Geert Willems

Geert Willems

dinsdag 17 december 2013

What Christmas can learn from Knowledge management - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Facebook - Book us for a passionate KM talk
I learned that the appreciation of Santa Claus and Christmas can be largely depending on childhood: for my wife Santa Claus was almost the best period, while Christmas was for me indeed a period of peace, light, love, warmth and communication in the family I grew up.

And Christmas still has this meaning for me. I believe to the benefit of my own family - trying to bring extra peace, light, love and warmth in this family.  Values, independent of religion. Memories I hope my children will cherrish too.

And then there comes the week after: new year.
And then the year starts again... unitl the end of that year everything starts over again.

When you put this graphically on a calendar, it looks pritty stupid.
And I admit. Even loving the values of Christmas, I don't think about them lying at the beach in summer. I don't think about them giving the best of myself to my customers.
Although the values are still there.
It's only when something special occurs that the conscious attention is there. And of course, uncousciously the values are there, and I hope the acting is accordingly.

Wouldn't I be a better man giving these values conscious thoughts?
Wouldn't even my customers be better off if I was a better man giving these values more conscious thoughts?

And now for the knowledge mangement stretch.

I strongly believe in knowledge management. Otherwise it wouldn't be my passion. Otherwise it wouldn't be my life's work developping and consolidating techniques. I wouldn't have become the consultant I am now.

I believe when developping and implementing a knowledge strategy, it's Christmas for my customer. Attention is given to values that matter. Attention that changes company behaviour for the better. Resilient, innovative, productive.

And than the project enter's maintenance phase. But; this time, the attention to handling knowledge remains available. As your company pays attention to quality management and project management.

So... Christmas can really learn something from knowledge management.

A statement I wouldn't have dare to make twenty years ago.

dinsdag 10 december 2013

dinsdag 26 november 2013

KM: kissing the frog in storytelling

Oh yes, I love storytelling.
Oh no, I hate storytelling.

Today I had a workshop with a great change manager. She invested time in reviewing a book of mine.
And one of the topics we discussed was storytelling.

When I write, I'm not on this world. My PC and I are connected. Most of the time helped in trance by fantastic music, and the words appear automatically on screen on the waves of my thoughts.

And after doing that for a day of five, being 150 pages later I feel drained.
I'm satisfied and empty at the same time.
Satisfied, because all the knowledge in my head was transferred. Out of my mind.
Empty, because it feels like a whole load of thoughts made my head less full.

And that feeling, is great.

But that, is only the content.
It's only the frog I created.

Then I need to rework things. Towards the audience.

To make a complete nice, coherent story with this audience in mind.

And focussing that despite complex and numerous matter, the story that I tell is a great story.

And those last things are the most energy consuming.

Unfortunately, I need to kiss a frog right now.

maandag 25 november 2013

I challenge you: Are you the KM manager this is written for?

It's a pitty.
It really is.
It's a misted opportunity!

It's a shame!

And still, it happens.
In SME's.
In multinationals.

All over the world.

They lie!
And they don't know it!

They have it!
But they don't use it!

Yes, they have the box.
Yes, they have the function!

Yes, there is one with on his business card: knowledge manager.

Yes, they are convinced they are doing it right!


It's only on paper.
They got the title because they were already information manager.
They got the title because they are convinced it's a simple add on.

They got the title because they have to leave the company in a few years, and a demotional promotion had to be created

Yes they perform knowledge management.

But it's:

(picture credit: freedigitalphotos)

Can't help it.

It makes me angry.
It makes me go to the fitness and thinking about how to handle this organisation.

Because I need to think.
Because helping a company with such knowlege management installed is much more diffictult to help than a company without an official knowledge management role yet. 

when it's realised:
Ok, I have this role of KM in this company,
but I want to unleash the knowledge and imagination.

And a question comes from that person:
Realising they are far from unleashing the knowledge mwithin the company.
After the insight and conscience knowledge management is indeed a specialisation where you need a lot of knowledge and insights.
Then the question comes:
I want to fill this box with the treasure of a knowledge strategy. 
How to I cope?

And then,
after taken action
I can fly home
with a biiiiiig smile on my face.

Is this article written for you?

I told myself it's ok to tease from time to time in a blog

Geert Willems - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Facebook - Book us for a passionate KM talk

vrijdag 22 november 2013

KM: why technology alone fails - proven by a grain of sand - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Facebook - Book us for a passionate KM talk
Four years ago, during the end of the year, my son of - then - two and a half years old had a thick red eye.
And he was quiet. And if you know my son, you would know, that when my son is quiet, he is ill.
So we went to the doctor who made the diagnosis of orbital cellulitis She acted quickly in fear my son would loose his eyes. An antibiotic infusion and follow-up for the next 72 hours in the hospital. The night before Christmas he was dismissed from the hospital.

So when my wife came downstairs a few days ago and said our son had a thick eye again, her first reaction when I was smiling - ok, she caught me off guard - was pritty angry.

But she calmed down quickly when I explained our son had a grain of sand in his eye after playing on the beach. 

He told me, I did a few eye-drops  in his eyes, asked him to wink a few times, and the grain of sand was gone. But his eye was still a little red.

Reflecting on knowledge the whole time, and after a discussion a few days ago with a CEO believing knowledge management can be solved - always - using technology, this story popped-up in my mind.

I can't imagine any profitable and usable knowledge system, in which I could store this kind of information. Because it was solved so quickly I judged not to mention this to my wife. And because of the past my wife judged too quickly to the wrong conclusion. I can't imagine any user friendly platform to put this information in. After all, face-to-face, it was cleared out in less than five seconds!

Prove me wrong ! 

maandag 18 november 2013

How Einstein killed my ego - and did me a great favour! - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Facebook - Book us for a passionate KM talk

When I give an explanation and one says its rather complicated and too complex, I know I must find a new angle.
My ego wants to convince me that it's not my explanation, not my understanding. Me ego wants to convince me that it's the level or pre-knowledge of my knowledge.
My reason short-cuts this by telling me the truth: no, if my audience doesn't see the added value of what I say, or doesn't grasp the concept, there is only one to blame: myself.
And now, when this happens - and yes, it still happens - it's for me an item I check. Can somebody without a lot of preknowledge on knowledge management understand what I'm saying? And if not, can I still explain it simple?

It reminds me to all the lessons I skipped in high-school and university.
And that I only went to the sessions which were tough for me, including high frequency and filter techniques. Where we had a genius teacher who could explain high frequency, and when leaving the class room it was as if you could feel how the waves hit the antenna.
And the contrast of having chemistry in high school, where I hated it, and it was a tough nut to crack with having chemistry at high school, where initially chemist reactions were compared with Micky Mouses giving hands, and where material which was a lot tougher and complex to understand was getting fun, and really easy to digest.

It is really striking that complex matters can be explained simple. By extracting the essence and making an anology that only ressembles this essense. Do we have a name for this type of knowledge? A name for the simple models and analogies that explain the most complex things in simple ways.

Even in knowledge management, BEWARE of the sourceres who claim knowledge management is a magic area of expertise.
EMBRACE the consultants who are ables to explain every facet in a simple way -,especially the complex matters!

maandag 11 november 2013

You think there are only a few KM tools and techniques? Eat this!!! - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Facebook - Book us for a passionate KM talk

After a very creative week a very straight forward - may be too short through the corner - blog article.

When meeting family and thanks to social media friends of a long time ago, I still get regurarly the question: what are you doing?
Knowledge management?
WHAT are you doing?

and after some explanation which really is mood depending, the reactions are more or less:

"So either you make people communicate better, create a more innovative environment, and choose the correct tool to do that? Can't be that hard! Guess there are only a few ways to influence knowledge!!"

And depending on the season and my tan on the moment I turn either dark brown in summer or very close to purple in winter.

So for those people a very limited list of knowledge management tools and techniques.
And for most of the items, you have a specialisation in which you can travel the world in consulting just one topic.

Any questions on the added value of a knowledge manager?

donderdag 7 november 2013

The power of zombie knowledge - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Facebook - Book us for a passionate KM talk
From time to time I get an assignment in a high-tech company, shaping the future in their field.
Sometimes quiet challenging assignments.
Needing to be a spunge the first days or weeks. Getting to know the products. Absorbing all kinds of knowledge. Learning the new language, products, features - all at the same time.

And after two weeks of being spunge. I've had it. My brain needs rest, putting a stop to the information stream for a number of days. And still, I really enjoy the spunge learning parts. And working on several projects on the same time helps to keep the equilibrum. Absorbing knowledge for one customer project, and coaching and training staff of others the next day.

Being spunge is one of my gifts - often not understood. How is it possible that somebody not from the sector can deliver quality in depth material.... but handling knowledge in satellite communication is the same as handling knowledge in food industry, as in the chemical sector, as in construction,....

So far my life as consultant. But now the interesting part.

But when you come back to the same customer, on the same products and services- even if a year  or more is in between assignments on the same products, something strange happens.

I still KNOW things.
Not that I can tell everything from my head - if I could do that, thàt would be special.
But I recognize things and understand things. Instead of stretching, it feels like working inside the comfort zone.
As if when I stopped the assignment a few years ago a 'pauze' button is pressed.
And when I come back, one simply presses the 'play' button again.

The same as when you meet good friends again, after not seeing them a number of years.
And the same as when you meet good friends, you want to get up-to-speed, but that is really so easy.

But this reminds me to a complaint of specialists not being involved in communities of practice on subjects they used to be specialists.
Because they are not up-to-date in the area of expertise. 
Because it's knowledge and experience from their previous functions.

And the cynical thing is that one of the things being (tried) to achieved by a community of practice is not reïnventing the hot water again, and not making the same mistakes again.

In a equated CoP: please involve 'old' stars. It's not difficult to motivate them. On the contrary, they typically are eager to contribute. The only pitfall is to keep the equalibrium and keep all the voices equal in loudness. Unfortunately the voices of the old glories, who sometimes were there at the cradle of the topic, and are promoted or chose other ways afterwards are not considered to participate. Leaving a lot of unleashed possibilities.

donderdag 31 oktober 2013

The White Raven

Knowledge managers are white ravens.
Cliché! Cliché!!

So claim project management consultants, quality managers... and knowledge managers.

Credits for the picture:

But than a CEO asked me - finally: Why?
Not why I was the white raven.
But why every knowledge manager is a white raven.

And I came down to following figure - I took the base from a book, but can't recall which one.  But I made some additions. And the drawing I made face-to-face to the CEO was not as extensive. But convincing.

Those are the areas of expertise a knowledge manager should have the basics on.
And here you already see the reasons of knowledge managers with different interests:
the one focussing on complex theories - and handling them, the one focussing on the human parts in change management.
It's also the reason why, when I need really deep knowledge of e.g. a quality standard, I engage a specialist, as I do for large projects, and specialists.

Is it still possible - but not possible any more to be a top notch knowledge manager in all fields of knowledge management. Or are those the real white ravens?

woensdag 30 oktober 2013

What's this feather holding knowledge management initiatives together? - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Facebook - Book us for a passionate KM talk
I was planning to write about a still ongoing war in knowledge management. A surprising discovery about pro and con externalisationsts, and remarks popping op back and forth on workshops. And I was looking for a good analogy for this - and in that search I found an old youtube movie I liked very much.

About balancing. Balancing and knowledge management. It DOES ring a bell, doesn't it?

And the more I reflected on the movie, the more I saw the analogy with knowledge management.

And the nice thing about the movie: it has a clue to it in the last seconds.

So we know knowledge management is about balancing. Balancing people, processes and technology. Balancing culture. Balancing explicit and tacit knowledge. Balancing networks.

And you build everything up, just as in the movie.
And in the end you have a great construction, a magnificent creation.
After good preparation, and hard work, strategy, and implementation of your knowledge management activities is there. And it remains.

 In the construction of the video, all pieces co-exist and keep each other in balance.
The role of the human is soooo central, as humans in knowledge management should be.
The role of technology is supporting, to reach the goals of knowledge managemnet.


Without it, the whole construction would not exist.

Until the feather is removed.
The same feather that started everything.

So what's the feather in the analogy with knowledge management?

It's what keeps everything in balance.

It took a few minutes thinking about it before I even dare to name the feather.

 And now II name the feather 'attention to handling knowledge', as THE critical factor to keep knowledge management implementations alive.

But I am open for suggestions...

maandag 28 oktober 2013

Black Holes in Knowledge Management - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Facebook - Book us for a passionate KM talk

Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

Black holes. It took a while before we could see them. And even than it's not seeing them directly, but by observing the space around them.

Black holes. They are more than black spots in the universe. They destroy.

Once I was asked by a company, to develop and implement a knowledge management strategy for their R&D team. But I convinced the CEO if I could scan for black holes in the organisation. 

So I did, and the result was amazing: seven more existing or emerging KM projects came up, of which three were recognised more urgent than the original request.

And those weren't black spots - things which were not recognised and known.

They were black holes - things which would consume the organisation, potentially in such a way, they could have eaten half of the company before they were detected.

Everybody in this company was focussing in a very professional way to their job. Professionals with their responsibility. Leading in the field. With a terunover of hundreds of millions of Euros yearly. Not amateurs. Fourth generation professionals, adapted to modern times and technologies.

All sensible humans recongize they have black spots. Frustrating, since you know they are there. And growing as a human means a.o. discovering those black spots, bringing them into the light and handle them.

But I've never met a company where they have a black hole detector. Best practices, yes. That's something we do. Learning from worst practices, yes. That's something we do. Handling complixity and even chaos! Yes we do handle this. 

But black spots? Nope. Mail me if you know such a company - I'd like to know the story of that company and how they got there!

Be ware of black spots.

Because they could in fact be black holes.

And without early detection - they could already have started to consume your company...

donderdag 24 oktober 2013

Beautiful Models fighting - in KM / updated picture / what's your opinion? - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Follow us on Facebook

I love models. They're sexy.
And when they are really intelligent - they are great.
And when they offer something new - that is fantastisc.
And when they uncover ground covered so far - that's goosebumps creating!

(model picture: - and on request of my wife I needed to add a more sext male picture, slightly missing the point of thes article

Yeah - I used to be a follower of DIKW in the '80s, and made some comments on usability.
Yeah - I used to be a SECI follower in the 90's .
So I used to be an externaliser - and made some creative adaptions to the model myself, optimising the model.
Yeah - I used to be a Cynefin lover.

Ah, but you know what?

I still love them all. And observe discussions.

And my personal opinion? Is the SECI model still valuable? Yes!
And what about Cynefin: sure!

Isn't handling a complex environment done via a complicated or simple process, which can be SECI based?

You could be hardcore Cynefin.
You could be hardcore SECI.

But isn't the best of breed using the right model at the right time - and preferably a mutant of both - and more?

Just asking!!

maandag 21 oktober 2013

Green Donkeys - and again knowledge management - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Follow us on Facebook
This is a special post.
Because it was not written with the intention to write on knowledge management this time. It was written in a personal context.
...and yet, there it is again...

Tonight I did something which made me feel great as a student. I did it a few times a week. A habbit I neglected for more than a decade, but I picked it up again.

Here I am,
sitting in the dark - hence the typing errors in this article -
a great Belgian beverage next to me,
and great music.

The type of music I can feel in every vine of my body,
which touches me, breaks down the walls of reasoning.

And when I close my eyes, every touch of conscioucness is enlarged. I can feel every organ in my body, when I focus on my inner rest, it's an ocean of silence, when I focus on my strength, it sparkles through the universe. It's my type of meditation. Medidating on a subject gives me a good answer.
I get the urge to create, write, compose, live....

And when the dust settles, I'm at ease and relax, and the thought occurred to me: I wasn't a red monkey at university, and I wasn't a sheep.

The last year of telecommunication I went to only two lessons: high frequency and filter techniques. Not because - and that's a common misunderstanding - I wasn't interested in what was given, but why should I spend 2 hours in classes 10 weeks in a raw to get the details of how digital equipment works if i could study it in 2 days?
Why spending 4 hours half a year in a course electrical machines, when I could collect notes from 4 students, make my own notes - and in the meantime sell the courses for the student organisations - and learn those eletrical machines in the process?

There was even a time I went back to classes because I was getting bored not going to classes and making those courses, playing snooker and poker - mom, dad, now you know!

After I got my first degree, I was so lucky I could study further as biomedical and clinical engineer - an additional two years. A very limited group of students, and a higher level. There I went to classes. And I didn't have to ask for additional notes, since I was getting them without asking - students knowing they would get better notes in the process 

Than my career of being a student stopped - one of the mistakes in my life was to refuse a doctorate opportunity.

But I wonder, and didn't think about it so far,
what would have been my capabilities at that time,
when instead of skipping school I was challenged for more,
and interesting things?

Because I had two lives: I had the life of a student, and the result of a student. I could accept that the question I got were harder than for the students who did go to classes. It's a bargain I was willing to make. And than there was my other student life: collecting, synthesizing, publishing knowledge - and playing snooker, chess, keyboard - during lesson hours...

Because that was, where my heart is.

Sometimes I'm jealous at my fellow-students, who seemed to be happy with their life. It all made sense and was normal.
Even today I'm jealous at fellow co-workers, doing their job and feeling happy. 

I could do the same, a fixed job in a nice company. But only if my heart would be there. When there would be a firm believe in the goal of the company. When I would feel I could really use my potential.

I loved my life as a student.

I love my life as knowledge manager. Helping. Guiding. Innovating. Discovering.

I'm not a red monkey.
Not a sheep.

... a green donkey

vrijdag 18 oktober 2013

Why start-ups need knowledge management - Twitter: @GSWconsulting - Follow us on Facebook
Yesterday I was visiting a very high-tech company. Niche in niche. Medical sector. Very specilised.
And also very successful and booming.

And they knew that knowledge management is important to them, but also admitting they didn't do it in the optimal way.
Sure they are handling knowledge nowadays, they need to to get the certifications for their lab environments.

But now they foresee growth, from 50 to a few hundred in a short period of time.

How to share knowledge the right way?
How to keep being innovative?
What techniques should be used?
What tools should be used?

Even top of the world, very innovative, niche in niche, knowledge management is not their core business.

They don't keep track of tools, techniques, evolutions in the world of knowledge management.
They didn't spend time on following trends and analysing what failed, and what is good for their own environment.

And they are clever enough to get trained.
They don't want an external knowledge manager to manage their business.

They want to get top notch knowledge management training and do it themselves.

Creating a knowledge management environment which isn't depending on the sheer size of the company.
They need this, as do all booming start-ups. Because if they don't manage their knowledge right, their edge will be lost.

And that's fine by me - training coaching new knowledge manager is what I love to do most!

Geert Willems

dinsdag 15 oktober 2013

Classifying rules typically applicable in knowledge management projects

For over 15 years we have experience in knowledge management.
Defining solutions, implementing projects.
Busy being up-to-date with the trends in this field of expertise.

Making lists:
- what are the used tools and techniques
- when are these tools and techniques used
- what are the guidelines typical for knowledge managemnet project

Consolidating over 200 guidelines we needed a framework to classify these rules to be able to present them in digestable chunks of a limited amount of guidelines.

This is the result. We hang on to the pillars of people, processes and technology, but split up the people part in guideline for the management, guidelines about knowledge management culture, guidelines for HR policies and for the individual. These borders are not always clear-cut but the division helped us drastically.
Of course there are guidelines to support knowledge flows, processes and technology within knowledge management projects.
And there is the knowledge strategy, executed in a knowledge projects by a KM team managing change in a measured environment.

maandag 14 oktober 2013

Why we all have to deal with complex systems.

I was in a workshhop with Dave Snowden last week in Frankfurt. And learned more about the Cynefin model (such as it is pronounced as [keuneivan]. Glad to have learned that, since if I would have been talking to him as [seuneufien] I would have made myself rediculous before I even started.

One of the main thing about this model is the difference of handling simple, complicated, complex and choatic circumstances  as a leader or as a knowledge manager.
I share the opinion that too much emphasis is still on the explicit making of knowledge.

In complex systems it's just not worth it, undoable because of a negative business case, or just undoable.

I question I got recently: "We're a simple company. Nothing complex about us. Half of the Cynefin framework doesn't apply to us".

And than I start to ask that person, to make a drawing about the situation of his - and any company.
And we came down very fast, agreeing that any company has competitors and customers.
A simple complex - glorieus twinkles in the eyes of the person asking me.

Than I asked to let him draw this situation.
And we came down to following figure.

Than I asked about the interactions and relations between all.

And I asked about the influencing factors.

Agreeing: this was quiet complex environment. Where there isn't always a clear predictable relationship between cause and consequence. Where you have to try things to see what the result is. Where is diffcult to define patterns. 

Being in the complex part of the Cynefin framework.

donderdag 26 september 2013

A networking event by an allergic non-networker and knowledge management consultant

I'm not a standard networking guy. I'm not a naturally born salesman.
My wife thinks I'm pretty nerdy. Because next to my wife, my two sons, and the place we live I'm very passionate about knowledge management. I love creating and implementing knowledge strategies. Already from my student time - it's in my blood.

So I'm not a natural born networking guy. But from time to time there I participate in network events, because they can be the annex of visiting companies you otherwise never can set a foot in. So I was visiting a company, world leader in the development of incubators, hatchery equipment and turnkey hatcheries.

After the very interesting introduction in this world, which was new to me, and a large tour through the production units, there was the networking moment.

And in the conversation, of course, everybody asks: ah, pleasure to meet you, what business are you in?
Answer: knowledge management.
And depending on the reactions, you give some explanations, you demystify that's solved with a tool or human networking only. Demystifying that knowledge management is indeed a specific area of expertise, and that the added value is not only for SME's or engineering companies, but also for production companies.

And then a story of a CRM implementation gone wrong.... and after some questions I noticed that the very specialized team that introduced the CRM system really didn't take into account the people part, which resulted in lousy processes, which resulted in a bad use of the system which resulted in faulty data in the system which resulted in a less and less used system.... Resulting in an implementation of a new system, making the same errors, and still using some date from the first system. And the best part was that the new system will be completely created only for that company. My thoughts: guaranteeing a lot of money for the creator of the CRM software, and envy on those salesmen which must be very good to get this sold.

This would never have happened when taking the knowledge flow into account, and the human aspect of knowledge management. 

Than another person picked in the conversation, telling: our CRM system works fine. That woke my interest - because I don't know that many good working CRM systems. So I asked "Ah, and which CRM platform is this"? 
Answer "You know! CRM, probably the same one!” So I asked "Ok, I get it, but what's the name of the used software?" 

I don't know! Pity for me, but probably a good implementation!

And a third participant fell in "Knowledge, knowledge, it's all about knowledge. To whatever network event I go, and people start talking about challenges they got, it's all about knowledge".

Yes. It is.

So is there only a very limited number of companies not handling knowledge in a conscious way?

Before leaving, I thanked the CEO of the company for the introduction in his world, and the tour of the company. 
Chatted a little on knowledge management, and the location of his factory - teasing him so he requested my card, as a professional networker (as I said, when it's about knowledge management, I'm very passionate).

And I went home.

Yes - it's all about knowledge management. They're starting to get it....

I just laid an egg. Hope it will hatch.

vrijdag 26 april 2013

Innovatie en productiviteitsverhoging door kennismanagement

Innovatie en productiviteitsverhoging door kennismanagement
Innovatie en productiviteitsverhoging. Dat hebben onze bedrijven nodig. Het ‘hoe’ blijkt daarin niet altijd duidelijk. En toch. In het vakgebied van kennismanagement zijn 72 courante strategische doelstellingen beschreven: stel een vraag maar één maal in een organisatie, verminder inwerktijden, capteer en hergebruik kennis van personen die het bedrijf zullen verlaten zijn drie van deze doelstellingen. Als je alle 72 doelstellingen analyseert kom je uiteindelijk tot: innovatie en productiviteitsverhoging.
Onbekend terrein
Het is beangstigend dat een aantal innovatieve bedrijven de grondslagen van kennismanagement niet kennen.. Het is duidelijk dat de mogelijkheden van dit vakgebied nog niet goed doorgedrongen is. Daar zijn verscheidene redenen voor. Zo zijn er meer en meer IT en technical writing bedrijven hun oplossing verkopen als kennismanagementoplossing. En daar loopt het al op meerdere punten fout.
De mens is de kern
Ook in kennismanagement zijn er drie peilers: mensen, processen en technologie. Daarbij is de mens de belangrijkste peiler. We willen dat innovatieve kennis ontstaat in de hoofden van mensen, we willen dat kennis stroomt van mens tot mens. Bij kennisoverdracht via een technologisch medium is er steeds verlies van kennis. Kennis gaat verder dan wat we weten. In het vakgebied kennismanagement worden ook vaardigheden behandeld als een type kennis.
Processen zoals ze gebruikt zouden moeten worden
Naast de menselijke peiler, is er ook de peiler van de processen. Hierbij moeten processen op een ‘gezonde’ manier aangepakt worden. Ze mogen creativiteit niet fnuiken. Kwaliteitsmanagementsystemen creëren die gebaseerd zijn op kennismanagementprincipes, gedragen door de medewerkers, als dagelijkse manier van werken waarbij het certificaat bijzaak is en elke dag onverwacht geaudit mag worden is trouwens ook één van de mogelijke strategische doelstellingen. CoPs (Communities of Practices) zijn één van de killer applications in kennismanagement. Maar vele communicaties falen omdat men zich niet bewust is van de randvoorwaarden, en de levenscyclus die elke communitie doorgroeit. Hetzelfde geld voor veel initiatieven die door middel van virtuele teams innovatie willen bevorderen.
Kennismanagement los je niet op met alleen technologie
Technologie is de derde peiler, die de vorige peilers ondersteunt. Het gebeurt de vaak dat een foute technologie wordt binnengebracht of misbruikt in een poging om kennismanagement te doen.
Er wordt nagelaten een cultuuranalyse te doen wat nefaste gevolgen kan hebben en de technologische investering kan doen fnuiken. Een voorbeeld is een high-tech bedrijf dat gebaseerd op features een nieuw document management systeem introduceerde, maar daarbij geen rekening hield met de cultuur. De oplossing in dat geval was een nieuw document management systeem, met minder features, een lagere kost, maar wat vandaag de dag wel gebruikt wordt en zelfs als kern van een heel communicatiesysteem wordt gebruikt.
Kennis rond kennismanagement daarom heel belangrijk voor elk bedrijf: hoe kies je de juiste technologie, hoe verlopen mijn kennisstromen, hoe delen de mensen vandaag de dag kennis?
Er zijn tools beschikbaar die je op 10 minuten tijd kan pinpointen wat kennismanagement voor u als organisatie kan betekenen.  In een volgende stap is het zaak om te bepalen wat je eigen kennismaturiteit is, en de uiteindelijke nood. Om van daaruit praktische business cases te ontwikkelen.
ROK of Return On Knowledge is omstreden. Kan je ROK goed inschatten? Ook binnen Het Nieuwe Werken, één van de andere strategische doelstellingen binnen kennismanagement is er een strekking die duidt dat de voordelen zo duidelijk zijn maar moeilijk te duiden dat je voor Het Nieuwe Werken het voordeel niet moet berekenen.
Fout. Zowel in kennismanagement als Het Nieuwe Werken dien je het voordeel op voorhand in te schatten. In kennismanagement zijn een aantal cases makkelijk te berekenen: als je er in slaagt om de intwerktijd van een nieuwe medewerker met 30% te laten dalen en je kent de verwachtte instroom is de case snel gemaakt. Wat als elke vraag in mijn organisatie maar één maal gesteld wordt? Een andere aanpak is de risiscoanalyse: wat als je kennis niet deelt? Hoeveel kost het mijn organisatie dan?
Deze aanpak toont ook de evolutie in het vakgebied van kennismanagement: waar midden jaren 90 nauwelijks berekeningen werden gemaakt voor het invoeren van een kennismanagementimplementatie is dat vandaag de dag de regel. Zo kunnen organisaties met minimale kost en risico’s kennismanagementoplossingen implementeren.
Enkele voorbeelden: Door kennis van de kennisstroom kan je het documenteren van bijvoorbeeld SAP implementaties drastisch korter maken. Je zal het ‘capteren’ van de kennis en het ‘expiciet maken’ kunnen scheiden, en door middel van spraakherkenningstechnologie kan je de kost bijna halveren.  Wanneer kennis gecapteerd wordt in een knowledge capturing meeting, is de initiële opmerking dat dit tijd kost, maar we hebben zonder uitzondering, nog geen énkele capturing meeting meegemaakt waarin zaken naar boven kwamen waarbij onmiddellijk de kost veelvuldig werd teruggewonnen.
Kennismanagement als onderbouwing voor innovatie
Kennis dient te stromen van mens tot mens, al dan niet rechtstreeks. In de kennisstroom wordt kennis gecreëerd in 2 fasen: de combinatiefase, waarbij een persoon nieuwe kennis combineert met bestaande kennis en de socialisatiefase, waarbij verschillende personen rechtstreeks kennis uitwisselen en creëren. Vanuit het model van de kennisstroom kan gemakkelijk een set van tools en technieken afgeleid worden die innovatie stimuleren. Op dit moment hebben we 64 socialisatietechnieken en 48 combinatietechnieken gedetecteerd.
Welke kennis?
Kennis kan in kaart gebracht worden. De nood ligt aan de basis van de betrokken kennis. Maar een richtlijn kan zijn: als er over iets geen vragen gesteld worden, waarom zou je er dan kennis over capteren?
De oplossing
Door combinatie van de peilers in kennismanagement, de projectmatige aanpak, het gebruik maken van business cases en een kennisstroommodel kan voor elk van de strategische doelstellingen waarvoor kennismanagement gebruikt kan worden de beste oplossing geselecteerd worden gebruik makend van de 164 tools en technieken en 171 richtlijnen rond kennismanagement.
Kennismanagement als peiler voor het oplossen van de economische situatie
Kennismanagement is een bijna onontgonnen terrein waar nog veel bedrijven te weinig kennis hebben. Productiviteitsverhoging en innovatie: hoe? Start met kennismanagement.
© 26 april 2013 - Geert Willems – GSWconsulting –