Most businesses operate in a ‘more is better’ paradigm. More data means more information, more information means more knowledge, more knowledge means more success… Sounds perfect! It makes the jobs easier! Quantities are concrete, tangible, they are black and white; this keeps things clean and tidy – they look great in quarterly reports! It’s easy to understand how some get seduced by this philosophy; yet we both know it is not always the case. Nowhere is this more bitter-sweet than in the Knowledge Management practices of today’s enterprises.
Enterprise Knowledge Management Systems are rarely anything more than a means to store, organise and share information (STOS). Yes, information (not knowledge). This practice is misleading because it discards qualitative elements leaving most in a quantitative information-hoarding-rat-race; the most alarming thing is how pervasively this hinders effectiveness. The larger the enterprise, the more damaging this misconception becomes. The key issue being that this false pretence directly undermines the enterprise’s ability to harness, integrate and grow organisational knowledge. These activities are significantly more important than merely storing information in a cloud somewhere.
After all, having more information does not make you more knowledgeable; why would your organization be any different?
On the upside, those who do harness, integrate and grow knowledge effectively, benefit substantially; particularly in innovative, knowledge-driven industries. Facilitating and inspiring collaboration, bringing knowledge management out of the filing cabinets (digital or otherwise) and into the light – into the spaces where people think and discuss. Encouraging the questioning and improvement of organizational knowledge to become integrated into day-to-day work, where it can continue to develop and adapt. Only through this modern, dynamic form of Knowledge Management can enterprises maximise progress and innovation reliably and consistently.
For more info and guidance on Enterprise Knowledge Management, please visit www.mindappster.com .
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