Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Knowledge Management Framework

A solid knowledge management framework enables business leaders or professionals to take advantage of knowledge effectively; manage soft business assets efficiently and improve organizational responsiveness, intelligence, and agility effortlessly.

We live at the intersection of knowledge and the creativity economy. The border of knowledge domains has a blurred scope and knowledge is expanded in the continual base for generating values. Knowledge Management is a business or human problem, not a technological problem.

 There are many factors that influence and have an impact on knowledge management maturity such as people, culture, rules, responsibility, organizational structure/process, information technology, etc, and these elements are interrelated competency identification. Thus, it’s important to establish a comprehensive framework for understanding and enhancing interactions among those components, to improve effectiveness & consistency of knowledge-based decisions and problem-solving.

Set principles:
The emergence of potential opportunities for exploring business growth is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern with accelerated speed. Companies today need to keep growing, generate patterns, tune organizational structure, initiate business activities, and above all, create novelty and create new knowledge over time. It’s important to establish a set of enterprise knowledge/management principles for building a knowledge savvy, “superconscious” organization.

Principles that are not only known and understood, but also deeply embedded into the organizational culture and underlying functions to ensure that people intentionally follow them to accomplish their knowledge related works, they use knowledge smartly, manage knowledge deliberately and generate knowledge proactively. So collaboratively, they are able to appreciate one of the most invaluable soft assets and enforce accountability. An intelligent and open knowledge system can incorporate both ends and means; continuously open to new information from the dynamic business environment and is able to circulate information within the system seamlessly to generate fresh ideas, improve decision effectiveness or align the customer needs to meet the business goals smoothly.

Optimize Processes:
Processes underpin business capability. Knowledge Management as a differentiated organizational capability enables knowledge to flow freely across boundaries and improve its quality and accessibility, so knowledge professionals can use it to create business value, improve productivity and solve complex business problems effectively. Knowledge is path-dependent. This means that to discover an opportunity, you should have previous knowledge in the field to be able to get recognized. Rather than “being static or controlling,” knowledge management processes need to become more dynamic, holistic, people-centric, or intelligent. It’s about how to apply an integrated knowledge management solution to conquer challenges and generate business value.

However, in many less knowledge-savvy companies, there seems to be the "expectation" that if your business is working ok then knowledge, ideas, advice, feedback, etc, will easily transfer and that piece of the jigsaw will fit snugly into somewhere else automatically. Part of taking knowledge seriously as a corporate asset involves assigning responsibility for knowledge within the organization, both maintaining and improving knowledge flow; tune the management processes to break down silos, enhance process intelligence, ensure transparency; and enable reliability and trust. If you cannot translate the knowledge you possess to users or customers in order to inspire them into action; or you cannot process them to improve knowledge fluidity, quality and accessibility effectively and improve its adoption rate, the processes are perhaps not mature enough to build a true knowledge workforce and run a knowledge savvy company.

Build practices: Knowledge is based on refined thoughts, often collectively. One’s knowledge is only information for others. Thus, knowledge management activities today need to shift from process heavy to people driven; besides managing existing current knowledge, it’s important to organize some activities to encourage new knowledge generation or refurbish some old knowledge. For example, the real value in brainstorming types of group activities, when done properly, is that it enables you to bring a diverse population together and a collective pool of all the expertise to both comprehend some complex problems and solve them smoothly, the great knowledge is generated consciously or subconsciously. There are "Stimulus Mining" areas that can help to fill the minds with information and then, individuals can start to explore from a much stronger point of view and create fresh ideas or new perspectives.

In practice, businesses should learn when, where and how each knowledge management practices or technique could be utilized to its full potential. Different cognitive styles react differently within idea generating activities and observing how people interact with one another can provide managers with valuable management insight. The emerging collaboration platforms or analytic tools enable the management to read business sentiment and keep improving knowledge manageability. The effective and productive Knowledge Management activities and scenarios should understand and manage complexity, and know how to prioritize based on the business needs for delivering qualitative results.

Recognize practitioners: While imagination helps us expand our ideas, knowledge helps us refine our idea of what is economically feasible. Besides knowledge management division existing in some well-established organizations, we are all knowledge practitioners today as we are on the journey to keep learning or relearning, become knowledge savvy and tap our talent or unlock potential. As we all have preference to be either specialized generalists or generalized specialists, we have different cognitive styles to categorize knowledge, favor diverse channels to source information, connect wider dots to spur creativity. But keep in mind, knowledge is just the tool, we need to use it selectively and enforce our authenticity, and build our unique strength to fulfill our own purpose.

Knowledge is a commodity, but wise practitioners can capture insight from it. Different people use knowledge to do their activities informatively. An essential role for knowledge can be taught, but insight is a unique perception which needs to be gained by each individual. With updated knowledge, business leaders not only think about today, but also selectively forget yesterday, and forward-look tomorrow. Business professionals sharpen their role to make their work more productive or innovative, and develop their skills incrementally.

Opportunities and threats cannot exist without a context of interactions, which constitutes a structural knowledge system. Without a growth mindset and updated knowledge, either individuals or the organizations will get stuck and cannot reach the next level of the growth cycle. A solid knowledge management framework enables business leaders or professionals to take advantage of knowledge effectively; manage soft business assets efficiently and improve organizational responsiveness, intelligence, and agility effortlessly.


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