Learn how to manage Knowledge in your organization
1 April 2011
Knowledge management (KM) has been a natural development over the past years, and a “hot” topic for many organizations. The ability to manage knowledge is becoming increasingly more crucial in today’s knowledge economy. The task of effective and competitive management of organizations becomes necessary, and knowledge management (KM) has been considered key concepts in both academic and managerial settings.(Jennex, 2009)Knowledge can take many different forms and have various meanings for each organization. It can be stored in databases, integrated into organization policies, procedures and reports, or contained within an employee’s memory. Generally, the knowledge management approach is, therefore, an effort to improve understanding of “Who” knows about “What” in an organization. Twenty years ago, Lew Platt, a former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, famously said: “If only HP knew what HP knows, we’d be three times more productive.” This well-known phrase demonstrates the tremendous amount of knowledge, experience, connections, and creative ideas that exist within any group of people. In today's world, more organizations realize how important it is to “know what they know” and be able to make maximum use of it.Organizations' need to adopt a learning culture and also afford different means of learning like a workshop, professional training and mentoring programs for effective KM processes.
So, how do we learn what we need to know?Knowledge approaches
The first step is to understand the difference between explicit and tacit knowledge.Explicit (know-what) is the knowledge that can be captured and written down in documents or databases. Tacit (know-how) is the knowledge that people carry in their heads. It is more of an “unspoken understanding” of something, the knowledge that is more difficult to write down in a document or a database.The interaction between tacit and explicit knowledge is a critical factor in organizational learning. The main point in managing knowledge is to understand how knowledge is formed and how people and organizations learn to use it. A clear strategy helps to increase awareness and understanding of good knowledge management practice.
Supporting a “Knowledge Sharing” culture
The second step is the recognized role of organizational culture in influencing KM practice to be successful. A “Knowledge sharing” culture is one particular variety of organizational culture that shaped the knowledge-related behaviors of individuals, teams, and organizational units. Experience shows that creating a knowledge-sharing organization will not happen without strong leadership and a supportive environment. After all, knowledge sharing and learning are social activities.
Formal and Informal Learning
The third step emphasizes learning in-context at the point that is closest to real work and real challenges. These days, the 70:20:10 model dominates. According to this model, 70% of learning is through experience, through work; 20% is social learning through conversation with colleagues, mentors, coaches; 10% of learning is through formal training. We are actually seeking new knowledge when we need it according to our situation and needs.
The final step is the lessons learned process is that you reuse what you have learned. Lesson learning saves time as well as reduces the risk to repeat the same mistake too many times by collecting and editing the knowledge gathered by the experience of others.
And “2know more”...ROM Knowledge Academy offers a variety of courses and workshops.