Military Axioms for Knowledge Management
Courtesy of this linked-in blog post, here are some proposed axioms for KM from a military source.
- Humans are more important than Hardware.
- Quality is better than Quantity.
- Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced.
- Competent Special Operations Forces cannot be created after emergencies occur.
- Most Special Operations require non-SOF assistance.
This is a reworking of the “Roles, Processes, Technology” mantra, with people at the heart, and with the fourth component of Governance implied in the term “organized effectively”.
For this one, I would like to quote Brett’s text, which is puts the point really well.
“KM is the “demand side” of decision support; Information Management is the “supply side.” … Massive expenditures of money, gigabytes of information, and unwieldy programs are far less valuable than a focused understanding of the people in an organization, the organization’s goals, and the choices people make to achieve those goals. Elegance comes from the useful joining of the demand and supply sides so the right conditions exist for quality, timely decisions”.
3. Trained KM professionals cannot be mass produced.
Brett believes, and rightly in my view, that the most valuable way to become a KM professional is through experience rather than training, and to “learn by doing” how an organisation can function as a knowledge-based entity.
4. Competent knowledge workers and effective policies cannot be created after emergencies occur.
By the time the disaster happens, its too late for KM. By the time the aircraft is in trouble, its too late to create the pilot’s checklist.
5. Successful decision support through effective KM hinges on the efforts of every member of the organization.
This is our vision of the organisation as a knowledge factory as well as a product/services factory, with a knowledge workstream interwoven with the delivery workstream, with a knowledge organisation and knowledge outputs. This is a “whole company” matter.
So I think to a large extent these same Axioms hold true in other sectors, as well as the Military.