Learning objective

After reading the component, you will be able to determine key points for your knowledge management (KM) concept. You will know that KM is a continuous process. You can start smart, with tools of a richly equipped tool-box which are fairly easy to apply. After reading, you will feel more competent to identify key knowledge in your company and to identify tools to generate, to distribute and to keep knowledge. You will also feel more competent to see connections to motivation, to the atmosphere in your company and how to promote knowledge sharing. You will know better how to explore the creative potential of knowledge among your staff. You will have learnt why KM is relevant also for small and micro companies because it can make your work more efficient, save time and strengthens competitiveness coming from your most important recourses – your staff.

Introduction

Do you like to communicate, to speak about your experiences to others? Than for sure, you unconsciously use knowledge management yet. “Storytelling” is a knowledge management technique. Most of us enjoy listening to short stories or case studies…. Therefore, why not starting this introduction with a story?

The manager of a small company and his “all-round right hand” master craftsman have just come back from a seminar entitled “Knowledge Management for more success in your Company”.
Both have learnt that knowledge management is highly relevant also for small companies and application is much easier than they had thought. Almost bursting with ideas, the manager looks now for finding a starting point. However, when he types “knowledge management” into Google he gets about 83.800.000 results.1  Frustration!
“Do they think that we have time to read hundreds of pages? What we need is a bit of guidance to tell us about the most important issues and practical tools on how to introduce and develop knowledge management in our company”, says the manager.  “We get too much new information every day on competitors, producers, regulations, materials and offers. We have to find more efficient ways to filter, categorize and store information. It is important to find it quickly afterwards when we need it and we must be able to better provide relevant information to the employees and customers. Do we have to ask a business consultant to start or can we start smart on our own as they had told us in the seminar? “
The Master Craftsman reminds his manager, that knowledge management, according to the seminar experts, is not only about the improved organisation, categorisation and storing of information. Instead, it also refers to Human Resources Management issues such as staff motivation and knowledge sharing as well as several other organisational and cultural issues.  “What we need now is some more information on knowledge management and how to start” he agrees to his boss. After some online searching he finds the InnoSupport Guide and the module on Knowledge Management.  “I think this is exactly what we are looking for…” he exclaims!

Was this short story providing you some interesting information? That’s one way how KM can work!
This module has been designed to provide a general understanding of knowledge management and related issues.
It informs you about basic techniques or processes that can be used - in micro or multi-national companies!
After reading the content you will be in a better position to make a sound decision on the usefulness of certain knowledge management tools for your own purposes and working environment. The module goes well together with others in this guide.2 It helps you to consider and to implement appropriate measures in order to improve knowledge management step by step within the organisation. “Innovation rooms” that you can find in this guide for online-brainstorming allow provide wider possibilities for finding and sharing ideas and in another room you can use Mind mapping to structure knowledge.

Please stop and think: what is the situation in your work environment? Have you ever thought about if knowledge is properly organised and stored in the company? Go through your staff and imagine that somebody would not appear tomorrow and would be absent for the next six months due to an accident. Is key knowledge organised in the company in a way that serious disturbance of processes can be avoided?

 


1 October 2010
2 Please see the contents on creativity techniques, the management of internal proposals (modules in chapter 4 of the guide) or on cooperation for finding innovative solution (chapter 11)

Download module as PDF

EN_10_3.pdf

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summary at the end

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