A Valuable Take on Knowledge Management

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Friday, 17 May 2019

Why “knowledge management” is not an oxymoron

One of the arguments against the term “Knowledge Management” is that knowledge is an intangible and cannot be managed, therefore “Knowledge Management” is an oxymoron

Read more here: Knoco stories: Why “knowledge management” is not an oxymoron http://www.nickmilton.com/2019/05/why-knowledge-management-is-not-oxymoron.html#ixzz5oxJ9Y1sM


[T]he management of intangibles is common practice in the business world.
For example

  • Risk management
  • Safety Management
  • Customer Relationship management
  • Brand management
  • Reputation management
  • Environmental management;

All of these are established disciplines which make up part of good management practice in many businesses, and are concerned with intangibles. Safety, Relationships – these are personal and not objects in their own right. You can’t touch or weigh a reputation or a risk.

Is Knowledge Management any different? Why is Safety Management a valid term for example, while Knowledge Management is an oxymoron? Surely an accident is not an object you can manage?

If we see Knowledge Management as one more “Intangible Management System”, then it allows us to learn from the other systems; to see how they are introduced and sustained. And if we look at risk management, safety management, quality management etc. it quickly becomes clear that implementing these disciplines is, more than anything, about attention, mindfulness and prioritisation.

The companies that have made breakthroughs in safety management know that it is about paying attention to safety, being mindful of safety, and prioritising safety throughout daily work. Similarly quality management is about paying attention to quality, being mindful of quality, and prioritising quality throughout daily work.

The same is true of Knowledge Management.

Read more here: Knoco stories: Why “knowledge management” is not an oxymoron http://www.nickmilton.com/2019/05/why-knowledge-management-is-not-oxymoron.html#ixzz5oxJSwLZW