What does KM mean to you?


I’m a librarian by training and I’ve been in the “KM” business since 2000. Since that time I’ve been building a worldwide network of KM professionals, colleagues in all types of industries, communities and organizations. I have had many conversations using many different channels to find out what people are doing in their KM work so that I can profile them and have them as speakers for the KMWorld conference which I have programmed and chaired annually in the US since 2000.

I look at KM in the broadest possible way, basically to mean knowledge sharing, an activity that librarians, archivists, curators of museums and galleries, and lots of others have been doing for many many years. Towards the end of the last century ‘knowledge management’ was being used to refer to a number of processes and activities within organizations. The words “knowledge management” have gone in and out of fashion over the last 20+ years but I still believe that knowledge sharing needs to be a core activity of all organizations and communities. Think of volunteer organizations like associations where people are being elected and appointed regularly; how do they pass along the knowledge they gain while doing the activities and responsibilities assigned to them? Or in corporations or libraries where people are retiring and newbies are being hired out of university and on-boarded. How do they learn and get up to speed so they can excel in their job and the organization as a whole can thrive?


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KMWorld 2017 -- Free Resources


KMWorld 2017 was held last month in Washington to a large & engaged audience! The buzz around our theme: People Power, Thinking & Tech, and multiple events was phenomenal, in my opinion (and others too I think!). Here’s the sneak peek of the conference that I wrote prior to the event to highlight some of the program.

The KMWorld is the largest and longest running KM event in the world; the 2017 annual conference has wrapped up in Washington DC. If you were not able to attend the event, or just want to refresh what you heard, the keynotes are available in video including John Seely Brown, Tom Stewart, Stan Garfield & Jeanne Holm, Many of the Powerpoint presentations from other KMW speakers are available too. KMWorld is made up of complimentary events too:

Taxonomy Boot Camp (videos; presentations)

Enterprise Search & Discovery (presentations)

SharePoint Symposium (videos ; presentations)

Text Analytics Forum (presentations)

KMWorld also publishes a magazine (Past issues online) and the website has lots of additional resources that KM’ers members might enjoy!


KMWorld 2012 is Buzzing!


Thanks to PinHawk Law Technology Daily Digest for pulling together lots of posts from the KMWorld 2012 conference currently exciting the audience in DC! Just met this blogger this morning and she is amazing! Here’s my repost of Jeffrey Brandt‘s post:

Mary Abraham is attending the KMWorld 2012 Conference. I am not sure how many others from legal are there, but I would encourage us all to seek enlightenment from outside our own echo chamber. I was eagerly following her live tweets yesterday (using both the official #kmworld and unofficial #kmw12 hashtags). She’s been a busy lady, as you can tell from the seven highlights I’ve got below. I’d suggest maybe Mary needs an intervention of some sort… but let’s wait until *after* the conference. Read more at Above and Beyond KM: From Intranets to the Digital Workplace #KMWorld Flow Systems and #KM #KMWorld Dave Snowden:Finding New Solutions to Wicked Problems #KMWorld Dave Pollard: Conversations that Don’t Suck #kmw12 #KMWorld Are Intranets Social? #KMWorld #KMW12 Lt Col David Sanchez Keynote:Aligning Corporate Information Governance and Content#KMWorld John Seely Brown: The Entrepreneurial Learner #KMWorld

Return on Value


I’m listening to Juanita Richardson describe how a knowledge management organization in a large corporation is demonstrating return on value of one of their products. The knowledge product uses crowdsourcing to engage and tap the individual and collective know-how and know-that of 150,000 employees around the world. Within this global discussion environment employees respond to and shout out ideas and responses to questions or events posed. How does the knowledge management function demonstrate that this service is valuable for the corporation? The win rate of proposals. 150,000 people is a good market segment. Proposal teams toss out questions clients want to address. Since the client proposal team has started regularly using the crowdsourcing tool they are winning 75% of the client proposals, or 7.5 of every 10 proposals presented to clients, up from 6 out of 10. That’s value.

KM: The practical side!


I agree with Bill Kaplan of Working Knowledge CSP (Concept, Strategy, Practice), long time KM practitioner and consultant. On a recent forum discussion he said, ” I believe KM is about improving performance at the individual, team and organization level. As such, it is about (1) enabling an ability to make better business or operational (mission) decisions based on what you know about what you do, (2) to solve problems or address challenges with existing knowledge, and (3) creating new knowledge to solve new problems or challenges. For private sector CEOs, CFOs and other accountable business leaders and also the public sector leadership who get it, and whose existence, and perhaps business and sometimes personal lives may depend on a rapid ability to leverage their knowledge (information + experience), in the end, they will tell you we shouldn’t confuse effort with results … and who cares what it is called.”

The term knowledge management means something different to almost everyone, in my opinion. I like to think of it as Bill does — sharing knowledge to improve performance, make better decisions, enable learning,problem-solving, innovation. This year’s KMWorld 2011, Nov 1-3 in DC has the theme, Networked Enterprises: Empowered to Share & Apply Knowledge, and is filled with practical tips and techniques for doing just that — sharing knowledge for bottom line performance improvement. Check out the high-powered speakers, practictioners and thought leaders. Register and join us for learning conversations, in-depth workshops, and lots of networking with colleagues. After all

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Who have you encouraged today?


Learning is what humans do, whether it’s early learning from family, school learning from teachers and professors, self development or personal and lifelong learning through reading, viewing, listening, or watching. But we all need encouragement on the learning journey. I am blessed that my mother, a former elementary school teacher, instilled in me a curiosity and courage to learn and ask questions . Who else would go up to a nun in formal attire when they were 3 and ask, “Are you a penguin?” I have encouraged, I think, many people in my career. One close friend who was a one time was afraid to cold call people on the telephone and today is a worldwide thought leader and sought-after speaker. The other day, I was a conference, and during a table discussion heard a great process described. When it came time for the tables to share with the larger group, the person who shared this process hung back, and I encouraged her to speak up. She did and the whole audience was interested and conference leaders connected her with another attendee who really wanted to know more about her process. It takes so little to encourage others and give them the courage to speak up, share, and achieve. That’s what networking, mentoring, and caring are all about. Who have you encouraged today?

Taxonomy Boot Camp Nov 15-16, 2010 in Wash DC


Information Today has redesigned its Taxonomy Boot Camp site, and networked with LinkedIn. This boutique conference holds its own in this economy as it brings together those working on taxonomies, metadata, repositories and any way to harness and organize information. They come from libraries, corporate environments, government departments and professional services to gather in Washington, DC this year November 15-16 —- cleverly co-located with KMWorld, Enterprise Search Summit and SharePoint Symposium.

The Power of the Word: Solving Problems


At IFLA‘s opening ceremonies, Jan Eliasson, former President of the United Nations General Assembly and Minister for Foreign Affairs for Sweden, talked about communication and access to information in a globalized world. He began by noting that the room here in his native city, was a reminder of the UN with the world in Gothenburg. [There are 3,334 registrants at the IFLA 2010 conference from 128 countries.] The city and his family gave him roots – stability & a sense of direction, and wings – a sense of adventure, discovery and search for knowledge. He has a respect for knowledge, a motivation to learn, and a fascination with the word. He used words in his job at the UN to mediate conflict resolutions and peaceful settlements. He described words as rich assets in problem solving, as tools; and if you have a big toolbox you can solve problems. Some quotes from Jan Eliasson: “words are action”; “knowledge is the strongest engine for development”; “Information is power and the key to direction for individuals and society”; “access to knowledge is unfairly distributed”; “No peace without development and vice versa, no development without peace, and no lasting peace or sustainable development without respect of human life”; “knowledge is a crucial part of human rights pillar and peace” He quoted the first paragraph of Bertand Russell’s 3 volume autobiography emphasizing the three passions the ruled his life: longing for love, search for knowledge, pity for suffering of mankind. His most tweeted comment (follow

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Checklist Manifesto for Information Professionals?


For months I’ve been mulling the similarities of the information profession to other professions. Having worked in HR and IT, I know how much we can learn from other professions, situations and perspectives. The 3 professions I keep sort of “circling to view” are HR, IT (no surprise) and medicine. HR and IT are, like the information profession, usually support and service functions that regularly grapple with the language they use (not always understood by clients or decision-makers) and with their position or value perception in their academic, school, public, corporate or government environment. Compare the programs for an IT or HR-related conference and you’ll be amazed at the similarities to a library, RM or KM conference.

So why do I also look at medicine? A while ago I blogged about a fabulous article by “The Inward Journey of Leadership,” in the Journal of Surgical Research, April 2006 by Dr. Wiley Souba. I’m now following his regular writings on leadership in medicine because, as it turns out – ah ha! – many in the medical profession, just like many in the information profession, prefer to do “the work” rather than the managing or leading. And, if we read and explore the insights of other professions, like medicine, our viewpoints widen and deepen.

Atul Gawande, teaches at Harvard Medical School and writes for The New Yorker. He’s recently published “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.” He looked at other professions, like pilots, who use checklists constantly in their roles

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Human Library @ OLA


What a great idea, the Human Library. I’m so pleased to be participating in the Human Library @ OLA as the “Networking Librarian” on Thursday morning Feb 25th at 10 am at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Come join me. Here’s the idea:

The Human Library in its initial form is a mobile library set up as a space for dialogue and interaction. Visitors to the Human Library are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan”; this latter group being extremely varied in age, sex and cultural background.

With these principles in mind, OLA is featuring a career focus for conference delegates who wish to borrow a Living Book. The purpose is to encourage open discussion about interesting, unusual, or leadership career positions with a view to: exploring and expanding the scope of career opportunities for people to consider, and debunking stereotypes (good or bad) associated with career paths (let’s face it – we have them!). The delegates may be students developing their career ambitions, or seasoned professionals who are intrigued by the career path you have taken.

Delegates will be informed of our loan policy: “please remember that all Living Books have kindly volunteered to be lent out as examples of some intriguing career paths. They must be returned to us in the same condition, as they were in at the time of check-out. You are encouraged to ask questions and share your own point of view, but

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