Knowledge may be in a form of understanding, some personal or acquired know-hows, past experiences, information that you have learned at school or just the stocked data inside your brain. Each person’s knowledge may be unique in a sense that each of us encounters various experiences or are skilled in different fields.
In organizations nowadays, gathering significant information or data is a top priority especially to those organizations that are heavily invested on database and information warehouse. When you have the knowledge at your disposal, the biggest problem is how to effectively manage it so that it would be properly utilized and not get wasted. If you have the knowledge, make the most out of it.
Knowledge Management (KM) is the systematic management of an organization’s knowledge assets for the purpose of creating value and meeting tactical & strategic requirements; it consists of the initiatives, processes, strategies, and systems that sustain and enhance the storage, assessment, sharing, refinement, and creation of knowledge.
Personally, I am currently working in an organization that has a good grasp of the importance of KM. Employees in our company are greatly encouraged to share their thoughts and various forms of ideas through an online platform.
Employees first make sure that there the projects or practices are not existing yet and proceed to fill out the necessary details on a submission sheet in the online platform. Key points, issues, and level of necessity are identified and the projects are later posted in the voting page of the platform. Once certain employee votes are reached, the projects are evaluated and get deliberated by the experts. When a decision is achieved, the project may either be implemented, get queued, or junked.
Implemented projects or idea contributions are rewarded in a form of points that can be accumulated to be exchanged later for gadgets, or other available prizes with designated point values. We also receive awards for best Continuous Improvement (CI) projects once our ideas or practices get approved and utilized.
As a witness of how much knowledge sharing has improved our processes and greatly developed our organization, I can firmly attest that effective KM can deliver benefits to an organization in a huge way.
KM has become beneficial in following ways:
- Innovation with the flow of knowledge. Innovation can be achieved faster since there are several heads working. For an instance, an employee shares his best practices that can generate 30% increase in production and another employee decides to apply this to his current process and proves the effectiveness due to a similar generated result. Once employees have adjusted and accepted the culture of information sharing, dissemination of various knowledge will also be easier.
- Fosters collaboration because of the nature knowledge sharing. When the employees realize how they can garner rewards through sharing significant knowledge, they can cooperate with the others. Also, collaboration can happen between the originator and the user in the process of adopting the idea.
- Because of the shared knowledge, employees will also be able to improve their own processes and skills. Since effective information are accessible, members of the organization have the chance to enhance themselves through adopting others’ successful applications.
- KM also makes it easier and faster to solve some areas of improvement since the employees experience first hand such concerns so they best have ideas on what can be a good solution.
All of these are reasons to push for KM but in spite of these, an organization also faces some implementation barriers. The most difficult can be the resistance of the employees to accept such sharing culture. Many employees will find it hard to share their special trades and expertise especially in competitive surroundings. There is also the fact that some practices may be effective to some but not to others. In such cases, there might be loop holes in the idea that can either be improved or become a factor to give the project up. Some organizations might also be unprepared to embrace KM. They may be not ready in terms of technological, human, or financial resources because KM requires investment.
“Knowledge is power but knowledge sharing is empowerment.”
In line with KM, what will your answer be if someone asks about your views on the previous statement?
Teacher owl via ClipartFest © 2016First off, let us define what empowerment means in terms of business. It is a management practice of sharing information, rewards, and power with employees so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance. Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation, as well holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.*
So basically, the statement is about how knowledge gives us power or ability to do certain things but when knowledge is shared, it empowers through giving others a chance to improve their service and performance through utilizing the said shared knowledge. Knowledge is power but knowledge sharing
is giving power to others.
This way, you are not the only one who can gain power through acquiring certain knowledge. You are sharing this autority to someone other than yourself for the good of the organization ― a great way for the company to grow.
Knowledge Management. (2010-2017). KMT. Retrieved April 1, 2017 from http://www.knowledge-management-tools.net/references.html
*Empowerment. (2017). WebFinance Inc. Retrieved April 1, 2017 from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/empowerment.html
Knowledge Management via Basic Knowledge 101© 2017