Nimmy at Ah-Ha! [Thinking Inside The Blog!] has some KM Thoughts:
Methinks - Knowledge Management can be a complete success only when each and every employee puts the organization before himself or herself. Come to think of it, KM isn’t really an effort to overcome dependency on human beings. (That can never ever happen.) But it is to mitigate the risks of depending totally on the people. KM is, in fact, about realizing that each person has unique knowledge that needs to be leveraged upon. Some part of the explicit knowledge can be documented and converted into a procedure or a process, but that's about it. Who will improve it? Who will help the system evolve and adapt to change?It has to be understood.
This is a never-ending problem in knowledge management. The systems (IT or otherwise) can be built, but how do you create the culture in which people actually want to make use of the tools to get things done?
Thought about another way, however, it's all about what motivates people. If the KM System is designed to benefit the organization, then individuals aren't likely to play. If the KM System is designed into how work gets done, specifically how people get work done, then those people are much more likely to get involved. If the system has the side effect of helping the business, so much the better.
I am not so much arguing that "what's in it for me" be a major component of an implementation, I am arguing that any system changes need to look beyond just the information content and into how those changes fit into what is important for the organization. This assumes, of course, that the organization has articulated these goals and people understand how they fit into the big picture. This reminds me of Frank Patrick's recent item on Culture or Technology.