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Special Agent G. Clayton Grigg on the FBI's Approach to Knowledge Management

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G. (Gurvais) Clayton Grigg, a special agent with the FBI since 1997 and chief knowledge officer for almost six years, discusses the agency's approach to knowledge management. In a session at the 2012 KMWorld Conference, Grigg says KM is all about outcomes, which for the FBI involves: keeping people safe, preventing bad things from happening and finding out about those that did.

KM is all about improving performance, according to Grigg. He asked audience members what they would do if they wanted to know something: query a database or ask someone who knows? The majority of people always respond that they would turn to someone they know, he says. Yet, organizations often look to buying technology instead of investing in helping people find the people who have the knowledge they need.

"It's great to help people find data, but it's even better to help people find people who know the data," Grigg says.

The FBI is always adapting and evolving because its threats and enemies are, Grigg says. It has to be a learning organization. Lives, freedom and the citizenry are on the line. With those at stake, the FBI also cares about what it knew years ago, because that knowledge could help identify current threats.

In talking about knowledge networks and challenges, Grigg explains, "We have been doing network analysis for a long time, but how often do we use these same techniques to help ourselves internally to figure out who are the key people in our network, who knows the most about Topic X, who is authoring or co-authoring more documents about that or has that experience. So that's one of our knowledge management challenges."

Grigg reports that the FBI is undertaking a number of KM initiatives, which include: a federal KM community, an annual knowledge week, knowledge brokering, a KM awards program, special projects and mobile knowledge.

"When you collaborate and you make transparent good ideas and bad ideas, you see innovation," Grigg says ... "If I have any take-home message both for the FBI and any other organization in this room, it's that as we can responsibly share and make more transparent what we're doing, who knows it and where it is, we will see improvement in performance."

To view the full presentation, watch the video below. For more videos from KMWorld 2012 visit the video section of KMWorld.com.

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