Posted by: arieliondotcom | November 30, 2009

Knowledge Management (KM) Certification and the Wizard of Oz Effect

There are three benefits to KM Certification:

– Setting yourself up as a certifier to get money ($1K per student in some cases) or ensure your future employment/funding by making folks come to you for certification

– Looking good to your friends, neighbors, future employers, or anyone else who is clueless as to real Knowledge Management

– To make you seem as if you are an expert in something for your own self-assurance

This is what I call the Wizard of Oz effect. The WOO (no accidental acronym, that) is an “expert” with zero qualifications as a wizard except to convince others of his own expertise. As gifts to those seeking a brain, a heart, the “noive”, he gives trinkets that do nothing else other than reassure them and empower them to use what they already know. But awards tarnish, clocks stop, and degrees tatter and decay. Click your ruby slippers three times and you’ll find that you’ve outgrown them after all and true KM has more to do with Thomas Wolfe than Kansas.

As to actually gaining knowledge through the certification process, if those who are certifying you were real Knowledge Management experts they would get the knowledge out to you by other means. The point of KM isn’t to “certify” and establish elitism and knowledge hierarchy, but to democratise information flow so that anyone, anywhere can know what you know when they need to know it…and not at a price.



  1. Well said. Knowledge Management – Management of Knowledge….and Knowledge includes….ALL OF THE ABOVE Oz effect, including the certification, looking good, and being an expert as a “state of mind”. Doesn’t it sound great?

    Thanks for the insights.

  2. […] Management (KM) Certification and the Wizard of Oz Effect. Arieliondotcom, November 30, 2009Fulltext from publisher »Copyright © arieliondotcomSimilar Posts:KM Standards & Certification As A Professional Compass […]

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