Two weeks ago I spoke in Moscow at Knowledge Management for the Oil and Gas Sector: Project Optimization and Business Efficiency. This international conference was attended by a number of clients–including BP, CononcoPhillips, Chevron and Lukoil–and we shared how we were using knowledge management to address the business needs facing our respective companies.
Moscow is the largest city in Europe, and if it weren’t for the famously onion-domed churches dotting the city, it would look much like any major metropolis, right down to the Starbucks and KFC. I was surprised to discover the dramatic changes the Muscovites have seen during my lifetime.
Being an informed traveler on my first visit to Moscow, I used GlobeSmart to learn about business etiquette and travel tips. While the advice was sound, it was also very generic. I very nearly forgot the most basic advise of all–leveraging our own KM system. A simple search for the term “Moscow” turned up a guide for visitors created by our Moscow office, complete with the inside information on getting from the airport to the hotel, restaurant recommendations and local contacts. Sometimes knowing what you’re looking for can cause you to miss the valuable knowledge you don’t yet know exists.
During my talk I shared this story to illustrate the power and promise of knowledge management to expose knowledge that we don’t know exists. Finding what we know exists is relatively easy; but discovering knowledge we don’t yet know of–knowledge that can shape our decision process and help us reach better solutions–that is real power.
Special thanks to my colleague Tara for reminding me of the power of knowledge discovery.