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Knowledge Capital

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 Management:

        Gartner Group:

A discipline 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.

      Cap Ventures:

Knowledge 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:

Knowledge is 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.

       KM World:

The strategic 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.

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