E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

What Is Knowledge Management? – The Human Factor

I am sure that every now and then you come to wonder yourself what happened to all those great weblogs that you have been following all along and that all of a sudden, and for no apparent reason, content stops from being shared and discussed with other folks, specially in such a fragile world like the one from Knowledge Management, where weblog readership is not as popular as many other mainstream weblogs. Yes, you have been there, seen it, experienced it, moved on ! Well, the same has happened to me and one of the last instances has been the great weblog created by Tom Godfrey over at Why Knowledge Management? from where no new content has been shared since October 2005.

I am not sure what may have happened or what the main reason has been for Tom to stop creating some very interesting and thought provoking weblog posts but I thought I would comment on a particular post he shared some time ago and which got me thinking for some time dealing with the concept of Knowledge Management and what it is. The specific weblog post is titled: What is Knowledge Management? and even though the post was created in August last year I still think it is very relevant for the KM of today.

Tom’s weblog post points out to another article created by Colin Mc Cullough around the subject of What Is Knowledge Management – Knowing What We Know? in which, apart from the fact that we all seem to be struggling to come up with a convincing definition of what Knowledge Management really is, he comes to state that KM is all about the people (i.e. the human factor), and not the technology nor the processes, and what will actually transform organizations from a labour based to an asset / knowledge based model. “[…] the importance of the human factor in achieving a successful knowledge-sharing and knowledge managing culture.“.

However, what I really like about Tom’s comments on Mc Cullough’s article is the fact that focusing on the people as a whole to have a successful KM strategy may not longer be good enough. So he discusses the concept that it may now be up to the individuals themselves, in short, the so called Personal Knowledge Management, something that for the last few years I have been identifying myself with as probably one of the most powerful and comprehensive ways of implementing successfully KM strategies in whatever the organisation, where the main focus is on the individual to create, foster and boost that knowledge creation atmosphere that will help people share their know-how with their peers in a much more personal and committed way so that it can be reused effectively.

Thus whoever was thinking that Knowledge Management was all about tools and processes and off you go should think about it once again, because the actual focus should be placed on the individual, like both Tom and Colin state very clearly if they would want to see it succeed. And when talking about Personal Knowledge Management there is no doubt that there is a shift in the paradigm of tools to support such new approach where the focus is not on the tools themselves any longer but on the individuals who make extensive use of those tools. Yes, indeed, the so called Web 2.0. But that is another story for another weblog post. At least, you can see where all the recent hype about KM is coming from and where it is heading to. Quite an exciting road, indeed, to say the least.

[tags]Knowledge+Management, KM, Web2.0[/tags]

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  1. Luis –

    Thank you for your kind words about the blog. I had been busy getting a certification, and your post here was just the kick in the butt to get me going again. I’ve posted today, and will keep with it. You’re doing a great job here, and your words here have bee a bit of an inspiration for me! Thanks again.


  2. Hello Tom and welcome to elsua ! That is just great stuff ! I have just been reading over at your weblog and it is a really nice surprise to see you are coming back to the Blogosphere to continue sharing some of those great thoughts ! I have subscribed already to your RSS feed so I am sure I will be getting those updates whenever the chance arises. Excellent ! Keep up the superb work and will be reading you around once again ! 😉

    Oh, and special thanks as well to Jack Vinson at Knowledge Jolt for making the connection between the two of us and for helping get Tom back to blogging, hehe. That is, indeed, what weblogging is all about, folks. Making a connection. Making it work !

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