Katrina Pugh: Where is Knowledge Management Headed?

At KA Connect 2015, a knowledge management conference hosted by Knowledge Architecture, Director of the M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) at Columbia University, Kate Pugh was invited to give a keynote speech in the form of a “fireside chat.”

Kate mused on the origins of her fascination with knowledge management:

“[In the ‘90s,] I worked for Dialogos, a company that spun off of MIT [where I attended the Sloan School of Management]. It was really intense. We sat in circles with leaders, teaching them about dialogue.
[Then] I got an opportunity to go work for PricewaterhouseCoopers. I met my boss, and he said to me, "So, you worked with Dialogos?" I said, "Yes, it was really great! We inspire leaders." He said, "Oh, I thought it was a database firm."
I was the brunt of the proverbial miscommunication. It turned out that there were two Dialogos firms in Boston. There I was, I had arrived at my dream job at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and they thought that I was all about rows and columns, and I thought that I was about circles. I started to speak with them about knowledge management, and they said, ‘This doesn't exist. You invent it.’ I said, ‘Sure!’
So I set out to combine circles with rows and columns.”

This was an important turning point for Kate’s career, and, she says, it became the rallying cry for a whole profession. "At IKNS," Kate says, "we think of knowledge practice as the blend of information management (rows and columns) and collaboration (circles). We teach our students to be not just masters of information and analytics strategy, but also dialogic leaders."

Watch the rest of the fireside chat, and find out more about the M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS).