Cindy Gordon recently Tweeted a suggestion for a term to replace knowledge management; her suggestion was “collaboration commerce. I immediately recoiled at the term, mainly on aesthetic grounds (alliteration?!?) But it was framing the topic explicitly on the collaboration component of KM and explicitly on commerce (implying that the only context in which KM is deployed is to create economic.
Pondering Gordon’s proposal further, she is clearly trying to lead the cultural conversation in an important direction. The focus on collaboration points to the vital role that new models of collaboration (as well as the adjacent and distinct topics of cooperation and coordination-C^3 so to speak.) Clearly, the vital growth edge for KM focuses on enabling the evolution of collaboration as a new motive force for generating organizational value. And it is this context — the generation and dissemination of intellectual value , that represents the most likely path into the future of the amalgam of organizational design approaches and capture and distribution technologies presently subsumed under Knowledge management.
Ten years hence there will no doubt exist a whole discipline around the assembly of collaborative entities, the agent-driven negotiation of interfaces, and the definition of the explicit referents to which the value of the new and novel intellectual artifacts will be applied and traded. Now, though, we are looking at the evolution of the various vectors of activity and concern subsumed under knowledge management into applicability in a broader context as defining the underlying fabric of value in the neat-term future.