1329 Taylor Street #12
San Francisco, CA 94108
415 902 9676
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 07:02:41 -0700
03 00050 60 04062203
Mr. Jack Park
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Knowledge Leadership - June 25, 2004
your letter this morning commenting on recent correspondence
Peter and others about a
Knowledge Management seminar in New York scheduled
for June 25th...]
There seems to be an unhealthy preoccupation with tools, technology and
tangibles. There are reasons, particularly our Western obsession with
determinism and 'things'...
That's a reason Knowledge Leadership is critical:
It is not all gloom and doom, however. After an exhausting decade of KM
vendor hype, the insidious and widespread 'empty portal syndrome,' idle
collaborative technologies and so forth, costing millions and millions, has
caused most to reexamine the overpowering lure of technology, its arrogant
purveyors and its questionable value.
In a recent conversation with Jim Champy, he remarked that for reengineering
technology was an enabler...then everyone led with technology, including Jim
and Mike, causing incalculable damage. It is good to admit your mistakes,
particularly when you earn $25K/day to say you were entirely wrong!
Frankly, it is the 'end of the beginning' for KM. The deliberate departure
from overbearing technologists is a great fresh start. New 'baby steps' into
complexity science is also important. Finally, the importance and priority
of authentic conversation is also a breakthrough.
Technology is no longer at the center of KM, social relationships are.
Information Technology may have a bit part in the future, in perhaps a
supporting role, but that's it. This is a bitter pill for some technologists
There is a fundamental social reorientation underway of organizations around
knowledge. Social computing is on the horizon and receiving heavy
Finally, the recent conclusion of a 4-decade study at MIT concludes what we
all know: people are 5 times as likely to ask a colleague for new
information than use portals, IT, databases or textual subsystems.
Among the best work here is from Otto Scharmer at MIT/Sloan. See attached.