Using knowledge to make informed decisions is at the heart of the most successful businesses. It can mean the difference between expansion and stagnation, between growth and failure. Whether it be a particular business unit or the company as a whole.
While an intelligent workforce can support this success, without a strategy to manage knowledge within an organisation, there is a risk of this valuable content becoming siloed and even walking out the door through staff turnover.
Enter: Knowledge Management.
Knowledge management (KM) is not a new concept, in fact it has been around as long as the internet! Rather than jumping into the pitch about the importance knowledge management, we first have to take it back a few steps and understand what knowledge is.
Knowledge is not information.
We live in a world where a plethora of information floods our feeds, inboxes, eyes and ears on a daily basis. This information is not always valuable, in fact, often it is disruptive, annoying, and even detrimental to the quality of our work (and, if we’re honest, lives!). While there are many apps that can block certain sites that would seek to hijack our attention and reduce our productivity, they do not provide what we really seek. And that is knowledge.
The quest for knowledge is as old as the ages, but what’s new is that it’s becoming harder and harder to find. Anyone who has tried to search on a shared drive or navigate Sharepoint folders will know that much of the information they find is unreliable, irrelevant and outdated.
Remember your first day of work?
You were likely sat down at your computer and your new assistant, manager or coworker was tasked with introducing you to the shared drive. Oh the woes. Now imagine what that introduction could have been like if an effective knowledge management strategy was in place. If the company had an established strategy to capture, evaluate, distribute, and maintain their most valuable content. What do you imagine that you’d find? And how do you imagine you would find it?
One thing’s for sure, the process of onboarding would be a lot more efficient. Similarly, any updates to company policy, procedure, processes etc. would be accessible to you and your staff in real time.
What could that mean for your clients or customers?
The service that they receive would be more consistent, with a seamless customer experience whether they’re speaking with someone on the phone, accessing your website, or are in contact with a staff member face-to-face.
Having an effective KM system is an important piece of the puzzle. However, what is more important is that your organisation’s knowledge management strategy is well defined, and has the support of key people across the business.
What software can do is provide a method to disseminate authorised content, providing governance over organisational knowledge. It can also retain the knowledge that could be lost when an employee leaves the business, formalise a method to capture tacit knowledge, and provide insights to management about which pieces of organisational content are most used by employees and why.
Future KM solutions will need deeper levels of automation and machine learning elements to provide these insights.
KnowledgeIQ can help to simplify complexity.
Want to find out how?