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November 05, 2006


David Locke

Shawn, they are HR practices not KM practices. If by KM practices, you mean those defined by the people who write books on what they think KM is, then ok. But, none of that is actually KM.

IT systems, libraries, blogs, wikis, etc.... Do not have much to do with knowledge. As used here and by other KM gurus, KM is nothing but a buzzword. No facilitation of knowledge capabilities actually takes place by performing KM practices, as these practitioners define them.

The business value of knowlege is nearly gone by the time knowledge is made explicit by these practices. There are other practices which capture knowlege while it still has great value, but these are not those.

David Locke

Claifying meaning and integrating meaning are different things. The former significant. That latter deadly. Meanings don't integrate. They get destroyed.

So part of the social constructionist aspects will destroy knowledge if it means trimming the ontological tree. A customer will never mean the same thing to the practitioners of sales and the practitioners of marketing. And, they are not supposed to be the same thing. Talk about it all you want. But, you would be better off firing the capability that doesn't use your definition. Because you will destroy the capability nonetheless. Particularly, if you are working towards IT integration, the worst kind.

In Dialogue the Art of Talking, the process of dialogue climbs the tree to find the universals to agree on, rather than triming the tree. Conversatiions are not necessarily dialogue. Conversations are not conducted in a power-free zone. Meaning is held by power.


Responding to Shawn, here - ( here from norway) since i would love to learn more - as far as your perspective of KM goes!

Self am still in the realm where herding a dozen cats, is ( or must be) far easier than "managing knowledge..."
Thank you!

"Actually, none of the listed activities constitute knowledge managment. They constitute content doing, but that is weak explicit knowledge and certainly not management."


I read the list and thought they were all good examples of KM practices. You might be interested in this study Grey: Tarmizi, Halbana, Gert-Jan de Vreede, and Ilze Zigurs. 2006. Identifying challenges for facilitation in communities of practice. In 39th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Hawaii: IEEE.

In it they list what practitioners think are important practices and difficult ones. Here is a list based on their work that I have been working on with Nancy White for a client (with a CoP focus):

* Creating and maintaining an open, positive, and participative environment
* Building cooperative relationships among members
* Mediating conflicts within the community
* Defining the domain and what is outside the community's scope
* Keeping community focus on its purpose
* Promoting ownership and encouraging group responsibility

# Developing and asking good questions
# Encourageing new members to participate in the community's activities
# Listening, clarifying and integrating information
# Selecting, launching and stewarding useful tools and practices (i.e. tools and ways to capture artifacts from meetings, for phone conference calls, co-editing, tagging, blogging for knowledge sharing, community project management, etc.)
# Encouraging mulitple perspectives
# Using frameworks to evaluate the health of the community

David Locke

Actually, none of the listed activities constitute knowledge managment. They constitute content doing, but that is weak explicit knowledge and certainly not management.

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