Monday, June 1, 2020

Knowledge Professionals’ Digital Competencies

 When assessing talent, more dynamic and balanced approaches are needed. Knowledge professionals should keep learning, innovating, adapting, and evolving.

With the exponential growth of information and a dynamic business environment, today’s digital professionals are innovative workers, hard workers, knowledge workers, and intelligent workers who are exploring, innovating, and evolving bringing new digital paradigms.

Knowledge professionals are intellectually curious, with a strong desire to learn and expand their horizons. Here is a set of knowledge professionals’ digital competencies.

An individual who processes data and adds high value to the information and creates new knowledge upon it: Nowadays information is only a click away. Knowledge professionals should develop a growth mindset that is of the utmost quality for processing information, accumulating knowledge, and capturing insight. In fact, they need to not only assimilate existing knowledge, more importantly, they also have to keep updating knowledge, create new knowledge, and become the knowledge value creator. The power of the growth mind is the force to change the business or even the world for better.

From the knowledge management perspective, the power of knowledge can be released only if it's used to create value; innovation and knowledge creation, access, and knowledge usage appear to be linked. It is about managing knowledge to create new knowledge with vast knowledge repositories available for talent to work with. Employees should think of knowledge sharing as something they gain, rather than lose. The crucial issue for many organizations is that they don’t have an integrated approach to manage knowledge holistically. Thus, they haven’t reached the next level of the collective learning stage for creating new knowledge or transforming knowledge to insight for building invaluable soft assets of the business in a structural way.

An individual who has the intrinsic ability to think outside the box: Creativity is often being called “out-of-the-box” thinking or thinking in the new or bigger box. At present days, we can’t separate knowledge and creativity. Thinking in a bigger-box means knowledge professionals today need to be in a continuous learning mode with interdisciplinary understanding, challenging existing thoughts, knowledge or standards, and seeking additional knowledge and experience. As a matter of fact, information/Knowledge is often one of the most intensive pieces of innovation.

Cognitively, to be creative, to re-frame, first, knowledge professionals have the intrinsic ability to embrace the unknown -think outside the box. Second, you need to challenge the known - probe the paradoxes. Further, being creative is not only about "being knowledgeable," because it’s a state of the mind often at the edge of things and being able to expand the boundaries of knowledge or conventional thinking. In fact, knowledge professionals today need to become more strategic and tactical for mastering professional varying skills and building transferable capabilities.

An individual who can use explicit knowledge and generate the tacit knowledge embedded in explicit knowledge: Knowledge workforces change each day, they grow, learn, develop, and mature. Learning becomes knowledge building and we can define learning through the knowledge it builds and the skills it develops. Through learning, knowledge professionals can pursue their aspirations and apply their skills and expertise to their greatest effect. Cognitively, when we explore the mental process of acquiring new knowledge through thoughts, experiences, and senses - cognition involves exploring varieties of meanings/thoughts and abandoning old and establishing new relations.

Often, people don't know what they know until they need to know it. Since tacit knowledge is highly personal and based on observation and experience, it is hard to collect or document. individuals can use explicit knowledge and generate the tacit knowledge embedded in explicit knowledge. In the organizational scope, the tacit knowledge has to flow in response to an organizational need. With emerging digital technologies, the use of collaboration tools can convert tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge. In fact, technology is a powerful tool (hardware and software) that is used to enable integrated Knowledge Management for generating business value to benefit your organization and our modern society.

An individual who over time through learning, practice, and education, has become an expert: Due to the exponential growth of information and the shortened knowledge cycle, expert power is perhaps more powerful than other types of powers in the digital era. The expert power has the foundation of in-depth knowledge, profound insight, and abstract wisdom, to connect the minds and win the hearts. Knowledge professionals understand that learning is a lifetime experience, and then their experience will be a building block to develop unique professional competencies.

Due to the hyper-connected and transcendental nature of the digital era, coaching and mentoring are going to be increasingly important now. Knowledge is the “power,” wisdom is the exceptionally effective use of power. Knowledge is learned, and expert power is earned to make a deep influence. Create the right culture that fits both the organization and the employees is hence, important. Knowledge professionals continuously expand the knowledge horizon, and through such expansions, the new knowledge is developed, their strength can be built via continuous practices, and their reputation as an expert can amplify their leadership influence.

An individual who has strong problem-solving skills: One of the most important management disciplines today is to put the right people with the right capabilities in the right position to solve the right problem timely. Knowledge professionals today should have a learning attitude to think about alternative solutions and focus on effective problem-solving. They are systematic problem solvers who can comprehend dynamic; master induction or deduction; understand variables, interfaces, and interactions, weigh in varying decision factors, figure out “why” and “what” about the problem before jumping to the “how,” with the ultimate goal for effective problem-solving.

In practice, the cognitive gap disconnects many things which are supposed to be interconnected, it becomes the barrier for connecting the dots to stimulate creativity, or capture the insight. To bridge cognitive gaps, the management needs to identify knowledge professionals who have the ability to make effective decisions and solve complex problems. Collaboratively, co-create alternative visions and dream into the existence of new solutions, these are the capacities of humans who are not trapped in “the same level of thinking” as others and keep sharpening problem-solving knowledge, skills, and capabilities.

Knowledge is power. The knowledge life cycle has been shortened due to the changing nature of technology. Knowledge is more intangible, complex, and dynamic compared to the physical asset. Thus, when assessing talent, more dynamic and balanced approaches are needed. Knowledge professionals should keep learning, innovating, adapting, and evolving.


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