November 14, 2004
What KM Governance in corporations?
I am currently reading From Knowledge to Intelligence of Helen N. Rothberg and G. Scott Erickson. The intent of the book is to explore a common framework for competitive intelligence and knowledge management. I jumped on it because I believe this is a much needed research topic. CI appeals to managers, KM to field practitioners. Reconciling the two would certainly give us valuable insights on corporate governance.
The book is well documented but, though I am ony half way through, I may reach the conclusion that it misses the point. Helen and Scott present CI and KM as very different practices and argue that they can work hand in hand within a common strategic framework. Right. But they do not dig into the social fabric of CI and KM to demonstrate that they are basically the same thing, only with different viewpoints and expectations.
Anyway, the authors concur with Gilad (1994) and suggest
creating the "Office of the President" for managing the flow of intelligence. The intelligence facilitator or team would be part of the Office and have direct access to senior executives. It would enable the development of relationships so that intelligence is woven into the fabric of strategic decision makingI think I agree with that. The implicit contracting agreement between an employee and his management regarding information flow can indeed be summarized in a very simple way. Basically the company commits to providing methods, tools and support to help the employee share his knowledge with others and thus be more effective, and the employee commits to applying company policy regarding collaboration and knowledge protection and foregoes some of its privacy rights defined in very precise terms on his own information transfers so as to feed the "corporate intelligence service".
And maybe this contracting agreement should be made explicit, as Olivier Zara suggests in his new and excellent book "Managing Colective Intelligece" to be published and which can be downloaded here. But that's for another post.
Anyway, that's how I would like KM to be managed in my company.
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