Hooking into the zeitgeist - that's knowledge management

While many people see KM as all about the "management" and "collection" of knowledge, I have always seen it as about informing as many people as possible about what is going on / what is going through the organizational mind.

Several people retweeted this comment from Robert Lavigne today, linking to his blog post of the same title, Sharing of New Found Knowledge is the Responsibility of all Knowledge Workers.  Sadly, beyond the statement, there isn't much more detail about the statement in his blog.

But the sentiment is right on.  It's why I've been blogging for six+ years.  It's why I always wrote up trip reports when I visited customers or attended conferences.  It's why I love the idea of knowledge management in general.  KM has to be about providing that sense of what is happening (in general or in a given subject area or with specific people).  Merely capturing the information isn't going to provide anyone a benefit. 

So, why is it the responsibility of all knowledge workers to share new found knowledge?  Because it is in the sharing that others learn.  They learn of the new knowledge, sure.  But they also learn about your interpretation of the new material.  They learn of your interests.  And - even better - they can build upon what you have learned, rather than starting at ground zero - even if they happen upon the same materials (without your comments).

5 Comment(s)

Roch Gauthier said:

My sentiments exactly Jack. It's a shame that more people don't understand the value of taking 3-5 minutes to summarize what they learned and share it with others in a medium that is readily searchable. Information dies in inboxes. Information lives and thrives in blogs/wikis/etc.

Absolutely. Now if you could figure out how to encourage your employer to see the same viewpoint.

Brett Author Profile Page said:


Like you, it is why I've been blogging all these years. Even if no one reads what I write, it just seems wrong not to share it.

Reminds me of the Army KM principles (which you wrote about last year and I wrote about earlier this year), especially the Doctrine of Collaboration that calls for the "responsibility to share" instead of the "need to share" that so many people ignore. The Army (well, DoD actually) recently launched a behind-the-firewall facebook-like site that his helping to build this doctrine of collaboration and put in action many of the other principles.

Roch Gauthier said:

I've been trying to figure out how to encourage my employer to promote knowledge sharing practices for years.


My blog on the company intranet has been up since June 2009 (when we migrated to the latest version of SharePoint). Since then, only 2-3 other individuals have set up a blog. The good news is that I have been able to teach people how to subscribe to RSS feeds, and therefore to my blog. Readership has been going up slowly but surely (but not a lot of people leave blog comments unfortunately).

Things would accelerate if some key team leaders would embrace this approach and strongly encourage their team members to make it a weekly practice to blog. Sure beats a weekly team report in MS Excel!

Coolness! Had I stayed, I am sure I would have been one of those bloggers. I always thought your particular service to the company would fit perfectly in a blog. Hear about something new: publish it right away, rather than waiting for the biweekly newsletter to clog up another inbox. Those weekly reports are another example of something good for blogs: Here's what I'm planning, and here is what I accomplished.

Don't worry about the comments. I've been blogging since 2004 and most of my posts don't get comments. Not a big deal.

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