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The Knowledge-Carousel

It is turning around … around … around … and around. Always the same turn, always the same things in view. With changing perspectives, but actually always¬† at the same place. Sooner or later just boring. And once you overwind … well, mhh … might become unsavory.

I exactly feel like sitting in such a carousel since I seriously entered the world of Knowledge Management (KM). I regularly find myself hanging around at places where people interested in good knowledge working meet virtually or physically, like KM blogs or meetings of like-minded colleagues. In any case, places where people with a greater awareness for the importance and value of Knowledge Management are, many of those knowing each other already for quite a while. “Knowledge workers”, “knowledge experts”, “knowledge managers”, “knowledge enthusiasts”, “knowledge evangelists”, gurus, consultants, etc. pp..

We then intensively discuss the meanings of terms, theoretical and innovative concepts, as well as why so many companies are such ignorant regarding the benefits of KM. Assumed that you are such a rational guy like me, you can glory in that, and without doubt you will meet a lot of interesting people. And normally all will agree, that they know how it works … or as it actually should work.

And it’s true. We know how it could be done, efficiently and with maximum value for a company. But … it is completely for nothing! Well, yes, it always has been nice to talk to each other again. But finally with zero impact on real life. At the end all together spin around, and ever and anon the same people are having the same (philosophical) discussions. They feel comfortable with each other and don’t need anyone else. People know each other, appreciate each other, understand each other.

Just to avoid any misunderstanding. The strategies and concepts developed and discussed by us “knowledge experts” are in general really good and trendsetting. They have the potential to substantially change and improve enterprise knowledge sharing. It is just never applied. Somehow none of all the good ideas and solutions becomes real, in a true implementation. I frankly do not understand so far what leads to failure, and I am thankful for any hint.

By the way, this general tendency for parallel universe seems to be common with all “managements” (Information Management, Knowledge Management, Innovation Management, …). Perhaps a fraction of the problem is within the name already (also see “”Knowledge management is the wrong attitude“).

As a first step I decided to have real life feasibility and implementation as my personal benchmark in the future. I say yes to hot air … if a turbine is driven by it. And I don’t really expect it to be the big strike, the complete new knowledge strategy within the company. I also accept minor steps and improvements, if they go into the right direction. And by the way, this fits to the latest crowd-intelligence-social-media-hype in Knowledge Management (which to my opinion is absolutely overrated … but that’s another story).

One important thing with carousel rides is not to miss the right moment to get off and back on solid ground. Otherwise … as mentioned before, well mhh …