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  • Ana Neves 9:00 am on March 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , knowmad,   

    What are organizations doing regarding Knowledge Management? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    A few days ago, Doroteo Quiroz wrote here a post about “The importance of Enterprise Social Networks in Knowledge Management”. In his post, he felt necessary to provide a definition of what knowledge management is about. That’s because although key to organizational success, this management discipline is still obscure to many.

    Some consider it is a waste of resources; others believe they are too small to benefit from KM; others explicitly say they do not know what it is about or what returns it might produce. Well, guess what? All organizations can benefit from KM. And all organizations already “do” knowledge management.

    Yes, I do believe all organizations already have some kind of knowledge management initiatives and tools going on. It might be regular meetings to share good practices, or “yellow pages” with personnel’s known skills, or communities of practice, or an enterprise social network, etc..

    The key thing about knowledge management, though, is that it will produce much better returns if it is treated strategically by the organization, and not just as a set of randomly devised tools and initiatives.

    In 2010, I carried out a study in which I realized that, out of 220 Portuguese organisations, 42 have a strategic approach to knowledge management, i.e., 42 have a KM strategy and a person responsible for leading it.

    I am currently carrying out the same study to understand the state of knowledge management, but this time in Portugal AND Spain.

    The study is based on data gathered through a short online questionnaire. The questionnaire is done in such a way as to make it fun and easy to fill in (so far, in Spain, 55 answers with a 100% completion rate).

    The questionnaire was also designed as a communication mechanism. It is a way of enlightening organizations on what knowledge management is about, offering ideas of things that can be done, and daring organizations to realize that they all do knowledge management in some shape or form.

    I am extremely curious to see how organizations in Portugal and Spain compare :-)

    So far, out of the 55 organizations that have completed the questionnaire in Spain:

    • 18 have a KM sponsor at Board level
    • 17 have a person responsible for leading the KM efforts
    • 12 have a KM strategy
    • 10 have a KM budget

    Out of the 99 that have answered the questionnaire in Portugal:

    • 39 have a KM sponsor at Board level
    • 30 have a person responsible for leading the KM efforts
    • 22 have a KM strategy
    • 18 have a KM budget

    Do take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire. Help create a better picture, get some ideas, have a bit of fun, and you may even get a prize as a “thank you for your time”.

    Questionnaire for organizations in Spain
    Questionnaire for organizations in Portugal


    Ana Neves (@ananeves) specializes in knowledge management, organizational learning, social networks and social tools for the organization. She is the founder of Knowman and the mind behind Cidadania 2.0 and Social Now.


  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , knowmad   

    Knowmad: enterprise 2.0 professionals and their repercussion on working cultures 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Knowmad could be understood to mean “knowledge mad” but, given that the ability par excellence that represents this type of professional is flexibility, it actual means “nomad of knowledge”. This is an interesting concept, because it indicates that these people have knowledge that gives them an advantage over the competition. At the same time this is worrying for companies. Given that this knowledge does not remain within the organization, but moves with the professional (who in the flexicurity era must be used to migrating from one job to another), it becomes a fungible asset.

    Characteristics of a “knowmad”

    Knowmads are knowledge professionals and promoters of innovation who network, are incredibly flexible and who work on their own professional development. More often than expected, I come across their antithesis: people who over the last few years have done no continuous training nor explored outside their immediate work environment. They are professional obsoletes who are disoriented and/or outside the current market.

    If you want to know whether you’re a knowmad or you want to become one, the keys for this type of professional are:

      • Forming an active part of communities and social networks: participating, sharing and generating knowledge.
      • Actively collaborating but maintaining individuality: they don’t take being told what to do, because they experience a true learning process.
      • Adapting to different contexts from which they learn, taking away what they find most useful.
      • Using digital tools to enhance their way of doing things.
      • Taking risks and not being afraid of failure: they live with the uncertainty of the learning process and of the relationships arising from marked systems.
      • Building knowledge based on gathering information and experiences, transforming ideas and processes in an innovative way.

    They are also know as “knowledge entrepreneurs”. Some authors talk of the generation of knowmads, but in reality it has nothing to do with age, but with attitude and the motivation to search for resources that enable you to progress in accordance with the unwritten guidelines for the current economic system, or without them. In her book The Future of Work is Here, Lynda Gratton states that we are facing a new paradigm, where the need of professionals to reinvent the actual profession is a reality.

    Breeding ground and consequences for the knowmad style

    Like it or not our society, and the way of learning and working in it, is changing at a frenzied pace. Therefore, becoming a knowmad may even be an obligation for all those who want to know how to manage what this change involves, adapting ourselves to it using positive strategies. Somehow, the evolution represented by technology development and its use in relationships and learning, encourages us to continually make an effort to learn new working tools.

    This is what John Moravec, one of the promoters of the knowmad concept, and Cristóbal Cobo, mean when they refer to invisible learning; in other words, what occurs in the space between technology and knowledge. Knowmads, as experts in knowledge management, create their own learning environments, Personal Learning Environments (PLE), from Personal Learning Networks (PLN), which work as sources of knowledge (e.g.: blogs, social networks, wikis, etc). This new working culture also materializes in a transformation of working scenarios (e.g.: coworking spaces, crowdsourcing ecosystems, etc.) where mobility, collaboration and hyperconnectivity coexist.

    Businesses need to involve independent people who form open networks so that knowledge flows. Having said all this, enterprise 2.0’s should review and update their organization to include the talents of this new human capital, establishing new systems, such as horizontal working networks, instead of rigid structures.

    Sara Jurado is a psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development. She currently works as a Professional Counselor at Barcelona Activa.


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