Sunday, December 22, 2019

Manage Enterprise Knowledge to Fit Business Strategy

Knowledge is power which catalyzes strategy execution. Knowledge Management is a business or human problem, not a technological problem. 

Knowledge is power. The successful companies large or small think that Knowledge Management is essential to their long term business success. More specifically, Knowledge Management (KM) is the process of capturing, developing, sharing, and effectively using organizational knowledge to either solve business problems or build unique business advantage. It refers to a multi-disciplined approach to achieve organizational goals by making the best use of knowledge. Here are three perspectives on managing enterprise knowledge.

Knowledge Management is about understanding and driving the change of knowledge at minimal cost in a way that fits the strategy of the business the best: Due to the increasing pace of change and exponential growth of information, information and knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened. Organizations become more complex than ever, thus, knowledge needs to be facilitated and managed systematically. Knowledge assets are a blend of resources, not a single asset, and its integrity, availability, and confidentiality can be crucial to how the organization functions or maintains its competitive advantage and fit the business strategy the best.

Knowledge does not stand still, knowledge doesn’t always inform you true understanding, and knowledge is not an isolated fact, but needs to flow and transfer for achieving its business value. The concept "If knowledge works here so it just has to work over there too" may not hold true when you factor in cultural aspects and local market conditions. Often knowledge transfer requires specialized generalist facilitators who can bridge the knowledge gap between socioeconomic and cultural differences to make it happen. This allowed the organization to facilitate the transfer of knowledge gained from one place to another and generate business value effectively.

Knowledge needs to be managed holistically and effectively to maximize its value: Knowledge is information put to use. It is about having the social skills to connect, share, find, on and off the line with people who are very different from each other. Thus, knowledge basically involves the human factor and captures the benefit of someone's experience, then applying it and making it available to broader audiences who can benefit from the combined intellectual asset of the knowledge and experiences, to consider the inter-dependency of knowledge ownership.

Knowledge Management involves the exploration of the knowledge interdependencies that contribute to the value of critical knowledge. Knowledge needs to be managed holistically to overcome silo, context over content, global over local, cross-disciplinary over single disciplinary. Knowledge workers with intrinsic motivation like to share their knowledge and ensure sharing knowledge will not become a goal in itself.

Knowledge Management process needs to be “antifragile”; as having too little oversight and too much decentralization leads to lack of any “system.” If there’s too much centralization and inflexibility and there won’t be room for growth and adoption by users. Hence, it’s critical to strike the correct balance between two ends for achieving effective Knowledge Management.

Knowledge Management safeguards the full understanding of business processes, tools that are used and the people using those to optimize business: Knowledge Management is the management with knowledge as a focus, involves the use of technologies and processes with the aim of optimizing the value that is generated, and with the goal to improve the organizational learning agility and changeability. 

The trouble with many organizations is that they don't even know what they know. Knowledge asset scanning is vulnerable to the context of time and place, the value is emergent and not always known at the time of a reductionist scan. Thus, Knowledge Management needs to look at all the present collaborative processes already being used to evaluate them for improvement. 

Digital knowledge management needs to enable knowledge flow, safeguard the full understanding of business processes or tools, and ultimately, transform KM from static to dynamic, from efficient to effective; and from process driven to people centric.

Knowledge is power which catalyzes strategy execution. Knowledge Management is a business or human problem, not a technological problem. The border of knowledge domains has a blurred scope and knowledge is expanded in the continual base. KM mechanism needs to be well embedded into critical key business processes to shape a culture of learning, broaden varying perspectives, connect unusual dots, motivate people to learn, share, and improve corporate learning maturity and organizational workforce intelligence.


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