The MD of Postshift believes that companies have spent too much time and money on databases to store documents rather than developing the tools and behaviours necessary to spread knowledge.
by Marc Wright, Simply Communicate
Lee Bryant has always been at the forefront of applying knowledge management through social tools. First with the iconoclastic agency Headshift and now as MD of Postshift. He believes that companies have spent too much time and money on databases to store knowledge rather than developing the tools and behaviours necessary to spread knowledge into the living processes of their businesses.
“I believe that the ideas behind knowledge sharing got hijacked by technology in the 1990s and in the Noughties. It was a rapidly developing field and we started off with lots of academic research but soon the conferences held on the subject just became software exhibitions, and the subject suffered because of that. It became a very explicit approach. A simplistic belief that we can capture everything and store knowledge in a database and use it again and again.
“What happened later was that social tools and platforms were not set up explicitly for Knowledge Management. They were introduced for more informal sharing of content rather than storing. But now we are seeing a resurgence in social tools as a better way to do KM. It is emerging from practice rather than from theory, and while social tools have revived the field of KM they have also changed it. But there are still many challenges around behaviour and discovery in complex organisations depending on context and the practical application. There is a range of tools out there but no simple solutions.”
In the flow
Lee believes that one of the underlying problems of Knowledge Management has been the mismatch of cost and benefit.