It takes a village

It takes a village

If you only knew what you already know is the tagline for recently launched Klever, short for Knowledge Lever. When I first heard noises about Klever, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it might be some sort of tool-agnostic middleware for the enterprise. When they opened for early adopters I still wasn’t sure, so I paid the joining fee out of sheer curiosity. I’ve since poked around and had several conversations with the founders and have an understanding of their mission and plans. Allow me to explain for you, because being in a beta phase, the site and messaging is still being iterated on.

Klever’s goal is to offer Knowledge Centred Support and general KM resources and practices to all organisations large or small; public, private, or non-profit. Not everyone can afford an expensive consultant, but everyone deserves the capability of accessing their own organisational learnings. It’s a launch pad for knowledge managers, whether aspirant or under sufferance, and for consultants who’d like to share their experiences and learn from others.

But, what IS it?, I can hear you say. And that’s the quandary. Klever has been bootstrapped by a group of KCS consultants and trainers, and they’ve pitched at a local startup event or two in the US. I know from second-hand experience that pitching a B2B product is hard enough, but pitching an idea when knowledge is the product? That’s some esoteric meta stuff that’s extremely difficult to distil and communicate in a compelling way.

It takes a village to raise an idea when knowledge is the product, because no single person knows everything. And that’s the benefit of this particular community. Essentially, Klever is an online community of practice for knowledge managers and KCS practitioners. The community portal offers a repository of resources, access to live webinar and discussion events, and a place to ask questions of the experienced and the experimenters. The portal is built on Bloomfire, described as a knowledge sharing platform. I can already see it has some powerful functionality, but being used to traditional forum formats, the architecture is doing my head in a bit. But again, this is something that Klever are tweaking in response to comments from early adopters.

Founder, Phil Verghis, explained the real value is in the free assessment. Without signing over your inbox or your money, you can answer 14 required questions (and four optional ones) on behalf of your organisation, and immediately receive a knowledge management journey plan mapped out according to your responses. It’s the culmination of many years of collective experience with implementing successful knowledge management programs, which would normally cost thousands if you had a consultant in to do it. Journey plan in hand, you can then turn to the community to help you navigate it.

The assessment and journey plan will always be free, without registration, but Klever are working on a pricing model for access to the community and named advisors. There’s a week left in the early adopter’s $100 pricing, so if better knowledge management is on your to-do list, I’d get on it, because, so far, it seems like a bargain.