Precipitating Knowledge Management (KM)


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How do we instigate, engage and develop organizational KM?

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Precipitating Knowledge Management (KM)

  1. 1. Precipitating a KM Solution David G. Jones, B.A., M.A. 1
  2. 2. An Opening Word “For (years) business leaders have taught bureaucracy-busting, teamwork coaching, etc. Here’s all you really need to know: provide safe places where people can share ideas about work without getting shut down by bosses and bureaucrats”. – Thomas Stewart: Intellectual Capital, The New Wealth of Organizations 2
  3. 3. A metaphor from chemistry,which is all about….. Physical Properties Metals and Ions; Acids and Bases Kinetics and Equilibrium Reactions of Elements and Gases Solutions and Solubility Changes in Energy Reduction and Synthesis 3
  4. 4. Chemical Precipitation Happens in aqueous solutions, where Some ions react; Some are unchanged (called “spectators”); Others are insoluble and “settle out” 4
  5. 5. Workplace Characteristics Hierarchial structures Stovepipes Rules Specialized functions, tasks Continual change Absurd mobility Mission shortfall 5
  6. 6. Management is.. Troubled by, – Increasing isolation, division, gaps – Decreasing aptitude, commitment and energy – Increasing costs and decreasing returns And burdened with “solutions”: – How-to tools, methods and processes – Metrics, benchmarks, “best” practices – Information and knowledge as product 6
  7. 7. Bedevilled by discreet functiondysfunction Human Resources Corporate Communications Webmasters Client Services Employee Relations Marketing 7
  8. 8. Ion 1 (business): •Knows there is a very serious problem •Expending energy in organizing workers, not work •Has not articulated its plans and requirements •Patches and Band-Aids •Really not sure whether IT is a management function or a service delivery 8
  9. 9. But, business really needs to becautious about... Throwing out the baby with the bath water Washing all the babies in the same water Washing perfectly clean babies Spending time and money inventing better water 9
  10. 10. Therefore, we need to spend timeon “work”... Developing a better understanding of: – what it is and how to manage it – what is a “good decision”, and how to make good ones – who needs to be involved with what, when, where, how – how we can bring functional specialization back into generic work and management 10
  11. 11. And more time on planning andmanaging... getting the objectives right focusing on the strategic must-do’s eliminating stupid change re-inventing plodding involving the right people up front having the courage to toss out things that don’t work 11
  12. 12. And more time on people... Defining appropriate: – skills – recruitment strategies – institutionalized risk-taking and, » reduced fear of failure – minimalist position descriptions – effective rewards systems 12
  13. 13. And more time... Making sure we really understand work processing before we re-engineer it Embracing minimalism Laying the groundwork for innovation and improvement Developing systematic work that IT can facilitate 13
  14. 14. And more time... Getting the technology right: – enhance capability on what is already in place – understand that needs differ at individual and organizational levels – empower users (Down With Defaults!) – stop focusing on volume and connections – start focusing on content and utility Making IM/IT a management function 14
  15. 15. The condition of ion 2 (IT): Really unclear about what the business wants and needs (and can’t extract the answers) Preoccupied with being “current” Fixated on logic and “improvement” Really believes it has (the) answers Has been taught to wait Is giving up on waiting 15
  16. 16. Two hundred and five companies participated in ProScis benchmarking study on the future role of IT in business process reengineering.Current IT role and performanceIn nearly 50% of reengineering projects, IT managersor staff had conflicts with the project team, and almost80% of operational managers and staff rated ITsupport and performance as mediocre to poor. ITmanagers gave themselves slightly higherperformance reviews, but still only 40% consideredtheir performance very good or excellent. 16
  17. 17. Participants stated that the primary contributor to ITspoor reputation was their lack of operational knowledgeand understanding of business needs. In some cases, ITfailed to match technology to the desired businessprocesses, was unable to meet commitments, or was notcustomer-service oriented.IT managers and staff indicated that IT should be thedriver in reengineering. In strong disagreement,operational managers and consultants stated that ITshould be an enabler, a team member and a partner inthe reengineering process. 17
  18. 18. KM presents an opportunity To bring together what we have learned about work, management and information technology in a way that will profit all the players. 18
  19. 19. But to precipitate such change... We need to set down our organization requirements, opportunities and vehicles for leveraging intellectual capital Integrate “knowledge” as an asset and utility Establish discipline, and integrate technologies for managing the information life cycle Bring diverse talents together to work on this 19
  20. 20. Business and IT management have acommon stake in settling out: The consequences of: – Sharing information widely (never mind the quality question at this point) – A better informed workforce – Collaborative work; real and virtual interaction – How people come to understand, and use the power of the tools at their disposal 20
  21. 21. I think we have to dump somemodels and assumptions 1. The data-information-knowledge pyramid 2. That our clients will be satisfied much longer with having only “access to information” 3. That “knowledge” as an “asset” will conform to the same rules we apply to other corporate assets 21
  22. 22. A final word: “The Work of New Age Managers” is: – Conceive and Execute Complex Strategies – Share and Protect Intellectual property – Manage the Public-private Interface – Provide Intellectual and Administrative Leadership C.K. Prahalad in The Organization of the Future by the Drucker Foundation 22