Posted by: zyxo | April 23, 2008

Knowledge management = Change management ?

today I read a “position paper” : “On doing knowledge management” by Joseph Firestone.
He starts by saying that nobody knows what KM is. There is no unique definition. So he makes his own. To me it was rather new. The point is : he makes the difference between the knowledge process and changing the knowledge process. And only the second of the he considers as knowledge management. This is a bit awkward.
The knowledge process is how the information is shared, stored, retrieved. (Yes, Information. To me knowledge is information in the head of someone, but later on that).
In contrast to the knowledge process, you have the business process. It is difficult to see the difference : where does the one ends and the other one starts ?
His definition of knowledge management: “KM is the set of activities and/or processes that seeks to change the organization’s present patterns of knowledge processing to enhance both it and its knowledge outcomes.” So to me it is change management of that part of the business that has to do with knowledge. It is all a bit confusing.
Let us make a comparison : human resource management. Does this only deal with changing the way an enterprise manages its employees ? Or is the actual management of the human resources an integral part of HRM ?
Is project management about managing a project or is it about changing the way projects are managed ?
Never knew academic professors could get lost that far in their own theories.

About change management : “if you cannot manage change, change management” 🙂
About knowledge and information : to know is something YOU do alone, to inform, is something you do to another, passing information. So knowledge is information in your head. What you pass to another is information. Only if he understands it, it becomes his knowledge.

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