Every organisation has a lot of knowledge. That knowledge exists both at an individual level and within the organisation. By using knowledge management, you ensure that all important knowledge and information is shared and stored. In this post, we address the question: what is knowledge management? And how do you actually set this up for optimal utilisation of knowledge within your organisation?
What is knowledge management?
Knowledge management is a process. This process includes identifying, creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information within your organisation. When you start working on knowledge management as an organisation, you will have to devise strategies or systems aimed at optimally sharing, acquiring or recording knowledge.
Knowledge management consists of a wide range of activities. For example, you can think of:
- Capturing and storing knowledge in documents and systems;
- stimulating the acquisition of knowledge through training courses, workshops or mentoring programmes;
- Creating a culture where knowledge sharing is rewarded;
- encourage collaboration between colleagues;
- facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration by implementing tools and systems.
The purpose of knowledge management is to facilitate and encourage knowledge sharing within your organisation. When you apply knowledge management properly, your employees always have access to the right knowledge and you ensure that your organisation continues to learn and grow.
Advantages of knowledge management
- Improved decision-making: Decision-making is more efficient and better when the right information is available to management and board.
- Better cooperation and communication: Applying knowledge sharing promotes cooperation between colleagues. It can also contribute to better communication between employees and departments. As a result, as an organisation, you benefit from employees who are better attuned to each other and work together towards one common goal.
- Continuity: Knowledge management ensures a higher degree of continuity. This is because you create an environment in which sharing knowledge becomes the norm. Employees no longer keep knowledge to themselves, but make sure it stays within your organisation. So no knowledge is lost when an individual leaves your organisation.
- Better customer satisfaction: By proactively sharing knowledge, your colleagues can react and respond to your customers’ needs faster. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Higher levels of innovation and creativity
Gaining knowledge and sharing knowledge provides a deeper understanding of the industry. This can lead to innovative ideas and new insights.
How do you set up knowledge management?
Setting up knowledge management starts by identifying your organisation’s knowledge needs. You do this by investigating what knowledge is available and what knowledge is lacking. You can then set up your knowledge management in just three steps.
When you have identified which knowledge is missing, you can make a plan to develop this knowledge. You can approach this in various ways. Think for instance of workshops or training sessions, but knowledge can also be gained through company visits, brainstorming sessions, books or articles. Ultimately, it is best to choose a form that suits your employees best.
Sharing knowledge is also an important part of knowledge management. It may well be that the information your employees need is already present in your organisation. This could be with senior employees or with a specific department or branch of your organisation. By focusing on knowledge sharing, you ensure that information that is already available within your organisation is also shared with other individuals or teams.
Promoting knowledge sharing is a profession in itself. We wrote a blog about it earlier, which you can read here!
Knowledge evaluation is an important process within knowledge management. By evaluating knowledge, we mean testing your knowledge management activities. It allows you to see whether developing and sharing knowledge is actually bearing fruit. Adjust your learning process if necessary and ensure that your organisation continues to learn and develop.
Different types of knowledge
You have different types of knowledge. When you are just starting with knowledge management, it is important to take this into account.
Explicit knowledge is expressed in words and symbols. This knowledge can be easily communicated and transferred to others. It is information you can record in documents, procedures, manuals and more.
An easy example of explicit knowledge is a recipe for cake. You can take pictures of each step and write out the steps in full. In principle, with these steps and pictures, another person should be able to bake a cake (you never know, though).
Implicit knowledge cannot easily be expressed in words or symbols. This information is often based on personal experience. This knowledge is gained by seeing, doing and experiencing. Often, implicit knowledge is gained unconsciously.
An example of implicit knowledge is cycling. In the Netherlands, almost everyone can do it, but try explaining to someone in words how you do it. Pretty hard isn’t it? To some extent you can do this, but if you have never experienced what it is like to ride a bike, it will still be a difficult task the first time.
Other examples of implicit knowledge are social skills, intuition and emotional intelligence. These forms of knowledge are based on experiences and are often difficult to communicate to others. Implicit knowledge is better shared in practice. For example, by walking with someone else for a while.
Share knowledge and record it in your Bundeling platform
Put knowledge sharing at the heart of your organisation with Bundeling. The Bundeling platform puts your colleagues in touch with each other 24/7. Bundeling has already helped more than 800 organisations structure their internal communication and share important business information. Connect Smarter with Bundeling. Contact us for a free demo!