Building an information repository isn't enough. "Knowing is a human act," and requires involvement, not just information. This paper by Richard McDermott explains why this matters to those developing knowledge management strategies, and proposes some key implications for leveraging the knowledge hidden in your organization.
What this is
This paper discusses the critical human component of any knowledge management system, and explains why designing an IT solution -- even a brilliant IT solution -- is only half of the task.
Why it's useful
Recent developments in information technology have inspired many companies to imagine a new way for staff to share knowledge and insights. Instead of storing documents in personal files and sharing insights with a small circle of colleagues, they can store documents in a common information base and use electronic networks to share insights with their whole community. But most companies soon discover that leveraging knowledge is actually very hard and involves more community building than information technology. This is not because people are reluctant to use information technology. It is because they often need to share knowledge that is neither obvious nor easy to document, knowledge that requires a human relationship to think about, understand, and share. Ironically, while information technology has inspired the "knowledge revolution," it takes building human communities to realize it.
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