The dubious notion of ‘knowledge inventories’ has somehow crept back from the dead. Oh brother. AWGTHTGTTA?
Creating 'knowledge inventories' is utter nonsense. It has been tried for decades, by very clever people, and gets nowhere. There have been, and will always be, spectacular failures. The problem is the Newtonian model of analytic reductionism fails outright when applied to knowledge. Beware.
Creepy vendors and consultants tried/try to advance this nonsense. Sometimes they called them enterprise portals. They sold them by the seat. Other times they called them knowledge repositories.
Thing is, anyone that used these codified inventories called them knowledge suppositories. Obsequious managers embraced knowledge inventories and vendors precisely because they were thinking with their ‘seat.’
In leading knowledge management (KM) worldwide for 25 years, and with intimate and lasting relationships with all the top, recognized, global leaders, it can be said with confidence all the notions of knowledge assets, capital, inventories, taxonomies, etc., is just patently ridiculous, useless and an profound waste of time.
Unfortunately, every few years, the 'knowledge inventory' baloney pops up again. It is always proffered by arrogant and unfortunate Western rationalists. They think they can apply analytic reductionism to complex phenomena like knowledge, networks and value. They ALWAYS fail and eventually go away.
Some embrace the enlightened knowledge thinking while others just try to force the issue. It can be rather sad and painful to witness all the wasted energy and lost productivity. On the other hand, the joy of enlightenment is palpable when knowledge reductionism is retired.
Among the greatest contemporary thought leaders concerning business knowledge management is a friend and colleague, Ikujiro Nonaka. Here is a lecture in Vienna I attended while advising one of his PhD candidates in knowledge management a few years ago. It is a good summary of the principles.
In short, business knowledge is about distributed phronesis.
Sadly, no matter how hard we try, some people occasionally still pursue incredibly dopey knowledge inventories. Fortunately, it is becoming more and more rare, since all discover it is a confident path to oblivion.
Of course ‘organizing the world’s information,’ indexed search, social profiles, information, taxonomies, sematic webs, visual search, Big Data, etc., remain critical frontiers. However, as in the past, the future of the Internet, and knowledge, is all about human connection not data collection.
However, it is often difficult to pull adherents back from the brink. In KM we have learned, painfully, that Newtonian rationalism is a cognitive pathology and difficult to cure. The afflicted are very brittle and pursue a zero-sum game. They are is best avoided.
Anyway, what we strive to do is try and show them the way out of their failed thinking and the overbearing farce of knowledge inventories. It is brutal to get them to, ‘think different.’
Today, social models and knowledge are critical dimensions of productivity. To develop these capabilities and achieve productivity and innovation, praxis intervention and phonetic science are strongly recommended.
In summary, business productivity and knowledge inhabits complex networks. It CANNOT be broken down and reassembled. Rather, praxis and phronesis achieve social comprehension, knowledge cohesion, leadership maturity, new capabilities, productivity, growth, business prosperity and optimal outcomes overall.