Fitting KM

Business drive comes in different flavors,

1 Take state bank of india that is predominantly process driven average age of employees is in the high 40s and there is a huge wave of retirements upcoming, and without understanding of the processes it will be difficult to improve productivity beyond a point at branch level. Other than the usual training, employees seem to have no access to other learning methods, and networks seem to form only around personal magnets, people who get transferred most or as part of some union or an executive initiative. Really there is no in built support for natural communities to form and develop. Is this not a problem that KM can solve?

2 Or Idiom whose business is really creative endeavors When we vis,ited Idiom (equivalent of Ideo in India and has done some great work) the entire KM system (they don’t call it that) was with one librarian (they don’t call him that), who simply knew from the company’s history what work had they done and where we can find references (which are typically pieces of design). None of this is re-used, just because of the nature of their business. What they do with these design artifacts is observe how it had evolved and retain them as props to tell better stories and give all employees a sense of history. Much of their ground floor in the Bangalore office is occupied by these artifacts, it is really a walk down memory lane. Is this not great KM?

3 Or a Qualcomm that is purely technology driven, Where weak signals on technology evolution direction need to be surfaced and magnified. Tremendous scope for multiple safe-fail experiments outside the scope and investment of RD department that will have direct business tie-in. Most likely there is already something brewing, is it not necessary to know where techies are putting their time outside of their day job just on pure passion? If we came to know of it, will the company invest to just encourage it. (OK lets for a moment forget privacy, IP concerns etc). Is this out of bounds for KM? Point I am trying to make is “fitting KM” comes from understanding the organization drive, nature of business and culture and designing actions to suit the motives at ground level. I am sure then KM will not be called “intervention”.


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