Today, I am presenting at the Boston KM Forum on Personal Knowledge Management. My presentation is part an all-day symposium on personal knowledge management.
My take on this subject is that knowledge management had been too focused on the benefits to the enterprise instead of the immediate benefits to the individual.
Firehose of Information
We are all on the receiving end of a firehose of information. We need tools to help filter, reduce and save that flow of information. In compliance, we are dealing with ever-changing rules and regulations. We need to find out which ones affect us, how they affect us and what we should do. Even better would be to see the rule changes coming so we can be ready for them.
What’s In It For Me
I’m sure it’s great for the enterprise that we save our stuff into a central place according to the rules imposed by that central system. But how does that help me manage my firehose of information? Give me a tool, a system or a technique that has an immediate, direct affect on me.
Many companies offered incentives, like gift cards, for contributing to the system. If you have to give away a prize to motivate people to contribute, then perhaps they do not seen enough value in contributing. What in it for me? Sure, you get the Starbucks giftcard. And you get some smug satisfaction for contributing into the central knowledge system vault.
Marketplace of One
Davenport and Prusak, in Working Knowledge, point out that “People rarely give away valuable possessions, including knowledge, without expecting something in return.” There is a knowledge marketplace. But I’m the biggest consumer of my knowledge. Help me organize and memorialize the things I know. Others can benefit form this, but the focus is on me.
Knowledge management solutions will work better if they are focused on improving the normal workflow and better capturing that information. The user is more likely to use a new tool if it is easy to use and provides more functionality than what they currently use.
Compliance Building is published for me. I am the biggest consumer of information on the site. I am happy that it allows me network and be a part of the compliance community. But I primarily put the posts together so I have a collection of the information I need for my personal use.
Lessons from Web 2.0
I spend a lot of time during the presentation showing how web 2.0 tools have helped me manage my flow of information. Compliance Building being one of them.
Here is my slidedeck:
Other views from the Knowledge Management Forum Symposium on Personal Knowledge Management: