Since knowledge is the only resource an organization has that gives it a lasting success, the function that manages knowledge will have to be a key player in any organization. Unfortunately, that is not the case. While organizations acknowledge the importance of knowledge, KM function is sidelined. As KM practitioners should we wait for management to realise their mistake or should KM function set things right?
In a dynamic market, where management is worried about day to day running of the organization, they will rarely sit back and reflect. Even if they realise the need for managing knowledge, KM function may not be in a mature position to take up this commanding role. Hence KM practitioners should start preparing for playing a key role and push management to hand over the crown. It does not happen easily.
So what should be done to snatch the crown? Some thoughts:
– Always be task-focused: Success of organizations comes from their ability to perform different tasks. Leadership will listen to those who are able to help them manage the tasks better. The focus of KM should always be on that. This task can be revenue growth, successful product development, improve quality, cut down cost, order management, procurement etc. KM team will partially or fully own up these tasks and manage the same for the organization. Content management and connecting employees will be part of the interventions used.
– Measure impact on business performance: We should stop sitting in the comfort zone of stating that KM does not have tangible benefits. If we do that, we keep making ourselves irrelevant and stop researching and understanding ways in which business performance can be impacted. KM can directly impact performance, it is just that we do not see in that direction. Push to identify measurements that show the tangible impact on organizational performance. Come out with innovative ways of measuring this.
– Liaison with all key functions: KM function is a unique function, which has relevance across all areas of organizational working. For example, it can help an HR function to perform better, as well as a sales function. It can help improve the products of an organization, as well as improve the way an organization is being managed. Hence stop focusing just on production or delivery team and see clearly where all KM can make an impact.
– Be knowledgeable about the importance of Knowledge and role of KM: It is very important when pushing for a responsible position, to get our basics right. When we have a clear understanding of how an organization works and how knowledge impacts, we naturally become more aggressive in pushing for a more key role for KM. Building a deep understanding of knowledge plays a key role in the organization. The relevance and central role played by KM was highlighted in an earlier blog “The audacity of managing Organizations by leveraging Knowledge”.
Let’s set things right.
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