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I have been looking at the Knowledge Management recruitment sector over the last week or so, and find it amazing that the majority of the so called KM jobs focus on the 'KM Manager' not only requiring extensive KM Implementation and Development experience, but also requiring in depth experience of the field in which they are going to support and operate; and in some cases the necessary 'IT Expertise' to build the KM System (the IT Issue with KM will be the subject of a separate Blog Post). My view is that if you want a Knowledge Manager, or a Chief Knowledge Officer, or whatever you want to call the 'Knowledge Lead' within an organisation, then these individuals should be responsible for developing and establishing how Knowledge is utilised within an organization. This in itself is a huge undertaking, and requires expertise and understanding of how to introduce change and establish cultures to support sharing Knowledge, and also the vision and strength of character to commit to something that is hard to visualize, difficult to frame and most difficult of all being able to show direct benefits in these uncertain and financially restricted times. To put it into the context of Project Management; you don't have a Project Manager with an absolute knowledge of the legal and contracts area, or finance area, this expertise is provided by the Project Support Staff, the so called experts. In Knowledge Management terms, these are the Knowledge Champions; the holders of the Knowledge, and the Knowledge Manager needs to build a framework around how best to utilise these ‘Champions’. If Knowledge Managers are required to have expertise of these particular areas of functionality, then conversely shouldn’t it also be a requirement that the so called experts/champions have experience of Knowledge Management? Then they could implement KM without the need for recruiting so called Knowledge Management experts. The successful implementation of KM will only be realised by a team approach; the Knowledge Lead developing the strategy and approach to KM in conjunction with the stakeholders. If an IT Delivery mechanism is deemed the best means of achieving this, then source the expertise to build this, and then build into the approach a means of connecting the Knowledge Experts to those that need the Knowledge. My point is that the individuals who have expertise within KM are specialists in that field, and should be utilised on that basis, it is the role of the ‘Champions’ to have specialist knowledge of the subject area, and whilst recruitment continues to be based on the Knowledge Lead requiring specialist knowledge and even IT Experience, organizations will not be able to realise the true benefits of KM.

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