Facing Reality, “Ground Truth,” etc.

One of the best aspects of Graham Durant-Law’s blog (here) is his willingness to “tell on himself” and the KM profession.  When recalling an interview he gave to a KM researcher, he quotes from an old David Snowden post (here) to good effect:

I have sat in many a conference listening to a presentation from a KM person in a company where the statements about what has happened bear little relation to the reality on the ground.

The critical difference is that Graham doesn’t believe he’s immune to the “happy-talk” syndrome, suggesting that his interviewer might want to check with Graham’s users to validate the “ground truth.”

His example is something that I need to follow.  It is always much easier to get something delivered — just get the work product “done” — as long the customer(s) aren’t consulted about whether it conforms to requirements.  Because I’m such a nifty and clever “thought leader,” it is tempting sometimes to blame initiative failure on stakeholders who “just don’t get it” or had not given their all.

Graham’s post was a useful reminder to let a little fresh air into my group’s initiatives.   I also need to remember that when failures or issues come up it’s more important to put:

…out of my mind the wrongs others had done and to resolutely look for my own mistakes.

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