Theknowledgecore's Blog

Complexity and Knowledge Management Navigators…

Poor judgement: KM is so much more than scaffolding for decision-making

First, happy New Year and thank you for continuing to read our blog…

Recently I heard David Snowden say that KM is a difficult term to use with organisations (KM Asia 2010 Keynote). I tend to agree with him, one mention of those two initials brings about negative body language in senior management teams, big budget solutions and an immediate excuse of cutbacks. It’s a worry.

David Snowden says that he no longer speaks of KM, he speaks of decision-making; he also says that Larry Prusak, one of the fathers of modern-day KM, has moved away from the term to speak of “judgement”.

Who am I to disagree with these heavyweights of our field? But I do…

Anyone who has read this blog will know that I subscribe to the fact that KM is a terrible term for what we as professionals actually do and what organisations need. But to pitch KM as a tool to mainly support decision-making and judgement, sorry, I just can’t buy in to this. Don’t get me wrong, managing the knowledge environment of an organisation entails the management of decision-making processes that contribute to a high performance high commitment workplace, but the heart of KM lies elsewhere.

KM is driven by the needs of the knowledge economy, the same stimulus that requires organisations to seek out competitive advantage through people who combine with technology and contribute to innovation and dynamic capability. If we agree with this then we have to agree that KM is about the same things – innovation and dynamic capability – creating dynamic environments through high performance processes that enable knowledge as a value creating entity in the organisation.

Where I do agree with David Snowden is that to enable KM in an organisation there is a need to understand the variables at play in the environment. That’s what K-Cubed is all about. Understanding the variables. Understanding how to manipulate them to your advantage. Understanding how to use them to enhance your dynamic capability.

That’s what we work for. It is so much more than judgement or decision-making. It’s performance management.

So, what do you think?

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This entry was posted on January 4, 2011 by in Uncategorized.
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