I saw it coming in 2011. But no one believed me. I guess it's difficult to turn your back on something that you fervently believe in. At this point, I feel like Harry Markopolos who had been telling people that there was something wrong with Bernie Madoff -- before the truth came to light.
I know I'd probably receive hate emails and death threats for saying it. But the truth has to be surfaced. And I will say it:
Knowledge Management (KM) - as we know it - is dying.
KM in 2012? Dead probably.”
Keep your cool. I know the above statements are pretty emotional - especially if you have invested in a KM education (like I did) or if your livelihood depends on it (i.e. you are a KM consultant).
Allow me to share my views on what caused KM to be dying and what the future holds for KM.
What Caused the Decline of KM
The biggest problem with KM is it is too broadly defined. Too many KMers step forward and offer their version of KM (check out my version of KM). And as a result, KM is pulled in different directions. To make matters worse, these different versions add up and give the impression that KM is the super-antidote that can solve every panacea in the vast world of management and leadership.
Umm, you have problems in leadership? Oh, the management should have paid more attention to KM. You have problems in employee retention/engagement? Oh, KM can solve it. You've got problems in customer satisfaction? Well, KM is the solution (is it?). I can go on and on about this, but you get the picture: KM becomes stretched far beyond what it can realistically achieve.
Is it true that KM is the super-antidote of the management world? I don't think so (and I think many KMers would agree with me).
Whoever thinks that KM is the super-antidote is delusional -- just like Lieutenant Colonel Jim Channon imagining invincible, invisible soldiers in 2001.
Alas, it is too late to correct people's impressions of KM. We probably can't do it anyway, because we can't even agree on which version of KM is the correct one. For far too long, people's expectations of KM are inflated. And needless to say, we have failed to meet those inflated, unrealistic expectations. People get disappointed with KM and decide to move on. Which results in the decline of KM.