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The KM Vision: Transformational or Just a Buzz Word?

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The KM Vision: Transformational or Just a Buzz Word?

Aug 26, 2014  

A Guest Blog Post by Sanjay Khanna, CKM
of Deloitte - Canada

In thinking about Knowledge Management and what to write, I wanted to start by providing an example. At first read, you may feel that this is outlandish and over the top or you may just chuckle because you have witnessed elements of this taking place.

Imagine a town hall setting, the CEO is ready to give his talk on something that will transform, yes transform the organization! For those in attendance they have gathered in their spots, the double beeps of people dialing and going on mute just as quick are coming in. This is going to be a great town hall session. 

CEO:
“Welcome everyone! I know we all have a lot on our plates these days and I hope everyone is able to spend time this summer with their families; due to the time zones, I appreciate everyone dialing in and for those attending in person, hope you grabbed some healthy fruits by the door. Can everyone see the slides?”

- Due to everyone being muted and those physically in the room staring at the screen, the CEO gestures to the technical setup person who gives a nod that everything is OK.

CEO:  “This is what we look like without Knowledge Management”

CEO:  “This is what we look like with Knowledge Management”

CEO:  “Any Questions?”

Voice heard from the back of the room
“Uhm yeah, actually I have a question; what exactly is Knowledge…..

- Quickly interrupted by the CEO

CEO:
“Well before you ask, let me share with you with our Knowledge Management vision or better yet our mantra."

“Our organization needs to conduct Knowledge Management in order to be collaborative so that we create innovative solutions that will provide us a competitive advantage."

“Now what does this mean, well let me explain . . . From this day on, we will be a knowledge sharing organization with open collaboration that will allow us to share ideas and make us stronger and be closer together with a flatter hierarchy.”

“If you have any questions, please send them to our communications department and they will organize and sort through them and I will respond to each and every one on our BRAND NEW collaboration social business platform which will be pushed out next month replacing our intranet, so get ready to begin the evolution!”

Applause starts from the CEO and light claps pick up throughout the crowd while beeps of people disconnecting takes place like rapid fire.

Honestly, by writing this I felt overwhelmed imagining this situation and flashes of actually hearing about and seeing sessions like this run through my mind. The feeling I have is that I did not write the beginning of an evolution but more so a REVOLUTION!

Organizations these days love buzz words; these words move as quickly as flies making the buzz, and while we try to swat or get a grasp of it; it keeps moving around and we cannot predict the way it will go. Buzz words are great, but if an organization does not take the time to define what words mean for the organization, people will define their own meaning or simply ignore it as it has no significance to them and how they do their everyday tasks.

The importance of a Knowledge Management Vision that aligns to an organizations’ overall objectives is a process that is, and is not, fully understood.  By creating a Knowledge Management Vision, the leaders of an organization create purpose and meaning to what Knowledge Management means to their organization. If the vision is full of words that can mean anything, people within the organization cannot identify on what is meant and how the vision aligns to what they do. 

Now let’s look at the KM Vision provided above and I will pull out the words that need to be defined,  aligned and communication to creates a unique definition that is understood by everyone.

“Our organization needs to conduct Knowledge Management in order to be collaborative so that we create innovative solutions that will provide us a competitive advantage."

Words and questions that can put meaning to the words and are defined by leaders of the organization and then communicated throughout the organization:

 

 

 

 

  • Knowledge Management – What is KM for OUR organization? How do we do Knowledge Management? What are the goals of KM? Do we have the right tools to conduct KM? Who will make sure we are doing KM correctly? What are KM processes? Do we have to change the way we do everything? Is data knowledge? Is information knowledge?
  • Collaboration – Is this a goal or end result of KM? Do we have a tool or rewards that can make people collaborate? Does collaboration need a tool? How do we ensure the results of sharing knowledge is stored and can be found?
  • Innovation – What does being innovative mean? How do we know we are not wasting our time? Do we have an oversight group to review these ideas/solutions?
  • Competitive Advantage – How do we know we are being competitive? Is it first to market? Is it revenue? Is it based on our growth? Is this success an end result of Knowledge Management?

This may seem like a lot of work, but can be completed in a one-day Visioning workshop with the right audience. Who is the right audience? This can be assessed by understanding the makeup of the organization. By creating a vision, everything that is KM can be tied back to this statement. Goals, Governance, Principles, Processes and ROI to name a few.

I look forward to open discussion on this blog.  It may seem like I am starting where we all currently are or have been, but with KM, revisiting our knowledge can lead to the creation of more innovative solutions!

 

 

 


Sanjay is currently working with organizations to create and implement Knowledge Management (KM) Strategies, Frameworks and Processes. This includes identifying KM opportunities and presenting to new and existing clients the importance of KM. Most recently Sanjay has created a Collaboration and Knowledge Management Framework for a Global Organization. The Framework consisted of KM Goals, Principles, Processes, Governance and creation of a KM dashboard.

Sanjay holds a Masters in Business Administration and is a Certified Knowledge Manager; who demonstrates the utmost respect and dedication to his responsibilities. Throughout his 14 years’ experience, Sanjay’s roles included creating, assessing and providing direction of strategies and processes to the clients he has serviced. The sectors that he has worked with include Financial, Banking, Government, Insurance and Telecommunications. Sanjay has also conducted presentations on Knowledge Management to MBA and Information Management graduate students at Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s University. Sanjay is working to create awareness around Knowledge Management and the importance of creating and maintaining a collaborative and innovative culture.

 

 

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