Ten Topical Themes

The origin of the ten topical themes was research carried out in 2004 in preparation for a review of the state-of-play of KM (unpublished). You can read the background in a special edition of I3 Update (archived here). They have been used in various presentations during 2004-6 by the author (one of which will be uploaded soon). The topics have now been brought up to date (2010) with some regrouping and relabelling. They are:

1. Smarter Strategies - ensuring not only that KM and business strategies are aligned, but thinking how KM can create new business opportunities.

2. KM with Everything - applying a 'knowledge lens' to all facets of the business.

3. Human-centric KM - putting people first; understanding the social and cultural dimensions of KM.

4. PKM (Personal Knowledge Management) - understanding the nature of knowledge work, so that individuals create, develop and manage their own information and knowledge more effectively.

5. Tapping Tacit Knowledge - mapping your 'know-who' and then putting in place mechanisms to capture and share this knowledge.

6. Cultivating Communities - how inter-organizational communities of practice (and purpose) can be the engines of innovation.

7. Collaborative Technologies - exploiting the power of social and collaborative technologies such as blogs and wikis.

8. Meaningful Measures - developing realistic ways of measuring the value of knowledge and knowledge management.

9. Commercializing Knowledge - knowledge as a business: turning KM inside-out by exploiting your knowledge as knowledge products and services in the wider marketplace.

10. Governance and Ethics - taking responsibility for your knowledge assets and not misusing them to the detriment of others.

You will find these themes recurring through the phases and steps of our roadmap.

Maintaining Your KM Edge

km evolution

A good understanding of developments and the wider context within which KM operates is essential knowledge for practitioners who want to maintain their organization's competitive edge. The figure highlights the change of focus of KM through time. From an initial focus on 'knowing what you know', more emphasis was then given to knowledge innovation. More recently there has been a shift to an external focus. While customer knowledge has always been a hot topic, today organizations are engaging more with customers to share knowledge on a collaborative basis and even to co-create new products and services.

Good KM practice involves all of these facets and being aware of the topical themes and how to address them. The following pages introduce these themes.

Last updated: 19th March 2011


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A presentation that reviews the development of knowledge management. Initially delivered to a group of MIS directors, it is the first of several presentations covering the ten key themes.
(Download presentation - PDF format)


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