How to Avoid Common KM Pitfalls

Transcript of video commentary from an interview with Patrick Lambe, Founder, Straits Knowledge, at the KMWorld 2015 Conference

Q: How do you avoid common knowlege management pitfalls?

A: There are many different kinds of pitfalls that relate to your level of sponsorship, how well you're connected to the business focus of the organization, how well you're connected to the interests of the different stakeholder groups, and what kind of resource or competency you have.

All of these dependencies in knowledge management can run into problems at different points in the program. When we do knowledge management awareness exercises, very often we'll do an exercise that's just like a physical Minesweeper exercise where you've got a team of people and you ask them to cross the minefield, but they don't know where the mines are. The moderator knows where the mines are, and if they hit a mine square they have to go back and the next team member tries to go.

Typically, the way that the participants deal with this problem is they try and memorize where someone got sent back. What they don't do is observe the fact that there are many teams doing the same thing in the same room, and people are being sent back on exactly the same squares. What they should really be doing is assigning someone to observe where the other teams are being sent back.

Everybody can learn faster. I think knowledge managers tend to be in that kind of mindset where they think, ìI'm alone in this and I have to figure out for myself where the mines are, and then figure out how to respond to it.


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