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Knowledge Management Overview

"Knowledge exists to be imparted."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Knowledge management is a misnomer. A working definition of “knowledge” is: understanding gained from experience. Most knowledge is tacit, in people’s heads. Consequently, most knowledge cannot be managed.

What can be managed are an organization’s knowledge processes. Knowledge processes are embedded throughout the enterprise (e.g., strategic planning, decision making, marketing, hiring personnel). Every person in an enterprise participates in knowledge processes. Knowledge managers help the organization improve the effectiveness of its knowledge processes. Understanding and optimizing Knowledge Management processes gives an organization competitive advantage regardless of its market segment.

From: Using Connect and Collect to Achieve the KM Endgame
 

Knowledge Management Components

Knowledge
Knowledge


Collaboration


Knowledge Base

Innovation = Creating New Knowledge
"The business environment continues to change at a dramatically increasing pace. To thrive in this turbulent environment, we must confront the business need for relentless innovation and forge the future workforce culture."

Computer Magazine September 2001 Issue

Personal ROK (Return on Knowledge)
There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired.

Several years later his company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multi-million dollar machines. They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine fixed, but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past. The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day he marked a small x in chalk on a particular component of the machine and proudly stated, "This is where your problem is". The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.

The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded briefly:

One chalk mark .. ..... ..... $1

Knowing where to put it ..... $49,999

It was paid in full and the engineer retired in peace.

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