We need better knowledge management.
Like many bromides, it s easy to say and impossible to disagree with. Where are the managers who think that organisations should make decisions based on ignorance? Which manager wants their staff to be inept? Who wants be responsible for stupid decisions being made?
And yet, every single day people work for, deal with, and hear about organisations that have wasted millions of dollars from missing knowledge, bad knowledge, communications breakdowns, and quality control failures. We grind our teeth at the organisations that somehow fail to grasp the basics of customer service. Bureaucracies that bury you in fourteen layers of red tape in service of some obscure process that no-one seems to understand.
We need better knowledge about knowledge management.
What works? What doesn’t? Why? Why not? Can we generalise the results we see across organisational sizes and structures, across cultures, across time? Too often knowledge management resides in the realm of the anecdote. And even then, many of these anecdotes use the same set of terms to describe different things.
Sometimes knowledge management is described as a ‘fad’. Fads fade away because they ultimately have very little evidence to back them up.
Knowledge management (KM) rests on better ground than most fads, with solid scientific underpinnings in systems theory and complexity. However, to move from pseudoscience to a real and lasting discipline, we need to gather and share better evidence and ideas from all disciplines. We need to cultivate a KM community that is prepared to test, critically consider, and improve its underlying ideas and ideals.
At Real KM Magazine, we hope to play a small part in taking conversations about KM to the next level. We would love for you to join us on the journey.