Reputation before brand were words that stuck with me following a Marketing talk. Yet it could be argued that everything is about just that these days. Marketing. This seems to apply to knowledge management too. Despite some solid concepts, value adding approaches and genuine innovation, KM experts aren’t getting the plaudits they deserve because of messages that are too long winded or confusing for mainstream audiences.
I’ve been fortunate enough to recently complete a project with friend and seasoned KM expert Stefan Lafloer and a vibrant Dutch marketing and animation team Funk-e to see if we could articulate the value of knowledge management in less than 230 words.
If you prescribe to the concepts of Tacit and Explicit knowledge, then you’ll appreciate that not everything can be documented or added to a knowledge base. The lemonade stand scenario was able to reflect situations that could occur if key expertise was to exit organisations. An breakdown of the rationale behind some of our other inclusions.
Knowledge Health Check
We begin by describing a practical starting point for a KM intervention. Some form of knowledge health-check or audit will help understand the current state of affairs for a company and identify opportunities for improvement.
We also talk about how effective lessons learned can avoid mistakes and repeat successes and the value of knowledge reuse through an effective lessons learned system will help reinvent the wheel and rework solutions.
Here we’re referring to Communities of Practice. How the collective learning by groups can allow them to learn how to do things better as they interact more regularly to seek experience, reuse assets, coordinate and solve problems.
Last and I guess least, we mention technology. Important as it is in KM, its role should be to support people and not the other way round. In light of this, it deliberately has less of a focus than the needs of people and process.
Anyway, on to the video…
An 87 second animation that took well over 87 collective hours by all stakeholders to complete in the end and proved to be an intricate challenge. The Marketing guys rightfully advising us how certain concepts couldn’t be animated, to keep things succinct and make sure it could be understood and appreciated by non-KM people. It was important for me and Stefan that the essence and key tenets of KM were also captured.
We’re pretty happy with the results. With KM encompassing such a broad church of areas and different interpretations though, would anyone have done things differently?