Knowledge management (KM) can help transform an organization as people begin to connect, leveraging the best knowledge and expertise to improve work processes and deliverables. Last week, I discussed what KM means on a personal level. In many ways, KM thinking is a mindset. The KM mind questions the value of everything, and challenges us to upend the status quo and discover innovative solutions.
One of the ways I sharpen my own KM mindset is through discussion and collaboration with other KM professionals and evangelists. Early today in one of those groups — KMers.org — we discussed how we would run things (from a KM mindset) “if I were the boss.”
Rob Swanwick moderated this tweet chat, seeding the conversation with three questions on “how we would run things (from a KM mindset)”:
- If I ran conferences…
- If I ran all meetings…
- If I controlled the direction for social media in my organization…
This led to a lively discussion with Rob Swanwick, Kate Bowers, Stan Garfield, Barbara Fillip, Liz Williams and others. While there were some excellent, practical tips for running conferences, meetings and managing social media, there was one key concept that particularly stuck out above all else:
THE REAL VALUE LIES IN RELATIONSHIPS
I used to get excited about what I would learn at a conference. It’s taken a few years, but now I understand that the real value isn’t in the content of any particular presentation or discussion, but in the relationships forged and strengthened. Recent research at IBM and MIT confirms this, even going so far as to put a dollar value on those connections. In their estimation, each contact is worth $948 in revenue.
Putting aside the absurdity of assigning a dollar value to a relationship, I suggest that the real value is much, much higher. And we understand this, intrinsically. During our tweet chat, I posed the following question to illustrate this point:
While this in no way diminishes the value of the chat, discussion or presentation itself, it does drive home the point that what really matters is the connections. In knowing you, I am a better person. And vice versa. Together we are smarter, more productive, more interesting, more capable than we could ever be on our own. Our diverse perspectives and experience blend to create a wonderful collaborative stew.
If you’re interested in more, you can read the full tweet chat transcript, and continue the dialogue. If you are a KMer, please join is each Tuesday at noon Eastern time for our weekly tweet chat, hosted at KMers.org, and share your thoughts on the future of KM.