Are you Shane Battier?

An insightful quote from Richard Vines on ActKM:

I think formal KM roles in organisations remain – essentially – very fragile at the present time. And, if these roles have any substantiveness[,] inevitably the agendas are highly contested. It can take years to [gain influence through organisational acceptance of the role of KM] ...

Knowledge brokering is an activity that focuses on emergent patterns ... entrained patterns are more easily fitted into traditional approaches to performance management and ROI accountabilities. A KM role is often forced to operate in the latter domain operationally, but in reality the role relates to the former ...

My experience, now several times, is that knowledge brokering involves nurturing coherence across silos or open networks closely connected to areas of emergence (or where a small intervention is required to disrupt existing patterns and to create a context within which emergence can occur). But when something substantial emerges, the knowledge brokering role is not necessarily even recognised as having been causal in disrupting the entrained patterns.

Richard's personal experience is a great example of why it's difficult to get positions dedicated to KM. A "pure" KM position is a Shane Battier role. Shane Battier has been called an NBA "no-stats all star": someone critical in helping his team win despite mediocre individual statistics.

For many years, Shane was traded from team to team by managers who didn't see the story beyond his individual outputs. And so it is with KM: you'll rarely end up with the "stats" or the "points", but you can be critical in helping your organisation succeed. But it takes a CEO who understands the usefulness of the KM role as a "team player"; otherwise you had better plan to have other all-star skills as a backup for your KM.

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