After 75 issues, David Skyrme and Debra Amidon have decided to stop publishing his informative I3 Update / Entovation International News. David closes with thoughts about his own KM odyssey, Debra closes with her own review of the history with Entovation, and they print a set of 75 knowledge nuggets.
Some of the better nuggets:
At the heart of many failures to exploit IT to the full is the undue emphasis on the logical and the rational. What is also needed, though, is a complementary focus on the intuitive, social and human aspects of computer systems. - No. 2 (July 1994).
Knowledge creation and development processes are complex and do not lend themselves to highly structured engineering approaches - it's not about databases, it's about making sense of the environment, and using the power of people's minds. - No. 7 (December 1996).
Why is it that many large companies are not as innovative as smaller newer ones? If innovation is to succeed in larger companies, lack of creativity is generally not the issue. It is providing the environment, people support processes and organizational climate that stimulates and supports idea conversion. - No. 17 (March 1998).
While these new software products [Enterprise Portals] will entice you through an impressive gateway to information, let us not forget that it is only good content and good knowledge management with strong human involvement that will stop them creating trapdoors to trivia. - No. 31 (July 1999).
And so, how do you 'shatter the mold' as you suggest? My practical suggestion is to create a compelling, distinctive vision that - like a magnet - draws people forward. Make sure that it capitalizes upon its heritage and unique knowledge base. Build the foundation underneath that sustains a realization of that vision. Create the standards rather than belaboring best practices. Become the enterprise to emulate. - Debra Amidon, No. 48 (February 2001).
Unless knowledge management is 'connected' to the real world of customers, goals and strategies, business and management processes, and performance systems, it will remain theoretical and detached. I am reminded of a comment made by a BP person about knowledge management: 'where's the oil?'. It's a knowledge manager's job to show where the 'oil' is in your KM strategy. - No. 51 (June 2001).
As a specialist in a generic management discipline like KM, you are one step removed from the external customer interface where added value is more tangible. You need to ask yourself: knowledge for what?! - No. 75 (July/Sept 2003).
With this last, "Knowledge for What," David leads himself into his new adventure with knowledge management. How can the ideas of knowledge management step across the void from business to helping underfunded/underprivileged societies and cultures grow and prosper? Could be interesting.