YOU ARE NOW READING
Knowledge Management: An Effective Tool For CIOs
Knowledge management (KM) has been used by various companies to successful transform their businesses. We have seen many of them adopt and inculcate knowledge management as a practice in their organizations.
CIOs are uniquely placed to drive knowledge management because they understand both processes and technology. This is where they can take the lead. There are several case studies available on how organizations leverage KM to stay ahead in business.
According to Russell Ackoff, a systems theorist and professor of organizational change, the content of the human mind can be classified into five categories:
• Data: Symbols
• Information: Data that are processed to be useful; provides answers to "who", "what", "where", and "when" questions
• Knowledge: Application of data and information; answers "how" questions
• Understanding: Appreciation of "why"
• Wisdom: Evaluated understanding
What Is Knowledge Management?
Though the answers may vary, but KM comprises a range of strategies and practices used in the organization to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable insights into experiences. Over a period of time, it reduces person dependency and increases our dependency on process and tools. Such experiences are retained in the organization. The wisdom is not limited to individuals but results in an organizational wisdom, wherein the organization moves from individual excellence to organizational excellence.
Dissipation and exchange of knowledge saves tremendous amount of time in reinventing the wheel and reacting to market requirements faster. It also reduces the amount of time we spend in coming to speed and creates visibility for all.
People often confuse knowledge management with a data repository, where you can search, upload and download. KM is not just that. It goes beyond in exploiting tacit and implicit knowledge. It provokes you to think and capture your thoughts. Sharing your views is also sharing your knowledge and you have wikis and blogs. It contains creation, utilization, transfer and retention of knowledge objects. Any useful suggestion that comes to your mind is also knowledge and you should be given an opportunity to capture it. Hence, such features are made available on a knowledge management portal.
Implementation of KM is not easy. It is a cultural change which people do not adopt easily. It is a painful process and you must remember the painful transformation of caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.
We see adoption as the main issue for knowledge management. Organizations are building corporate social media to engage employees and extending the same as knowledge management. Practically, unless you work out a mechanism to let people interact with each other and enhance it to the KM portal, most of the information will die over a period of time with static contents.
KM should be driven as a strategy for cultural change, which involves integrating contents available across the organization rather than launching a portal to capture knowledge where you expect people to upload, update or download content.
"There is no knowledge that is not power" - Ralph W Emerson