Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Value of Outside Perspective

Expertise is often valued more highly outside of a an organization than within it. When I was at a previous firm, I regularly received complaints that our KM tools were bad, and that we were greatly inferior in our KM capabilities to all of our competitors. I invited a colleague from Company X to present to our internal KM community about Company X's use of best practice replication, which was much admired in the KM field. I was asked to reciprocate by presenting our KM program to Company X's KM community. When I did so, I was surprised at their enthusiastic response to my presentation. They said they would love to have the functionality which we had. This led me to submit a presentation to APQC for their national conference, which was accepted. At that event, I hosted a lunch with KM leaders from other systems integration and consulting firms, which led to the creation of the SIKM Leaders Community. And given the good reception of my presentation, I went on to present at other conferences, publish articles in KM journals, and write a book on KM. This same effect was also evident across organizations with the company. Our business unit did not appreciate our KM program nearly as much as other business units, who would have loved to have the people, processes, and technologies we had in place.

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