KM enhances mission command, facilitates the exchange of knowledge, supports doctrine development, fosters leaders’ development, supports lessons learned, supports training and enhances professional education. Ultimately, KM enables the Army to become an adaptable organization that is able to learn and change. The Army’s strategy focuses on advancement in a culture of innovation rather than survival in a culture of compliance.• “Military operations are human endeavors characterized by the continuous, mutual adaptation of give and take, moves and counter moves among all participants (FM 6-0 2011).” The participants that are able to adapt and learn more efficiently will create advantages that can be exploited. The Army has moved towards mission command as the means to be more adaptable and able to execute in a decentralized manner. One of the key enables for an organization to learn and adapt is through the use of knowledge management.• Effective knowledge management enhances the shared understanding of an organization. The command and staff possess a shared understanding of the OE and mission that allows for a synergy of effort between commanders, staffs, and subordinate commands.• Knowledge management enhances mission command’s ability to use mission type orders to promote initiative within the commander’s intent. If done properly trust is built within the organization, shared understanding is generated, and the people and organization will learn.
The military including all US armed forces does a fantastic job of knowledge management. In fact, the military has always done a fantastic job of knowledge management. The reason there are questions concerning km (knowledge management) practices in the Army and other defense areas is because of WHERE they practice knowledge management.
When a young soldier comes into the Army, this person is taught about Army culture. They are taught about a chain of command, they are taught about roles and responsibilities, they are taught to sense and feel things in order to react. The services use tools of human dimensions including cognitive, physical, social concepts. (http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~kemmer/Evol/dimensions.html) ( http://bit.ly/1cN3xFG) The idea is to be ready, to be informed and to maintain an ability to execute consistently with great continuity and persistence.
Being ready is something that the Army has done well and this readiness is a direct result of a consistent focus on km. The centerpiece of the Army is the soldier but one soldier alone can’t be the Army and this is why there has to be an understanding of people, process, methods, tools and a further AWARENESS of the environment, the world and of time.
It is a heavy burden for an organization of any size to put so much effort into knowledge management but it is a must. The Army has KM Officers (http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/AOKM/FactSheets/KMOFactsheet.pdf ) <– here are their roles and responsibilities.
“Knowledge Management is more than just KMO business.” AWC KM Brief, 2011
Knowledge Management Operations Strategy (http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_a/pdf/fm6_01x1.pdf)
There are many business practices that came from our experience with fighting wars. In fact most leaders (http://jobsforveterans.military.com/852/10-fortune-500-military-ceos/) have served and have learned core values and practices from the services. In a time where the world is under more pressure than in recent past and military leaders are consistently finding ways to do more with less, it is NOT amazing to see that they have turned to a core practice of knowledge management as an add-on to every single effort. It is AMAZING and a wonder to see business leaders under stressful conditions look at km as something soft and not worth the effort.
If knowledge management isn’t important, why do senior leaders in the military who understand the value of km continue to invest in km (their people) more as the budgets get tighter?
In our history of mankind from the people who invented our first tools, to the people who found how to use fire through the 4 guys on the planet that know the secret recipe for WD-40, we have needed and continue to need to tell stories, share information, communicate both tacit and explicit knowledge. If there are any questions concerning the importance of knowledge management initiatives, I humbly ask those decision makers who seek to devalue these concepts to simply look at the men and women protecting our great nation and recognize what they are doing. I don’t think that our military leadership is “soft” in fact I think it takes a special kind of courage to take the hard road of truly addressing people and culture relative to knowledge management and that is what they do.
Think about it!
-This post is dedicated to my good friend and brother Capt. Marc Romeo (http://fortblissbugle.com/5-52-amd-soldiers-learn-to-be-more-resilient/) BZ KID!
You can read how he taught a class on being resilient!
All of the information provided here is available on the internet. I am adding links and sources accordingly.