Conor Gilligan interviews Patrik Bergman, learning and collaboration manager at Haldex.
Reading time: 3 minutes.
You have an extensive background in knowledge management, collaboration and corporate communications – tell me a bit more about this and your experience in L&D.
My 20 professional years include four years as a technical writer, web master and product manager, four years of PhD studies focusing on games and learning, six years as a concept developer and script writer for elearning, and six years working with intranets, the digital workplace, and communication.
Today, I aim to build a learning organisation in line with what experts recommend. Especially Personal Knowledge Mastery by Harold Jarche, Modern Workplace Learning by Jane Hart, and the Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge – which have all influenced me greatly.
We must rethink how we learn and grow at work, and the best way to do so is together with others globally.
What is knowledge management?
I think Nick Milton’s quote from ‘The Knowledge Manager’s Handbook’ sums it up well: “There’s a saying that if you put five knowledge managers in a room, they will come up with seven definitions of what knowledge management is.”
Meanwhile, many agree on the basics, such as knowledge management being a way of reusing what others have done. Furthermore, you cannot reuse what you are not able to find, meaning that we must also build the cultures, and set the processes and systems necessary to reach this goal.
Once they work, we can learn from each other’s mistakes and build on each other’s ideas.
But an even more central question is why you should engage in knowledge management. Everything you do must support the strategy of the company, so you reach your short-term and long-term goals.
Could you tell me more about your role at Haldex?
Haldex is a company that creates a safer world of vehicles thanks to our products for the most famous trucks and trailers. With 2,300 employees all around the world, we are in the middle of one of the most exciting industries with autonomous driving, electric cars and new ways of looking at logistics.
I started as the corporate communications manager for four years, and now work as the learning and collaboration manager. With my focus on building a learning organisation, I am in charge of tools like the full Office 365 suite, and our LMS.
This also includes creating best practices for all those tools and I am working many colleagues globally to reach our goals.
How is knowledge management linked to improving performance?
The goal for focusing on knowledge management is the transfer of internal best practices to improve performance in five strategic pillars: product leadership, customer focus, aftermarket expansion, operational excellence, and bridge-building culture.
For example, knowledge management should support a rapid product development and time-to-market, improved customer knowledge and customer service, plus a low-cost, high-quality operational excellence.
What is the future of knowledge management, in your opinion, and how can technology support this?
My guess is that we will continue to build on the groundbreaking work of many people since the 90s and forward, while we continue to build expert networks globally to help each other. While systems continually evolve, and machine learning is accelerating, the output will for a long time not be better than the input.
For many years to come, we will still need to set up best practices, train people, create and use the correct metadata, and know why we implement the technology. We might all be looking for the genie in a box, but knowledge management will need humans for many, many years to come.
About the author
Conor Gilligan is director at Degreed.