In today’s business environment, learning and knowledge have become key success factors internationally and intangible resources are of vital importance. The struggle between competing firms has moved from tangible resources to intangible resources where knowledge and the ability to use knowledge have crucial roles.
Organizations are becoming more global, multilingual, and multicultural with people being required to work smarter and faster. People have become more connected with them being expected to be “on” all the time and the response time measured in minutes instead of weeks.
Indeed, today’s work environment has become more complex with businesses being threatened by the vulnerability, uncertainty, and crisis that could have been prevented if Knowledge was better managed. Better KM can help companies anticipate uncertainties and design strategies to lessen their impact.
While managers would like to take a strategic approach to avoid an impending crisis, often they find themselves fire-fighting. With a Knowledge Management Strategy, corporate executives can better manage the complex, chaotic, and non-predictable environment, in which companies must achieve performance.
Putting Strategy on Knowledge Management
Knowledge is important to efficiency and productivity. Hence it is critical that organizations manage their Knowledge effectively and strategically. Having a strategy for Knowledge Management will provide companies a plan to better manage information and knowledge for the benefit of the organization.
Effectively, a good KM Strategy can gain senior management commitment to KM initiatives and attract resources for implementation. In the end, it can provide the basis against which the organization can measure its progress.
Taking the 3 Knowledge Management Strategies to Fore
Companies are now feeling the pressure of the need to be more competitive. Taking on a Knowledge Management Strategy can lead competing firms to take the high road to success.
KM Strategy 1: Reckless Negligence
Reckless Negligence is doing little or nothing to improve capabilities in information, data, and KM. This is one strategy that has ceased to be viable in today’s business environment.
KM Strategy 2: Knowledge Competence
The goal of Knowledge Competence is to be an efficient and effective company with sufficient emphasis on responsible management of Knowledge. To date, at least 50% of the companies in the world are in this category.
KM Strategy 3: Knowledge as a Competitive Advantage
The goal of Knowledge as a Competitive Advantage is to up the ante in the spirit of continuous improvement. Undertaking the third strategy involves making KM a critical capability of the organization. At least 20% of the companies in this world are in this category. This is often adopted by Knowledge-Intensive Industries.
Essentially, our company must create a robust Knowledge environment. However, this can only be achieved when 8 KM critical success factors are put in place.
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“Knowledge has power because it controls access to opportunity and advancement.”(Peter Drucker)
The 21st century is undoubtedly the century of knowledge. The everyday usage of available advanced information and business technologies, and internet in business activities just show how rampant corporations are engaged in information exchange and Knowledge Management.
In the light of globalization, companies are now exposed to an unpredictable and complex competitive environment. Pressures are put on companies to adapt quickly to survive in the competitive market. The vital strategic resource is Knowledge. Companies have started to realize the major value of an intellectual resource. The central role of Knowledge Management in making a quality decision has never been emphasized as much as today.
Intellectual resources and Knowledge are now contributing to revenue generation and increasing reputation. It has contributed to creating barriers to entry of potential competitors, increase customer loyalty, and create innovation. In today’s world, the success of the organization now depends largely on continual investment in learning and acquiring new Knowledge that creates new business and improves current performance.
Understanding Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management (KM) is a multidisciplinary approach to achieving organizational objectives
It is an integrated approach to gathering, analyzing, storing, and sharing knowledge and information within an organization. It ensures that the right information is delivered to the appropriate place or person at the right time to enable informed decision making.
An enterprise-wide ability must be created to transition data and information into critical knowledge. This is to ensure service stability, maintainability, and performance leading to organization wisdom.
Knowledge Management evolves around 3 primary spheres which are closely integrated with each other.
- Provides a secure central space where employees, customers, partners, and suppliers exchange information, share knowledge and guide each other and the organization to better decisions.
- A knowledge- portal which allows team members to use and share information.
- Standard processes for knowledge contribution, content management, retrieval
- Participation of team members in knowledge sharing, collaboration, and reuse to achieve business results.
AT Flevy, we’ve developed a The Knowledge Management Primer that examines and discussed the purpose and nature of the key components of Knowledge Management. It demystifies the KM field by explaining in a precise manner the key concepts of KM tools, strategies, and techniques, and their benefits to organizations.
The quest to set up a Knowledge Management system requires an understanding of the essential elements integrated within the Knowledge Management Approach. This includes an understanding of the DIKW Model or Pyramid, the importance of Knowledge Assets, and the structure and priority of information based on its Knowledge Hierarchy.
What is Knowledge Hierarchy
- Operational Knowledge. The focus of Operational Knowledge is to gain operational effectiveness. It helps organizations understand how service performance, compliance, and overall IT operational effectiveness is managed.
- Tactical Knowledge. Tactical Knowledge is focused on service value. It helps organizations understand how to manage and ensure service value.
- Strategic Knowledge. Strategic Knowledge is focused on benchmarking and advanced analytics. It helps organizations understand the effects of operational decisions.
In the Knowledge Hierarchy, it must ensure that resulting knowledge is well defined, specific, comprehensive, and with high average quality information.
Interested in gaining more understanding of Knowledge Management Primer? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Knowledge Management Primer here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
Are you a management consultant?