Geert Willems

Geert Willems

maandag 28 oktober 2013

Black Holes in Knowledge Management


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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...

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