• Ten tips to unlock the knowledge-ready advantage

Ten tips to unlock the knowledge-ready advantage

Effective Knowledge Management (KM) is very important for an organization, especially for a service organization who has customer support to answer phone calls and chats. KM drives performance and innovation. It can help companies solve critical problems.

Here are 10 tips to optimize knowledge management in your organization.

1. Agile KM helps to stay focused and deliver quick results. Agile methods can contribute to KM in a number of ways. Pilot projects is very good way to test KM initiatives, its direction, and assumptions. KM challenges today include keeping up with operational tempo, adjusting to or creating new behavior and evolving new metrics. Agile KM helps an organization develop new possibilities, new mindsets and new capabilities.

KM is a long-term journey but you also need to show quick results. An example of a quick result could be after action review (AAR) methods as an example of a quick win. Agile KM helps an organization develop new possibilities, new mindsets and new capabilities.

2. Tie knowledge to learning. It is not enough to promote a knowledge sharing culture. You also need to promote a learning culture. KM metrics will also have to evolve and cover a range of activities and impacts, such as user adoption, knowledge sharing, user benefits and customer satisfaction. Different kinds of learning tools and channels can be explored. Gamification, rewarding system, rap songs about KM features would be very helpful.

3. Map the different types of leaderships and narratives. This will create a clear picture of what you currently have in your KM program and what you are missing.

4. Build bridges between KM, big data, and data analytics. KM and data analytics are connected. In consumer, corporate, and industrial work place contexts, analytics can yield useful insights, if the right questions are asked, and that is where KM can help.

5. KM education and industry need to be tied together. KM education helps KM practitioners to stay on the top of global trends and findings, and industry best practices.

6. Let people express themselves in their own creative ways. While much in knowledge capture and communication tends to focus on the typed or written word, people also express themselves in multiple other ways. KM visioning exercises have shown new insights when people express themselves through doodles, drawings, figures, PostIts, flip charts, cards, audio, video, and even skits.

7. Ensure knowledge succession. Knowledge must succeed and be sustainable. Organizations need to focus not just on creating knowledge but also on its implications and immediate actions. Innovation is at the intersection of local knowledge, organizational knowledge, academic knowledge and stakeholder knowledge. Aligned conversations help companies keep the focus on strategic knowledge in the long run.

8. Explore weak ties and strong ties. Organizations certainly must share knowledge and build on collaboration but they also need to master a number of other factors. For example, there are advantages as well as challenges to virtual teams: geographic dispersion (but lack of shared context), online reach (but less richness), structural dynamism (but less organization) and national diversity (but also culture clash). Weak ties give access to novel knowledge and information, but it is the strong tie that will lead to transfer of the innovative idea.

9. Inter-organizational KM must lead to co-creation. Mature KM practitioners are extending their initiatives across organizational boundaries to share knowledge between organizations. But that should extend beyond sharing and cooperation to collaboration and co-creation. Co-creation is usually with a smaller group than in crowdsourcing and includes active involvement of customers.

10. Focus on formal as well as informal knowledge sharing activities. Focus not just on knowledge assets in the “forefront” (e.g. documents) or in the “background (e-mails, PostIts) but also “out of sight” (stories), and online discussion. Acknowledge and identify backroom knowledge sharing in informal clusters. There also needs to be a healthy attitude toward learning from failure.

Future KM trends include a continuing emphasis on collaboration, alignment with business strategy, blend with analytics, and rise of the multigenerational workforce.

Galaxy Consulting has over 20 years experience in Knowledge Management. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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