Knowledge Management in Organizations

by paulgebel

Knowledge management (KM), as an art, could be said to have reached its true potential in the IT sector. Of course, KM has been around as long as people have been telling stories and passing them down to the next generation. But true systematic KM involves the collection of information through rigorous data analysis, so that values and context can be applied for decision making. KM stands at the point between information (in the form of analyzed data) and wisdom. In other words, a person or an organization’s approach to KM determines how well they are able to achieve the goals and implement their values. KM is a critical tactic in any decision-making framework needed to implement business or personal strategy.

Well wonderful! So how do you know if you’re “doing” KM well or not? First it’s important to define our terms before getting to any practical exercise. We may be dealing with a preponderance of information but little useful knowledge. Or we may have a culture of knowledge management, but lack the connectivity to implement its effective use. In doing so, an organization may become “information rich by knowledge poor,” says Madanmahon Rao. In the next post, I’ll explore the five channels of knowledge transfer within organizations. After dealing with the media through with knowledge is communicated, we’ll examine Rao’s “8 Cs Audit”, which you can easily plug into any organization for a first-hand look at your KM scorecard. Finally, in the third and final post in this KM series, we’ll put all the pieces together and examine what the actual business case for KM is.

The main source for this post comes from a framework by Madanmohan Rao (@madanrao) in the book Knowledge Management in Practice: Connections and Context.