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There are a wide range of organisations that have a strong desire to capture and share knowledge, but very few that are able to demonstrably deliver a positive impact on future organisational performance. Most organisations try they have lessons learned systems, project reviews, lunchtime briefings, newsletters and a plethora of other systems. But the constraint is not the systems that push the knowledge, its the culture and appetite of individuals to pull the knowledge.

Author: Martin Paver Director at i3Works

Everyone is busy, have objectives to satisfy and don’t always have the bandwidth on top of a day job to consume corporate knowledge. There are noticeable exceptions such as those new to the organisation, those acquiring new professional qualifications or those with a strong desire for learning, but for the majority, it needs to fit in around the job.

Wiki, youtube, Khan Academy and a range of other technology solutions have revolutionised the way we learn, providing a significantly increased capability to tailor the knowledge to the individual’s role, professional and personal objectives. Enabling the individual to consume knowledge in this way can provide a significant change in organisational learning.

However, this is only part of the solution. It’s important to have a blend of knowledge management capability by integrating online systems, events, communities of interest, lessons identified and gate reviews. This can be enhanced further by integrating this with computer based training to package the knowledge to align with the specific demands of a department or a project and most importantly the end user.

All of the above becomes mechanistic and process focused unless there is a culture for learning, for sharing knowledge and incentivising personal development. It takes vision, passion and time, capitalising on the rich seam of knowledge that exists within the organisation.

It’s a journey rather than a short term fix, but by integrating big data analytics, on line tailoring of knowledge, communities of practice and establishing the right culture, there is a clear opportunity to transform how we manage knowledge.

If we project this forward to the point whereby suppliers work to their collective interest there is an opportunity to share knowledge to deliver a step change in sector productivity for mutual advantage. This is when knowledge management gets really interesting.

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