Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A note for my future self on “where is Knowledge Management going”

In the past 20 years, I have been helping large multinational companies to create (human + digital) ecosystems which promote the flow of ideas/information/knowledge across boundaries. It is both an art and science to make it happen. It is never straight forward. This requires me/my team to exercise a combination of skills relating to agile strategic planning, user-centric design thinking, change management, communication & facilitation, networking, learning design, information management, analytics, and increasingly digital skill sets and mindset to make it happen. 

Some organisations name what I do “knowledge management”, others call it “collaboration”, “business transformation” or “digital transformation”. To me, it does not matter as long as it is creating value to the company, the employees, the customers and stakeholders. 

Today, I reflected on my journey and asked myself, what are the top 5 questions/muddles/puzzles I have about the field I love, and I wonder where KM is going next. 

I noted down 5 questions and I like to share with my future self (and with my blog readers):

1. Has KM changed? Dead and then rejuvenated? Is it the same old same old as we were doing 20 years ago? Have we innovated enough to stay relevant?

2. The ISO KM standard is coming soon, what does that mean? Should we be happy or should we be worried? Is that an opportunity or a threat? 

3. There has been a lot of buzz about design thinking, agile methodology, putting users at the centre, creating personae and journey maps, participatory approach to engage with target audience and listening to users’ needs to design solutions. KM professionals have been putting users in the centre to design our services at least in the past 20 years, can we be more visible and share our expertise in this space? 

4. Technology changes so fast, companies are facing constant disruption. Blockchain, AI, machine learning, advanced analytics are coming into the picture. Have we given enough thoughts on which part of KM services can be automated versus which part require human curation, emphathy, insights and judgement to create value to our users? Have we used analytics to inform the next best steps to add value to our users?

5. With the craziness of the speed of change, what skills and competencies are required for KM professionals? Should we focus on upgrading (technical and soft) skills or upgrading our capability to adapt, change and learn? And even more, should we be upgrading our capability to help our organisation to upgrade its capability to adapt, change and learn? 

I wonder what my answers would be when I look back in a couple of years time. 

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