Friday, February 17, 2012

Visionary Knowledge Management: Trends and Strategies

For Knowledge Management

12th December 2011 by Ingo Frost, Kathrin Frank

The authors of this article go to the question of how organizations in 2020 to deal with knowledge. For this they have analyzed in a first step, national and international knowledge management conferences, publications and Internet publications to locate knowledge management visionaries. There are four visionaries are noticed because of your keynotes and their publications on knowledge management trends: David Griffiths, Dave Snowden, David Gurteen and Norbert Gronau. They are presented here together with their theories and visions for dealing with knowledge. At the end of these theories are compared and discussed.

Selection Process

How to find the interesting theories about how knowledge management could evolve?

One way to come closer to this question is to examine knowledge management conferences and find out who has kept the keynotes to knowledge management developments. These nationally and internationally significant knowledge management conferences, the keynotes were considered from the years 2010 and 2011. Of the 105 keynotes 10 authors have explicitly addressed by knowledge management trends. The work of these authors has been examined in the second step, further scientific publications on the subject and on their interactions with the Internet community (for example, activity on blogs, newsletters, etc.). Here, the four above-named persons are particularly noticed something out of the research, depending on other perspectives on knowledge management and support others in their daily process of implementing knowledge management in practice.

David Griffiths

David Griffiths teaches at the University of Edinburgh in the field of learning and knowledge management and knowledge management is the founder of the consulting K3Cubed Limited. He has specialized in supporting organizations in dealing with knowledge and learning, lectures and talk about the topic to publish.
In teaching, he also deals with related issues concerning organizations, financial and production management.

Visions – theses about knowledge management trends

* Knowledge management is according to an international study technology still centered primarily understood and more operationally, and is still not the people at the center. This is the reason that there is a high level of dissatisfaction with knowledge management investments.
* Who wants to support organizations in dealing with knowledge should give up the technically inclined term knowledge management. Recognize organizations for other than technical challenges of knowledge management.
* Knowledge management should be seen as a strategic issue and support organizations in their current challenges, such as innovation, resilience, sustainability and growth (or even “healthy shrinking”).
* Knowledge management should be the heart of building the capacity for change. This can be stimulated and thinking forward-driving techniques such as scenario analysis can come to train.
* Knowledge management can drive needed impending paradigm shift in organizations.
* The role of knowledge in organizations is rising steadily since the 30s (the importance of intangible resources in organizations has grown from 30-40% to 90% with IT companies such as Google). Taking into account the long-term trends knowledge management can be defined as long-term task [1].

Dave Snowden

David Snowden, John is an expert on implicit knowledge and works as a lecturer, consultant and scientist. He is a visiting lecturer at the University of Pretoria, University of Canberra, University of Surrey and at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. In addition, Dave Snowden is the founder and scientific director of the Cognitive Edge Consulting Organization, which pursues an open-source approach to counseling: Materials and methods are freely accessible via the website. He has developed the Cynefin framework, which transmits the practical application of complexity theory to the topic of leadership in organizations.

As part of the Cynefin framework, problems are classified according to their nature and suggested an appropriate use of them:

* Simple problems based on clear cause-effect relationship: If a given initial situation is observed to take place on the basis of experience (“Best Practices”) an appropriate response.
* For complicated problems must be analyzed more intense situations before they can be responded to. There are often several ways to respond, which are similarly good (“Good Practices”).
* Complex problems are characterized by the fact that due to an initial situation, the effect of certain actions can not be predicted. Is thus viewed as an experimental approach to action (“try out, perceive, react”) proposed (“Emergent Practices”).
* Chaotic problems are such that no cause-effect relationships can be established. Thus, the recommended action is to act, perceive, react with the aim to stabilize the system. This experience created the sense of “practice novel”.

Visions – theses about knowledge management trends

* In the context of organizations should be distinguished from robust stable strategies: robust design (fail-save = drop resistant) should (save practicing safe-fail experimentation = fall) to be stable and thus krisenresistentem design.
* The management of knowledge is always voluntary and may never be enacted.
* We know only what we need to know. We react to perceived patterns (pattern-based intelligences), and no information processors (information processors) are.
If there is a real need for knowledge, very few people will refuse to share their knowledge.
* Tolerated failure shapes the learning process better than success: Organizations should accept failure in a particular context.
* Talking about our knowledge is something other than our own knowledge
* We know more than we can put into words and tell us more than we can write down.
* Everything is fragmented, chaotic people seek connection (messy coherence) and just not too much structure, since it is quickly outdated and costly to maintain. Thus, the approach Semantic Web – that is a clear, structured description of importance of Internet content – limited. [2]

David Gurteen

David Gurteen has long been the software development manager and was with Lotus Development to ensure a uniform design of the Lotus products globally responsible.
Today he is an independent knowledge management consultant, speaker and moderator. He is in various fields of knowledge management present and organized regularly Knowledge cafes. He publishes on his blog (The Gurteen Knowledge Weblog) and on his website (The Gurteen Knowledge website) and reached its newsletter (The Gurteen Knowledge Letter) about 15,000 people.

Visions – theses about knowledge management trends

* The sharing of knowledge and social learning – now perceived as extra work – is a welcome and normal part of everyday work. Ponder the future workforce is no longer alone in my room, thinking aloud and jointly with others.
* Also work no longer takes place behind closed doors, but transparent and visible to everyone.
* Instead of forcing the employees IT tools, they select themselves out of the tools that would be most useful. Likewise, we will select the information that you need, instead of allowing themselves to heap indiscriminately with everything.
* Instead of controlling the people for fear of making mistakes, they get more creative freedom, and must bear more responsibility in return.
* Information is no longer concentrated and “protected”, but is open and accessible. The information flow is less regulated.
* The importance of context is more pronounced in the foreground. Rather than in isolation as information to examine the context, the flow circumstances / conditions more into consideration.
* The world is perceived as complex and varied. The simple cause-effect model has become obsolete and will have to give other approaches. [3]
* In today’s wealth grows at the (publicly available) information faster. It takes some time but mostly to understand the often complex and sometimes chaotic situations. Often helps to talk to others to make the many factual knowledge something useful – a methodological approach to this is the Knowledge Cafe. [4]

Norbert Gronau

Norbert Gronau studied mechanical engineering and business administration at the Technical University of Berlin. He completed a doctorate on the “concept of a strategy-oriented management information system for decision support in production management” and habilitated with the theme “Sustainable industrial information systems architectures for organizational change.” He holds the chair of computer science and Electronic Government at the University of Potsdam. His research interests lie in the areas of operational knowledge management and versatile ERP systems. He is also scientific director of the Potsdam institute settled Center for Enterprise Research (CER).

Visions – theses about knowledge management trends

* Currently no organizational assignment of responsibilities typical of knowledge management in the organizational structure of enterprises is evident.
* Competence and experience of people can not be replaced by the use of computerized systems. Still can not provide the necessary creativity and intuition.
* In the area of inter-organizational issues of information security and protection against theft of intellectual property rights as major drivers of change have been felt. The assurance of intellectual capital is the task of knowledge management.
* With the increasing popularity of social media in their private lives and in the company’s internal and external use, there will be more experiments with Web 2.0 technologies and approaches, and remove the uncertainty about social media use in organizations.
* The bandwidth of the demand for knowledge management is significantly larger. More and more companies and public institutions is clear that the knowledge of their employees is a central element for competitive differentiation and represents the key to successful change is.
* For the exchange of knowledge between institutions-personal knowledge, there is support suitable conversation and transformation in organizational forms and spaces and times must be supported.
* Conversion pressure and demand of the employees generate new demands on IT. IT is insufficient competition threatens to fail by the knowledge holders. [5]

Is perceived – David Griffiths shows that managers with knowledge management is less important – but also more technically oriented. Knowledge in organizations takes on an increasingly larger role, becoming a strategic issue.
Dave Snowden brings a different perspective: Best Practices – a standard method for experiential knowledge – only works for simple problems. Complex or chaotic situations require a different approach: first try, then act and react at the end. He points out that existing structures do not help to address the issues and a climate that is more important, the failure must be allowed for.
David Gurteen states that can be complex or even chaotic situations most likely to work through personal interviews: these must be created for such opportunities.
Norbert Gronau finds that the range of knowledge management is much larger: in addition to social media, intellectual capital and the pressure change in the IT context plays an important, new role.
David Griffiths also emphasizes the role of knowledge in connection with the conversion ability. From the perspective of an organization to its environment changes rapidly and unpredictably – among others due to various crises at the national and international level. Therefore assumes an important role versatility. Knowledge in turn is the basis for organizations to change, because change can be better estimated with the common knowledge of all employees. If their knowledge and creativity used, new approaches – and thus sustainable innovations – the first place.


[1] David Griffiths: The future of KM (7 / 2011) –

[2] Dave Snowden: Judgement & resilience, KM Asia November 2010 Keynote –

[3] David Gurteen: World 2.0, in: Gurteen Knowledge: 10 Years in KM, 2010

[4] Elizabeth Wagner: The Gurteen Knowledge café for David. In: Project Magazine, Issue 21/2011

[5] Norbert Gronau: Challenges and trends in knowledge management (KnowTech 2011 – Keynote, Bad Homburg)

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