Two posts at other blogs have caught my attention, and since our goal here at SMR Int’l is to be provocative, let’s see what they say about this whole idea of moving KM, knowledge services, and the support of the knowledge culture beyond the professional and academic and out into the workplace, as I’ve written about in earlier posts.
A colleague sends along Greg Lambert’s fascinating piece Has “IT” Killed “KM”? and in his comment on another subject, Alex Feng puts forward very clear distinctions between the work of information professionals and that done by knowledge professionals (what I call “knowledge professionals,” generally characterizing these knowledge workers as “knowledge thought leaders” for their employing organizations).
So the question seems to be one of both collaboration with other information- knowledge- and/or learning-related business functions and moving away from concepts and processes that inhibit the successful interaction of knowledge professionals with others in the workplace. If these colleagues require some sort of assistance, conversation, etc. as they seek to create and use knowledge, I’m not sure IT in and of itself can guarantee success. And indeed, if IT has in fact transitioned KM into nothing more than tools and those famous “pipelines,” the battle might be lost.
But I’m not so sure. When I think about the people I know who are successfully performing KM – as a business function – in their organizations, I think the collaborative role kicks in, and it’s those interactions with others that keep KM alive. Think about how we define knowledge services (the whole convergence idea, the convergence of information management, knowledge management, and strategic learning). Isn’t that what keeps this work from becoming only an IT function?