The power of knowledge is a fundamental element of the strategy of any successful organization. Knowledge contributes to the development and implementation of policies, strategies, plans, and programs. It is a vital part of the organization’s value chain.
There are several ways one can understand the components of knowledge and how they work together to create a strategy. The following points will help you put together a master plan that can help you use knowledge to your advantage.
Building blocks of the power of knowledge.
Knowledge consists of three main building blocks that help boost decisions. These combine to provide a solid foundation for advanced knowledge management. This trilogy forms a strategy allowing information to be leveraged, resulting in a company that is constantly on the bleeding edge of organizational skills. Your business and your bottom line will experience a boost as a result.
The three building blocks of the power of knowledge are:
- People. Knowledge management cares and focuses on people and relationships, through the formation of formal and informal relations motivated to learn and promote knowledge transfer through your organization.
- Technology. This aspect is key in information management. Technology provides your organization with methods and tools for storing, transferring, and manipulating knowledge.
- Processes. These focus on harmonizing the culture, politics, organizational structure, and hierarchy of your company, so it is centered on knowledge generation and dissemination. They also support and encourage the exchange of knowledge and learnings between parties.
Components of organizational knowledge.
There exists an important distinction between explicit and implicit knowledge. In a nutshell, explicit knowledge can be described, taught, or formally communicated to others. It is relatively straightforward to remember. However, this type of knowledge is not always the easiest to acquire. Implicit knowledge, on the other hand, is a type of knowledge that is not easily described. It is not tangible; in fact, it cannot be touched, measured, or known. It is not only more difficult to obtain, but also more difficult to describe. One theory about implicit knowledge is that it is largely unconscious, and as such may not be easily accessible to conscious thought.
Let’s understand their main characteristics and differences!
Implicit knowledge is based on your accumulated experiences, mind maps, and acquired skills. These are not easily expressed by people. It is a type of knowledge where everything is stored and not seen. It also represents the intuition and sophistication of individuals in companies, as well as one of the intangible assets of organizations like yours. It ranks as one of the company’s most valuable assets, due to the organization’s reliance on those experiences and skills.
Some common examples of implicit knowledge are the experience of a seller and their ability to convince a customer and the leadership capacity of managers.
Does implicit knowledge represent an opportunity for your organization? Of course! This type of knowledge marks the DNA of your company. It is very difficult to develop since it is generated and lives 100% in the people that make up your company. Expertise, experience, good practices, and both feared and beloved intuition can represent a before and after in organizational development. But, as we will see later, it is essential to try to record this knowledge and make it explicit. Take into account that intangibility represents a significant risk: what would happen if a key collaborator decides to leave the company and start working for the competition? Problems!!
On the other hand, explicit knowledge is a type of knowledge where everything is stored and seen. It is a form of information that is consciously accessible and can be seen, learned, and easily disseminated. Explicit knowledge can be expressed in written documents and is remembered better than implicit knowledge.
This kind of knowledge is tangible and clear to others, such as engineering design, work reports, tasks, and goals that have been documented and preserved for easy reference and for sharing with others.
Although implicit knowledge is the essence of your organization’s collaborators and represents a very important intangible asset, the knowledge management strategy should focus on making it more tangible and implicit. Processes, procedures, automatic rules, case studies and references, and a bit of the famous bureaucracy (without excess), can facilitate the actions of your company and make operations easier and more automatic –or, at least, reduce the probability of making the same mistakes more than once.
At Huenei we develop software capable of assisting in the registration and tangibilization of processes, procedures, and others. For example, we would like to mention the work done for Roemmers. We developed an app for commercial administration, which allowed pharmaceutical sales representatives to record visits, orders, and transfers. In other words, employees now can, thanks to this app, keep track of their business.
In summary, the power of knowledge is the ability to share knowledge with others. Sharing knowledge helps a person (and your company!) learn and grow as they share lessons based on experience. This is a powerful tool that can be used by individuals and organizations like yours. Acquiring a knowledge-oriented strategy in your organization is an endless pursuit. But with some focus, your company and employees can easily acquire skills and build a strong knowledge management structure.