One of the most interesting presentation in the first day at KM Singapore was given by Patrick Lambe from Straits Knowledge.
Patrick started from the failure of the transit system in Singapore in December 2011 to illustrate very important failure points in other kinds of organizations. One of the lesson from this case was that the traditional model of controlling organizations and information flows does not work well when a crisis is large scale, complex and fast moving.
What does this mean for knowledge management?
According to Patrick, the first important lesson to reflect on is the increasing important role of social media: especially in crisis situation, information is picked up and shared much faster through uncontrolled, social media channels rather then the formal crisis management mechanisms that are now in place. Secondly, the role of knowledge management in these situations seems to focus much more on knowledge sharing capacities rather then traditional information management functions.
As a consequence of these lessons, senior management in organizations needs to understand how important the capacities of knowledge sharing processes are, as well as the competence to be able to deal with the external social environment.