Professional Evolution: A Eureka Moment

August 2, 2009 § Leave a comment

I just completed my fourth week on the job as the director of philanthropy operations at Feeding America. This is a new job for the organization, so, while they have clearly defined the parameters of my role there, I have a wonderful operation to build something new.

As an information professional in fundraising, I have always been clear about how my work supports the front line for greater success.  I find and track information about relationships between the organization and it’s donors. This information and knowledge management provides a history and context for current relationship cultivation. I always thought that my  the focus of my job was content and technology to manage it.

My perspective on knowledge management in the context of nonprofit organizations has been evolving, and I have come to understand that it is not about information and technology, but how people interact with technology, and how they use technology to interact with each other.

Whether it is relationships between individuals within the organization, between donors and executives, or between people and technology, my job is to help people use tools and procedures to have better overall organizational success. What I do helps information flow through the proper channels and get to the right people and get recorded in the right way for posterity’s sake.

I often refer to my job being helping the left hand to know what the right is doing, and that is still pretty apt. But when I thought about it in terms of relationships and institutional success, it contextualized knowledge management in a whole new way for me.

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