All posts by Alison Day

KM to KM – Knowledge Management to Knowledge Mobilisation: a trend?

A reflection from David Stewart

“Knowledge Management (KM), what’s that then?” A question I used to dread. That “crunch” moment in the lift when a very senior person asks you a question that really takes more than 30 seconds to answer. I had never heard of knowledge management until the later 1990s; it certainly did not feature in my librarianship course in 1981, but then neither did computers!

Once I heard the term, I started to try to find out more. There was a bewildering array of theoretical articles some of which promised to supercharge our workplace; others were very dismissive; “knowledge can’t be managed” I collected them together and soon had two box files full and was none the wiser. Then someone pointed me to a local academic, Dr Jim Hughes at Salford University who was lecturing in KM. Jim ran a whole series of seminars for North West NHS librarians in the early 2000s, helping us to understand where it came from and what it might be. We also worked with Dr Chris Mimnagh, a GP and commissioner who was very enthusiastic about the potential of KM. Chris now works with The Innovation Agency in the North West.

Over the next fifteen years KM appeared to come and go, sometimes being treated as a “nice to have” and not a priority in financially constrained times. Nevertheless, it became an important strand as we wrote and published Knowledge for Healthcare in December 2014. The Mobilising Evidence and Knowledge workstream has been our programme for bringing Knowledge Management to the centre of our offer into the healthcare system. This firmly twins our long-established role in disseminating and providing access to evidence from research and practice with a corporate responsibility to better manage and use knowledge and shared learning.

Five years on, and reviewing what we have achieved, I believe we have moved significantly on the KM front. Almost all NHS library and knowledge services (note that we now refer to knowledge services  as an integral part of our function) have been able to demonstrate, via their Library Quality Assurance Framework (LQAF) returns, that they are actively involved in some aspect of KM within their trust. We have recently published a new edition of the KM Framework postcards describing learning before, during and after techniques; more and more of us can run a knowledge café and understand what the goldfish bowl technique is. More NHS organisations are using the Health Education England self-assessment tool to assess how well they are using evidence and organisational knowledge, working with health library and knowledge specialists to prioritise KM activities.  We are about to initiate market research on potential demand for an e-qualification in KM for NHS staff.

I believe we are in a very different KM space than even five years ago. Listen to my recent Webinar on the background and context of Quality and Improvement Outcome Four of the new Quality and Improvement Outcomes Framework where I say that KM “will become the every-day core of what we do” – delivering Knowledge and Library Services to ensure that organisational knowledge and best evidence are mobilised to achieve excellent healthcare and health improvement.

David Stewart, Head of Library and Knowledge Services North, Directorate of Innovation and Transformation, Health Education England

 

 

What is the use of Knowledge Management in a time of crisis?

On the 19th May CILIP held an online conference event exploring the role of knowledge management during a time of disruption and crisis, such as the pandemic of Covid-19 that we are currently living through.

Perspectives were shared by knowledge management specialists working in local and national government, overseas, finance, utilities and healthcare organisations.

As Nick Poole, CEO of CILIP, describes in his article Knowledge Management in a time of crisis, lessons learned from COVID-19, even at this ‘event’ phase of COVID-19

“Knowledge Management has already shown its value in helping our society and our economy adapt to its strange new circumstances.”

It was interesting to hear how in each of the different industries featured, techniques of knowledge management were recognised as adding value to working experiences.

Some thought provoking questions were shared  during the event to consider the ongoing part knowledge management can play at this time and in the gradual recovery phase still to come.

  • How do you/your organisation handle measurement and celebrating successes? How is it different from others?
  • How do you persuade management to support KM initiatives?
  • How do you improve knowledge sharing across geographical and cultural differences?
  • How do you handle misinformation/knowledge, poor quality information/knowledge and overload?
  • What have we learned from the crisis that will be useful for everyday practice?

Slides from the KM in a time of crisis

Narrated presentation about KM in a time of crisis in healthcare by Louise Goswami and Alison Day

Learning the lessons: techniques to capture and share the learning

In unprecedented times such as these learning takes place rapidly and there is a need for simple yet effective techniques to be adopted to enable the capture and re-use of knowledge and learning.

With many people asking about ways to gather lessons learned and share learning effectively Health Education England Library and Knowledge Services have created a short video outlining some simple techniques that can be easily incorporated into daily work activities to help the spread of good practice and avoidance of pitfalls so new work can get off to a great start.

Please share the video and poster:  Avoid pitfalls by learning from others -learned before during after

You may also find Section 5 Learning Lessons in the Pandemic/Disaster Recovery Toolkit prepared by BHT Library and Knowledge Service 17 April 2020 useful.