Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Knowledge 2.0

Overview: Knowledge Management (KM) was the business buzzword circa 1995. Today, some say KM is dead, others point to portals, innovation management, Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 as the manifestations of KM today. Join noted KM author, speaker and consultant Carl Frappaolo as he updates the definition of KM practices and technologies for the 21st century. Strategy and technology models first introduced in Carl's KM book in 2002 will serve as a framework for positioning and understanding the current state of the industry.

Speaker: Carl Frappaolo, Book Author and Vice President, Market Intelligence, AIIM

My Notes:

Carl wants to talk about the relationship of enterprise 2.0 to knowledge management. Is KM dead? The room was mostly full of knowledge management people and/or people with knowledge management in their title (including me).

"Enterprise 2.0 gave a jolt to knowledge management." Google searches for "knowledge management" are on the up-tick. (I noticed on the ACT KM listserv that the group is working on a thread about whether "KM Is Dead.")

What is knowledge management? Carl thinks the industry does not agree on a definition. He also thinks there are lots of different definitions of enterprise 2.0. Carl's definitions:
  • Knowledge management is "Leveraging collective wisdom and experience to accelerate and experience to accelerate innovation and responsiveness." (The crowd was a bit rambunctious about defining knowledge management. I pointed out that IT and HR do not define what they are.)
Knowledge Management 2.0 is the alignment of business strategy, people, technology and process.

On process, we need the right process to disseminate, share and apply knowledge. Does the process help or hinder the capture of knowledge? We should not be asking people to do things outside of their normal process. Knowledge management needs to be "in the flow" not above the flow".

Technology is a key enabler. (Every organizational group has a technology piece. Where would HR be without a database of employees) Never start from the technology perspective. Tech tools can help fill in the gaps in the process, people.

According to the AIIM report:
  • Enterprise 2.0 a system of web-based technologies that provide a rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise." Key words: system and web-based. The cloud is a plus to have info somewhere other than your own individual computer.
Market Evolution

Enterprise 2.0 is not a revolution. The introduction of the PC was revolution. Putting computing power on the desktop was a big change. Email was a revolution. Communication with the computer as the platform. E 2.0 is not as revolutionary as either of those.

Enterprise 2.0 tools have resuscitated knowledge management. They allow us to mash-up information, putting more information around information is key to knowledge management. Online collaboration moves the communication into a platform that is easier to leverage. Processes need to change to embrace Enterprise 2.0 and Knowledge Management. In the end the Enterprise 2.0 tools are just tools.

Technology and cultural worker models. You need to figure out where you are technologically and culturally. People in the organization may not be ready to be open and transparent in their jobs.

Carl has the spectrum of cultural from isolated to fully engaged
  • islands of me
  • one-way me
  • team me
  • proactive me
  • two-way me
  • islands of we
  • extended we
An audience member brought up the issue of compensation structure to the sharing structure. Do I get rewarded for sharing? "Culture creeps slowly" Carl thinks you should target the highest level person in the organization who gets it.

An audience member pointed out a hole in strategy that HR was not included in the strategy. Her co-worker in HR jumped up in the back of her room.

The problem with KM 1.0 was that it was awkward and disjointed interfaces that were technology driven. There was a tremendous collision of academic treatment and reality. In some circles KM became a dirty word.

Email was 1.0. It did open people to sharing through the computer. But then the inbox became the content system. That leaves it disjointed and isolated. Enterprise 2.0 opens the communications platform.

IT does matter. KM is not about tech, but you cannot easily do it without IT.

Carl proposes four characterizations:
  • Intermediation - broker those who know with those who need to know
  • Externalization - capturing knowledge
  • Internalization - personalize the information for me so I can find it
  • Cognition - marriage of knowledge and process
Enterprise 2.0 is not web 2.0. Enterprise 2.0 may be KM, but web 2.0 is not Enterprise 2.0.

Carl also handed out copies of his book, including one to me.

UPDATE: A link to Carl's blog and his slidedeck:

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