— Simone Weil, a fragment written after September 1939. Compiled in a collection called Formative Writings, 1929-1941, DT Macfarland and W. Van Ness (Editors and Translators). Routledge Revivals, Abington, Oxon UK. p. 200. (via a commenter at Bruce MacEwen’s blog.
KM is “Management with a Knowledge focus”.
Secondly, it’s all about people, but in what way? In a 2012 blog post I argued that Knowledge Management is about people in the collective, rather than about individuals, in that KM treats knowledge as collective property rather than individual property. That’s what differentiates KM and OL from Learning and Development.
Thirdly, once we come down to the things that drive Knowledge Management, and enable it to succeed, KM is actually about FOUR things.
1. It’s about people with roles and people with accountabilities; being clear on what these are and ensuring that people know what they are supposed to
2. It’s about Knowledge Management processes, embedded in the routine of day to day work, which enable people to create, seek, find, discuss, identify and share knowledge
3. It’s about simple pervasive Knowledge Management technologies to support those roles and processes
4. It’s about the elements that influence and drive behaviours and culture - what we call Knowledge management governance - elements such as strategy, clarity of expectation, the reward system, and the support system
We know it’s about four things, because if any one of these is missing from your KM Framework, Knowledge Management fails."
Nick Milton’s succinct expression of management with a knowledge focus is a compelling one.
Thanks yet again to Anne Marie McEwan for reminding me of the justified power of Jimmy Reid’s rhetoric, 43 years on.
Bob Lefsetz has been saying for some time that average is no longer enough for success in the music industry. Now Ben Thompson has come to the same conclusion about news, and by extension any industry touched by the internet. Whither the average law firm?
(Prompted by the reliably thoughtful Shift podcast by Euan Semple and Megan Murray)
The most recent episode of the podcast covered ‘Radical Transparency’. Lots of good things, but there was something missing (or at least, skated over): the impact of authenticity on others.
When we worry about what people are saying to us (whether those are our friends on Twitter or Facebook, or our organisational leaders and managers), our focus is naturally on the relationship we have with them. If they hold something back from us, we see that as a fault in that bilateral relationship. If they appear to be inauthentic in their communications, we might ascribe that to mendacity.
But (as Diana, Princess of Wales, put it so succinctly) there are often three (or more) people in our relationships. When a business fails to announce who has been laid off, except by deleting their names from the corporate phonebook, that isn’t necessarily because they are trying to hide something. At the very least, respect for those who are leaving through no fault of their own demands that we comply with their wishes about whether their departure is trumpeted. In extremis, there may be legal reasons why such an announcement is impossible.
Similar considerations apply at a personal level. Being transparent about the things that happen around us can affect the people we talk about. This is not new. Euan mentioned a book he was reading about the writing of memoirs. I would be interested to know if it covers the problem of considering other people’s perspectives on events (and the consequences of not doing that well).
Authenticity and transparency cannot meant just broadcasting thoughts as they occur to us. There may be value in doing so for our own personal development or stress-reduction. There may be an audience for what we have to say (and that audience’s interest might even be more than just nosiness). Either reason could justify speaking rather than staying silent. But, even if both those things are true, we should be reluctant to speak when someone else could be affected.
When we publish our thoughts, we wield a small amount of power. The wider the audience, the more power we have. Anyone with power has a responsibility to consider how its use affects others. Those who are used to being in authority know this. Some of those who are new to it are still learning.
A walk, not more than a mile
along the barricade of land
between the ocean and the grey lagoon.
Six of us, hand in hand,
connected by blood. Underfoot
a billion stones and pebbles -
new potatoes, mint imperials,
the eggs of birds -
each rock more infinitely formed
than anything we own.
Spoilt for choice - which one to throw,
which to pocket and take home.
These are ten great tips, but this one struck a chord. Not everyone is confident about what they produce (or they may be unable to share it for other good reasons). Inspirations are inspiring though; just as interested people are interesting.
- Stowe Boyd(via stoweboyd)
I wonder if this is true of other success-focused activities. Do hedge-fund managers focus more on playing the game than theorising about it? Do lawyers too?