Investing in knowledge

I've had this post from Sharon Richardson at Joining Dots waiting for me to find time to comment, Investing in knowledge (final paragraph):

There's nothing wrong with improving the management of information, but acknowledge it won't necessarily improve what the information is used for. Knowledge Support shifts the focus to people and the application of knowledge. You can't manage somebody else's brain and you will never be able to document the full value of tacit knowledge. But there's a lot more out there, beyond content management, for supporting people - to help them find what they need to make a decision and do something. And it's the doing that creates value...

Sharon provides a suggestion for how to think about how an organization values knowledge and where current projects fall with respect to people, information and data.  She argues that most KM projects, as they conceived, are actually information and data projects, rather than projects that seek to enhance people's capability to work with knowledge. 

The path Sharon walks down in this discussion helps highlight the classic knowledge management "problem" in that most KM projects really look like technology projects.  The idea behind the projects is frequently around improving intellectual capital or collaboration or other people-centric aspects.  But somehow, that always gets converted into building or creating something that will support those processes.  (This is why Sharon suggests calling these projects "knowledge support.")  What I'd like to see is the continued focus on using these supporting services to improve the knowledge work.  How will the organization actually use the best practices database or the content management system to enhance the knowledge work of the enterprise?

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