Much has been written, much has been presented and much has been tried by tens of thousands of practitioners; in-company specialists, hybrid HR, OD and IT professionals, and external consultants.
KM has survived accusations of being a ‘just another management fad’, yet whilst other methodologies have come-of-age and defined boundaries, declared methodologies and developed franchises - knowledge management (KM) has never had an agreed set of tools, or a commercial accreditation or standard. Attending a KM conference can be a bit like visiting an international street food market.
So, is KM ready to move from being a ‘movement’ to establishing itself as a recognised cuisine?
For a potential restauranteur who has gone beyond casual street-food and is looking to sell a service to customers, the challenge – and the opportunity – is to provide a distinctive offer with consistency and professionalism. To do that successfully requires a number of elements: reputation, brand, premises, staff, tasty and appealing menus and recipes, compliance with relevant food hygiene standards, and, of course, blood, sweat and tears. And at the heart of it all, with its appliances, utensils and food stocks, is the restaurant kitchen.
In many ways, the arrival of an internationally agreed standard and vocabulary provides knowledge managers with a brand-new kitchen, and a moment during which they can pause for a moment and consider the service that they provide to their organisations.
In writing this book, we want to catch the excitement of the arrival of this ‘new kitchen’ and to demonstrate how the arrival of the ISO Knowledge Management System Standard (ISO 30401) provides so much more than a moment to certify a level of consistency in practice.
It provides a moment to re-evaluate, to return to first principles, and to learn from others. Imagine you had the opportunity, not just to enjoy a new, well-equipped and fully inspected kitchen – but also the chance to sit down with KM ‘chefs’ from around the world, across different industry sectors and listen to their stories. That's exactly what we have set out to do with the KM Cookbook.
Draw up a chair - we hope you’re hungry!
Chris, Paul and Patricia