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The 2013 KM World Convention: A summary of my conversation with Jay Liebowitz

1 February 2014
Dr. Moria Levy
thinking man sculpture

People involved in Knowledge Management are either business-oriented or academics. Jay Liebowitz falls under the second category, as he is one of approximately 30 academics promoting the field in the US. Furthermore, he is regarded as either the first or second, in terms of the number of publications and books he has produced on the subject. Liebowitz is also involved in the business world and so he, along with two other professors, decided to participate in this business convention.

I've know Liebowitz for two years now. He "discovered" me after I published an academic paper on retiring experts' Knowledge Retention and contacted me. It was quickly revealed that he is a fellow Jew and since then we have maintained good relations and had occasionally corresponded.

When he saw I was lecturing at the convention he quickly made appointments to meet me. And so besides a polite face-to-face introduction, we and our respectable spouses had dinner (in the only kosher restaurant in DC).  Of course, we also made a business appointment in order to think together and exchange ideas. I presented Jay with the ISO Israeli KM standard. Besides showing interest in the standard and being pleased with the progress its development implicated, Jay was happy to receive his own copy of the standard and immediately inquired whether he should merely read the standard or also insert his own remarks and suggestions. In response, I explained that changes are not currently optional, yet if/when we succeed in promoting the international standard it will be based on the Israeli standard in which case suggestions will be gladly accepted. However, this is a journey we have only recently embarked on which is proceeding quite slowly. I thought I made myself clear and so he would take a copy and save it for the future and maybe suggest complementary ideas. This wasn't the case. A few hours later I received the original standard and while reading it felt like a student: the standard was filled with remarks and ideas, references to articles and recommended complementary information on the presented ideas. On every page I found profound remarks. The professor regarded the standard as just another paper submitted by a student, and decided to grade it and provide his own insights on the matter.

As to Liebowitz’s thought and insights regarding Knowledge Management nowadays:

There are five objectives Knowledge Management intends to achieve:

  1. Extracting the Big Knowledge from the Big Data via an analytical process: Knowledge Management will play a vital role in the attempt to overcome the data inflation and transforming them into decision support.

  2. Cooperation and social media: knowledge communities in various forms will continue being a substantial component of International Knowledge Management.

  3. Knowledge Management evaluation and measurements will be emphasized.

Note: in my opinion, this is more Liebowitz wishful thinking than a defined objective, since he is displeased with current KM in this subject.

  1. KM will be more developed in niche fields and in fields currently undeveloped.

Two examples from different fields: healthcare and expert retiree Knowledge Retention.

  1. Knowledge Management, as a tool, may assist in the development of AI.

In short, Liebowitz is a knowledgeable thinker to whom listening to is worthwhile. Equally important: he is pro Israel.


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