Oct 26, 2010

What Enterprise 2.0 can learn from KM

When I started my HR career I was associated with an organization's Knowledge Management initiatives. Soon I realised what are the issues that KM practitioners and vendors face and how the initiatives are actually rolled out in organizations.

Today I can see a parallel of the same issues plaguing Enterprise 2.0/ Social Business / Corporate Social Networking efforts:
  1. Technology is seen as a the answer. It was the same in the era of KM 1.0 - thinking implementing a document management system, corporate yellow pages or enterprise search engine to connect people to people or people to information. Wonder what has changed, except social profiles and wikis have replaced yellow pages and static documents - and taxonomies have given way to folksonomies.
  2. Structure is seen as the answer when technology does not get far: In KM it was the role of the CKO (remember that?) and currently its the Chief Collaboration/Social/Conversation Officer (take your pick) 
  3. Saddle the blame with the culture: When organizations realise that technology and structure does not bring the desired impact the blame is laid at the door of the mythical culture of the organization. Some organizations - we are told - are suited for sharing - and others aren't.
  4. The organizations that do "get it" know it's about embedding it into process : During the KM (and currently the E2.0 era) success is managing the change and defining a business case for the initiative - and building on that by embedding that into the business processes - like assessment, measurement, reward, sales and support processes - of the firm.
So is Enterprise 2.0 going to go the same way as KM?

I think so. They are both of maximum value when they are ubiquitous.
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