BRILLIANT! (I feel like those guys in the beer commercial)
The latest advice for making this blog useful includes more dialog, more publicity of our capabilities, and more frequency. Okay, got it. Taking them in order, if a blog becomes valuable when a discussion breaks out, what makes that different than a discussion forum? I don’t think it’s a matter of semantics, so I want to understand how blogs are different than discussion forums. And, if they’re not, what’s all the buzz about? Discussion forums have been around for a long time, and IMHO the killer app for communities of practice. So I do like the idea of the exchange! If I now start calling discussion forums blogs, will that change the dynamics of them?
On to the matter of publicizing our smarts… Good idea if I want to push our products and services, but I’m not a particularly good salesman, and this model feels very salesy. In fact, it feels like if all I do is to extol our virtues, pretty soon I’m going to want to apply to our sales and marketing department. I can do this bit of shameless promotion though—here’s our website URL: www.apqc.org. Note that we’re a “.org” and that we do lots of cool stuff, especially in the area of knowledge management, where our president Carla O’Dell is one of the true thought leaders in the world. Whew! That was a lot for me—more promotion next time.
More frequency? I’ve posted 4-5 times in this one week alone! I’m tired. This is hard work for me, especially when I’m trying to keep my attention focused on client needs. Now in fairness, I still only care about internal knowledge sharing, so this externally facing blog doesn’t answer the WIIFM, but I am still responsible for it. So—a tidbit of external knowledge sharing? How about this? Stan Garfield runs a really cool community where there are discussions about KM related issues; in the community’s discussion forum.
Okay, enough of running down my own blog. Here’s something that is important and that needs more attention: knowledge retention and transfer. I just finished a two-day workshop with an industry group whose main concern is the impending implosion of the industry from the rash of retirements expected in the next five years or so. This is an industry-wide problem, so not only is it an issue at one organization, it creates a poaching problem for all the organizations in the industry. And don't think you don't have to worry about "their" problem. This industry is necessary for every one of us in the U.S. every single day, 24/7/365. If anything, you should be glad that these folks are as far ahead of the curve as they are with this issue--your life may literally depend upon it.
More broadly, many organizations from many industries are also worried about the issue (as evidenced by our study that currently includes 31 sponsoring companies and another half dozen or so best practice partners). So what is your organization doing about this potential meltdown of institutional knowledge? By the way, at this workshop I just attended, a term was used that I had never heard previously—“Y2Gray.” Meaning that perhaps the sky isn’t falling and that the hype of loss of institutional knowledge is just that—similar to the Y2K non-problem of a few years ago. So which is it?