Excellent Knowledge Management provides a substanial prospect

June 21st, 2013
Comments Off

Excellent knowledge management provides a substantial prospect

Christian Keller about the perspectives and opportunities that knowledge management will deliver in the next years.

 1. Nice to meet you Mr. Keller. Also in this year you have had an amazing success and contribution to put knowledge management into practice by your summit “KnowledgeLive” in Bielefeld. This annual meeting is part of your mission to give customers access to excellent knowledge management know how. What have been the key topics this year?

First of all you need to know about the format „KnowledgeLive“, what my intention is with respect to the attendees. ”To learn from the best” that is the main purpose of our annual conference. This leads to the need that we put a challenge before the meeting to find out which companies do live excellent knowledge management. Also in this year the awarded organizations could present a lot of experiences in various areas. First topic to mention is the Approach “knowledge house”. To support the implementation and improvement of knowledge management the company visualized and published conceptual knowledge Management approaches and instruments. Each published approach has been transferred to
practice before.
The second company presented its excellent employee development program “employees train employees”. A little bit exotic has been the part of a Waldorf school that dealt for the first time with a holistic knowledge management approach. It was interesting to recognize how collaboration and decision making could work in detail within the new created knowledge organization.

2. Which events and experiences in theory and practice did mostly influence you and your knowledge management approach?

In 2003 I successfully passed the course to become a moderator for the Approach “knowledge balance”. For me it was a forming experience to deep dive with this method and to apply the knowledge balance to various scenarios in practice. By living this approach I recognized the high value of this tool.
Further, a crucial event for my further work has been the request of a company what I generally recommend as key measures regarding knowledge management. The withdrawal of the chief development lead was a heavy change for this company. This led to the focus on knowledge transfer in case of employee leave. In particular for the background of the demographical trend I push These topics because I am convinced of the value of the method and the increasing demand caused by skill shortage in the future.

3. What are currently the most important drivers for companies for investments into knowledge management?

Technology is of course a very central driver in terms of collaboration. In this area I expect a lot of changes. To accomplish these transformations in outmoded institutions just by the belief in a tool is very limited. A further driver is as already mentioned the demographical trend. A third factor is the trend of increasing skill shortage. In this context I generate value with my integrated approach. The excellent companies are proceeding very systematically in establishing an employer branding. The best employees should work for the best firms. This means employer attractiveness for the employees and to the external personal market. Typical quotes in this context of company leaders are: “Our employees
could be absorbed by the market any time, but they know, what benefits they have working with us. Only in our company they can work like they prefer to work.”

4. What is from your perspective the core of knowledge management 2.0?

To be honest, I have no clue regarding the benefits of 2.0. For me there is no obvious 1.0 and no clearly defined 2.0. The core addressed by 2.0 is to work on the organizational development together with the employees. Within this process the Institution continuously challenges itself and aspires to optimize the company in terms of stronger leverages. In this context I think we found “employee valuation” and “transparency” as core elements of 2.0. Transparency is very crucial since the employees need to feel to be taken seriously and know in which directions they
should think basically. This is what I see in excellent knowledge organizations and what I associate with the term “2.0”.

5. What are the elements of excellent knowledge organizations?

Excellent knowledge organizations do have very interesting solutions for important topics. These solutions are not necessarily outstanding from a marketing perspective but very intelligent regarding the concrete implementation. The solutions are mainly driven by the motivation and conviction of the employees. One of my customers has renewed ist classical suggestion system by adding a service level of only 2 weeks to assess
the ideas.

6. How are companies able to keep an overview on complex knowledge structures? What are the methods to deal with this challenge?

This question has a lot of different aspects. What kind of knowledge do we talk about? We have defined dedicated knowledge categories for the transfer of knowledge like knowledge for subject matter experts, personal, leadership and further more. For each category I Need to give specific answers. Subject matter related knowledge belongs to a dynamic content management system.
If I look into the future I see a central factor in the area of semantic and especially in the semantic search systems. Also a classical solution like the organizational pooling of knowledge by the introduction of roles is a valid answer.

7. How does the globalization of organizations influence the requirements regarding a beneficial knowledge management?

Basically globalization is mainly decentralization, but bigger and combined with topics like language and culture. In the first phase I see in the
area of globally working companies primarily the use of tools. This is because they need to create transparency about structures like organization, processes, roles and employees.

8. If you look at the new approaches in knowledge management which percentage has technology and which part is mainly driven by the knowledge worker?

The knowledge worker today is mega Technology affine, that means he is not able to work without technology. His whole information supply is very platform driven. The former knowledge worker asks his colleague who he assumes to be competent. “To google” or “to investigate”
do not to seem to be beneficial for him. We can come to the conclusion that you cannot separate approaches and processes from technology within new approaches of knowledge management.

9. How can companies establish sustainable knowledge management?

Of course, the basic attitude Plays a central role in this context. According to which values and rules I want to work? This can be demonstrated by excellent leadership. A further success factor for a sustainable implementation is the continuous assessment of the approaches to make sure to be on the right path.

10. What kind of knowledge Management innovations do you expect until 2030?

Well, 17 years is a long period of time. The process to make knowledge explicit will definitive be smarter. My vision is that a computer system will ask: „Why do you do this?” The cognitive science will deliver a significant contribution to these approaches. If you look how stiff roboters move today you recognize what “big jumps” should be possible.
According to my assessment if you look at the knowledge worker we will see a new kind of self-management in the next years. The knowledge worker will avoid self-exploitation and develop an individual knowledge strategy by focusing the applicability of knowledge. I expect some kind of a corrective. Increasing burn out rates show the need for such a change. Men will strive to develop the relevant knowledge by focusing real work life applications and get access to related strategic cooperations.