ETHER Advisor Marcia Morante nudged me to read the flurry of thought provoking postings emerging from Jerry Ash's Association of Knowledge Work discussion regarding knowledge management failures around Hurricane Kristina. All deserve reading and anyone interested in any aspect of knowledge management and knowledge sharing is encouraged to join.
In a post today Dave Hawthorne argues that regarding Katrina the issue is not "Knowledge Management" but rather "Authority Management". For those without access to Dave's AOK post here is a nugget:
"More often than not I think we are talking about Authority Management rather than Knowledge Management. People "know" a great many things that they don't act on; that they ignore. The organizational question is not about whether or not someone has the knowledge they need, but whether or not they have the authority to act, and whether that authority is based on their awareness of the context in which they act, and whether they have knowledge of its alignment with the intent (purpose) of the organization, perhaps that's the "holon." Everything else is instrumentation and we can build that." -David Hawthorne