Thoughts from Karl-Erik

Posted by  Mark Schenk —March 9, 2006
Filed in Collaboration

Karl-Erik Sveiby was one of the keynote speakers at the KM for Professional Services conference in Sydney last week.  Sveiby book
I was fortunate to have dinner with him on the night before his presentation and hear about his soon-to-be-released book ‘Treading Lightly – Revealing the Hidden Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People”.  Karl-Erik lived in Australia (well, OK, it was Queensland) for about 10 years and the book relates to research with an Aboriginal group in North-Western New South Wales. The book will be released in the next few weeks.

In his keynote presentation the next morning, Karl-Eric had a simple graphic that displayed how organisational priorities can be out of whack with reality.  He listed the following five points as being, in descending order, the things offering the highest ‘value potential’ in KM:

1.    Align KM with business strategy – a knowledge-based strategy
2.    Improve climate for knowledge creation and sharing – collaborative climate
3.    Improve knowledge sharing with clients
4.    Invest in internet-based communication
5.    Build organisation for content management (on-line library, databases)

His slide then changed to show where the most money was spent in KM.  And you guessed it…. it is the exact opposite from the list above. So most money is spent on item 5, and least money on item 1.  These thoughts are well worth bearing in mind when developing your organisation’s knowledge strategy and funding proposals for KM initiatives.  As Kate Andrews  said several years ago: “spend first on beer and travel, then on technology”.

Mark Schenk About  Mark Schenk

Mark works globally with senior leadership teams to improve their ability to communicate clearly and memorably. He has been a Director of Anecdote since 2004 and helped the company grow into one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultancies. Connect with Mark on:


  1. Warwick Holder says:

    Heard many good things about the book, “OnIntelligence”, by Jeff Hawkins,
    also being instantiated into software by

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