by CIO Staff

KM: What Not to Do

Dec 01, 20031 min
Enterprise Applications

Don’t make the following missteps when instituting knowledge management in your organization

Don’t call it knowledge management. Employees don’t get it, don’t care about it and would rather ignore the whole thing.

Don’t sweat the definitions. It doesn’t matter how people define “knowledge” and “management.” Let them create their own definitions.

Don’t offer carrots. Times are tough, but resist the temptation to give payment?a few dollars or points in a reward system?for each knowledge contribution. Such a system is designed to be abused and will result in low-quality content.

Don’t wave sticks. Even worse, some companies threaten punishment for failing to contribute. Knowledge shared under threat of negative consequences is likely to be worthless. Don’t let desperate economic times lead to silly measures in the name of KM.

Don’t bother unless there’s trust. Most companies meet the minimum interpersonal trust threshold required to make a go of KM. Most, but not all. If your company prizes competition to the exclusion of all else, best put the knowledge management effort aside.