Dear Dr. Dan,

Thank you for reading and responding to our blog post titled, “3 Easy Steps to Creating a Knowledge Management Strategy”. It is always good to get extra input and opinions from people across the business and consulting community and we really appreciate it. In the true spirit of the internet, we at Paragon embrace and encourage social collaboration and interaction when it is generated in a thought provoking and insightful manner to further the conversation. It is unfortunate that your critique stops short in this regard and takes a personal turn.

Addressing your comments around KM, you are indeed correct that IT alone is not the only answer to effective Knowledge Management (KM). KM means many things to many different people but I think it’s important to clarify our position on KM, and to respect that as a concept, it is still evolving and will continue to do so as these types of debates and conversations.

Knowledge Management (which we also include Collaboration as a key component of) to us is a combination of many operational, cultural, procedural and system components. A full description from our experience in developing and implementing KM strategies at clients can be best summarized by the recognition, understanding and application of the following items:

  • KM Strategy - Developing a strategy for what KM means to the organization, how it will serve the organizational goals and what it will take ti implement, maintain and nurture a KM philosophy and environment
  • Knowledge definitions - Determining what constitutes knowledge - Policies procedures, tacit and explicit knowledge, training, lessons learning, research, meetings, idea sharing discussions, chats, emails and many other sources
  • Capturing, cataloging, validating knowledge both formally - e.g. procedures - and informal - ideas and guidance - and allowing for the distribution and finding of the information
  • Governance - Ensuring the appropriate roles, rules, regulations and guidelines, measurement, funding and escalation are in place to ensure the constant evolution and management of knowledge management programs
  • Culture / Motivation - Establishing a culture that changes behaviors from information hoarders to information sharers. Putting in place rewards, recognition and other programs that value and reward knowledge contributions
  • Technology - One of the many components of the KM ecosystem. Storage, Taxonomies, Metadata Management, Access, Collaboration and Content Lifecycle Management tools.
  • Expert location and Community development that organically create associations of people and experts to topics, domains and ideas
  • Change Management techniques to drive the cultural change across the organization that KM requires

I hope, Dr. Dan, that this gives you a sense that very likely, we think similarly to the ultimate noble goals and values associated with achieving successful Knowledge Management throughout an enterprise. However, I must point out that given the breadth and depth of this topic, we publish our views in bite-size chunks and sadly you picked one component in isolation of the bigger picture.

Establishing a universal understanding of KM, building a curriculum, Center of Excellence and credentials that are universally respected is indeed a critical need. Being opinioned on a topic is valuable - that’s what critics are there for - but we bring the benefit of having developed tools, approaches and having multiple client success in this area which allows us to speak somewhat authoritatively about the topic.

The concept of KM and receptiveness to KM is evolving and it requires - pardon the pun - a collaborative approach that capitalizes on thoughtful discussion, knowledge sharing, debate, and respect for the input of similarly minded and individuals passionate about bringing Knowledge Management to organizations across the world.