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Using a knowledge directory as an organizational procedure system

1 September 2021

Nir Haim

Knowledge is power!

But wait… why? What makes knowledge so valuable, and as such- what can we do to retain and utilize it?

Let’s start off with defining the term ‘knowledge’. Knowledge is the result of the accumulation of information held by a conscious being. Knowledge enables its holders to face challenges better and more efficiently to attain its objectives. Thus, correctly and effectively using knowledge, the human race has successfully landed on the moon, developed a vaccine for covid19, appointed prime ministers, etc.

So, if people can retain knowledge and process data, why can’t an organization? Well, who said it can’t? An organization, serving as one or more conscious entity, can certainly create knowledge, retain it, and utilize it to evolve as an organization. This knowledge serves as a main pillar on which the organization relies. The human brain receives, processes and outputs knowledge, then uses it to continuously evolve. Organizations, operating somewhat similarly, have their own brain- namely, the Knowledge Management system.

Not unlike the human brain, current knowledge may not be relevant regarding its scope, details as well as the various information fragments that comprise it. For example, if one would ask for an immediate answer, it would seem unproductive and incorrect to provide a full answer containing all information this individual holds, when all that is required is a simple yes or no.

Let’s say we ask someone at a fast-food stand “would you like this certain topping on your dish?”. It would probably be unwise to answer: “when I was young, and I mean young, probably about… I loved this dish, or so I was told by my mother, until one day I came home feeling a bit queasy. I then took a bite of this same dish, except it now had a different flavor that I disliked. I have tried it since and have never been able to love it again…”

The type of output we this entity provided seems quite important and depends on the situation in which the information is required. Similarly, an organization is sometimes required to provide complete, detailed and based information (regulatory and legal documents, for example). However, some cases call for concise and straightforward information that can offer solutions to those immediately providing service to organization customers.

Large organizations usually have several branches with similar knowledge arrays.

I wish to discuss two of those branches: The organizational procedure system and the service-oriented Knowledge Management system (the knowledge directory).

The organizational procedure system handles the complete, detailed and accurate knowledge that directs organization workers how to operate. This information can be based on regulation and external laws and/or based on organizational and professional best practices which direct workers how to operate efficiently and usefully.

The service-oriented Knowledge Management system, on the other hand, focuses on how to convert the complete knowledge to concise, interesting and accessible for all organization service providers. Can both branches be combined to one whole system?

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