Ulla's post yesterday about defining KM/IM opportunities caught my eye. The message I took away from her post is that it really is up to us, as the educated, experienced credential holders, to claim our abilities and be ready to define our own opportunities.
Now if anyone knows about the tremendous transferability of the library-based skill set it is Ulla. She's followed a path that refuses to be bounded by stereotypes or unimaginative notions of the power that comes with a keen understanding of the information continuum.
Now I'm not saying (nor do I think Ulla is saying) that the IM/KM skill set gained from a library-oriented education is sufficient for all opportunities.
But, the foundation it provides is robust: the right information at the right time in the right hands changes lives. It becomes less about gaining NEW knowledge as much as it is about aligning new concepts to existing knowledge, such as learning the unique lingo that goes along with various work domains.
For me, that meant taking the Canadian Securities Course early in my career, and I've just recently completed
Fundamentals of Business Intelligence at U of T. When asked what my goals were for the course I said one of mine was to understand how BI concepts mapped to my existing IM/KM knowledge. I'm happy to say the course delivered that and more!
And here's the good news: our instructor, Bill Chadwick, made clear that successful BI initiatives were ultimately a human endeavour, involving subject specialists, metadata, preferred terms and an intimate understanding of how the application of information makes a difference. The technology is just the tool.
I've been reading KMWorld for years, and have frequently taken advantage of web presentations done by various vendors in the KM space. I recall one that had, as it's underlying premise "what can librarians teach us about KM?" More recently was the article Rise of the Knowledge Librarian in 2009 - The Future of the Future, as the authors put it.
Call it what you will: information management, KM, librarianship, data mining, BI, business analysis . . . Wherever knowledge is, we will be there!