Why KM implementation often stalls?

It is very tempting when speaking of KM (knowledge Management) to imagine a location (virtual of course) where hundreds, not to say hundreds of thousands  documents and files, sorted, organized in an almost perfect fashion with all the bells and whistles that accompany such technologies taking for granted that users will take pleasure in finding and consult knowledge!

Credits for image: Knowledge Sharing

Seems so simplistic and so easy to plan and eventually spend fortunes to implement what will soon be part of the so many forgotten files in the deepest hidden maze of the virtual world. Knowledge is often confused with information, each has its own realities and own tools, one is keeping data’s integrity safe, the other is let knowledge reach out to others. Tools are not the same, one is virtual where the other is so natural, I meant our brains.

So why is it almost the common problem we observe in this digital world, loosing focus on the tremendous amounts of information where our brains would need so much knowledge that exist but so hard to reach and get?

I think – through my own observations and understanding – that Knowledge Management or simply the concept of knowledge is not only a matter of technologies, of governance and processes, it is also a matter of people!

Real knowledge is what happens between two or more people, when they meet, when they discuss and share their own good or bad stories, their lessons learned, their own ways to solve issues at work, etc.
when people get together for that purpose they also bring one of the elements proper to humans: trust. Trust is what makes sharing knowledge become a culture, the culture of social, social good. Trust values all the other components of knowledge management.

During my first baby steps in the field of Knowledge Management I came through a text, a few lines that struck me because these words were so real, they responded to my so many questions about KM. I would like to share with you as a conclusion to this paper, hoping you will appreciate these, particularly if you care to spread the spirit of knowledge culture around you.

Please read below what I consider the “Humanized Charter” of knowledge culture.

​The necessary culture change:

  • From “I know” to “We know”
  • From “Knowledge is mine” to “Knowledge is ours”
  • From “Knowledge is owned” to “Knowledge is shared”
  • From “Knowledge is personal property” to “Knowledge is collective/community property”
  • From “Knowledge is personal advantage” to “Knowledge is company advantage”
  • From “Knowledge is personal” to “Knowledge is inter-personal”
  • From “I defend what I know” to “I am open to better knowledge”
  • From “not invented here (i.e. by me)” to “invented in my community”
  • From “New knowledge competes with my personal knowledge” to “new knowledge improves my personal knowledge”
  • From “other people’s knowledge is a threat to me” to “our shared knowledge helps me”
  • From “Admitting I don’t know is weakness” to “Admitting I don’t know is the first step to learning”
    Quotes credits: KNOCO

Have a great week-end

Michel – March 8, 2014

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