Enterprise KM – Obsession With Sanitization

Over the past couple of years that I have been involved in KM and
Collaboration, one the problems I see consistently is the obsession
with “sanitizing” content that goes into the KM system. This
sanitization usually involves removing confidential information, client
names in some cases,project estimates etc., – essentially stuff that
cannot or should NOT be shared. While I acknowledge that this is a need
in many industries where security and compliance are key, there is a
risk of this need becoming an obsession. When this happens, so called
“Knowledge champions” and content managers in the company spend 80% of
their time in ensuring that 20% of the content that should not be
shared doesn’t get to the system. “Knowledge champions” ought to be
community builders and evangelists for a bigger cause – connecting
people to drive conversations and getting stuff that matters into the
system. Which leads us to the question as to who should be sanitizing
content? My gut feeling is that this should either be the individual
who is uploading this document into the system who is responsible
enough or trained to understand this or some kind of a back office – It
cannot be the knowledge champion in the organization. Liberate them to
do better things – to create connections, foster conversations and
drive change.

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