Knowledge Management is a key requisite in today’s business world. Without a solid system of managing what knowledge is available to you within the company, you run the risk of losing valuable information, of people hiding behind the security screen that acts as a buffer for their insecurities in sharing information, and of people learning a great deal while with you and then taking it with them elsewhere.
Keep in mind these valuable hints for why you should have a good knowledge management system in place:
1. Quality of information and knowledge
Low quality of information in a company is a demotivator for knowledge and information Management. Finding outdated information or no information at all creates frustration and apathy
2. People are different
People are different in the way they think, feel and act. Knowledge management programmes that do not respect this internal face of individuals are not doomed to fail, but the probability of success is much, much lower.
3. Sharing knowledge
Remember that a knowledge management system is the result of sharing knowledge. It is not the sharing of knowledge in itself.
4 Communicate personal benefit
The foundation of all improvements — hence, changes — for a user is his or her personal benefit. When users do not see a direct or indirect personal benefit, they will not be inclined to contribute to change or put in the extra effort.
5. Promote re-use
Instead of sending out the message to share knowledge, management should promote the re-use of each other’s valuable information and knowledge. In practice, it is the lack of re-use (and related
respect) that limits the results of knowledge management, not the willingness to share knowledge.
6. Retrieve only relevant information
Don’t give reasons for overwhelm. Too much information will be daunting and unappreciated. Your aim should be in retrieving and delivering only that information which is relevant in the context of the moment.
7. Who is the expert among you?
Everybody and nobody. Everybody possesses knowledge, expertise and wisdom. The question and challenge is to identify, match and feed personal knowledge with the knowledge required by the
organisation in order to be successful. Nobody is an expert as long as the personal knowledge is not used and applied for the sake of organisational results.
8. Management by example
Management is an example for its team, department or organisation. So, make sure your words and actions point in the same direction. Many knowledge management initiatives fail because this obvious and simple rule was not respected.
Being the example of how you want people to be is pre-requisite in knowledge management within your company. Assess the value, build the commitment and earn the plaudits from the results.
Originally published: 19 July, 2011