Kim Dority is founder and president of Dority & Associates, an information strategy and content development company. On the advisory board of the University of Denver’s MLIS program, Kim created and teaches a course on alternative career paths for LIS students and practitioners and is the author of Rethinking Information Work: A Career Guide for Librarians and Other Information Professionals and the infonista.com blog.
Dority recently spoke with Guy St. Clair about Columbia University’s M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy.
Highlights of the interview:
– Guy St. Clair teaches in Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy program and is working as a subject matter expert (SME) for the university.
– In describing the program, St. Clair says it is not about information skills or librarianship or similar discrete disciplines. These are important skills and disciplines, but they are primarily about collections.
– A distinguishing characteristic of the information and knowledge strategy program is that it is not a collection-based approach to knowledge development and knowledge sharing (KD/KS). The Columbia University program is a management-based approach to KD/KS.
– While understanding the role and value of these discrete disciplines, corporate and organizational management requires qualified leadership and management staff to pull these – and other – disciplines together, to provide an enterprise-wide approach to knowledge strategy.
– The M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy moves KM into the leadership and management arena, educating knowledge strategists to influence corporate and organizational success and positioning them to link the corporate knowledge strategy with organizational business strategy, ensuring organizational effectiveness.
– Knowledge strategists will facilitate new ways of thinking about knowledge, ensuring an enterprise-wide flow of information and knowledge. They will look at things like ROI and performance measures and focus on systems thinking. Their primary role is to be the organization’s change agent in terms of KD/KS. That’s why they are there.
– This education can be universally applied, in any of the information- and human-capital intensive industries.
– To succeed in the program (and as knowledge strategists), students must have energy, be willing to work hard, and be enthusiastic about the role of knowledge in society and in the workplace. They should have leadership skills (or have an interest in developing leadership skills), and they must have a commitment to moving forward in a field that is evolving at a rapid pace. And students must be ambitious, about themselves and about their contribution to the workplace.
– If someone already has the MLIS but has been working for awhile and hit a plateau in their career, Columbia University’s M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy is a degree that will be useful for opening up new career opportunities.