Most of my professional life to this point has focused on learning, including design, delivery, and evaluation. When it gets down to it, my work involves sharing, bringing out, or creating knowledge that can be productively applied. Ultimately, the objective is that the knowledge gets transferred to achieve a goal. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what happens to all of this knowledge when it’s not formally passed around, taught, or discussed.
Knowledge management is what I’m talking about.
"Knowledge management is the process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using knowledge.”
"Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers.”
So we’re working with boring corporate-talk using words like policies, procedures, documents, and databases, right? Those are some of the tools, but the essence is much more straightforward. At its core, knowledge management shouldn’t have to be boring and it’s definitely not confined to the cubicles and boardrooms of corporate America. Picture the iconic caveman teaching his offspring how to build a fire or the 15th century clockmaker instructing an apprentice. That’s knowledge management in its most authentic and raw form.
Knowledge management isn’t limited to a teacher-student interaction either. We are individually responsible for personal knowledge management. Harold Jarche writes, speaks, and teaches about Personal Knowledge Mastery; which he calls “a set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world and work more effectively.”
Decisions are made based on the knowledge we have about the problem. And it's no secret that we make better decisions when we have the right information. This means that for your organization, your people, and yourself, get crystal clear about the way you build, maintain, store, and share the knowledge that drives the goals you’re trying to achieve.