I’ve not done a lot of presentations recently. I’ve preferred to do something a little more “interactive”. So when the call for papers came out for actKM 2009, the last thing I wanted to do was a paper. Instead I was interested in exploring the edges of knowledge management. I wasn’t really sure how to do that but I had something in the back of my mind from the Mindell’s process work. This can involve exploring psychological “edges” using physical movement and other techniques. So I dipped my toe in the water and sent out a question to the actKM email list concerning disciplinary boundaries. The response I got back wasn’t particularly helpful and this indicated that I couldn’t do anything too confronting.
Then the thought struck me. Get the participants to draw maps. So that’s what I did. Six tables, six maps. In each case I asked them to map out knowledge management as an imaginary nation and then identify who else this nation might interact with (through trade, war or something else).
- “Finance” crops up as an ambiguous/hostile power is a couple of maps – and as the “Resource Shark” in another.
- Some of the maps are a little idealistic – how things should be rather than how they are.
- One of the maps positions KM’s neighbours as process-based – e.g. six sigma, BPM, Lean, TQM.
- One group had the occasional KM guru on the map – but up a mountain separate from practitioners.
- Technology is often mentioned but rarely given centre-stage.
- One group started identifying KM’s neighbours (e.g. Project Management, Organisational Development) without any prompting but others took a more KM-centric perspective.
What do you see?