What is Knowledge Management?
How much in-depth knowledge do you hold about your workplace, its customers and the surrounding market?
Is it all floating around in your brain, or have you written it down somewhere in a way that others will be able to learn from?
Sadly, if you’re like the majority of the other professionals in your field, most of your wisdom will only ever be shared when it’s prompted from you. After all, you’re perfectly happy to answer questions directed your way – so why waste the time writing it all down?
This isn’t a healthy mindset.
What if we told you that businesses across the world could actively benefit from compiling the knowledge of their employees and creating tangible assets that others could learn from? Yes, even though knowledge management is often a complex and time-consuming process… it’s well worth the effort.
“Sharing your wisdom doesn’t diminish your impact; it amplifies it.” – Forbes
What is Knowledge Management?
Knowledge management’s definition describes it as the process where a company gathers and organizes its knowledge in order to create extensive resources that can be shared with its employees.
It can do so by:
- Compiling market data.
- Soliciting customer feedback.
- Speaking to industry experts.
- Interviewing qualified staff members.
- Recording experiences.
Why? Because it’s an excellent way an organization can benefit from the experience and wisdom of relevant stakeholders, capturing information and converting it into actionable insights.
Why is Knowledge Management Important?
When you’ve been occupying the same role for years, you’re bound to have encountered tricky situations that turned into learning experiences – allowing you to learn from your mistakes.
However, what about the members of your team who haven’t been working in their field as long as you? Do you want them to encounter the same issues you did?
Such employees are at a point in their personal and professional development where they need extra support and guidance, which knowledge management can provide. You can recognize these individuals by their tendency to:
- defer to their leadership team
- remain quiet in meetings
- always ask questions
- never challenge the status quo
With access to the right information and resources, these employees will be able to gain confidence and “hit the ground running”. They just need a helpful push to get started.
Through an intense learning and development scheme, they will soon become an irreplaceable asset to your organization. Speed up this process through finely-tuned knowledge management.
Types of Knowledge Management
As with most business development strategies, there isn’t a “one-size fits” solution.
There are three common types of knowledge that, upon collection, promise their unique advantages to organizations.
- Tacit Knowledge shares information on learned experiences.
- Implicit Knowledge is the translation of “how-to” expertise.
- Explicit Knowledge presents all other forms of intellectual capital.
Each is collected, presented, and applied differently – making it impossible to decipher which is the most useful.
In an ideal world, a business would be able to manage and utilize all forms of knowledge.
They’d take advantage of the intelligent minds within their business to improve the flow of information overall and support employees.
Knowledge Management Framework
To start mapping out the intellectual resources across your organization, then, you need to design a knowledge management framework.
First, identify what skills, specialisms, expertise, qualifications, and backgrounds your employees hold. Then, see how much of this you can use to optimise your company’s intellectual resources.
Start to conduct interviews with individuals to “pick their brains”, and turn this into digestible content that everyone can enjoy.
The Advantages of a Knowledge Management Strategy
When your team can obtain all the information they need to work at their maximum capacity; the accompanying benefits are unlimited. Truly.
Through knowledge management processes, you can drive productivity, efficiency, and innovation to protect your bottom line.
With access to an in-depth database of knowledge, employees can conduct thorough research before they undergo tasks. Further, they can gain perspective into alternative ways of thinking – expanding their horizons and unlocking new levels of creativity.
Simply by keeping your employees informed and knowledgeable, your organization will be able to:
- Manage crises appropriately.
- Respond to market changes.
- Serve its customers.
- Enhance employee experiences.
Employees can then use insights to improve your offerings – adding to your product’s value chain for a strong competitive advantage.
Applying Knowledge Management – Real-Life Example
To some extent, employees could already be contributing to their organization’s knowledge management. For example, take a look at this article from Xcede:
“Working at Xcede – Employee Interview with Jamaine Agyepong.”
In this piece, the global recruitment firm interviews one of their staff members with a goal in of producing helpful and insightful content for anyone looking to enter their industry. In doing so, they provide a vast level of insight into the inner-workings of Xcede.
So, alongside being a valuable marketing asset, the knowledge compiled in this resource might prove incredibly beneficial to their internal team.
- Informs employees of the opportunities available to them.
- Encourages staff to seize opportunities that come their way.
By conducting the interview and putting everything into a digestible format, Xcede has already used knowledge management principles to their advantage.
So can you. Soon, you’ll have the perfect knowledge transfer strategy in place.
What is Knowledge Management? – FAQs
Before you start compiling resources, be sure to speak to your employees to find out what they actually need. Try reaching out to recent hires to see what they might benefit from.
This way, you’ll gain a clear picture of where you should be spending your time, prioritizing some elements of knowledge management while you start to put a system in place.
Until then, check out these helpful FAQs.
What are the principles of knowledge management?
First and foremost, you need to recognize that knowledge (and experience) are valuable assets. Then, you need to invest towards being able to use them to your advantage.
Who is responsible for knowledge management?
A business owner, executive, or specialist can all be useful in implementing knowledge management across your organization. If you build it into your culture, everyone should be able to contribute.
What is the knowledge management process?
It’s the way in which your business captures and records macro and microeconomic knowledge so it can be conveniently used by your employees.
What are the sources of knowledge management?
You can compile information from all manner of stakeholders; including employees, shareholders, suppliers, customers, partners, leaders, competitors and industry specialists.
How to Conduct Knowledge Management with Userlane
Our professional environments have reached a critical turning point.
We operate in a world where the majority of business challenges can be directly addressed through a variety of software platforms, making processes more efficient.
Knowledge management is no exception.
- Stack Overflow
Have all built wonderful and innovative systems that could be incredibly beneficial to your team… as long as you back up your goals with comprehensive training and digital support.
That’s where Userlane comes in.
Our Digital Adoption Platforms are specifically designed to provide real-time guidance to your employees as they learn how to navigate a new piece of software.