Sunday, April 28, 2002

Federal Government Worst at KM "by far"

Federal Computer World reports on a Gartner presentation to a bunch of federal KM “specialists.” From the article:

Much of the problems seems to be that government workers don’t understand what knowledge management is. “Knowledge management is a business process that has to be approached with discipline,” [Gartner’s French] Caldwell said. “It is not a technology. You can’t buy it in a box.”

Effective knowledge management requires extensive information sharing and collaboration. But government agencies and their employees are better known for guarding their knowledge and defending their turf than for sharing and cooperating.

… “Building a collaborative government is the issue.” [Federal Computer Week, via]

I guess it’s good to know the professional services firms aren’t alone. But why should this be? It’s not hard to recognize an individual’s contribution, nor is it hard to align compensation with the desired behavior.

Here’s my guess: collaboration reveals the weak links. The moment you participate in a truly collaborative endeavor, your contributions are obvious. People aren’t afraid of not getting credit for their contributions – they’re afraid of the lack of contributions becoming obvious.

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