Manage your Knowledge!

Ron Young, writing for Knowledge Management Online, attempts to clarify the concept of Knowledge Management. Based on his experience, delegates he meets at seminars and people in his KM workshops tend to be confused with the terminology.

Whereas there are usually no questions arising when discussing the need to ‘better manage your knowledge’, a re-ordering of the words into ‘Knowledge Management’, seems to immediately affect the understanding of it. Young has therefore put together a list of 10 points to “demystify knowledge management”. Here is a shortened and slighlty simplified version of it:

10 points to more effective Knowledge Management

1. We communicate information to one another, verbally and through various means of communication. This makes us better informed.

2. ‘Learning’ is the process of turning this information into knowledge, whether it’s received through listening, reading, seeing or doing, and then fusing it with our existing knowledge.

3. Knowledge resides within us and when it’s communicated to others it becomes explicit.

4. This knowledge that we’ve shared with others becomes information to them unless they’ve heard it before. It does not however become part of your knowledge until they’ve gone through the learning process.

5. Information can be communicated in seconds, knowledge takes time through learning.

6. Collaboration is working together to achieve something. This can be taught to do effectively.

7. Managing knowledge effectively is about identifying ‘critical knowledge areas’ that will make a ‘big difference’ , capturing, fusing new learnings with old knowledge, sharing knowledge and using knowledge to make the best business decisions. This calls for efficient communication, collaboration, learning and knowledge strategies, processes, methods, tools and techniques.
This can be referred to as ‘Knowledge Management’

8. Knowledge must be managed at all levels; the personal, team, organizational and inter-organizational level in order to achieve ‘effective knowledge management’. We have to learn how to effectively communicate, collaborate, learn, share and apply our knowledge on each of these levels. If you learn ‘how, what, who, why, where and when’ for each of these levels you achieve ‘extraordinary knowledge management’.

9. These ‘four dimensions of knowledge management’ is a framework to make ‘extraordinary knowledge management’ possible. This can be used to help organizations ‘mainstream knowledge management’.

10. An outcome of effective knowledge management is innovation. Thus, mainstreaming knowledge management will result in mainstreamed innovation.

Do you agree or disagree with this list?

If you’re interested in Knowledge Management solutions, you can read about what Comintelli can offer you here!