Part 3 of the Information Management and Knowledge Management Series
October 10, 2022
Knowledge Management (KM) is a series of actions to best use facts, information, and skills learned through education and experience. It is a shared responsibility that unlocks business value through streamlined decision-making, inclusive collaboration, and process retention within the organization.
Move over jargon! In plain speak, the goal of KM is to develop experienced employees as quickly as possible. This is true, top-to-bottom and side-to-side, within every organization. We live in a complex world where the distance between CEOs and front-line workers must be as small as possible.
How does this happen?
Opportunity, Access, and Application.
Organizations must lean on their communication systems (Opportunity) and information management structure (Access) to successfully achieve their KM goals (Application).
Let’s apply this narrative to a practical scenario. Assume you are a veteran employee at Critical Ops. For the past 10 years, you have attended educational events. The events you select are generally focused on lean business models, process efficiency, and metrics to evaluate improvements. An upcoming conference is directly in your wheelhouse. It is focused on automation.
As you register for the event, you realize your organization is already taking the first step in KM – lead, sponsor, and support knowledge sharing. Your registration is a commitment to explore new information, develop new skills, and apply those skills upon your return. Your supervisor fully supports this investment from a time, money, and resources perspective. Success!
The second step connects knowledge sharing to the organizational strategy. At Critical Ops, as an example, we overcome workplace resistance by making technology do your work for you. This strategy requires us to understand how industry disruptors are using Web3, AI, and other types of automation to support the businesses of the future. Your attendance at the automation conference perfectly links with our strategy.
At the conference, you make great connections, get great information, and even test leading-edge technology. Now what? Step three: Apply. This step is where most organizations fall short. We leave events with tremendous enthusiasm knowing we will make a difference in our organization by putting our newfound knowledge to work. However, we pull open our laptops, and the whirlwind of work pulls us back in. The motivation to apply our new knowledge goes lower on our to-do list until it eventually drops off.
Dig deep. Go back to why you registered for the event. In this example, automation was the focal point. Ask yourself the questions below to guide how to apply your new knowledge.
- What urgent business needs benefit from the knowledge I gained?
- What processes manage how knowledge flows through your organization?
- How can you input your recommendations into your information management structure or spark a conversation using your communication systems?
Knowledge management relies on information management and your communication system. The circle all comes together! If this is where your KM journey ends, you’ve already been more successful than many others. High-five! If you’ve come this far, let’s go one more step.
The final step of KM is assessment. As your KM effort matures, most organizations create KM champions. These champions are responsible for aligning knowledge flow processes to organizational needs and determining their effectiveness. These assessments aid in decision-making and problem-solving while identifying additional knowledge gaps.
When these gaps are identified, activate the four KM steps again.
- Lead, sponsor, and support knowledge sharing.
- Connect knowledge sharing to the organizational strategy.
The circle rolls forward, shaping your organization, capabilities, and shared knowledge for a bright future. Find your KM champion and get moving. If you’re looking to get your program on track, let us know.