The KM Cookbook: why & how we wrote it

The KM Cookbook


“The KM Cookbook is significant both for what it does and the way in which it does it.”

So said realKM magazine in the first post publication review of The KM Cookbook.

An idea that emerged at dinner overlooking the River Tejo.

It all began over dinner, as most good things do. Having run a joint Masterclass in Lisbon in May 2017 Chris Collison and Paul Corney were sitting in a restaurant overlooking the River Tejo supping a wonderful Alentejo Red wine enjoying Arroz do Marisco (Portuguese Seafood Rice).

“Navigating the Minefield: A Practical KM Companion” (Paul and Patricia’s previous book) had just been released to critical acclaim, and Chris and Paul were talking about one of its key observations: the lack of any governing principles, an industry body or a globally recognised accreditation / certification for Knowledge Management.

As a member of the British Standards Institution’s (BSI) KM Standards Committee, who had been working on a set of ISO KM Standards for over a year, Paul had expressed the view that:

“The arrival of the ISO KM Standards (albeit that adherence is voluntary) provides a framework against which KM Programs can be viewed. An independently assessed external accreditation is another key component of the KM practitioner’s path to corporate legitimacy.”

Paul and Chris agreed it was a topic to be revisited later, when the standards development process resulted in a draft circulated for general comment.

“A book, conversational in style…”

In December 2017, following the general release of the draft of ISO 30401, Chris and Paul sat down to discuss comments Chris had made on the draft.  After a while it became clear both shared a view that the ISO KM Standard was a great topic around which to base a book; but not one which promises to help the reader ‘pass’ an assessment, rather one that draws on great examples from leading global organisations and highlights aspects from their KM Programmes others might find inspirational.  A book which is conversational in style and follows a similar format to “Navigating…” and Chris’ bestselling “Learning to Fly”, often cited as the book to read on practical KM.

Coincidentally and concurrently, Patricia and Paul were working on a workshop they had been asked to conduct by Henley KM Forum on the release of the ISO KM Standards. Paul suggested to Chris that Patricia be invited to participate in the book discussions. He pointed out that they had worked together on a previous book and she was a former Nuclear Plant assessor who had set up and run a KM Program in a regulatory environment, as well as having written and implemented US and international standards. Chris readily agreed that there was something unique about this potential combination of ‘ingredients’, and so began the process that culminated in the release of the KM Cookbook. 

The story of the book: webinar

Below is the story of the book in the form of a 90 minute webinar with Chris, Patricia and I conducted by CILIP on behalf of Facet Publishing in July 19.

And finally

Here’s a short 15 minute presentation I gave to a international group at SocialNow in Lisbon in June 2019

If you are now excited by the concept (I know it’s struck a chord with many) you can purchase The KM Cookbook via Facet Publishing or Amazon. And if all else fails, send me a message and I will arrange for a signed copy to be shipped to you and you can pay me via PayPal.