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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Time For KM To Manage Knowledge About Management?

Steve Denning, RETHINK - Forbes, Mar. 18 2011
The bottom line of these discussions is that the horizontal, collaborative, value-adding principles of knowledge management are barely compatible with the top-down, bureaucratic, efficiency driven preoccupations of traditional management. Even KM programs that by all measures are doing well and enjoy significant top-management support are still at risk. In any efficiency or cost-cutting drive, knowledge management will usually be seen as “a low hanging fruit.”

The practical options for a knowledge manager in the light of this are as follows:

* Wear a parachute at all times. One never knows who will wield the axe or when it might fall.
* Educate yourself about the nature of traditional management and realize that there is a fundamental difference in values.
* Make sure that your knowledge management operation meets all the metrics and responds to the efficiency concerns of traditional management.
* Learn about how some organizations are managing themselves in a radically different way that is compatible with knowledge, as discussed in, The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century as well as other books such as The Power of Pull by John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison, or Reorganize for Resilience by Ranjay Gulati, or The New Capitalist Manifesto by Umair Haque, or Leadership in a Wiki World by Rod Collins.
* Join together with allies both inside your organization and outside. You may well find that there are groups already practicing radical management within your organization in software development (under titles like “Agile”, “Scrum”, “Kanban”) or in manufacturing (under the title of “Lean”).
* Spread knowledge about radical management within your organization. We now have reliable knowledge that traditional management is leading to disastrous long-term business result. The extraordinary financial gains that come from making the shift to radical management (e.g. ten times increments in share price over ten years) will far outweigh the gains from any other knowledge that KM can disseminate. ... continue reading

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