Which 5 skills do you need on your KM team?

There are five key skills you need on a KM team, no matter what sort of organisation you are.

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Implementing Knowledge Management needs attention to many things – to People, Process and Technology, to Governance, Change Management, to Collecting knowledge and Connecting people, and to integrating KM activity into the work practices and working styles of the organisation. To this end, 5 skillsets are key to have on your team.

These are as follows:

  • You need Information technology skills. Technology is one of the 4 legs on the KM table, and you need someone on your team to help define the technology needs, act as informed buyer for any new technology, and help staff understand and work with the KM tools; whether these are as simple as a community of practice forum, or as complex as AI and big data;
  • You need information management and library skills. Part of the knowledge of the organisation will be documented, and needs to be managed in the forum of documents, You need someone on the team who can work with the IM team and ensure that the interests of KM are represented as part of the organisations IM efforts, and who can bring an IM mind to bear on the documented knowledge bases; 
  • You need facilitation skills. Many of the KM processes involve conversation and dialogue, and this needs careful facilitation. Undocumented knowledge is handled through conversation, and facilitation skills are needed to ensure these conversations are productive and focused;
  • You need change management skills. Implementing KM is a change management exercise, and these skills are vital to run your communication strategy and program (among other tasks),
  • Finally you need the basic skills of the organisation itself (legal skills for legal firms, military skills for military organisations, and so on).  You have to be able to translate KM into “organisational language” and organisational practice. This is vital. You need people on the team who represent the core skills of the organisation. 

According to our KM survey, these skillsets are common across all sectors, although prioritisation varies.

  • Legal KM teams prioritise Organisational (Legal) skills and IM skills, often to the exclusion of all other skills;
  • Oil and Gas KM team prioritise Facilitation skills;
  • Professional services firms prioritise IM skills;
  • Information Media and Telecoms firms prioritise IT skills

However even though prioritisation changes, we can probably treat these five skills as the core skillset of a KM team.

Check your own KM team. Are any of these skills missing?

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Shared by: Nick Milton

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