Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Knowledge Manager's Handbook (Book 18 of 30)

Title: The Knowledge Manager's Handbook: A step-by-step guide to embedding effective knowledge management in your organization
Authors: Nick Milton & Patrick Lambe

This is the best down-to-earth, practical, experience-based handbook on Knowledge Management I have seen AND it is recent (2016) [at the time of writing this post]. The authors leverage probably more than 20 years of experience each, supporting organizations with KM.  When I first read the book, I inserted many yellow sticky notes with comments about my own experience with many of the practices, methods, tools and tips discussed.

This past year, as I spent a lot of time thinking about helping a successor take over my position as a Knowledge Manager, I came to the conclusion that if I could only recommend one book to my successor, this would be the book.  I'm not suggesting it is the best book ever written on Knowledge Management, but as the title clearly indicates, it is the best book targeting knowledge managers.  Most organizations will not have a community of knowledge managers who can support each other.  Whether you are somewhat isolated from your professional peers, or you've ascended to a Knowledge Manager position without the necessary background and experience to do the job from day 1, this book is a tremendous help.

It also reminds me of KM Approaches, Methods and Tools (a Patrick Lambe book, with a different co-author).  It covers a wide range of KM applications.  You still have to be able to analyze your organization's unique structure and culture to develop a strategy tailored to your organization's needs and existing capabilities and resources.

As a side note, I've also been going in circles with Nick Milton about the need to do a better job of embedding KM.  I posted something in response to one of his blog posts earlier this week and found myself in a deja vu loop.  I have a weird feeling he posted something similar perhaps a year ago and I responded with the same comment..... to which he responded with the same response.  He is right, of course, and I am stuck in a little loop about this embedding problem.  I still think we need to do more in that regard. I'd like KM to be so embedded a separate KM function is unnecessary.  Nick argues that just because finance and safety are everyone's responsibility and embedded in every job doesn't mean we don't need a separate finance or safety function.  It's just not 100% clear to me that the analogy is valid. In addition, in small organizations, it is very difficult to establish KM as a separate function and perhaps easier (hypothesis here) to fully embed KM within existing processes.

  • Cogitate further about embedding KM in small organizations and what the implications are in terms of where KM should reside (report to) or which existing function can take it on as their responsibility.

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