Skills for KM


Few days back, my friend Ashwini had asked a question about what are the skills that a knowledge manager should have. Basically, if you are hiring a knowledge manager what are the skills that you should be looking for. Interesting because KM as a discipline is evolving and there really is no template based on which you can identify what skills a knowledge manager would require. Is this because KM cannot be a stand-alone entity, and needs to be looked at in the context of the business requirements which KM has to address? My friend Nirmala has written an interesting post about this.

So what are the skills which a knowledge manager should require? To begin with a knowledge manager needs to be a good sales person. Why i say sales person is because one of the most important things that a knowledge manager needs to do is to sell the idea of KM and knowledge-sharing to business teams in a way which explains that this is good for the teams and for the people in the teams as well.

In addition to this, a knowledge manager must also have a good understanding they are going to support through the KM initiative. Without this understanding of the context in which they are going to work it can be quite difficult to build the connect with the business team. Another thing which is related is that the knowledge manager must also have a consultative approach to sales or to problem-solving because not only must the knowledge manager understand the principles of KM, and the business aspect, but they must also be able to bring the toolkit of KM to bear upon the business problems in a way as to demonstrate that KM can be a good platform for addressing some of these problems, creating the value proposition for KM with the business teams.

In a nutshell, a consultant salesperson knowledge enthusiast is what we are talking about. Somewhat reminds of a description by Sir Humphrey of a perfect candidate which i cant seem to locate (please leave a link if you know of one).

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2 Comments on “Skills for KM”

  1. Sai says:

    I think first and foremost a knowledge manager should have good people skills. They must have the ability to informally extract a lot of information from the business folks who normally would not share it with other functions [no offense Quality :)).If the business folks feel that this person is like an used car salesman, then they will feed him what he wants to hear. So, trust becomes an important element here as well. Good communication skills really help. Agree on the rest.

  2. thoughtsandme2004 says:

    thanks, Sai. agree with you.


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