Oct 24, 2010

ACTKM10 Kate Andrews - Build Buy Bind Bury – Decipher your org’s knowledge lifecycle

Referred to “Ask Learn & Share at Shell” - Siew Hoong KM Advisor Shell Global Solutions for Malaysia

Key Question : What knowledge do people need and how do we get it to them ?

Kate’s focus for some years has been on how Retirement poses risk of brain drain - Focus issue : Can’t buy knowledge ie the key knowledge for org performance – but  “Not everything for everyone  not a relay” – not replicating the past – not hiring Lone Wolves

Surprises –Lone Wolf Quadrant - We need to develop new knowledge sets not just hire more LW

·         is a real business risk – a blockage problem – limits to how we leverage knowledge that is only held in individual’s heads – so much org knowledge is held here

·         Some orgs over invest in creating individual knowledge and under invest in organizational knowledge

·         We treat knowledge as a non renewable resource until they leave then we say oops (what about Sageco process) – better to build strong teams & knowledge assets

·         Project Closeout -  KM is crucial

Nonaka Takaguchi – how individual knowledge becomes org knowledge : model : tacit - explicit

Pyschosocial – know & trust generates more sharing or if there is a collective disenchantment then people may work together and share

Quoted Irish Bridge collapse

·         engineering ignorance – outcome – need to rebuild corporate memory – key knowledge not documented & held in head of engineers who had departed - too busy to reflect and document key knowledge

·         Some orgs tend to keep the technical expert on a business as usual rather than capturing new knowledge – some of these people hate dealing with other people

Nerida Hart – some people love being the hero – thank god you’re here syndrome

Wiggles case study – The Yellow Wiggle : from Greg to Sam : Orgs  try to make their Wiggles to sing & dance all day rather than coach, develop – develop new team capabilities

KM Risks in Organizations

·         Green - Low Risk – meet exist & known future needs

·         Amber - Rising Risk – risk increases as experienced staff leave and knowledge not documented

·         Red - High Risk – knowledge not available at required level (not yet acquired in new areas – this surprises orgs or already lost as folks already lost)

Decide what knowledge is critical – what is  its status – red amber green –these are key business decisions



At ACT KM in 2003 Kate Andrews introduced the term knowledge risk to describe the loss of knowledge critical to a firms performance. In our experience, even today many organisations who are deeply concerned about potential knowledge loss DO NOTHING.

The counterpoint, also typically ignored, is the challenge of actively accelerating development and retention of newly important knowledge assets. The session uses an experiential approach to guide discovery of workshop participants critical organisational knowledge (existing and emerging) and through a case study the priorities for each lifecycle stage. The take away is a “five things you can do now” for each stage of the knowledge lifecycle.


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