Rearranging the chairs on the decks of the Titanic

March 25, 2008

Much as I remain committed to the original ideas behind Knowledge Management(KM) I do wonder as some of the more esoteric activities. For example here we have a collection of definitions of the field (47 and counting). Its a notable effort, and worthy of historical study but is it relevant to current practice? The author, Ray Sims takes his summary with a sense of humour which is good news and contrasts the view of Firestone and Dale (I favour Dale given a choice). I have been having my own exchange with Firestone on ActKM arguing that he had too great a need to put things into neat and tidy categories. Useful in stable situations, dangerous when things are in flux.

Now I have previously expressed my views on where KM is and where it is going. The one thing I am certain of however is that a single agreed definition would indicate that the movement had finally come to an end. When things are dynamic, driving strategic direction then there is controversy and difference. Getting to a single definition would mean that all the interesting people had gone elsewhere. There seems to be less controversy in KM these days, more a desire to be left alone to get on with what is permitted to a sub-set of the IT department with declining resource. Pity really, it used to be fun.

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