Learning is breathing in
Creating is breathing out
Knowing is holding your breath
Although I've never seen it defined that way, I think that's the good intention behind most of our efforts. Too quickly, however, expedience redefines KM as analysis and explication, economics reduces KM to technology, rhetoric deludes us to believe that rules can change cultures and behaviors, and we forget that the quest to master knowledge is as old as consciousness itself.
Without being able to articulate the reasons why, I was increasingly uncomfortable with the goal of "knowledge creation" (so creating, above, would be creating value, I suspect). In fact, using the word "knowledge" makes me uncomfortable. For one thing, I don't think people actually act on what they know so much as on what they believe to be true (objectivity is overrated). But more importantly, I've come to believe that knowledge and learning are less interrelated than opposite and mutually exclusive concepts.
In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
But Tom Stoppard put it better, expressing the joy that physicists experienced when they found their world no longer existed:
It's the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.
Perhaps I'm the only subscriber to something like a Rinzai school of knowledge management, wherein the sought-after answer likely transcends the question, the way that the gateless gate (無門關 or 無門関) to enlightenment, represented by the zero or the circle, itself disappears once entered. I continue to expect that once we finally solve the KM puzzle, the term itself will vanish.
In the meantime, my KM continues to strive for authenticity and insight in our organizational actions and interactions so that, in what Dan Ruby called the "knowing organization," there might not be a hair's breadth between organizational perception and action.
For some time, I've meditated on the idea that learning and innovation were two sides of the same breath—that you wouldn't have one without the other because each arises naturally from the next. Now, as I see it, knowledge is the problem more than knowledge management. To covet, create and accumulate enduring knowledge is the kind of clinging or grasping that has always led to suffering. Without breathing, truths are just brittle facts crumbling as we try to grasp them tightly.
Knowing, then, should just be slimmest curve of potential between the in-breath of learning and the out-breath of innovation. Anything more than that and you are just holding your breath.