Interview d'expert : Nicolas NADAL, IBM Global Services, FRANCE

Nicolas NADAL    

What is your vision on Knowledge Management future ? What do you think the main trends are today and will be in the next years ?

Quoting Jean Pierre Le Goff, sociologist,  “Knowledge, techniques and competencies are continuously renewing themselves, and time seems too short to adapt oneself”. There is a challenge because knowledge takes years or even centuries to harvest and digest. Indeed management means nowadays short term overexploiting of resources. What’s the sake for a manager to invest in knowledge in his entity while he is going to move to another job role or company in the following two years?

So the trends today are: knowledge management is shrinking in most organizations, and the tendency is to try and google or source or crowdsource what you need to know at little or no cost. The overall result will be obviously poor or of ill-omen. In a few areas, knowledge centers will specialize and attract knowledgeable people. A little like middle-ages universities or monasteries.

How organizations can use Knowledge Management to improve their competitiveness and optimize their businesses results? And what are the main expected benefits?

They must select who to ask for important questions, whether internal or external. They must use technology watch (ranging on all continents and cultures).

What are your recommendations to start an effective Knowledge Management project and its successful roll-out?

First thing you can ask is:

- Do you believe sincerely a tool (e.g. Web 2.0) will solve your problems and that people will capitalize knowledge just because you said so?

- Is it mission critical or some desirable or fashionable purpose?

- What are you ready to invest in terms of time, money? Who will capitalize and drive others to do so? Which effort-recognition are you going to provide?

Well if the management can answer these questions and is ready to persist over time, you can face launching a project. If not, forget it.

In your opinion, what are the major hurdle to overcome and the pitfalls to avoid?

The short-term, overexploiting management tends by nature to limit time spent on knowledge. The term “management” implies knowledge is something that must be “managed”. Why is it then that “management” often ends up being inefficient?

Do you think there are cultural specificities on Knowledge Management maturity depending on your geographical location?

Knowledge brings social status as much as money, which is a good thing to begin with.