***Register for June’s Free GL Training on Knowledge Mgmt & Social Media – 6/9 at 2pm est**
It’s funny. A couple years ago I was in charge of a social media platform inside my agency for internal use amongst employees. At the time, I thought of it as a social media project or specifically an on-boarding project.
Then one day, I met a person internally who worked in knowledge management and told me what I was doing was just knowledge management and he’d been doing the same type of work for years.
So I did what any smart person does – I went back to my office and googled “knowledge management” – and I found a whole industry and discipline of how we share and capture information in organizations.
Pretty great stuff. But a legacy of issues as knowledge management to many senior leaders “failed” in the 90s and 00s as they tried to force people to use common naming conventions and upload their docs and share information. So it often has a bad rap in some agencies. And also folks in KM world can be a little sensitive because of the unduly deserved “bad rap”
Fast forward a few years later and we’ve had some pretty heated debates in the GovLoop Knowledge Management group on this topic – Is social media just one tool to help with knowledge management? Is knowledge management just one small subset of social media? What constitutes real sharing and information transfer?
In the end, instead of a war between disciplines, I think social media and knowledge management are perfectly aligned to work together.
– In personal lives, for years people have struggled to keep up with their friends. In the last 5 years, Facebook has provided an amazing channel to stay in touch with friends and associates. I think it succeeds because it is light, it’s fun, it’s easy. Doesn’t require “work” of writing a letter
– In the same vein, for years people have struggled to capture the knowledge within an organization. With social media, all of a sudden there are new ways to share information that is lighter, more fun, and easy than in the past. Instead of requiring every document to be uploaded on a shared drive in a specific spot, people can ask in their work “stream” for a specific document and others can search for it afterwards.
Have you seen this debate between KM & Social Media? What are you using to share information in your agency?
***Excited to discuss these issues for June’s Free GL Training on Knowledge Mgmt & Social Media – 6/9 at 2pm est**
Much harder to grasp is tacit knowledge, or the know-how contained in people’s heads. The challenge with tacit knowledge is figuring out how to recognize, generate, share and manage it. E-mail, instant messaging, collaboration tools, etc. can help facilitate the dissemination of tacit knowledge, but identifying tacit knowledge in the first place, is the major hurdle for most organizations.
This is why I’ve been “advocating for the use of “knowledge media” instead of “social media.”
Of course, folks recoiled because of the KM failure of the 90s…but completely agree that they are aligned.
Thanks for the thoughts. Both social media and knowledge management are multi-disciplined, multi-faceted tools and processes for communicating and remembering. Communicating is the key element of both areas and the ability to find or discover information quickly is a key enabler. I agree that the two areas mutually benefit each other and those of us who need to communicate and remember to do our jobs, create and nurture relationships, and identify opportunities to invent, innovate, and influence. There are many debates that can be initiated, but instead of focusing on the debates, we should focus on the benefits for creating learning organizations in government and more efficient communications between individuals. The outcome is better government.