Bernie Palowitch, Founder & PresidentOver the past twenty years, knowledge management (KM) has become widely accepted as a critical capability for any organization whose activities span across multiple departments, projects, or locations. Yet despite the improvements in technological tools and processes for content capture and discovery, it has become more and more challenging to extract value from the flood of incoming data and information, and to use it effectively in daily work. Iknow LLC works with clients to solve these problems.
Iknow has been in the KM field for 18 years, working with a wide variety of clients, from major corporations to federal, state, and local governments, nonprofits, and NGOs. Iknow focuses exclusively on knowledge management, from strategy and business requirements through to technology implementation, with a special emphasis on effective KM leadership and execution. “Our team of senior consultants includes several former heads of knowledge management from leading global enterprises, including The Boston Consulting Group, Bain, KPMG, Capgemini, and The Rockefeller Foundation,” says Bernie Palowitch, the firm’s founder and president. “With that experience, they can quickly build confidence and trust as they guide our clients through the many pitfalls that can break a KM program.”
Many of Iknow’s recent engagements have focused on reviving stalled KM efforts, often by organizing knowledge capture and taxonomy more effectively around critical business issues and simplifying access through user-focused technology design. “Again and again, we hear the same complaints from business users of KM,” says Palowitch, “among them, search engines that don’t find relevant content, employee confusion about where to go and what tools to use, and a lack of organized, business-driven knowledge curation. These issues often result in people relying on their personal networks, which can be effective, but can also mean missing important insights and experience from elsewhere in the organization.”
To address these issues, Iknow offers deep subject matter expertise in areas like taxonomy development, natural language processing, auto-classification, organizational learning and cultural change, as well as extensive implementation experience across the full range of KM technologies. “It’s critical that people can easily find information on a topic, even if that topic is referred to in many different ways across the organization and externally and that often means paying more attention to taxonomy, as well as careful curation of the themes that are most critical to business success. Recent innovations in AI and auto-categorization offer real potential to enhance these efforts,” adds Palowitch.
Our team of senior consultants quickly builds confidence and trust as they guide our clients through the many pitfalls that can break a KM program
Organizations also need to present a unified search experience to their users, who increasingly expect Google-like ease of use and a one-stop shop for finding documented know-how and personal expertise. “We spend a lot of time thinking about key use cases and what an ideal search result would look like for each one,” says Palowitch. “Then you can work back from that to the knowledge capture and categorization requirements, and how to present that knowledge in the most user-friendly ways, with the least amount of manual effort.”
All of this requires a strong and continuing partnership between business functions and IT, combined with the right strategic leadership and vision. “You need a clear-eyed view of what types of knowledge assets are critical in which situations, then everyone can work together to implement the shared KM vision, with a laser focus on business value and results,” concludes Palowitch.