Geert Willems

Geert Willems

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.