HAVING spent all my career working in Knowledge and Information Management (KIM), I am now privileged to be leading KPMG in the UK’s Organisational Learning. This role still includes responsibility for our KM, IM, research and competitive intelligence activities, but with a focus on the roles that our KIM professionals have in delivering our ambition to be the “magnet for talent” in professional services, i.e. contributing to the attraction and retention of the best people in the market by ensuring that they have the opportunity to develop and learn and to access the knowledge and insights they need to do their best job and have the most informed conversations with clients.
This has given me the chance to focus on the role that our Knowledge Centre of Excellence plays in enabling learning and development in our organisation, but also a chance to think about the learning for our team.
We hear much about lifelong learning in the context of the changing workplace, the disruption and opportunities presented by the digital transformation of work, and the expectations of the millennial generation. A recent government report on skills and lifelong learning suggests that the change and uncertainty that we are experiencing increases the importance of focusing on our skills, not just for the purposes of employment and productivity, but also to ensure that we stay resilient and thrive.
Practice what we preach?
I am aware that in encouraging my colleagues to engage with the learning support we provide to them, I need to lead by example and ensure that I pay close attention to my own – and my team’s learning needs.
The core KIM skills remain familiar to us, and are largely unchanged, but how we deliver our services continues to evolve, and the needs of the customers of our KIM services are increasingly sophisticated. One of the main areas of focus for me is ensuring that our KIM team has the opportunity to develop digital fluency.
For example, being able to understand the opportunities that intelligent automation, artificial intelligence and augmented or virtual reality can offer in delivering service-oriented knowledge support, easier access and connectivity is critical for planning how we deliver services and respond to the needs of our users.
Of course, technology is merely an enabler to great KIM services, but the pace and extent of change, and the level of technology literacy of our customers and users is increasingly a result of technology enablement in their non-work life and the arrival of the millennial workforce. This has meant I’ve focused on increasing my own knowledge, skills and confidence in technology enablement and digital transformation, especially the mobile delivery of our KIM services, as we meet demand to ensure that our colleagues have access to actionable insights and intelligence wherever they are working.
Help is on the horizon
From my perspective, this is a great time to be working in KIM. There are many opportunities to evolve what we do by embracing the potential of the digital disruption that many of our organisations are facing.
As recent contributors to this column have demonstrated, the need for expert KIM advice, and the recognition of the value of the KIM practitioner continues to evolve and increase.
Paul Corney heralded the arrival of the new ISO standard and the accredited knowledge manager in the last issue and Stephen Phillips discussed the increasing need for KIM expertise to help assure quality, well-curated content in the issue prior to that.
There is much to feel optimistic about. So, with these developments in mind, confident in the skills and experience we have developed over time, and harnessing a growing digital fluency and confidence in our conversations with an increasingly sophisticated knowledge worker, it’s a great time to be a KIM professional. IP