“Too often, people think of knowledge management as a noun. They’re mistaken: KM is a verb, a way of getting work done.” Jeff Angus, KM MagazineTeam Work
Knowledge is more than information or documents. It is the human ability to exercise judgment facing situations, in this instance, business situations.
Employees and management should be equipped with sufficient knowledge to make the right decision for a particular set of circumstances. Business development happens in this dynamic interaction between knowledge and purposeful action.
In his article, ‘In 2014, knowledge management is an oxymoron!’ ‘, business guru Louis Tetu calls the idea of ‘knowledge management’ an oxymoron, stating that knowledge, by its very nature is alive and active and cannot necessarily be tamed even by the most stringent of management techniques.
A holistic, flexible approach is required in keeping a company’s knowledge reserves flowing and dynamic, so that the company profit lines are energised by the flow of incoming and outcoming knowledge and not hampered and limited by it.
“Knowledge is everywhere, buried in the confines of the organisation, within stovepipes of systems and silos, but also woven in the minds of people. In fact, it is people not systems who possess knowledge and decide on its relevance according to the context of what they are working on,” Louis Tetu
Because of this complex nature of knowledge, a multi-disciplinary approach to harvesting knowledge is required. Traditional methods and new methods (for example, those employing digital know-how), need to be utilised to best bolster knowledge management techniques.
Systems, as such, are unable to capture all the knowledge and experience in an organisation but through good organisational practices and tools, knowledge can be better utilised and re-used.
Such enhanced usage of knowledge will result in a noticeable change in company resources, capabilities and business strategy.
Where is your knowledge sitting and how are you tapping into those resources? Ask several of your sales staff for the top three key selling points for each of your products or services offered and compare their responses to the product owner or designer’s. How varied are these results?