Why should executives care about knowledge management, when it’s been relegated to a discussion of document management, metadata tagging, content curation, libraries, databases, thesauruses, etc.? Because it is possibly the greatest source of differentiation, competitiveness and value creation for organizations today. It is an asset that is underutilized and under-valued because knowledge management has been confused with information storage.
Knowledge is not information, nor is it data. Knowledge is a human ability to take action in the face of uncertainty. It cannot be stored, and moved, and integrated into a knowledge base. That approach has proven to fail, over and over again, for reasons we will explore in an upcoming blog post—the headline is that knowledge is everywhere and can’t be housed in a system.
The sum total of a company’s knowledge—yes, some of it stored in repositories; some of it being generated by customers and other constituencies in social media and communities; and much of it existing in the minds of employees —must be better connected and leveraged for much more powerful performance, company-wide. This incredible asset only generates a return when employees and customers can access the most relevant information and experts based on their context, in real time. Until now it’s been impossible to integrate fast enough, process information, find experts, correlate information with the work being done. However with the advent of contextual content—made possible via search & relevance technologies, this is now possible.
When companies are able to better leverage knowledge, amazing things happen:
- 11 percent increase in profits during a down economy due to better use of knowledge [large engineering firm]
- Faster time to market with more innovative products [Fortune 50 healthcare company]
- $6 million tactical ROI for a 300-user deployment [Fortune 50 Healthcare company]
Our CEO Louis Tetu recently recorded a presentation about why knowledge management is broken and how it can be fixed to permeate every area of your organization, from customer service to sales, to product development, to operations.
I invite you watch “Why Knowledge Once Again Tops the CEO Agenda, In a New and Better Way,” a 25-minute video presentation.
Let us know how you think about knowledge management – are you able to leverage all of the knowledge available to you, in real time?