This is the third and final post in a short series on Knowledge Management (KM) in organizations. I prefaced this with an introduction to Madanmohan Rao’s framework, expanded on Nancy M. Dixon’s knowledge transfer channels, explained the “8Cs Audit” of KM, and in this post we’ll wrap up the series with a summary of why this all matters in the first place.
There are four primary areas where the health of an organization’s KM primarily manifests, and the success or failure on each of these aspects can be largely influenced by KM best practices. First of all, a high 8C-scoring organization would likely have really well designed products or services. In a company where the employees trust one another and cooperate, there is also likely to be efficient divisions of labor and ease of institutional knowledge transfer for efficiencies. Secondly, these KM champion companies will also have state-of-the-art CRM tools and practices in place as well. Customer service will thrive under good KM practices due to (among other things) the time that employees are freed up to spend making customers happy! Thirdly, as employees begin to develop KM habits around good 8C principles, the company becomes an easier place to lead and manage. Since duplication and re-work is minimized, employees can grow along career pathing lines in which they desire. Last but not least, the firm’s ability to conduct business analysis, both internally and externally, will flourish under good KM practices. Nowhere will an unhealthy KM system be more visible than in a firm’s ability (or lack thereof) to identify profit centers or peg KPIs through rigorous business analysis.
So there you have it. We examined how knowledge is actually communicated, how to determine the efficiency by which it is communicated , and finally why bother setting up KM practices in business at all? In conclusion, if a firm were to desire good design in its work, highly satisfied customers, well managed employees and a good sense of the internal and external market… it seems like implementing a well thought out KM strategy would be an excellent place to start.
If you are interested in a KM assessment at your firm, please feel free to contact me for further discussion.
The main source for this post comes from a framework by Madanmohan Rao (@madanrao) in the book Knowledge Management in Practice: Connections and Context.