For enterprise information to make the workforce perform better, it needs to actively accelerate the process of capturing, creating and developing knowledge of the workforce to produce better outcomes. A huge part of this is having a system that does this in a convenient and accommodating way for those whose knowledge you want to capture, create and/or develop.
1) Getting a platform that manages knowledge, instead of merely gathering and storing information or data.
Despite how obvious this may seem in a post-Drucker, big business ‘knowledge work’ era, the fact remains that there are disturbingly few enterprise platforms which actively accelerate the process of developing the knowledge of people within enterprise. Thousands, on the other hand offer super slick, highly attractive ways to store enterprise information – whether it is useful or not. People are the source of progress and innovation within your company, everything else is just put in place to optimize their value. Data and information are important prerequisite to information but it is important to remember that is all they are – nothing more than a means to an end. For more on this, see Maxim 1 of our 12 Maxims of Knowledge Management series.
2) Getting a single platform that is appealing for users.
If an enterprise wants a useful way of creating, developing and harvesting their workforce’s knowledge, then accommodating for personalized working habits, inclinations and behaviors is paramount. It cannot compromise the capturing of information by confining users too restrictive input methods – it defeats the point. So if your teams work best using whiteboards but your KM platform doesn’t have optical character recognition (OCR) to digitize the outcomes, your enterprise is draining knowledge. In the clear majority of circumstances, the more people can use and gain value from the tool conveniently, the more valuable the tool becomes at improving how people, teams and entire organisations perform.
Without the right tools, it’s incredibly easy for stored information to stifle your work. Everyone knows what it is like to sift through folders looking for that elusive attachment (only to be distracted by the million other things you find). Truth be told, information storage is almost always a hassle – stealing our precious time (and sanity). For the perfectionists among us, this catastrophe can be avoided through steely-eyed determination and formidable attention to detail, but even these honorable traits cannot withstand the damn-busting chaos that ensues when teams, departments and enterprise-wide storage get involved.
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