KM ASNI/ISO Standards Meeting LO20335

Scott Simmerman (
Sat, 9 Jan 1999 10:18:59 -0500

Replying to LO20314 --

Generally, I'm pretty easy going and not terribly paranoid. But then
again, maybe they are out to get me.

Nick Bontis posted in LO20314,

>...Please mark on your calendars a very important day in the field of
>intellectual capital and knowledge management standards development...

and went on to discuss the reality that:

>In 1996 alone the
>number of American National Standards increased by nearly 4% to a new
>total of 13,056 approved ANS. ANSI-accredited developers are committed to
>supporting the development of national and, in many cases international
>standards, addressing the critical trends of technological innovation,
>marketplace globalization and regulatory reform.

This same approach is to be applied to Knowledge Management. He concludes

>A select group of professionals will convene to plan the development of
>ISO standards for our field.

It feels like we're about to construct a whole new industry around
certification and control. Wish I had saved the statistic but when ASQC
initially projected the number of ISO 9000 inspectors to be in the few
hundreds, they were quite surprised when it bacame an Industry, with long
backlogs of people quite willing to pay to become certified.

Does Knowledge Management require the same rigorous application of rules,
regulations, processes and procedures in order to support organizational
development? Must one be certified by some organization to practice? Are
we really desiring "regulatory reform" as Nick states?

I've been involved with a number of organizations over the years who
thought it best if they said what the standards should be for
"professionalism." Being a "Business Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic
Programming" was the subject of long discussions at the IANLP meetings,
where the "in group" wanted to put controls on the non-members. There has
been talk for decades about ASTD or some organization certifying trainers
(which has not come to pass) and there are organizations that proport to
certify "consultants."

Is this where we're headed? Are all of us going to have to be "certified"
by some all-knowing international board of accredited developers in order
to run our businesses?

ISO has now been firmly established in the US. Interrestingly, the
statistics on quality as captured by ASQ (they dropped the "C" two years
ago) and University of Michigan have been consistently DROPPING as viewed
by customers over the past few years. One can argue this many ways but
ISO is certainly not a quality improvement effort. Maybe we need more

Here in South Carolina, we have regulatory boards for barbers, hair
dressers, massage therapists, marriage and family counselors (most of whom
seem to have been divorced (?)) and all sorts of other professions.

Maybe the bell has tolled for Knowledge Consultants. Some of the
certifying organizations will most certainly make a LOT of money from
this, as we saw with ISO. Maybe that is what is meant by, "select group
of professionals." And is it symbolic that the meeting will be in
Washington, DC? ;-)

Me? I'm sticking to publishing books of cartoons for training and public
speaking. I think I'm safe from the zealots for the moment.


For the FUN of It!

Scott Simmerman, Ph.D. Performance Management Company - 800-659-1466

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