Most SMR Int’l colleagues and clients know that Mr. Guy is a great fan of Ian Thorpe, whose blog KM on a Dollar a Day comes invariably with good, actionable advice.
So I’m happy to recommend his latest post: Why We Sometimes Need to Reinvent the Wheel.
I’m specially taken with his list for why it makes sense – in any KM/knowledge services initiative – to review what’s going on and position the new activity in the environmental framework for which it’s being offered (perhaps a new change management principle?).
Here’s Ian’s list of “the advantages of developing your own toolkit (or platform, strategy, bibliography, taxonomy etc.)”:
- It can be written in the kind of language (and jargon and buzzwords) people in the organization understand
- It can include tools selected to meet the specific needs of the organization, and the tools selected (even when sourced from elsewhere) can be adapted and tailored to the organizational context.
- The tools can be tested on real organizational problems and the feedback obtained can be used to improve them and help communicate them better.
- The tools can go through a quality review and sign off process that the organization understands and respects.
- The fact that the toolbox is developed together with internal as well as external expertise means that staff know who they can follow-up with for advice and support on when and how to use them.
This is one that is definitely going to passed on to students in the information and knowledge strategy graduate courses I teach, as the learners in the current class are just now beginning their client-focused knowledge audit/knowledge strategy development project. Ditto students in the up-coming Change Management in the Knowledge Domain workshop series Dale Stanley and I teach, beginning next Tuesday.
Clear-headed information here, lending itself to immediate application for any KM/knowledge services initiative. We have to identify (and give attention) the unique attributes of the organization that’s going to benefit from the initiative and these thoughts provide us with good direction.
Thanks to Ian Thorpe.
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