Step lightly before jumping on the knowledge management bandwagon

In some organizations, knowledge management has degenerated to the 'flavour-of-the-month' level
By Frances Horibe
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/28/2004

Over the years, HR has embraced many management fads. One of the first was total quality management. Then there was re-engineering, the learning organization and then the balanced scorecard. The current bandwagon is knowledge management (KM).

Let me be clear off the top — I’m in favour of knowledge management. I wrote a book about it. But in some organizations knowledge management has degenerated to the flavour-of-the-month level. Executives want “it,” but have only a vague idea of what “it” is. Sadly, HR people often climb on the bandwagon along with their executives, without asking the challenging questions that increase the likelihood that KM will deliver the returns they’re looking for.

Here are the questions HR people need to get their executives to answer, prior to helping them “get it.”