Alison set the scene by promising us stories to illustrate the points she wanted to make that: data, information and personal knowledge form the main areas of an organisation’s Knowledge Management content. She discussed the costs to the organisation of information not being readily available (the story of “the lost document”), of duplication between departments (“duplication, duplication, duplication”) and of not having the full facts before making decisions (“if only we’d known ….”).
Whilst technology has a central place in the management and dissemination of knowledge in many organisations, there are other methods of knowledge sharing which can be encouraged, or otherwise. She said it could be unclear which department or company function was best placed or indeed held responsible for KM and gave examples where HR, IT or accounts took that responsibility. Alison suggested it was important to spot opportunities for cross organisational links or getting people to talk across hierarchical boundaries. If such sharing is not part of the culture any change would need sponsors, champions or a community of practice to be set up to encourage the organisation to value collaboration, learning and innovation.
Alison used quotes, cartoons and video clips to enliven the presentation and amuse as well as inform the audience.
The evening was finished with a very enjoyable trip to the Lamb and Flag where the subject discussion continued.