JClub Workshop on Knowledge Capitalization

A look back at our last JClub workshop on June 27, which brought together Jalios users and a knowledge management expert, Jean-Pierre Bouchez.

We perceived the growing interest in digital transformation and a particular challenge in leveraging collaborative platforms to better capitalize on knowledge. It was therefore interesting to combine the sharing of experiences between peers and a specialist's vision on the state of collaborative practices in large French groups. The diversity of the sectors of activity represented among the participants (distribution, education, local authorities, consulting, defence, public transport, etc.) confirms our vision: the Digital Workplace is deeply linked with a desire to develop the capitalisation of knowledge within its organisation. This applies to both the private and public sectors.

The choice of theme being made, it was still necessary to have the most relevant speaker possible. We would like to thank Jean-Pierre Bouchez for having responded to Jalios' invitation and for embodying so well the meeting of knowledge, digital and business. During this workshop, participants were able to benefit from a synthesis of his latest book entitled L'entreprise à l'ère du digital, les nouvelles pratiques collaboratives. More information on the publisher's website.

What did we need to learn from our JClub workshop on knowledge management in the digital age?

It must be noted that the subject of knowledge capitalization has become, in the era of digital transformation, a very promising subject enriched both by people from the academic world and professionals in companies.

The field survey conducted by Jean-Pierre Bouchez among several large companies (L'OREAL, Michelin, CEA, etc.) and the existence of many very active Knowledge Management associations (including the Club gestion des connaissances or the Cop-1 KM et Collaboration association) illustrate this phenomenon.

It is clear that knowledge capitalization is a strategic subject for a publisher like Jalios, which promotes collective intelligence through the development of collaborative work but also at the heart of our customers' concerns when setting up a Digital Workplace.

A new collaborative ecosystem for knowledge management and circulation

There is not a single model but several knowledge management models. Jean-Pierre Bouchez and the KM Directors he interviewed designed a modeling on these 4 types of knowledge management:

  • People centric: people before processes. The link is more important than the good. The principles of trust, solidarity and self-declaration are the basis of this model.
  • Heavy content-centric: model in the process of extinction, it still exists in large groups in the industry. A model where the knowers are masters of power, characterized by a certain refusal to share.
  • Knowledgeable people-centric: reactivation of KM in the old way, but open. This model is found in organizations that are highly focused on innovation and performance, such as Accenture and L'OREAL.
  • Soft content-centric: unstructured content above all.

The search for an optimum between structured capitalization and socialization of exchanges

This matrix developed by Jean-Pierre Bouchez is a highlight of his intervention. This diagram makes it possible to situate one's organization according to a horizontal axis "formal knowledge" (structured content) vs. "practices" (unstructured content, implicit knowledge) and in order, according to a flow logic (often qualified as "disposable capitalization") vs. a stock logic (capitalized content).

By opening the debate with users of the Jalios solution, several interesting elements emerge:

  • They may find themselves in very different knowledge management models depending on their challenges and the digital maturity of their organization
  • This flexibility is explained by a very wide functional coverage and a high degree of customization of the solution (allowing for various use cases)
  • No phenomenon that would consist in privileging socialization at all (in contrast to the Facebook, Yammer, etc... activity flow model), even if many recognize this model as easy to adopt
  • Most find it particularly interesting to situate oneself on models 3. and 4. which promote collaboration between individuals and around unstructured practices or content.

A working environment that allows the creation of communities of practice appears to be a key point for developing knowledge management in a collaborative sharing approach.

Among the conditions for the successful deployment and sustainability of communities of practice:

  • Integration of a community dynamic into a multi-year business programme (such as a global digital transformation programme)
  • Real and visible leadership from the management team
  • Named sponsors to legitimize communities
  • A central "Community" coordination body

It is also necessary to take into account the importance of the role of Community Animators

As the participants in our workshop pointed out, it takes people to bring a collaborative space to life, whether it is a project, a theme or a trade. These community leaders are intrapreneurs! While this takes time (especially at the outset), the investment adds value and gives meaning to the community's objective.

Finally, the expert suggests setting up the Community Charter to formalize the rules and good practices. It describes the collaborative value that the community is likely to bring to the organization.

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