What would happen if we turned our operating model on its head? What if we focused on individuals instead of the organization? What if we took Davenport and Prusak at their word and worked to make a reality of their claim that “knowledge management must be part of everyone’s job”? No more ossified knowledge management systems. No more bureaucratic KM departments. No more expensive KM “solutions” offered by eager vendors. No more struggles to achieve minimal user adoption.
According to Steve Barth, there’s a significant upside to focusing on the individual knowledge worker:
It seems obvious, but it is not often said that knowledge management works best when knowledge workers take the initiative and responsibility for what they know, don’t know and need to know. Doing so not only makes the individual more valuable to the corporation, it also enhances the value of intellectual capital for the corporation.
Here’s the plan: learn about personal knowledge management (or personal sensemaking, if that is an easier concept for you). Think about what it takes to aggregate, filter and share content effectively. Put these principles into practice for yourself and measure their impact on your work life. And then think about how you could pass on this learning to every one of your colleagues. Taking this grassroots approach, could you help each of your colleagues become so good at managing their information flows that their work processes and work product improve? Could you find a way to improve the overall performance of your organization?
If you’re interested in learning more about personal KM/ personal sensemaking, please participate in the Twitter Chat on Personal Knowledge Management sponsored by KMers.org. In addition, here are some other good introductions to the subject:
- KM 0.0 – Simply Enabling Trusted Context-Rich Conversations Among Communities That Care (Dave Pollard)
- Managing the Fire Hose (Mary Abraham)
- Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) – An Update (Dave Pollard)
- Personal Toolkit: Three thousand communities of practice (Steve Barth)
- PKM: Aggregate, Filter, Connect (Harold Jarche)
- Resources in Personal KM (Steve Barth)
- Sense-Making with PKM (Harold Jarche)
- The Power of One (Steve Barth)
- The Third KM: Personal Knowledge Management (Patti Anklam)
- What’s Next After Knowledge Management? A Scenario (Dave Pollard)
- Your say: Personal knowledge management (Sandra Higgison)
[Photo Credit: moeyknight]