Geert Willems

Geert Willems

vrijdag 8 februari 2013

Sense or no sense: the knowledge management hotline

Q: "Does it have sense to create a knowledge management hotline?"
Q: "We are convinced it does!"

Q: "But why?
The basic of knowledge management is already widespread?
There are a lot of communities on social networks such as linkedIn!
And there are a lot of specialists over there who can answer my questions!
And  you have the added value of having multiple points of view?"

A:"I'll answer these points one by one.
The basic knowledge on knowledge management is already widespread. But there is a tendency to use knowledge management as a tactical tool from multinationals to SME's. And in these KMO's the basic of knowledge management is NOT widespread - not yet, may be in five to ten years!. A hotline certainly makes sense for this type of organisations for multiple reasons:

- they can follow courses, but still have some questions
- they can study themselves, but still have some questions
- they can grasp all the needed knowledge for their implementations, but still have some questions
- they can have an idea of a supporting tool, but still have some questions
- they can follow discussions on social network site, not coming to a conclusion, and ask a specialist
- they can feel the need, and have questions on how to start which will make more time"

Q:"OK, so this is for SME's? What about larger companies, non-profit organisations and government"
A:"Social networks such as LinkedIn have their advantages and added value. No doubt about that. Als the discussion groups have their added value, and can have a lot of added value. 
- But this is certainly not always the case: vendors of tools and service only comment from point of view to convince the discussion participants to buy their services or tool. Each answer from a number of people seems to be a slightly different echo from the same sales pitch. 
- Other knowledge management practitioners participate in the discussion, but simply don't have or don't take the time to really give a good discussion and answer. 
- And thirdly, a participant in a discussion can be that dominant, that valuable possible answers of other group members are not given?
- Other consultants or groups don't give an in depth answer to their question because they do not want to give their knowledge for free."

Q:"OK, but do customers have to pay to get answers via this hotline?"
A:"That depends: when some answers are really simple (and complex questions may be answered simple), the answer is free. When questions need hours or more to answer, and those questions have not been asked yet, we notice the person or company asking the question that a fee is needed before being able an in depth answer)."

Q:"So also single questions are answered?"
A:"Indeed they are! And that is also the strength of a KM hotline. Of course, even for simple questions we often need to request more information before being able to give an in depth answer".

Q:"I'm convinced - although sceptical at first, thank you for this interview"