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Keynote speakers rethink knowledge management at KMWorld Connect 2020 day 3

KMWorld Connect 2020 continued to drill down on how important the role of KM is in crisis management on day 3 with an opening keynote headed by Dave Snowden, chief scientific officer, Cognitive Edge.

Additional keynotes were presented by Scott Parker, director of product marketing, Sinequa, and Chip Gettinger, VP global solutions, SDL.

KMWorld Connect, November 16-19, and its co-located events, covers future-focused strategies, technologies, and tools to help organizations transform for positive outcomes.

Strategies for retaining information with KM

Crisis management has moved from planning to a day-to-day reality. However organizations are ill equipped to manage a situation where we are dealing with unknown unknowables or have to deal with multiple Black Elephants (something that changes everything!) competing for resources and attention. What is the role of knowledge and information in a crisis?

 Organizations assume information flows to people without knowing how it works, Snowden said. This isn’t a good strategy for sharing knowledge.

In any flow, people need to work out what the level of abstraction when sharing knowledge throughout the organization.

It takes approximately 2 years to pick up intensive knowledge, he explained. He presented the example of a taxi driver in England who orientates themselves to being able to remember the map of streets offhand, without the use of navigation technologies.

“Human brains are very different from computers,” Snowden said.

Humans traditionally use stories to convey knowledge. The stories people value aren’t ones of success but ones about failure.

“We know people learn from failure,” Snowden said.

KM programs need to strike a balance between high and low level abstraction, he explained. Informal networks sustain formal systems within an organization, typically.

“I don't know what I don't know, but I know that I'll know it when I need it,” Snowden said.

There are two important aspects of knowledge management that include improving decision making and create conditions that foster innovations.

In a crisis people need to feel like they have a hand in what’s going on during the situation, Snowden said. In a crisis people need to find the things they are good at and use it for a different purpose.

Art and music were the first parts of understanding abstraction in human evolution. This is an example that helps show how people can think and solve things differently before even communicating it.

“Art distances you from reality so you can make novel connections,” Snowden said.

Using enterprise search

Parker discussed “How High Performance Organizations Scale Knowledge & Thrive with Enterprise Search” during his presentation.

Modern organizations are sitting on piles of information, but that treasure trove doesn’t create value unless employees can find and use it.

A key to successful knowledge management is ensuring information is easily accessible. But when it’s stored across different repositories, in all different formats, it has a ripple effect across the organization. Projects are delayed, issues take longer to solve, tasks are duplicated, people get frustrated, and expensive errors are made.

The origins of the high-performance organization began during the industrial revolution when people began to mix jobs with enhanced technology, Parker explained.

Attributes of a high-performance organization include:

  • Valuing information sharing
  • Fostering a learning culture
  • Empowering teams
  • Vigilant to threats and opportunities
  • Have a healthy customer obsession

Information sharing leads to scaled knowledge. However, there is an information dilemma because information is hard to find, it can be unstructured and dispersed.

This can lead to information silos, information can be inaccessible, inaccurate, or duplicated.

This is where enterprise search comes in, Parker said. This can scale organizational knowledge. Top performing organizations rely on a complete enterprise search solution. It saves employees time. It gives them a single, personalized place to access all relevant information and insights. It also impacts strategic priorities, including cost savings, revenue generation, and risk mitigation. 

Intelligent content activation

Gettinger finished up the keynote session with a talk about “Game Changing Breakthroughs in Knowledge Management.”

Knowledge management keeps gaining momentum as corporations are accelerating the shift towards a digital workplace.

 The value in corporate knowledge is amplified by new technologies, such as semantic AI, cognitive search, machine learning, natural language processing, mobile first, structured content, and new policy efforts.

“Many organizations struggle with their digital adoptions strategies,” Gettinger said.

SDL recently worked with EBSCO Health, helping the company to serve several different audiences with information that needed to be divvied out.

The company went from going through hundreds of publications that were turned into clinical information, which took a lot of time across many different areas, to gaining necessary information in a shorter time with SDL.

Intelligent content with SDL Tridion can help organizations sort through their data by offering atomic components, format free content, is semantically rich, and tech connected.

Replays of KMWorld Connect webinars will be made available for on-demand viewing soon.

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