a free monthly briefing on the knowledge agenda
|No. 45||November 2000|
A READER REPLIES
Thank you once again for your newsletter. It is consistently a quality read. This 'Associations' issue is an interesting one. I have been puzzled by the emergence of what appear to be 'private' attempts to regulate KM - e.g. the offering of certification and so on. It would be worrying (although only for people like me!) if it were really taken seriously - which of course it isn't. I don't think we're in anything like a position to 'professionalise' KM - if indeed we ever will be.
What I mean is that KM is a broad movement more than it is a distinct set of skills. There are many sub-aspects of KM in which it is possible to achieve professional status (e.g. organisational psychology, information management and so on). I don't see that the same thing will apply to KM as a whole. I belong to two more or less serious professional organisations: The Association for Project Management (APM) and the Institute of Management Consultancy (IMC). Both are still pretty much 'voluntary' organisations in that these are 'open' professions - you don't need membership to practice (unlike say, in the legal, medical and accountancy worlds). But these organisations do have a broad and long-term practice base on which to build and are, in their different ways, addressing real professional issues such as Body of Knowledge and Certification. They have done a lot of work here but there is still a lot to do. I cannot see that KM as a practice matches up to these disciplines at all. The other interesting aspect to all this is schism - or maybe its just the privatisation/ownership issue. What I mean is the proliferation of KM bodies - rather than the support of existing established ones. I am sorry at the demise of the Cebit forum - it was one of the first and one of the best. What an interesting study in 'communities' we KM folk ourselves make!
Jerry Ash replies to Rob's comments. See his reply.
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