Malcolm Ryder has another great essay on KM, this time How Not To K.O. KM
Knowledge Management's most significant difference is that it establishes an environment in which individual workers can achieve their personal performance objectives. From the perspective of environmental engineering, it is more clear that KM's "customer" is the worker, and that the key thing KM must give that customer is an improved experience of managing their resources under pressure of corporate priorities.
I can't help but appreciate the way Malcolm synthesizes what has to happen in the world around the worker for "knowledge management" to be successful. This is very much in line with the way I've been thinking and what I attempt to teach in my KM class at Northwestern. The company wants to create the right environment for its knowledge workers, while at the same time ensuring growth and effective use of its collective intellectual capital. Unfortunately, many KM efforts turn this around, focusing on the stuff-to-be-managed, and drop the ball on the most important aspect of KM: the people.