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May 29, 2006


David Locke

Those definitions of KM are really a laundry list of what KM vendors sell. It isn't KM, but then nobody in the KM world even knows what knowledge is. They confuse it with content.

You can teach knowledge, but if you are using explicated sources you are teaching content.

You can spread knowledge, but for the most part you are spreading content. You can spread knowledge implicitly. We do it all the time. But, KM vendors are clueless here.

Supporting sense making is the closest anyone gets to explicating knowledge and supporting the explicating capability. Still, analytics, data mining, etc, do not in themselves explicate knowledge. They tend to wallow yet again in content.

Forget content. People were doing content before KM was ill conceived.


Hi ! Your site is very interesting. Thank you.


You seem to me to have really captured the essence of KM in your post. It's the reason I was interested in KM in the first place and why I chose a KM masters program based in an education faculty (University of Melbourne, Australia) which concentrates on issues such as organizational learning, culture and trust with a liberal seasoning of philosophy, epistemology and cognitive science. The problem I constantly grapple with is how to translate this to the workplace; how to gain some acceptance for the proposition that, as you so ably put it, "Decisions, solutions, agility, competitive advantage and other benefits follow from sustaining a questioning environment, encouraging creative abrasion & experimentation, promoting deep dialog and allowing space for learning from mistakes."

Over the last one to two years in the organization in which I work, my sense is that there is an increased emphasis on process to the exclusion of practice, quantitative performance measures, and addressing problems by restructuring. In that sort of environment it is very difficult for the view of KM that you and I obviously share to gain much traction.

Many thanks for these kind words - DCG

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