Today I take on the Google Challenge for Knowledge Management which aims at answering the most popular questions surrounding the field (based on google searches)

knowledge management

The first question I will answer is:

Is knowledge management (KM) important?

Rather than just providing a straightforward answer to this question I find it important to bear in mind the current context for business development. Inevitably the onset of new methods, technologies and practices that promise to accelerate growth and reduce economic risks might have driven KM down a step or two in the priority line.

However, I personally believe that KM is still well placed to support organizations in our present context. Why?

  • First and foremost, knowledge can be managed. Thus if we don´t treat it like any other asset we won´t be able to explore and develop it´s full potential so that it can become a genuine source of growth.
  • Fields like artificial intelligence are still not widely accessible for many organizations.  We still need to rely on certain processes for knowledge identification, capture and transfer that AI cannot deal with straightforward. For example, in order to create a knowledge-sharing culture you need to understand the underlying symptoms that prevent people from willingly sharing what they know. This is a very human oriented challenge.
  • As much as we appreciate sharepoint-like platforms, online meetings and video conferencing, these tools alone    won´t allow you to fully manage your company´s knowledge. First you need to understand what knowledge drives value, where it resides and the methods that will be required in order to develop it.
  • Repeated errors and “reinventing the wheel moments” continue to impact the economic health of many organizations. Specific KM methods such as lessons learned development and best practice capture can help reduce that risk.
  • It is vitally important to take the necessary precautions to limit the amount of knowledge that is lost when someone abandons the organizations. As long as it remains in the head of critical employees, you will carry the risk of maintaining results efficiently and with as little disruption as possible.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you prioritize other points for making KM a hot topic in your organization?

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