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KM Asia: The top 10 takeaways

7. Startups and scale

Startups are prized and admired for their ability to see the world differently, capitalize on their innovative products and services, and eventually scale to global success. They can manage knowledge well early on because the number of employees is small, and they trust each other and communicate often. But as they grow, structure and process-as well as distance and politics-can come in the way, and more focus is needed on connecting explicit and tacit knowledge.

8. Internal crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is now being tapped not just on the consumer Internet but also on intranets of companies that have large enough scale and diversity. This can minimize reputation risk and improve accountability for new ideas. The bazaar view of knowledge flows is now augmenting and even replacing some forms of the traditional library view (jazz is a better metaphor here than Western classical music).

9. KM in tough times

Resilience is key for a KM initiative in tough economic times. If it is too IT-centric, it is liable to come under the budget axe. Therefore, KM initiatives should focus on making knowledge flows contextual and situational rather than over-scripted. A certain amount of "messiness" and unpredictability will have to be tolerated as part of this realignment.

10. Beyond performance: leadership

KM has to be tied to personal growth and development, as well as organizational leadership—not just performance improvement and productivity gains. KM capacity should be focused on helping people find meaning in their work. Knowledge used to be expensive to capture but cheaper to reapply—however, it now seems cheaper to capture and more expensive to reapply! 

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