From top-down to bottom-up knowledge management

A few days ago Bjoern Negelmann from Kongress Media and organiser of E20-Summit ( invited me to an Expert-Talk via G+ Hangout about “Organizing Knowledge”. We were discussing with Jon Husband from, Ludovic Dubost from and Simon Döckert from about what are the principles of organizing knowledge in a social enterprise world? Is the future task of the “Knowledge Manager” more on the structuring and classifying or on the gardening and moderating side?

I must confess here that I really don’t know how will be managed the Knowledge in an “ideal organization 2.0 or ideal social business”. We are looking for models as long as we are not completely “wired” for a bottom-up knowledge organization. At this stage in which the dominant model of knowledge is the…paper (80% of knowledge is on paper support, 20% on digital supports, mainly in files containers) we are focused on engaging employees and teams to share experiences, all formatted data digitally.

We certainly have all the technology we need to make the knowledge circulates and grows.

  1. Afraid of overload? Overload occurs when there is not enough canals (for example: only the email box) or not enough people participating (example: only the staff is allowed to…). Open the doors and let everybody select according to his expertise. Lot of canals and lot of contributors are the conditions to find a good balance for the community. At the beginning actors are fighting with the amount of information but as time goes by each one will find his way, selecting sources and data. Information become knowledge, live knowledge.
  2. Afraid of redundancies, leaks? Copy-paste is the first tool to increase productivity and creativity (cf the fashion sector). In 2012  it is counter-productive to try to eliminate redundancies. We have plenty of cheap memory in all our devices and all theses devices are built to be synchronised.??
  3. Afraid about copyright, security? Each employee, each person has to be concerned about security, privacy. If employees are engaged with their work in the company, inside their team, if they agree with the company projects and deals, everybody will be concerned about security. Company have to spend time and money in communication and team building and let employees work with whatever tools they need, dealing with security as a responsible person.

Now let me pinpoint some critical aspects of a bottom-up Knowledge:

  • Companies which are determined to develop bottom-up knowledge need to make it simple and available.
  • To initiate a bottom-up knowledge developpment company has to show the benefits so begin small. My take is to give to some selected persons a personal wiki as a second brain tool.
  • Bottom-up knowledge is about links, interactions (I can modify, add, comment on the spot), collaborations (I am looking for help, reward, increase my proper expertise)

So definitively in my opinion the future task of the “Knowledge Manager” will be on the gardening and engaging side. What better example we have with Wikipedia, No experts, no struture, just a versatile user-friendly platform to receive the data, opinions and continuous updates. And finally, as this was not enough, the icing on the cake: semantic tools to add even more agility to Knowledge.

Here is the Experts-Talk initiated by Kongress Media.

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