Sunday, 28 October 2007

Mainstream KM ignores Enterprise 2.0

I went to a meeting of information specialists last week, about Knowledge Management. The main speaker runs a course at a London University (note: A London University, not the University of London). She had also persuaded a few ex students, now working for City firms, to talk about their KM experiences at work.

With one exception - the lady from Ernst and Young - they did not seem to be aware of any of the key 'Enterprise 2.0' tools of blogs, wikis, RSS, social bookmarking. Or at least, not aware of their potential application in organisations for knowledge sharing. After the presentation I spoke to a young guy who is signed up on the course in question. He seemed a lot more tuned in to Enterprise 2.0 than his tutor.

I was thoroughly disappointed by the experience. Is it typical of the 'KM World' these days?

8 comments:

Matt said...

That's terrible - but I suppose symptomatic of the speed at which technology is currently innovating.

I spotted the attached, which was the first real mainstream adoption that I'd seen.

http://traction.tractionsoftware.com/traction/permalink/Public1205

Perhaps email it over to the presenter.

Regards, Matt

Ray Sims said...

Hi Simon,

I'd say it is a mixed story. In my own local KM community of practice (the Boston KM Forum) the most recent monthly meeting was on the topic of networks, a small handful of the regular participants are active bloggers, and at the last quarterly event there was significant conversation that would fall within the enterprise 2.0 realm. Still, I also sense that some haven't gotten their heads around "web 2.0" yet.

Ray

Simon Carswell said...

Matt
Thanks for that link - interesting and encouraging. A little ironic, perhaps, that the Orkneys seem to be further ahead on this subject than the City of London :-)

Doug Cornelius said...

I think the knowledge management community is like lots of other business communities that are just starting to figure out web 2.0/enterprise 2.0. Some people and groups of people have dived in. Others do not know what to make of it.

Personally, I think many KM professionals are scared of enterprise 2.0 because there is a lot less "management" involved.

Olivier Amprimo said...

I think that one of the reason KM people do not get the benefits of social computing is cultural.

In most organisations, senior management still consider that KM is a very specific function (documentation) rather than a part of processes.

Result is that a good proportion of knowledge management have a librarian background so that :
- some of them already had a hard time with the introduction of IT solutions ten years ago.
- they focus on documents and taxonomies (ontological conception of knowledge) rather than knowledge sharing.

Enterprise 2.0 is about changing minds in the organisation and there is no reason why Knowledge Managers escape it. In fact it is an opportunity for them to open up they scope of activity. It's probably a long process but some already are well engaged like Allen & Overy.

Simon Carswell said...

Ray's links can be accessed as follows:
Boston KM Forum

The last quarterly event

Simon Carswell said...

Doug
I think you might be right about on the 'lack of management' point. But I got the impression also that the tutor in question actually didn't much like computer-based communication.

Simon Carswell said...

Olivier,
I'm sure your very succinct history is on the mark.
Simon