Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Looking For The Intersection Of Knowledge Management And Enterprise 2.0

Back in early October a group of New York law firm knowledge management leaders and a group of Toronto law firm knowledge management leaders gathered to discuss current issues in knowledge management. One of our topics was: Does Enterprise 2.0 = Knowledge Management 2.0?

You can read some more notes on the gathering:

One exercise was to have half of the attendees compile a list of words  and concepts related to knowledge management while the other half compiled a list of words and concepts related to Enterprise 2.0. I decided to reproduce the lists. Take what you will from the lists and the intersection of the lists.

Knowledge Management:
• Adult learning
• Best practice identification
• Best practices
• Blog searching
• Business activity monitoring/alerting
• Business intelligence – generation; dissemination
• Business processes for collecting, storing and retrieving information about people, key events and work product
• Capturing hidden information
• Capturing, organizing and leveraging institutional knowledge
• Client base
• Client stickiness
• Codify
• Collaboration
• Collaborative work
• Collective expertise and experience
• Collective knowledge
• Content – management, presentation, search, structure
• Creation of precedents so everyone has a starting point to work with
• Cultural acceptance of the need to store and collaborate and providing incentives to share
• Deal/matter tracking
• Decision management
• Delivering more value to clients
• Delivering right information to right person at right time
• Discipline that makes wise use of intellectual and business resources
• E-mail folders and inquiries
• Enterprise search engines
• Experience
• Experience management
• Expertise
• Expertise location
• Expertise location (internal and external)
• Findability
• Gathering, indexing and sharing information for the purpose of furthering the organization’s strategic business goals
• Harnessing the collective intelligence of the organization
• Having actionable information at your fingertips
• Improving the way people work; marking them work smarter
• Information flow
• Information management
• Innovation
• Integrating business processes
• Integration
• Knowledge base – searchable, sortable
• Leverage
• Leveraging corporate memory
• Lotus Notes
• Making information useful/useable
• Matter databases
• Matter info/management
• More than precedents
• Multi-disciplinary
• Multi-faceted
• Networking
• Not valued enough
• Organized information flow
• Organized retrieval
• Organizing work product to prevent reinvention of wheel
• People / processes / technology
• Personalized generally
• Portals
• Practice smarter
• Process of transforming: data > information > knowledge > wisdom
• Promoting and supporting collaboration and efficiency
• Right place – right time
• Sharing knowledge to further the aims of the enterprise
• Skills
• Social networking – knowing who has interests and expertise in your company and finding it quickly
• Standards
• Storing the collective wisdom of the organization
• Structured
• Synthesize
• Systematized
• Tacit information
• Thinking in public
• Using knowledge to find solutions for client problems
• Using social media tools and storytelling to enhance collaboration and exchange information
• Using social media tools and storytelling to permit in-the-flow exchange of information in context
• Using technology to improve process
• Value-added information
• We know more than me
• Who worked on what and what did they do
• Wikis/blogs
• Wind milling existing processes to collect and deploy knowledge
• Working smarter

Enterprise 2.0:
• Accessible
• An enterprise where everyone knows what everyone knows, and who they know and what they have done
• Collaboration
• Comprehensive management
• Confusing label
• Connectivity
• Content over format
• Contributing not just extracting
• Dynamic financial data
• Enabling end users to use computing more easily and effectively to manage and analyze information and to collaborate
• Enterprise search
• Framework for sharing
• Giving up control
• Globalization
• Holistic approach to an organization’s organization
• I never heard anyone say Enterprise 1.0
• Integrated organizational function
• Jargon
• Knowledge = KM, Marketing/Business Intelligence, Financial; mash-up
• Knowledge sharing
• Learn
• Leveraging Web 2.0 Technology
• Listening to the customer/client
• Manage
• “Merger” of technology with commerce and business making it more interactive and collaborative and participatory for the transaction; an “active” partnership
• Misunderstood
• Overwork
• Peers
• Personalization
• Profile knowledge
• Profitability
• Ramped-up customer service
• Social networks
• Tag knowledge
• Technology enabling collaboration
• The successor to Enterprise 1.0?
• Value
• Virtual organization
• Web stuff plus something
• Where enterprise knowledge (+ not individual knowledge) rules
• Works across systems in organized way


  1. Doug, what I found interesting from this exercise was the second part, namely grouping together similar tags. The result was that common themes emerged, particularly as we realized in a number of cases that essentially the same thing was being expressed in different words.

    It was like a real-time wiki process, although it needed enough participants to enable the collective thought processes to emerge.

    I thought that it could well be adapted and adopted to help spark discussions in, for example, a focus group meeting.


  2. John -

    I agree that the interesting part is finding the common themes and differences in the lists.

    I though Dan and Carl put on a great session. it seemed to stoke lots of thoughts about how the "tools" of enterprise 2.0 can be used for knowledge management.

  3. Uh... yet another one of the pseudo-intellectual questions about Blah 2.0 = Blubb 2.0 (or was it 3.0?). Defining Knowledge Management certainly is a task by itself. However, it should be clear that leading an Enterprise certainly takes more than Knowledge Management, and Knowledge Management reaches further than simply everything pertaining to Enterprises. So, as the original terms do not coincide, it is quite nonsensical to talk about their 2.0 versions and whether they equate or not. In other words, it's yet another Nonsense 2.0.

    The results of the brainstorming are great... and you would probably find rather similar lists across a variety of different industries and countries (these lists you would find also by asking people how to improve their business, by the way). However, the real "whence and wither" question is not so much on the level of the two terms you put into the title line, but rather on the level of these individual topics found as a result of brainstorming.

    A CEO may then call the result "Enterprise 2.0", a CKO will call it "Knowledge Management 2.0" (has he/she ever finished doing 1.0?), and most other people will simply call it "doing business well".

    The lists are about two marketing terms and the subjective perception of people about them.

  4. @ Jürgen -

    You are correct. The lists are about the subjective perception of the group about these terms. Both enterprise 2.0 and knowledge management are fuzzy terms and mean things to different people and different organizations.

    The goal of the exercise was to find common themes.(and if there were common themes.)

    I personally think knowledge management and enterprise 2.0 are bad terms. But those are what have been adopted.

    Personally, I found the tools and business processes associated with Enterprise 2.0 to change my approach to knowledge management. I was comfortable using the term knowledge management 2.0. To me, it focused on the adoption of blogs, wikis and open tools as part of the open creation of knowledge inside the enterprise. No, we never did finish KM 1.0. But if I had these tools several year ago, maybe I would have.

    Feel free to call it whatever you want.


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