Advice to KM practitioners: Be a chef, don't rely on recipes
[Transcript of video interview with Dave Snowden, Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge at the KMWorld 2015 conference. See video at the bottom of the page]
Q: What advice did you share with the KMWorld attendees?
A: It was an interesting group today. I told them what I said for many years now: that they shouldn't try and follow recipes. In KM we've got too many people who want a recipe they could follow, and we're not creating enough chefs.
Take the analogy a bit further, if you've got a recipe book, you've got all the right ingredients, all the right contents, you can produce a competent meal, but a chef can produce a brilliant meal with whatever you happen to have lying around. I've been arguing what they need to do is start off with real-world problems that executives have got, mapping decision information flows bottom up, and effectively map knowledge assets against real-world problems.
Instead of a big program with massive technology, you have a series of small projects which are data, impacting on day-to-day problems. From that you extract common systems and common processes.
Linked with that, I've been basically pointing out to them, I've been coming here for 18 years, and every year people come in with the same naivete, and after four or five years their KM programs get scrapped, so this very top-down, information-centric approach has actually consistently failed. We need to take a much more organic approach.