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Mission to take KM to Where it Belongs: Charting a New Destiny for Knowledge Management

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Mission to take KM to Where it Belongs: Charting a New Destiny for Knowledge Management

Mar 08, 2019   |  By
Dr. Randhir Pushpa | Manager, DXC Technology

Recently scientists discovered a new organ in human body “Interstitium”, probably one of the biggest. It was always in the plain sight, but it was never recognized as an organ. Knowledge is also probably suffering from this overlooking. While it is underlying any activity done by organizations and the ability to manage knowledge directly impacts performance and competitiveness of an organization, this is completely missed.

To ensure that we manage organizations by leveraging ‘knowledge’ is not going to be an easy journey. While there is no easy solution, the first question is who will work towards setting things straight. Well the only folks who will be and should be working on this are the KM practitioners, researchers and academicians. One cannot expect leadership team, or any consulting firm to suddenly get this realization one fine day and make the structural changes. It is up to us to bring in the change.

Knowledge will always be important for organizations and managing knowledge will never become a fad. However we need to have innovative practices, which will help us impact organizational performance in a tangible way. As a practitioner and researcher what you can do.

Align KM practices with organizational goals: Be clear that the KM practices should always be aligned to the organizational goals and help organizations achieve its goals. There are two types of KM practices. One can be classified as hygiene practices and other as value add. The hygiene practices are required across any type of organization irrespective of its focus. However to have a direct impact on business, we should focus on value add practices.

  1. Focus on metrics that are tangible and talk in business terms: Always talk on business terms and measure your contributions on business terms. Nobody cares about how many documents have been downloaded, or how many knowledge sharing sessions were held. They are more interested in cost savings, revenue generation, adherence to time etc.
  2. Question the assumptions: Question the assumptions based on which you are practicing KM. Somehow we never do this. We have to apply lessons learned on what we do. Keep questioning ourselves, unearth the assumptions. If there is lack of knowledge, then become more knowledgeable
  3. Embrace technology but after understanding it properly: Do not get overwhelmed by technology. Understand it and then use it. Technology is an enabler for KM and not KM. With the fast changing technology, you will see more and more new tools coming.
  4. Develop new tools that will help in KM practices. Our current set of tools are mostly focused on knowledge storing, sharing and collaboration. We need to have tools for lessons learned, continuous improvement etc.
  5. Knowledge managers roles will change drastically: In a world where organizations are managed by leveraging knowledge, the roles of Knowledge managers will have very little shades of what they are doing currently. It will go through a drastic change.
  6. Participate in knowledge communities: Participate in knowledge communities across the world. Start discussions and make it vibrant. It will have a cascading effect. LinkedIn itself has got more than 25 KM groups and across the world there are probably more than 100 communities focused on KM. In your country or county or state, if there is no KM community, then form one.

As a practitioner and researcher, I have been working towards taking KM to a key position. This I am currently doing it through my blogs, by highlighting how KM should be re-positioned and to bring tangible benefits to the organizations. I continue to build connections across KM practitioners across the world, with the message of this re-positioning. Let us all come together to help the world understand the importance of knowledge and managing it.

About the Author:  Dr. Randhir Pushpa is the Manager - Knowledge Management at DXC Technology - Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.  Dr. Pushpa has around 18 years of experience, in Knowledge Management (KM) and Innovation Management. Holds PhD in Management Science with an MBA and Bachelors in Technology.  He is passionate about Knowledge Management and focused on evolving interventions and practices that help align the practice of managing knowledge to business outcomes. Currently focusing on evolving Artificial Intelligence driven tools that can be used to leverage knowledge proactively.

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