Knowledge Management Basics
Enterprise growth today depends on innovation and
innovation depends on knowledge. In the December 1998 issue of CIO
magazine, Perry Glasser makes the following sobering statement in his article,
“The Knowledge Factor”:
“Technology has eradicated time and geography as inhibitors to
collaborative work but only an organization’s commitment to change based on
knowledge management will lead to the kind of learning and innovation that
contributes to competitive advantage.”
The following are among the definitions of Knowledge
that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating,
retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. These
assets may include databases, document, policies and procedures, and previously
uncaptured tacit expertise and experience in individual workers.
Management encompasses management strategies, methods, and technology for
leveraging intellectual capital and know-how to achieve gains in human
performance and competitiveness.
Delphi Consulting Group:
the information resident in people’s minds that is used for making decisions
in unknown contexts. Knowledge Management, in turn, refers to the practices and
technologies that facilitate the efficient creation and exchange of knowledge on
an organization-wide level to enhance the quality of decision-making. OR The
ability of an organization to leverage collective wisdom to increase
responsiveness and innovation.
application of corporate and external information bases to discover
transactionable knowledge that can be leverage to improve business performance.
Effective Knowledge Management, harnessing the intellectual capital of an enterprise’s ecosystem to
deliver ever-increasing value, will be the true differentiator that enables
an organization to achieve irrefutable dominance. The enterprise’s ecosystem includes employees, customers, prospects,
suppliers, other strategic alliance partners, stockholders, governing board of
directors, and competitors.
Sharing knowledge, an essential component of Knowledge
Management, leads to increasing knowledge. Microsoft’s obsession for sharing
knowledge both internally and externally is a major contributor to their
success. But, knowledge is power and few people are willing to give that up. So,
Knowledge Management efforts need to make sharing knowledge profitable for
employees and not just for the company. Chris Cournoyer, CIO of Lotus, adds:
“Changing employee attitudes is a critical component of Knowledge
Management.” Also, many experts caution that before embarking on creating a
Knowledge Management culture the active support of senior management, from the
CEO down, must be in place.