Thanks for the support, especially the leads on folks who may want to do KM.
Theoretically, people who want to do KM are those who feel the pressure of
information overload, who attend a lot of meetings, get a lot of email, are busy
with the cell phone, travel, and do conference calls to explain why earnings and
the stock price are dropping. See for example on 000822...
Another bunch of folks that might like to augment intelligence are seniors
spending more time at the doctor's office, and worrying about whether to take 3
red pills and 2 blue ones once per day, or 1 blue and 2 red, 3 times a day.
Another group would be sureties who worry about losses caused by the high cost
of medical mistakes, or engineering mistakes, e.g., Firestone, and so on and on,
and on, as set out in NWO...
Others have noticed information overload. CBS did a 60 minutes segment, Peter
Drucker, Doug Engelbart, Andy Grove, Henry Kissinger, indeed everyone on the
planet feels this pressure.
Few, however, have made the connection between information overload that causes
endless mistakes due to meaning drift, and the bottom line. Most top executives
feel they need more down sizing, meetings, cell phones, email and smarter
people. No one knows we can augment intelligence to make the people on the job
smarter, so they can turn that information into useful knowledge. It's a
Some on this team are beginning to get the idea that maybe there is a way to do
this, but achieving that insight has taken 10 months, and even in that case,
nobody is stepping up to say, "Hey, I wanna turn information into knowledge
tooooo. " "I wannna save time and increase earnings. I do wannna fire people
-- how do can we add "intelligence" to management?" Nobody is saying that.
There remains a healthy skepticism expressed by Henry van Eyken on 000926, which
only experience can overcome. Other people have to jump in the deep water of KM
through pilot testing in order to build a base of confidence that investing
intellectual capital pays off the same way that investing seeds in the ground
pays off for the farmer.
That is really the area that needs attention. We have to grow a culture of
knowledge that enables people to transition from IT to KM. Doug wants to start
with software engineers. There is not a lot of evidence showing software
engineers are breaking down the door to do KM, and many of our most talented
engineers have firm ideas about to do knowledge work.
As you note in your letter, of the 300K+ hits you got on the Internet for KM,
none are doing KM. They are all working on a project to create it. My sense is
the design is a secret that can only be discovered by doing KM. If people want
to build KM tools, you have to set aside the tool kit for awhile and become
immersed in the process of doing KM, then pick up the tools again and go to
work. Right now we have a bunch of expert tool makers, who don't really
understand the tool that is needed. As you know, that is very hard for highly
talented people to do. It's a dilemma.
Anyway, thanks again for the good thoughts.
Happy Thanksgiving to all...
Paul Fernhout wrote:
> First, Rod, thanks for the excellent example of KM at Welchco. Your
> effort (especially in keeping up with this list) is inspirational of
> what is possible. Your work demonstrates the value of active human
> involvement in processing information into an ordered framework of
> knowledge on an ongoing basis. From that framework can grow new
> synthesized information and plans.
> You said much in your email, but I only have time to comment on one
> point right now.
> Rod Welch wrote:
> > Now, it is time look again for alliances with people who have the skills,
> > temperament, and resources to move the ball forward.
> This is the largest existing alliance for Knowledge Management I know
> I did a search on "IKM" in my local archive of this list and didn't see
> it previously mentioned (though I find this hard to believe).
> >From that page:
> > Launched in early 1999 by IBM and Lotus, the Institute for
> > Knowledge Management conducts action research aimed at
> > advancing the discipline of knowledge management. An
> > international community of over 30 member organizations
> > representing industrial corporations, service firms and
> > government agencies is actively engaged in setting research
> > direction and participating in projects.
> IBM coordinates this alliance. They also offer KM consulting:
> (might be hiring?)
> See also for example on IBM IKM formation:
> >From that page:
> > Membership in the IKM is open to corporations of all sizes for a fee
> > of $75,000 (full membership) or $25,000 (associate membership) per year.
> > Full members participate in the IKM Executive Steering Committee and all
> > research studies, help set research direction and establish special
> > interest groups. Associate members receive all IKM research results
> > but do not attend general or special interest meetings.
> > Co-Director Laurence Prusak said the IKM was formed in response
> > to the dramatic rise in interest among IT executives in mastering
> > strategies for capturing and capitalizing on the knowledge bases
> > within their organizations. "In the emerging economy, a firm's
> > only sustainable advantage is its ability to leverage and utilize
> > its knowledge. But there has been a distinct shortage of KM research
> > and resources available to corporate IT executives to date,"
> > said Prusak. "While many technology tools and product sets have
> > emerged for KM, basic prerequisites to successful KM implementations
> > have often been overlooked, including fundamental first steps
> > such as analyzing social context and setting a sound knowledge strategy."
> It may be worthwhile to consider coordinating the KM aspect of any
> development effort or alliance with them, rather than start a new
> alliance. At the very least, a new alliance must take in account the
> existence of this group.
> There are of course many other groups and resources:
> This search:
> produces about 394,000 hits.
> Still, despite these numbers I would tend to agree with Rod that KM as
> we might envision it (like the Welchco example) isn't widespread (even
> if it is getting more widely talked about).
> I am also not sure if all these efforts are talking about the same thing
> in reference to "knowledge management", of course.
> Disclaimer: My wife's work includes interaction with the IBM IKM people.
> -Paul Fernhout
> Kurtz-Fernhout Software
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Nov 22 2000 - 02:49:14 PST