The Influential Wisdom and Sustenance of Knowledge Management (Part 1)
June 16, 2013 10 Comments
Knowledge Management constitutes a tremendous resource, making people far more effective in their jobs, and the sincere commitment to Knowledge Management can truly have a profound influence on the organizational environment and attract more experts to the expanding network of knowledge sharers.
“Knowledge Management comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences.” (1.).
“Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously uncaptured expertise and experience in individual workers.” (2.)
“Many large companies and non-profit organizations have resources dedicated to internal Knowledge Management efforts, often as a part of their business strategy, information technology, or human resource management departments.” (3.)
The purchasing of new technology does not catalyze the type of free-flowing exchange of ideas that many people envision – resulting in the disillusionment of Knowledge Management.
“Organizations and business decision makers spend a great deal of resources and make significant investments in the latest technology, systems and infrastructure to support knowledge management.” (4.)
In many cases, initiatives fall short of expectations and promises because they were based on the false assumption that Knowledge Management (KM) is about a technological solution – not an evolution in organizational learning and knowledge sharing. When organizational leaders realize the huge investment (both financially and in terms of other resources) and discovered that change was slow to come (if it came at all), interest wanes.
Real wisdom emerges over time; through experience; and with sustained effort.
- Information needs to be filtered through numerous conversations and communities;
- Issues must be examined from multiple angles;
- Knowledge must be gained and;
- The best ideas must be culled; pushed upward; and tested.
By identifying knowledge champions (people who are energized; enthusiastic; and passionate about this topic), management can encourage these individuals to take a leadership role in managing the organization’s wisdom. Sustenance of knowledge exchanges requires commitment, and it fosters the environment that the organization is serious about the initiatives; helps employees take it seriously; and overcome deeply ingrained prejudice against sharing knowledge.
(1.) “Introduction to Knowledge Management”, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: 2013
(2.) Addicot, Rachel; McGivern, Gerry; Ferlie, Evan, “Networks, Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management: NHS Cancer Networks”, Public Money and Management (Volume 26, Number 2), p87-94: 2006.
(3.) Duhon, B., “It’s All In Our Heads”, Inform, (Volume 12, Number 8), 1998.
(4.) Nanjappa, Aloka; Grant, Michael M., “Constructing on Constructivism: The Role of Technology”, Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education, University of Memphis: 2003.