Mission: To Grow the Practice of Knowledge Management
Blake Melnick and Caroline Godbout officially founded KMIC Inc. in 2010, although development work for the business model began as early 2008 with The KM Group (TKMG) - now a subsidiary of The Knowledge Management Institute of Canada.
The Founders vision was to tackle the challenge of Canada’s lack of capacity for and investment in innovation, by creating an organization, which would serve as an innovation catalyst to harness Canadian knowledge and know how and export it to the world. We saw ourselves in the role of a “trusted advisor” helping Canadian companies develop cultures of innovation and business excellence.
From There to Here
Both Blake and Caroline possessed deep understanding about human cognition, knowledge construction theory, learning theory and Information Communication Technology from their days as members of the Computer Supported Intentional Learning Environments (CSILE) Research Program, where they contributed to the development of the Theory of Knowledge Building along with being part of the development team for some of the first commercial collaborative knowledge systems in the world.
In 1999, under the direction of Dr. Marlene Scardamalia and Dr. Carl Bereiter, Blake helped to found the Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology (IKIT) at the University of Toronto, where he served for 5 years as Head of Workplace Research and External Relations.
In 2004, Blake was asked by a client of IKIT to apply KM principles and practices, to help transform an Aerospace Simulation Engineering firm, which had fallen on to hard times following the Events of 911, into a viable business entity.
Blake decided to join Atlantis Systems International, first as a consultant and then later he was promoted to Chief Knowledge Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the parent company, Atlantis Systems Corporation
“It was a hard decision at the time to leave IKIT, Marlene and Carl were my mentors and friends, and the research work we did was ground breaking, however the one thing that was missing for me was the lack impact we were having on sectors other that Research and Academia. I saw knowledge building and knowledge management as the bridge between the world of learning and the world of work. Atlantis gave me the opportunity to apply everything I’d learned to the most challenging of circumstances - re-inventing a company.”
One of this first things Blake did, when he became the Chief Knowledge Officer at Atlantis was to hire Caroline Godbout as the company’s Vice President of Information Technology and Knowledge Management.
Blake, Caroline and other key members of the newly formed KM / IM team, including Qasim Hamid (Now a Senior Advisor with KMIC) logged a number of impressive achievements over the next three years.
More on Atlantis’ transformation:
In late 2007, Blake became President of Powertrain, a joint venture partnership he helped to found between Atlantis Systems Corporation and the Power Workers Union Training Inc. Powertrain was established to leverage Atlantis’s expertise in Aerospace Training and Knowledge Management, to address operational effectiveness, operational excellence, and safety issues in the Nuclear Energy sector.
Unfortunately his tenure was a short one as Atlantis and Powertrain were subject to a Change of Control in 2008. The Executive team was replaced and packaged out, including Blake, Caroline and Qasim. Caroline went to work for a Digital Asset Management Company, Qasim moved to Alberta to work for a Professional Services firm in a data / information management capacity, and Blake started The KM Group.
"I was on a roll in the energy sector when the change of control happened and I really wanted to carry on with my KM work in the sector, so I started a consulting firm, The KM Group."
Again, Blake reached out to other KM subject matter experts from his time with Atlantis and IKIT to build the new team. While TKMG went on work with some of Canada’s biggest energy and technology companies, he was not satisfied with what he had created.
“I really liked the consulting side of KM, but I missed the education, research and innovation side of the equation – I wanted to regain my passion and focus on knowledge creation– the ultimate goal of KM – to help create organizational cultures where everyone in the organization is intentional in their efforts to continually advance knowledge.”
In 2010, with the help of Caroline, KMIC Inc. was created and later became the Knowledge Management Institute of Canada Incorporated.
“It was interesting, we were not able to call ourselves an Institute in the beginning, without approval from the Ontario Ministry of Education, so it did take some time before we were officially recognized as an Institute for Learning – we still use KMIC as an acronym though.”
“While I’ve learned a great deal over the past 5 years and I’m pleased with what we’ve accomplished given some pretty challenging economic circumstances, we are just beginning - there is more to do and more avenues to explore. Knowledge Management is only now receiving the attention it deserves from companies and their executives. I think it’s because they realize that “Knowledge” is the new commodity – the only real competitive differentiator and no longer a “nice to have” but an essential component of corporate strategy."
At the recent Conference Board of Canada KM conference: Knowledge Management 2016: Technology, Collaboration and Innovation, held in Toronto, keynote speaker Tom Jenkins, Chairman of OpenText validated this belief when he stated:
“ KM is the core of collaboration; The water in the water cooler … Companies will live or die based on their ability to manage knowledge…KM is the key to unlocking innovation in Canada…the most important activity for Canadian companies to focus on.”
Since its official launch, KMIC has become the leading provider of KM services in Canada – from training and certification and consulting services to systems integrators. They have a strong membership base of experienced practitioners and clients, which make KMIC a natural, go to organization for companies looking to recruit KM talent.
The Company has intentionally remained small and nimble, leveraging the technology of our times to maintain a “Global Knowledge Network” of KM experts and expertise many of who received their training and certification through the Institute. As well KMIC maintains a close working relationship with many of the top Universities and Institutions for Learning in Canada and the U.S. This ensures they remain abreast of the latest research in the field of Knowledge Management, Technology and the Learning Sciences.
Click HERE for a list of KMIC’s clients.