Anti-Terrorism KM Task Force LO27228

From: Edward Swanstrom (
Date: 09/17/01

[Pardon the Multiple Postings]

***An Appeal to the KM and Related Communities***

At the KM Standards meeting last week in Washington, D.C., a group of
participants came together in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in
New York and Washington to ask, "We know what we can do as individuals to
help, but what can we do as KM professionals?"

The fight against terrorism is necessary, for any of us and our loved ones
can be the next target, but it will be extremely difficult and costly.
Monetary value cannot be assigned to the lives of countless soldiers and
innocent people all over the world who will be lost. The monetary cost of
funding the fight will put all nations' economies at risk.

The US Navy has a motto, "Knowledge at the tip of the spear," for they
believe that wars of the future will be won not just with superior weapons
but with superior knowledge. The future is now. It is time for knowledge
managers worldwide to harness the power of knowledge management, to work
together to develop recommendations that we will take to the United States
government and other nations involved in the battle.

Knowledge management is critical. As one television analyst put it, the
fight against terrorism cannot be fought with hardware and bodies, it must
be fought with minds. For those of you who understand how innovation is
accelerated by the success of another, this successful attack will be
followed by even more daring and innovative attempts and so on. We will
have to learn how to anticipate the next innovation horizon for each
innovation these terrorists make. We need to learn how to innovate our
ability to innovate and develop new technologies that can assist us.

For this type of war, the effectiveness of current high technology
solutions is severely limited as well as the use of ground troops. The
potential of knowledge management is its ability to increase the
efficiency and effectiveness of knowledge while simultaneously reducing
the cost of the production, diffusion, and usage of knowledge, which in
turn (in this case) reduces the cost in terms of both money and lives
lost. KM achieves this by modifying the environment so that the management
of know-how, know-what, know-why, and know-who happens more efficiently,
effectively, and at a lower cost. KM leverages the knowledge of a
collective of minds, improves the quality of information and knowledge,
reduces decision-making mistakes, reduces the cycle-time for transferring
knowledge from one person to another, improves pattern recognition and
knowledge discovery, increases the certainty and quality of decisions, and
more. It also helps find the right balance between people, processes, and
technology for this knowledge environment.

Going to Washington
Before the events of September 11, I was already scheduled to attend a
two-day planning and strategy workshop September 25-26 in Washington,
D.C., to network with Congressional and business leaders from across the
country. After giving it serious thought, and at the encouragement of my
fellow knowledge managers, I have changed my personal agenda for the
workshop to center on a discussion of how knowledge management can help
fight terrorism. While I am in Washington, I plan to visit as many
senior government officials as possible. I will bring a presentation for
our proposal and a list of people who have volunteered to develop a KM
strategy for the battle against terrorism. GKEC will send an
announcement to the Washington Post, New York Times, and other major
newspapers, listing the people who have chosen to step up to the task.
The invitation to be involved will go out to more than 6,000 knowledge
managers worldwide.

Should the September 25 meeting be postponed because of last week's
events, I will still plan a trip to Washington. I have colleagues and
contacts at the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency,
the Department of Defense, and other pertinent government offices. With
the help of my colleagues, we will leverage our social networks to the
greatest extent possible. This is one area where I need your help.

Let us work together to support the fight against terrorism and
demonstrate the power of KM.

Please email your support for this cause.

We will hold a discussion group at .

With deep commitment,

Edward C. Swanstrom, Secretary-General
Global Knowledge Economics Council or edward-swanstrom[at]


"Edward Swanstrom" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.