Knowledge Managers Should Take “Control of Knowledge”​ – Charting a New Destiny for KM

ACIES Innovations
November 15, 2020
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Analyze any KM interventions that you have come across and you will find that the role of KM function and practitioners is limited to preparing knowledge for employees to use it, or creating culture or environment for employees to share or collaborate. By doing so, what KM function does is, it creates a layer between itself and the final adoption of knowledge. Fundamentally, this is the reason why KM has not been able to make the kind of impact it is expected to make in its legacy. Under legacy KM, knowledge is made available for employees to reuse, be that through content management or social networking. Even the new knowledge from lessons learned and best practices also go to the repositories and wait for employees to be adopted.

While KM practitioners sigh when best of the knowledge remains in the repositories, what they do not realize is that what is required is to take control of the knowledge and ensure the knowledge actually gets reused. The role of the KM function moves away from facilitation to actual owners of the adoption of knowledge. As Knowledge Managers we should focus more on taking over the ownership of ensuring the right knowledge gets reused.

What it means to take ‘Control of Knowledge’?

In simple terms KM team should ensure that to perform any task, the most appropriate approach (knowledge) should be adopted across the Organisation. If that does not happen, the KM team will have to be held responsible for that. It will involve not just coordinating with employees, but working with many other functions of the Organisation, which includes, process team, a tools team, HR team etc.

What all will KM team be held accountable for?

When KM team takes control of knowledge, they are donning a very powerful role within the Organisation. They are actually getting into the battle zone and not just standing outside the field and providing refreshments. In that kind of a scenario, KM team will be held accountable for:

  • Efficiency and effectiveness in performing key tasks (which includes revenue generation, cost-saving, quality, timely delivery etc)
  • Staying competitive and the ability to stay competitive
  • Ensuring thought leadership

A bold world where KM is at the centre will look something like given in the below figure. Do check out the blog: The audacity of managing Organisations by leveraging Knowledge.

We need to chip away slowly and steadily the debilitating self-image of KM given by legacy KM, which has its roots in library sciences. We need to look at the Organisation rationally, understand and appreciate that Organisations are nothing but a mix of knowledge. It can be in the form of employees, machines/tools, processes, culture etc.

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