“Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting something from them.  That is only valid for information sharing.  Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes.”  Peter Senge

With the rapid rate at which our society is changing and the ‘information explosion’ we are all experiencing – managing information and more importantly knowledge is becoming a basic survival skill. The old saying ‘it’s not what you know – it’s who you know’ is no longer just as valid as it used to be. Now it’s more like ‘it’s not what you know but who you know and what they know’ – in other words the hermit-genius approach to dealing with problems is being sidelined for the collective-intelligence approach to solving challenges.

Andrea Saveri of the Institue for the Future recently made a presentation at the NLab: Creativity and Collaboration conference in Leicester, England. In that talk she shared some future job ads. I was amused to see the position of ‘Collective Intelligence Officier’ described as ‘Someone to oversee the improvisational human resources for our company’ – what a great job. I think Andrea is on to something here and it will be sooner rather than later that we see companies realizing that they need people to do these sorts of things full-time for their organizations.

Knowledge, who has it, who knows how to grow and use it, is increasingly going to define the companies that create and shape the future of business. Anyone thinking that KM is just the latest fad are themselves firmly on the road to obsolescence.