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The Practice of Knowledge Management Print
Knowledge management is not about technology. It is about culture. To put it into the right perspective,the practice of knowledge management will drive the organisation to develop a strong culture of competency and innovation.

{mosadsense4joomla ad_layout="A"ad_align=""}Such enterprise-wide culture will enable the organisation to achieve sustainable superior performance. In other words, by strategically capitalising on both tacit and explicit knowledge, an organisation can secure and maintain a competitive advantage at the market place. Information communication technology (ICT) is an enabler to facilitate the practice of knowledge management.

For an organisation to successfully transform itself into a knowledge enterprise, it must leverage on the eight key focus of knowledge management. The eight key focus are K-identification, K-acquisition, K-application, K-sharing, K-creation, K-development, K-preservation and K-measurement. These eight key focus will provide a systematic approach to introduce the practice of knowledge management.

A structured knowledge identification exercise or knowledge needs analysis (KNA) exercise must be conducted to establish the knowledge gaps and deficiencies of an organisation. For businesses to function at the speed of light, organisations need to identify the current and specialised knowledge required to implement its competitive strategies. By comparing the required knowledge with existing knowledge capital, the knowledge gap can then be defined. The larger the knowledge gap or deficiency, the greater are the obstacles to achieve the desired goals of an enterprise.

A positive environment must be created to induce intense knowledge acquisition. Knowledge acquisition is to source for current and specialised knowledge to close the knowledge gap of a particular organisation. Knowledge can be derived within the organisation, from existing employees, communities of practices (COPs) and communities of innovative networks (COINs). Knowledge can also be imported from outside the organisation, namely from customers, suppliers and even specialists from the various areas of businesses and expertise. Knowledge can also be attained from K-products, such as reading materials, recorded CD-ROMs, on-line learning, and through the World Wide Web. K-tools like learning history will assist an organisation to learn from the past, innovate on the future for today's consumption. Key emphasise must be placed on real time acquisition, with short cycle application.

Armed with critical, current and specialised knowledge, the next focus is to pursue an obsession in knowledge application. K-application will also induce spiral skills development, where professionals are able to gauge their level of expertise through continuous contribution to the organisation. Most importantly, knowledge gained must be immediately applied.

The practice of knowledge management advocates knowledge sharing. Trust and mutual respect must be present to promote K-sharing. Sharing of best practices will spur constant innovation, and this will benefit the organisation. Enterprise recognition should be given to encourage K-sharing in an organisation. Working in innovative teams will provide a platform for K-sharing among peers. A structured K-policy supported by a variety of K-tools and collaborative technologies such as the intranet will promote K-sharing.

K-development will focus on the development on conceptual, behavioural and technical abilities of an individual. Planned efforts like structured competency based learning must be initiated to build the overall competency of employees in an organisation. In other words, organisations need to be competency driven, ensuring a high level of competency in its employees.

A passion to explore and innovate on ideas needs to be cultivated. The enterprise must develop the ability to create new knowledge. New knowledge will form the platform for the dynamics of continuous innovation. This can be achieved by integrating both tacit and explicit knowledge that exists in an organisation.

A high retention of knowledge can be achieved by creating a culture for knowledge preservation. Enterprise wide K-sharing, COPs and COINs can be used to preserve knowledge within an organisation. K-preservation is about real time knowledge capture, use, re-use and constant updating. Since knowledge has a short 'life-span', the focus is on the frequency of using the captured knowledge to support intelligent decision making. Technology will be the enabler to store selective and current specialised knowledge. Knowledge preserved must be made accessible to every individual at any point in time.

A knowledge measurement system must be implemented to gauge the knowledge capital of an enterprise on a periodic basis. The focus is to measure the K-inventory of an organisation.

A new adage will then become apparent, an era where knowledge will be power only if it is being used wisely. Hence, the fundamentals of knowledge management will be prominent in an economy where knowledge will be the deciding role in ensuring a sustainable edge in an ever-competitive market.

2002 © J.T.Franks

About the Author:

JT Frank the publisher of this article, can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
or 604-6593859, offers training and consulting services in the areas of Knowledge Management, INVEST your organisation's Knowledge Capital Creation BUDGET with one of ASIA's pioneering Knowledge Management Specialists
- JT Frank Management Centre

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