Knoco reports that there is a growing interest of KM in South Africa. This is based on an analysis of the number of visitors per country to the Knoco Website. In 2011, there were around 50 visitors per million South Africans on their web site. In 2015, there were almost 100 visitors per million South Africans. It is dangerous to draw conclusions from an analysis based on one web site, but it is still a trend to consider. It would be interesting to do a similar study across the Web.
We felt the aliveness and interest at the #2015SAKMS! Relive moments from 2015 on the SAKMS photo-journal on Flickr. The interest and reality of KM in South Africa are also evident from the quality of the presentations and thought-provoking papers presented at last year’s Summit.
A growing interest does not imply a comfortable place for Knowledge Management. I can still remember the spirit of solidarity when Patrick Lambe told stories about the common pitfalls in KM implementations, and with the challenges experienced by the case study presenters. South Africa’s low ranking on global innovation indexes also called for reflection and introspection. Innovation is a knowledge-driven ability – where are we failing as KMers? It also pointed to a strategic opportunity to Be the Difference required to improve our competitiveness. Dr Demana from the DTI also brought some strategic opportunities regarding the Industrial Policy and National Infrastructure Plan under our attention.
Even though Dr Herman Van Niekerk expressed his concern that we are still talking about the obstacles hindering knowledge management, he was positive about the KM action evident from the presentations at the #2015 SAKMS.
At least, what I can say on a positive note, is that we’re not just talking about it anymore, at least, there are some companies that are doing it – as you can see from the case studies presented to us. So, at least, we are talking from an action stage – what we think is knowledge management – and, at least, we are doing it.
Back to the question if there is indeed a growing interest of KM in South Africa. The establishment of a KM Standards Committee is also an indication of a renewed concern for KM in South Africa.
At the #2016SAKMS we will continue to shape, interrogate and reflect on KM as a strategic management discipline. Dr Ian Corbett will present the findings of a KM survey done in South Africa at the Summit. Prof Peter Heisig will also share the results from a global KM study – Advancements and Future Challenges in Knowledge Management. It will be interesting to see how KM in SA compares with this global study.
Shaping minds for Africa: Knowledge Management as a competitive strategy (an overview of the #2015SAKMS)