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Ashley Krantz Freelance Blogger

While working on my internship for my master’s degree in Information Architecture Knowledge Management, I conducted an interview with Keith Davis, employed by the Army’s Knowledge Management division inside the center of cyber excellence, as a means to better understand the Army’s knowledge management proponent. Davis concludes the interview with an enlightened consideration, demanding rumination. He notes that one must acknowledge that a paradigm shift is happening quoting William Caldwell, then Combined Arms Center Commander, “Knowledge Management may very well be the Manhattan Project of the 21st century" (K.Davis, personal communication, July 14, 2017). Briefly setting aside my extensive notes on the terms and taxonomies of the Army doctrine, this profound thought resonated with me. I asked myself, “What was the connection between this pivotal and catastrophic point in world history and the field of knowledge management?”

During the Atomic Age, The Manhattan Project, was a period of incessant discovery that utilized mass-scale of compartmentalization of knowledge, revolutionizing the physical world through understanding, processing, collaboration, and communication. The significance of the project taught us that enlightened thinkers can forge knowledge, which has the potential to grow at exponential rates resulting in invaluable discoveries. It was Cadwell’s quote that really taught me the power and potential of KM. Knowledge creation is a dynamic process that transcends existing boundaries. Knowledge truly is created through the interactions of individuals or between individuals and their milieu, rather than the individual working alone. I now learned that a social knowledge creation process is possible.

In short, the breakthroughs in atomic knowledge became the underpin for today’s enlightened, dynamic, and progressive transformative leadership and innovation. In the same way, the future of knowledge management depends on the same knowledge acquisition, representation, organization, and skill development utilized by theoretical physicists, philosophers, and thinkers in order to develop effective strategies for the optimal management of knowledge assets, production, and management.


Reference

KM World: Knowledge Management in the United States Army [Interview by K. Davis & W. Caldwell]. (2017, July 14).

Biography of Ashley Krantz

Ashley Krantz, a freelance blogger, for Pioneer Knowledge Services recently graduated magna cum laude with her master’s from Kent State University’s Information Architecture Knowledge Management program. Simultaneously, Ashley received a full-time Graduate Assistant Scholarship working as a research aid for the Library and Information Science department. Prior, she received two bachelor’s degrees, on academic scholarships, in general studies with a focus in both biology and psychology and a postgraduate degree in English. Ashley currently is the owner of an online vintage boutique, enjoys hiking, and is an avid watcher of classic films.

by Edwin K. Morris

​In the world of nonprofits there is a little word that means a lot. It is philanthropy. The image above is the definition. It highlights the essence of why nonprofits even exist. Philanthropy can pack a whole lot of action in the meaning around an organization's mission. This requires great communication skills and understanding of the organizations mission along with the clients they serve. Once they understand that clear connection between all of these elements of the organization then identifying the giving audience is a crucial next step to provide funding and sustainment strategy and plan to the nonprofit operation.

To clarify consider that fund raising is not philanthropy. To aid in this differentiation between fundraising and philanthropy consider this:

Fund-raising is an activity undertaken with the goal of eliciting charitable or philanthropic giving. Fund-raising is related to philanthropy as preaching is to faith; that is, one is intended to inspire the other, with no guarantee of success because the response lies within the power of the respondent to determine. (Worth 2013)

So there may have been a misconception for some that between philanthropy and fundraising, but as highlighted in the box above nowhere does it state generation of funds or anything around money. Which then leads us down the trail of what is electronic philanthropy otherwise referred to as e-philanthropy. According to Ted Hart E-Philathropy is:

"the building and enhancing of relationships with volunteers and supporters of nonprofit organizations using the Internet. It includes the contribution of cash or real property or the purchase of products and services to benefit a non-profit organization, and the storage of and usage of electronic data and services to support relationship building and fundraising activities.

The key thing for me in philanthropy is we are talking about building relationships. Relationships that just so happen to coincide and support the mission of the nonprofit. Sorter similar terms to philanthropy?  Words that show up in the thesaurus for philanthropy are: charity, patronage, compassion, humanity, generosity and benevolence. To me these are words that scream out connection and relationship. So how does one build relationship, gain trust and fundraise?

I hear you saying it. You're saying okay what is it all mean? How do I get e-commerce or EPhilanthropy or whatever you call it connected, up and running?!? According to the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) as of May 2015 there were approximately 1,521,052 charitable organizations in the US. That averages out to 30,421 per state. NPT also states that in 2013, 100 of the largest charities reported receiving 13% more in online donations, and 25 of these charities collected more than $10 million each in 2013 from online gifts.

Your first stop is going to be building a web site strategy. This is an extremely humongous scope is not only are you presenting your content consideration the graphic design and visual artistry must be represented properly. I would suggest having two primary operational components of your web presence. One being fundraising and other being brand building.

I will exampled how Pioneer Knowledge Services researched options for collecting electronic donations. Early 2015 leadership embarked with organization called the Network for Good. This provided a very easy interface with not only streamlining and adding credibility to online donations but provided a back of the house accounting and automated receipt generation all for a monthly fee. The system also generates a fair amount of analytics and reports to start understanding the donor base and how they donate. Network for Good also has additional add-on services that can scaffold with customer growth and be a plug an play type add on components as needed.

After working with Network for Good we decided to explore other avenues as this system was not matched well for our small size. In 2017 we decided on setting up a nonprofit account with PayPal and in the social media platform Facebook.

Consider that in 2008 about 5% of total giving in the United States was done online (Sargeant 2008).  In 2013 that percentage grew to 6.4% (NPT).  Do you want to know how much nonprofits generated in 2012? The total revenues was $1.65 trillion.  So let's take the 2013 numbers of 6.4% of online giving times the grand total of revenues in 2012 of $1.65 trillion just in order to get some idea of the gravity of Internet-based giving. We get an estimated total of $105,600,000 that was generated online.

Let those numbers sink in because an organization has to think of the gravity of their front door on the web. Being able to conduct philanthropy and generate funds together is a very crucial element to brand and to donor awareness. One aspect to consider around perception is a term called halo effect that is explained, "People can draw conclusions about a stimulus on the basis of only one characteristic when they should consider more" (Bagozzi, 1996).

Good or bad, perception can be queued up to only one element. The halo effect meaning and emotional perception and appearance that sways the donor or volunteer. Thus having a critical eye and understanding of your audience will allow you to craft and design your web presence and content in accordance with the mission of the organization. The end state design should elicit a strong emotion that may translate and cause action to the donor to become involved and participate. Ultimately you're representing your brand and building relationship therefore shine that halo instead of tarnish I say.

Yours in knowledge,

Edwin K. Morris
President and Founder of Pioneer Knowledge Services

References

Bagozzi, R. P. (1988). The rebirth of attitude research in marketing. Journal of the Market Research Society, 30(2), 163-195.

Hart, Ted. "ePhilanthropy: It's Much More Than Raising Money." E-Philanthropy Review. July 1, 2002. Obtained from: charitychannel.com/printer_51.shtml

National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), Charitable Giving Statistics (page) Retrieved from the internet 4 October 2015, http://www.nptrust.org/philanthropic-resources/charitable-giving-statistics

Sargeant, Adrian; Shang, Jen (2010-03-04). Fundraising Principles and Practice (Essential Texts for Nonprofit and Public Leadership and Management) (Kindle Locations 10830-10831). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

Worth, Michael J. (2013-04-17). Nonprofit Management: Principles and Practice (Kindle Locations 8614-8617). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.

csalanova.JPGGuest Blogger CaseyAnn Salanova currently heads the Interlibrary Loan department and serves as the Core Team Leader at Schmidt Library at York College of Pennsylvania.

Surprise, surprise, knowledge management impacts employees! What a novel idea, right?

Not really when you think about it because where does knowledge lie? Within people. And employees—at least for now—are people. And the knowledge we have (as employees and through our collective experiences) can contribute to a rich learning environment, adaptability, and overall satisfaction within the workplace.If an organization or company has a successful knowledge management structure, it can facilitate learning through externalization, internalization, and socialization. Consider this: I was sitting in my office the other day chatting with my officemate. We work at a library and were talking about a specific functionality within the system we work with. We ended up exchanging different stories about how training was handled previously at the library and how it is handled now.  Really, we were both externalizing our tacit knowledge on the subject and in turn, internalizing the knowledge we heard from each other—all through an informal social exchange.

What if you received a memo from your administration informing you that your department would now be merged with another department? The heads of both departments will be replaced with a CIO and you are to be housed in one building. How would you react? It would be unsurprising if your response was not well​. 

And that is why trust is such an important component in knowledge management and employee adaptability (Association of Project Management, 2014). An organization’s KM processes can facilitate the sharing of knowledge between employees because they themselves “likely possess the information and knowledge needed to adapt” (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2015). Having the ability to participate in conversations and contribute ideas and opinions help create an environment in which employees are more open to be aware of and accept change (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2015). But, if the organizational culture is not conducive to constructive exchanges and the structure of the company creates independent silos, change is hard. Integration is difficult. And communication suffers. It jeopardizes the chance for change to be successful. But, if change is approached first as a conversation with the opportunity to contribute ideas garner feedback, then outlined, initiated, implemented, and accessed, it can be successful—and if not, you can learn from the process.

Through the simple implementation and support that allow for opportunities for employees to learn and share knowledge, combined with the creation of an environment of trust and collaboration, directly affects employee job satisfaction—for the better (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2015).  Add in the fact, that now, as millennials are taking over entering the workforce, their (our) satisfaction comes from meaningful relationships, learning opportunities, and believing in a cause and a meaningful impact on the world (Lewis, 2015). In the end, by adopting knowledge management solutions, organizations will be helping themselves and their employees. Job satisfaction goes a long way and contributes to the willingness to share knowledge, expertise, and remain in the organization longer (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2015). And really, in the end, wouldn’t you as an employer, want your employees to be happy?

Guest Blogger CaseyAnn Salanova is a graduate student at Kent State University studying Knowledge Management and Library and Information Science. She currently heads the Interlibrary Loan department and serves as the Core Team Leader at Schmidt Library at York College of Pennsylvania.


Works Referenced

Association of Project Management. (2014, April 10). We really need to talk about knowledge management [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwMzpJa6Y-w&feature=youtu.be

Becerra-Fernandez, I., & Sabherwal, R. (2015). Knowledge Management Systems and Processes. New York, NY. RoutledgeTaylor& Francis Group. 

Lewis, Katherine R. (2015). Everything You Need to Know About Your Millennium Co-Workers.Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/06/23/know-your-millennial-co-workers/

Silo Image. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.thehumanenterprise.com.au/Images/marketing-offers/Public-Engage-WebPage-Image.png

CaseyAnn Salanova is a graduate student at Kent State University studying Knowledge Management and Library and Information Science. She currently heads the Interlibrary Loan department and serves as the Core Team Leader at Schmidt Library at York College of Pennsylvania.


Libraries, unfortunately, are all too often viewed as antiquated as your grandmother’s chintz curtains.

The public perception of the total value of a library is often veiled by their large budgets and seemingly little return. The reality is though, libraries have dealt with cuts for years now with budgets decreasing even as prices on databases, materials, and technology increase. Even within the library world, a common topic of conversation and conference theme is its own relevancy. Many graduate Library Science programs, like Kent State, ask applicants to write an essay on the relevancy of libraries. Such a requirement is already setting up a professional perception of its own irrelevancy.

Toronto Public Library.JPG(Martin Prosperity Institute, Page 1, 2013)

But, libraries are in fact useful and economically advantageous. The Free Library of Philadelphia pinpointed four major economic areas that libraries contribute to: literacy, workforce development, business development, and increased home and neighborhood values (Fels Research & Consulting, Diamond, Gillen, Litman, & Thornburgh, 2010). The Toronto Public Library estimates it has created over $1 billion in total economic impact (Martin Prosperity Institute, 2013). The bottom line is they provide a low cost education and cultural platform for society (Z. Zhou, personal communication, November 10, 2015).

What is true though, libraries are at a crossroads and in need of a revolution—“one that remakes the institution’s technology, goals and training (Lozada, 2015).” Knowledge management can be a part of it, if not a catalyst. It is an approach to the management and effective use of intellectual capital.  ​

The key to knowledge management is approaching it with the creativity of design and the pragmatics of a business. There is not a one size fits all approach nor is there only one approach that leads to successful knowledge management (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2015). Really, it is holistic. But, not in the granola eating, tree hugging, meditating mentality (even though that is perfectly fine, too). Rather, knowledge management is an interconnected process that requires internal and external analysis, participation organization wide, a willingness to adapt, and a commitment to sustainability. So, why do it in a library?

Libraries are at a moment in time that is ripe for opportunity. They provide an ideal stomping ground for knowledge management through a collection of people from varied backgrounds which differs from the typical KM business case. Their commodity is that of knowledge and it is ever increasing in breadth, format, and structure. They already have a strong technical infrastructure, workflows system, and a long tradition of documentation and onsite training. And just as IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad changed his business practices to the Ikea we know and love today (Liedtka, 2011), libraries have been adapting for years from papyrus to calfskins, printed books, microforms, and electronic resources. It is just now, some consider Google as “America’s reference librarian and Starbucks its ISP (Internet Service Provider)” (Lozada, 2015). Technology is changing at a rapid pace and libraries need to adapt quicker.

Knowledge management can help change the internal and external perception of a library as well as provide the necessary knowledge to compete and thrive. Through the process of developing a strong KM Solution, hard questions will be asked including the contingency factors that affect the overall process (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2015). But, ultimately a better understanding of the context, innovation and knowledge sharing, succession management, employee orientation, learning, and development, and the identification, documentation and dissemination of processes, practices, and expertise of the organization will arise which will lead to the development of a successful knowledge management plan (NCHRP, 2014).  But, what many libraries are lacking in is the motivator.

It does not matter where within the library an individual stands—anyone can become the motivator. Knowledge management can begin as an organically grown movement, but key individuals need to get on board—within a library it is typically the director and upper level administrators. Without the support of the organization’s leader, it is unlikely KM will succeed (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2015). A common occurrence though within the knowledge management sector is for a CLO (Chief Learning Officer), CIO (Chief Information Officer), or CKO (Chief Knowledge Officer) to be hired on a temporary basis and then it is assumed knowledge management will be integrated into company/organization practice (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal 2015).

Let us not assume, but sustain. Knowledge management processes can be customized and adapted to current and future needs. They can be designed to meet budgetary needs with many knowledge management solutions functioning at virtually no or low cost.   So, be the motivator and embrace knowledge management in the library. It can help propel the library into the future while still sustaining the knowledge cultivated from tradition.


Works Referenced
Becerra-Fernandez, I., and Sabherwal, R. (2015). Knowledge Management Systems and Processes. New York, NY. RoutledgeTaylor & Francis Group.
Fels Research & Consulting, Diamond, D., Gillen, K.C., Litman, M., Thornburgh, D. (2010). The Economic Value of The Free Library In Philadelphia. Retrieved from http://www.freelibrary.org/about/Fels_Report.pdf
Liedtka, J. (2011). Why Design? In Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers (3-20). New York: Columbia University Press.
Lozada, C. (2015). Do we still need Libraries? Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/do-we-still-need-libraries/2015/04/23/c2105778-e92e-11e4-aae1-d642717d8afa_story.html
Martin Prosperity Institute. (2013). So Much More: The Economic Impact of the Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto. Retrieved from http://martinprosperity.org/media/TPL%20Economic%20Impact_Dec2013_LR_FINAL.pdf
NCHRP. (2014) Scan 12-04 Advances in Transportation Agency Knowledge Management. Retrieved from http://www.domesticscan.org/wp-content/uploads/NCHRP20-68A_12-04.pdf