Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Knowledge Strategy Exchange Network - Why I'm a Member

I'm a (dare I say proud) member of the Conference Board's Knowledge Strategy Executive Network. You can follow the link to read more about it, but suffice it to say that this is a group of people that have common interest in the set of inter-related perspectives and domains generally described as "knowledge management."

I get asked on a regular basis why I'm a member, so by writing this post, perhaps I can either pre-empt the question, or make answering it a bit easier.

By participating in this Network (which can also be defined as a community of practice) I can make more sense of what we mean by "knowledge management" and how to leverage the approaches and methods to solve business problems. I can also learn from people who have real-world practical experience, and bring that learning back to what I'm involved in.

The diversity of perspectives and views ensures that my thinking, the lessons I learn and conclusions I draw are not myopic and limited by my own experiences and personal biases. The cognitive diversity in the group tends to reflect all perspectives / views about knowledge management - Human Resources / Learning and Development, Information Technology, Communications, Data Management, Records/Information/Content Management, Organizational Development, Emerging / Web Technologes, and even a splash of "Enterprise 2.0" - not everyone in the group is a "knowledge manager", by job title, but we all share a common interest in helping facilitate the creation and flow of knowledge across our organizations.

All members have the opportunity to contribute to and shape agendas and conversations, so ultimately everyone's known and emerging learning and information needs are effectively met. But, the quid pro quo is that everone is an active member, and not a passive receptor of

The quality of the minds and thinking in the group are a significant help in solving specific problems or avoiding real challenges with knowledge management related initiatives - both in the group setting, and between meetings as part of my contact network. This is truly a "peer assist" network.

I am leveraging a typical knowledge management approach, a community / network, giving me first hand experience that I can relate positively to others.

And finally, the support by the Conference Board, and the quality of the individuals supporting our network is truly "second to none."

For anyone in public or private sector in Canada challenged with ensuring that knowledge is created and shared effectively across their organizations, regardless of the approach/method/practice/technology, and in paricular in context of a rapidly changing workforce, increasing demands for increased collaboration in the face of increasingly complex challenges, and budget pressures to maximize the knowledge that exists in the organization, this is THE Canadian group to be a part of.

(I've blogged about a few of our conversations: Four Generations at Work, Group Discussion: A Business Case for Social Network Analysis, Organizational / Facilitation Nirvana)

And no, this is not a paid anouncement - that wouldn't be in keeping with some of the key principles of knowledge sharing! I've simply benefitted significantly from participating over the last few years.

(Plus, I also speak just as highly about APQC in the US.)