Monday, October 1, 2007

Where Will Knowledge Management be in 5-10 years

Kathy Curley, Boston University, Panel Moderator, Eric Lesser of IBM Global Business Services, Dave Snowden , Mike Zack , Joe Horvath and Kate Ehrlich wrapped up the meeting by looking ahead.

They only thing they seemed to agree upon was that they disagreed about the future.

There was some commentary about the opening of systems, being more chaotic than controlled company networks. Dave thought that the concept of enterprise software would erode, while other panelists though that the enterprise systems would open (a little).

Another theme was what to do with the changing workforce dynamics. There is a demand to capture the knowledge of retiring baby-boomers. At the same time the younger workers are coming into the workforce expecting transparent information and the visibility of knowledge. Dave pointed out that baby-boomers will not fill out surveys and databases. They will tell stories and will continue to tell stories after they retire. Enterprises need to harness the power of the narrative to collect the retiring knowledge of baby-boomers.

They panel had some agreement on the increasingly common ability to form a network and form a community electronically. Mike was particularly forthright that he wrote his thesis on the importance of face-face contact for effective collaboration, but is not retreating from this position.

Eric put forth the idea of the enterprise creating a platform for its workers to succeed. It needs to give them the ability to collaborate, to provide flexibility to work when and where they want, to allow them to create a network of connections, and to improve their employ-ability. People no longer think that they are going to work at the same company forever.


  1. Hi Doug,

    Just want to say well done on the live blogging from the Boston event. It is a great example of how this method can be so effective. For those of us who cannot make it to many KM events, this is a great way of engaging with the material discussed.

    Keep up the good work!

    Kind regards,
    Colin Mooney

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi Doug
    Good summary - wish I'd seen the event.

    As it happens I wrote a short article in "Inside Knowledge" magazine on "What do you do when the baby boomers retire". There are a range of options - and not just storytelling as Dave S implies!
    Full Article: What do you do when the baby boomers retire?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.