baby boomers born from 1946 to 1964, 45 percent are now retired, with 3.6 million becoming eligible to retire each day. And the impact on their employers can be substantial. Up to 50 percent of most company institutional knowledge is expected to be lost when baby boomers leave their jobs. And 72 percent of HR professionals see that as a big problem.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/infographics/retired-forgotten-three-ways-keep-institutional-knowledge-walking-door-0855143#TvmTktYy95WBfuc0.99
Of the 80 million baby boomers born from 1946 to 1964, 45 percent are now retired, with 3.6 million becoming eligible to retire each day. And the impact on their employers can be substantial. Up to 50 percent of most company institutional knowledge is expected to be lost when baby boomers leave their jobs. And 72 percent of HR professionals see that as a big problem.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/infographics/retired-forgotten-three-ways-keep-institutional-knowledge-walking-door-0855143#TvmTktYy95WBfuc0.99
Of the 80 million baby boomers born from 1946 to 1964, 45 percent are now retired, with 3.6 million becoming eligible to retire each day. And the impact on their employers can be substantial. Up to 50 percent of most company institutional knowledge is expected to be lost when baby boomers leave their jobs.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/infographics/retired-forgotten-three-ways-keep-institutional-knowledge-walking-door-0855143#TvmTktYy95WBfuc0.99
Of the 80 million baby boomers born from 1946 to 1964, 45 percent are now retired, with 3.6 million becoming eligible to retire each day. And the impact on their employers can be substantial. Up to 50 percent of most company institutional knowledge is expected to be lost when baby boomers leave their jobs.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/infographics/retired-forgotten-three-ways-keep-institutional-knowledge-walking-door-0855143#TvmTktYy95WBfuc0.99
Of the 80 million baby boomers born from 1946 to 1964, 45 percent are now retired, with 3.6 million becoming eligible to retire each day. And the impact on their employers can be substantial. Up to 50 percent of most company institutional knowledge is expected to be lost when baby boomers leave their jobs.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/infographics/retired-forgotten-three-ways-keep-institutional-knowledge-walking-door-0855143#TvmTktYy95WBfuc0.99
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Ditch the 10000 hour rule! Why Malcolm Gladwell's famous advice falls short

Ditch the 10000 hour rule! Why Malcolm Gladwell's famous advice falls short | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Ditch the 10000 hour rule!  Why Malcolm Gladwell's famous advice falls short.  It appears that embedding new learning in long-term memory requires a process of consolidation, in which memory traces (the brain's representations of the new...

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Interesting article on knowledge transfer and how varied learning increases long-term retention.  I liked the article, found it interesting, but was still looking for a good connection to Knowledge Management implementation challenges.  And in the end I think that these concepts are important to keep in mind when organizations are trying to do those short-term, last minute knowledge captures (i.e., data dumps) from an employee that is already one foot out the door.  I think that the concepts presented here can certainly help to explain why that just doesn't seem to work well.

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Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Reward Knowledge Sharing

Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Reward Knowledge Sharing | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
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Integrating Knowledge and Numbers - Wall Street Journal (blog)

Integrating Knowledge and Numbers - Wall Street Journal (blog) | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Integrating Knowledge and Numbers
Wall Street Journal (blog)
What happened to knowledge management?
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Thomas H. Davenport suggests that “The big thing that knowledge and numbers have in common is that they are both primarily designed to improve decisions,” he writes. “If you’re a decision-maker, you need not just knowledge and not just analytical models, but both of them.”

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The Rise of the Chief Data Officer: Leaders Unite in San Francisco this May 22 ... - PR Web (press release)

The Rise of the Chief Data Officer: Leaders Unite in San Francisco this May 22 ... - PR Web (press release) | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Finally!  And on the heels of the rising of the Chief Content Officer, Chief Document Officer, Chief Search Officer, Chief Social Officer, Chief Data Miner, Chief Data Processor and the Chief Telephone Officer.


Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

The Chief Data Officer is "responsible for enterprise-wide governance and utilization of information as an asset" (Wikipedia).  But it takes years of experience to know exactly when to pass those "information" assets off to either the Chief Information Officer or the Chief Content Officer, and sometimes an entire career's worth of experience to know when that information becomes useful knowledge and should then be intra-transferred to the Chief Knowledge Officer. 


It is important to note that the role of Chief Data Officer is found primarily in the U.S.

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Information Technology Must Undergo a Makeover in 2014

Information Technology Must Undergo a Makeover in 2014 | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Actually this is an article about NOT changing, and instead doing more of the same -- failing to have a Knowledge Management strategy.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

This is one of those articles that on the surface sound promising, but in the end was probably worthy of a good 'ole face palm, and here's why.


They define several supposedly specific goals or directions for IT to go to survive current budget cuts.  Sounds good.  The premise is that you avoid cost cuts if you can demonstrate value-added that makes not making the cut worthwhile.  Which also sounds good. 


So the problem then?  Right here -- here is what was presented as one of the main ways (and in fact the lead of the three ways) that IT needs to provide that value-added:


IT needs "to redefine IT's value to the enterprise, including creating the business relationships needed to support innovation and using metrics to measure IT's contribution."


Sounds great, right?  But where the show comes to a stop is in asking the basic question -- what can be gained by putting the cart before the horse?


What I mean by that is that it's rather unclear exactly how IT would "create" any business relationship, much less those needed to support innovation.  I mean, IT is a thingie.  Thingies don't "create" business relationships.  This isn't like Match.com, or such, where IT on its own uses some sort of an algorithm to seemingly on a random basis connect individuals for the purpose of creating some sort of a critical mass that then magically produces innovation.


No, IT doesn't do that.  At least not outside of some sort of magical land.


Instead, what IT CAN do is provide the technological tools which then allow for those who need to connect, to do so.


That happens by having in place a Knowledge Management strategy.  Something that is crafted based upon identification of knowledge gaps within the organization.  IT is a tool which can help facilitate collaboration, make it easier.  But two feet that propel someone to meet and talk with someone else may, just maybe, accomplish the same thing.  IT is a tool.  It is just a tool.  It doesn't create.


Knowledge Management is still all about the people.  The toys are nice, and can be useful as well as fun to use.  But they are tools and having tools doesn't replace having people and making those connections necessary to create and share critical knowledge.


And not having a Knowledge Management strategy will most likely result in another article to be written next year which once again discusses IT budget cuts and the continuing need to somehow, someway, demonstrate value-added contributions.

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Time for a Paradigm Shift: Managing Smarter by Moving from Data and Information to Knowledge and Wisdom in Healthcare Decision-Making

Time for a Paradigm Shift: Managing Smarter by Moving from Data and Information to Knowledge and Wisdom in Healthcare Decision-Making | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Having just posted a KM quote on KM supporting evidenced-based decision-making I wanted to point to this article as a great summary of that application as it is applied to health care.  This article, I believe, speaks to the need to see beyond "big data" to ensure that the right knowledge (not data, not information) is available to support the organizational needs.


Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite about the need for having in place a system which supports the KM role in evidenced-based decision-making:

"Senior decision-makers in the Canadian healthcare system have to continuously make significant, and complex, policy and program decisions. However, it appears that, often, the evidence they have available is fairly simple descriptive information, collected for operational purposes. Trying to solve complex problems with fairly simple data may lead to suboptimal decisions. This article presents a new knowledge development system (KDS) that should allow senior decision-makers and others to manage smarter and take their decision-making to the next level."

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Ramona Sakubita's curator insight, April 15, 11:25 AM

Excellent model outlining how KM can support decision-making in practice. As an Information Management professional and KB, this model speaks to how our information gathering processes need to be appropriately planned so that we can more efficiently and effectively synthesize and interpret evidence. Health Information Management professionals  with the view toward analyzing and interpreting evidence may play an increasingly important role in this continuum from data collection to evidence-informed decision making. 

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The Long Tail of Knowledge: Big Data's Impact on Knowledge Management

The Long Tail of Knowledge: Big Data's Impact on Knowledge Management EContent (press release) "One of the keys is making organizations understand that knowledge management technology is available across industries and sizes of organizations, and...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

A bit of a fluff piece, but best soundbite is:

"The characteristics of big data are really just a magnification of those that we've been dealing with for the past twenty years in knowledge management," Beyer says. "It's not an extra special circumstance apart from normal workflow, and shouldn't be isolated. Knowledge workers are going to have to get used to it."

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Tom Davenport -- Babson Professor & KMPro Advisory Board Member - Among 21 Thought-Leaders in Data Science

Tom Davenport -- Babson Professor & KMPro Advisory Board Member - Among 21 Thought-Leaders in Data Science | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Babson's Tom Davenport Among 21 Thought-Leader Professors in Data Science Newswise (press release) He is the developer of numerous business terms, such as competing on analytics, big data, knowledge management, human approaches to information...
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What you need to know about Knowledge Transfer

What you need to know about Knowledge Transfer | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
In all organizations there are key people that are the real heart of everyday work. While they’re ar... (What you need to...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Short post that discusses the need for Knowledge Transfer within a customer service organization.  This one has two best sound bites:

- "Knowledge transfer is not something we should do only when we have free time. Knowledge transfer sometimes is more important than answering Service Requests."

- "Knowledge Transfer should always be a critical Project. If we manage it as a Project, we need to schedule it in advance, perform monitoring and control with periodical review meetings, verify each milestone with the receiver of that transfer and close it when it has been completed."


And I really like that second one a lot as it neatly addresses what is missing in quite a few organizations -- an overall strategy for KM that includes well thought out goals and objectives below the big picture, but which clearly support the big picture. 


I'll go so far as to say that IF you're doing knowledge management the "right way" that you should be taking a program/project perspective of its implementation -- where those programs/projects have as a goal to, for example, close specific knowledge gaps.


For that reason I've always thought it a bit unfortunate that it seems that few well trained in Project Management are also well schooled in Knowledge Management.  They are both clearly necessary tools in the same tool box.

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Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Challenge the Known

Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Challenge the Known | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Challenge the Known.  Doing that gets you to new.  New is good.  New leads to new knowledge.  New knowledge leads to innovation.  Innovation is good.

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Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Build Your Knowledge Ecosystem

Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Build Your Knowledge Ecosystem | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Build Your Knowledge Ecosystem.

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Knowledge Transfer: Changes and Choice The Rapidly Evolving Business Case for Employing Mature Workers

Knowledge Transfer:  Changes and Choice The Rapidly Evolving Business Case for Employing Mature Workers | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Conference Board report (free) that discusses knowledge capture and knowledge transfer amongst baby boomers.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Unfortunately, not quite what I had hoped for as a lot of time is spent discussing how to keep baby boomers involved in the workforce longer, and with a hint of the need for some form of strategy.


I'd be a bit more impressed if any of the report participants actually had a background in Knowledge Management, rather than backgrounds in dealing with "multigenerational and aging workforce issues."

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Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Big Data is NOT KM

Keep Calm - Knowledge Management Series: Big Data is NOT KM | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Big Data....according to HP, between 50 and 70 percent of stored data is a "digital landfill."  And those who believe that everyone can simply join the Big Data circus parade by creating their own "digital landfill" are those who clearly lack an understanding of both the problem and the means to fix it. 


Knowledge Management is the thing that can tame Big Data. 

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - Etienne Wenger on Creating and Leveraging Knowledge

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes -  Etienne Wenger on Creating and Leveraging Knowledge | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Knowledge as an asset doesn't really have much of a value until it is utilized or applied.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"Knowledge management will never work until corporations realize it is not about how you capture knowledge but how you create and leverage it."

(Etienne Wenger)

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Knowledge Transfer & Reorganization - 12 Transitions Made Easier for Employees

Knowledge Transfer & Reorganization - 12 Transitions Made Easier for Employees | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Knowledge transfer expert Steve Trautman gives a best practice for managers facing change: use knowledge transfer tools to clarify team impact and expectations.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best Sound Bite: "By having a knowledge transfer process embedded in your culture, you will reduce the inevitable anxiety that’s common to change."

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - Barbara Lawton on Communities of Practice

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes - Barbara Lawton on Communities of Practice | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  When establishing Communities of Practice (CoP), two important points to consider - "If you build it they will come" seldom works (so consider carefully any forced creation of CoPs), and, providing support to existing CoPs demonstrates organizational commitment (which shows participants that what they're doing is important).

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"Nurturing and expanding existing communities of practice is easier than establishing new ones."

(Barbara Lawton)

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High-tech Knowledge Park needs high-tech marketing - Hilton Head Island Packet

High-tech Knowledge Park needs high-tech marketing - Hilton Head Island Packet | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
High-tech Knowledge Park needs high-tech marketing Hilton Head Island Packet To keep the Knowledge Park focused on its primary goal of economic development and job creation, city officials discussed options with members of the Knowledge Park...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Groan....apparently not much more than snagging the term Knowledge to use to make it sound like what it isn't as it appears to be just another office park with community space.  Or else, all you need to create knowledge is "vibrant community, one with fast Internet service, bike paths and green spaces, craft beers and an eclectic music scene."

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Linking Knowledge Management to Content Strategy | Tallyfox

Linking Knowledge Management to Content Strategy | Tallyfox | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  This article, I believe, serves as a good example of not understanding what Knowledge Management and what Content Management both are, as well as the differences between them and their overlaps.


Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Best sound bite for demonstrating that the author clearly lacks an understanding of what Knowledge Management and Content Management are:  "Recently, I've come to realize that knowledge management and content strategy are almost two sides of the same coin. The former is for an internal audience, the latter is for an external audience."


Some mistakenly use the term Knowledge Management when they really mean Content Management (or perhaps even, Document Management).  And I think that it's good to revisit this discussion every couple of years.


Here's a neat definition/explanation of what Content Management is: 

"Content management, or CM, is the set of processes and technologies that support the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. When stored and accessed via computers, this information has come to be referred to, simply, as content or, to be precise, digital content. Digital content may take the form of text (such as electronic documents), multimedia files (such as audio or video files), or any other file type that follows a content lifecycle requiring management."


And here's a post by Nick Milton which discusses the overlaps and confusion between CM and KM.


I'll let you pick and choose your own definition of KM, but clearly Content Management is not the other side of the same coin as Knowledge Management, and to suggest that KM is somehow simply or only (collecting, managing and publishing - as a process) and for an internal audience is quite a bit myopic.


When you need KM, you need KM.  Not CM, or DM, or IM.  KM.


Perhaps the question is whether you see that overlap, or do you perhaps see CM, DM, or IM (individually or collectively) as a subset of KM or just connected to the KM picture?

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes -

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

Dr. Dan:  Knowledge development is key to utilization of organizational knowledge to support evidence-based decision-making.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"Knowledge Management is the purposeful interventions of knowledge development to realize sufficient knowledge availability at the time and place the organization needs it."

(Larry Prusak)

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21-22- April, Dubai

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