Knowledge is different to information and data. It is contained in people’s brains. Accessing it can often be difficult and rather idiosyncratic.
How can we manage what is in people’s brains?
Surely there is no such thing as “Knowledge Management”?
How do you respond when people say this?
I tell people that it is it’s not “managing knowledge”, it is knowledge-based management: management with knowledge, both as a stock and flow, in mind.
You don’t manage the intangible knowledge itself in someone’s brain, you manage the application of that knowledge for the benefit of your organisation: the creation of new knowledge, the sharing and usage of existing knowledge, the adaption of and collaboration around knowledge, and even the destruction of knowledge artefacts when they become outdated.
But that is too much of a mouthful, so we’re stuck with “Knowledge Management”.
If you work in a knowledge intensive business, like a law firm, I hope it makes sense.
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If you are interested in Knowledge Management in your law firm, consider coming along to one of my open courses in London. “KM: The Works” is a day-long foundation course and “KM: The Scores” is a half-day workshop on KM measurement. Find out more here.