Feb 172012

KM in Research InstituitonsIn a previous post I wrote about KM for Collaboration and Innovation, and in this post I pointed out that research areas are critical to new product creation and the speed to market for new products are essential to stay ahead of your competitors. KM plays a central role not only from the perspective of innovation by knowing what has been done and/or what is being done in other areas of research that can be utilized, but also from the collaboration and knowledge sharing among researchers contributing to the speed of new products to market.

At its core the nature of research is to nurture open access to extensive amounts of tacit knowledge (knowledge within the minds of people) and explicit knowledge (knowledge that is written down) by applying a model that reflects the natural of flow of knowledge. The model of Connect – Collect —Reuse and Learn depicts a knowledge flow model that supports KM within research institutions and R&D functions within organizations. For KM to work within a research environment (as with other environments) a culture and structure that supports, rewards and proves the value KM can bring will encourage the continued use and adoption of the KM practice.

In addition, the choice of IT tools (which is of secondary importance) should be brought in to the organization to automate the knowledge flow and its associated process. The KM tool(s) must support KM goals/strategies, provide a means to connect, collect, catalog, access, and reuse tacit and explicit knowledge. In addition the KM tool(s) must capture new learning to share across the organization, and provide search and retrieval mechanisms to bring pertinent knowledge to the user.

For those who are working in or interacting with research institutions and/or R&D departments I want to hear from you. I look forward to hearing your perspective on what KM is bringing to your world of research!
Dec 192011

Drinking the KM-Kool_AidMany organizations have begun to understand the value and promise Knowledge Management (KM) can bring to their workforce.

Delivering innovation through collaboration and sharing remains the cornerstones of KM; however, once your organization has established its KM strategy, and/or rolled out it’s initial KM offering (i.e., KM system, KM process, tools, etc.) what happens next?

What happens next is the adoption process.

Whether its a new process, procedure, or system; getting your workforce to leverage and use it in the course of executing activities and delivering on their task will be essential to your KM program’s success. In order to achieve this there must be processes and vehicles in place to allow, encourage, and reward staff members as they work within this new paradigm.

It will not be easy.

As with anything new, it will take some time for adoption to occur. To move this along there must be KM supporters, mentors, and/or evangelist at all levels of the corporate infrastructure to encourage the workforce to “drink the KM Kool-Aid”. In other words buy in and practice KM in all aspects of performing tasks and activities.

Developing an organizational culture of knowledge sharing, collaboration, and lifelong learning should be the goals of any KM program. Organizations such as Fluor Corporation have been successful in infusing KM within their culture. From human resource activities, to leveraging knowledge for strategic purposes to engaging with clients, Fluor remains an example of how KM can be leveraged effectively at an organization.

Drinking the “KM Kool-Aid” is a slow and deliberate activity grounded in a basic KM process of Connect–>Collect–>Catalog–>Reuse–>Learn and Innovate. When practiced effectively this process will be a cornerstone to enabling the adoption of KM throughout your organization.

I am very interested in hearing comments on this subject as well as examples of how your organization has or suggestions or will adopt KM.

Oct 312008

As a knowledge management professional and professor I must ask: are KM professionals practicing what we preach?

The adoption of personal knowledge management

Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) is about getting your life (personal, professional and otherwise) in order. It can be as simple as managing your personal library (books, files, and digital material), having more effective meetings (agenda items, strict meeting time frame, inviting the right people) and capturing decisions and ideas through journaling. Some of the more popular PKM tools involve wikis and blogs.

PKM can be a powerful tool in this never have enough time to do what we want world. In practice leveraging these simple techniques will allow us to manage our time better and hopefully alleviate some stress at the same time.

At the core of PKM is the idea of “connect and collect”. We must connect with what we need, and the people and resources that have it. Once we make that connection we must collect and store the knowledge gained from the experience of connecting. As mentioned before journaling is an excellent way to capture the knowledge from your connections in addition establishing a mentor/protege relationship where appropriate will strengthen the connection and the knowledge gained from the experience.

Helpful PKM links

The following are some links to additional information on personal knowledge management:
Keeping Found Things Found by William Jones
Informal Learning by Jay Cross

So all you KM professionals and those who are inspiring to be KM savvy, lets go out there and “drink our own kool-aid” and connect and collect!