This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

KM Chicago: Clare Hart

Clare Hart, CEO of Factiva, was the guest of honor at Tuesday's KM Chicago meeting. The topic was a summary of the recent 2004 CKO Summit, which Factiva and TFPL sponsor. Mary Lee Kennedy of Microsoft reported the 2003 summit to our group last January, so this was a nice continuation of that discussion.

What is the big picture for KM this year? What is on the minds of the people who attended the Summit? The economic downturn; compliance and risk management; alliances and partnerships; outsourcing; KM contributing to efficiency gains. These trends or influences imply a number of things, particularly the importance of trust and change management -- topics that have been important to KM from the outset.

There was an interesting discussion around change management and a shift from "if we build it, they will come" mentality to a "if they use it, it will build itself" mentality. With a focus on individual knowledge worker performance and capabilities, this kind of idea could find a lot of traction. For the participants at the Summit, this looks more like getting more people involved in the KM effort beyond the formal knowledge management organization. Create responsibility for KM at the workgroup level, and create opportunities for those people to feedback information to the CKO's staff. I believe this ties to the discussion of participation I referenced a few days ago.

Trends for the coming year include text mining and visualization, social network analysis and risk management. The last is not surprising, given the push for more and more accountability within the corporate world. And the first two have seen a lot of activity in recent years.

One thing Ms. Hart described was the change in focus for CKO Summits over the past six years. In the early sessions, they focused on global strategies and enterprise-wide initiatives. The focus shifted to aligning KM with business strategy and creating the right environment for KM. And this year, the focus of the discussions was much more tactical with the acknowledgment that each company is going to have different approaches to KM. I wonder if this is part of a trend that knowledge management is losing its save-the-world glow and is now fitting better into what companies do. The "different strokes for different folks" acknowledgment is a concern, because it suggests a shift to non-transferable ideas and solutions.

TFPL have a publicly-available summary of the CKO Summit 2004.

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