The following is a briefing for a new approach to ‘KM’ in that I’m attempting to get Local Government to buy into. These concepts are not new to the provate sector, but seem to be fairly radical ideas for the public sector. Will report later on whether this strategy takes hold.
Knowledge Management – Connections not Collections
What is KM?
KMis about enabling people to improve how they work. It involves capturing,creating, distilling, sharing and using know-how in order to help individuals,teams and organisations improve their performance.
We need to embark on a new approach to knowledgemanagement that will realise a step-change in localgovernment improvement over the next few years. The key emphasis is on connectingpeople with similar needs and objectives and facilitating a far morecollaborative approach to developing efficiency and performance solutions. Theapproach requires the development of social networking techniques rather thancompiling collections of best practice case studies and success stories. Thesecollaborative networks are commonly referred to as ‘communities of practice’(CoP).
Definition of CoP: ‘…a group of people geographicallyseparated who share learning, knowledge and advice about a common interest orpractice.’
The role of networks and communities
The r ole of CoP and networks in localgovernment will be key going forward. Perhaps the most consistent of KM successstories in large privat sector organisations has been the evolution of CoP as the primarymechanism for learning, knowledge sharing, and helping between people whoperform the same role but in different departments (or in this case localauthorities). This project will be looking to support the development andmaintenance of healthy CoPs and networks across the local government landscape,as a key tool in self-improvement.
What might the future look like?
In 2009, sector knowledge will be owned and maintainedthrough properly resourced communities and networks. These communities will berun by trained facilitators, which will connect community members (localauthority employees) to the knowledge they require, in order to solve immediateorganisational challenges. Local Government will play a key role in supporting andnurturing these communities, as well as acting as a key first point of contactto search for knowledge and expertise. It will act as a knowledge broker forall local authority employees.