The New Edge in Knowledge | Carla O’dell

Summary of: The New Edge in Knowledge: How Knowledge Management Is Changing the Way We Do Business
By: Carla O’dell


Dive into the world of knowledge management (KM) with ‘The New Edge in Knowledge’, where you will learn how KM is changing the way businesses operate. The book explores four essential dynamics: digital immersion, social computing, demographics and dynamics, and mobile devices and video. Understand how effective KM programs are designed to have KM ready at teachable moments and manage knowledge above and in the flow of work. Utilize the strategic framework provided for implementing a KM program in your organization and learn about various KM approaches that address different organizational needs.

Four Dynamics of Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management (KM) is defined as enabling knowledge to grow, flow, and create value systematically. This is achieved through four dynamics, including digital immersion, social computing, demographics and dynamics, and mobile devices and video. While digital immersion helps people work from anywhere, it also entails multitasking, leading to less productivity. On the other hand, social computing originates new information and adds value as more people interact with it. Organizations must adapt KM to retain and transfer knowledge, especially with retiring baby boomers, layoffs, and redeployments in an organization. Finally, companies should embrace employees’ mobile devices and technology and establish guidelines for their use.

Knowledge Management Directives

Effective KM programs integrate knowledge sharing with workflow management. The objective is twofold: delivering information at the teachable moment and managing knowledge above and in the flow of work. The teachable moment recognizes that people are most receptive to learning and will retain and use what they have learned when faced with problems or opportunities. Emerging technologies facilitate sharing knowledge during these moments. Organizations should involve employees in creating the knowledge flow that supports their work and culture as this fosters engagement and ownership. KM should balance information provision during the flow of work while creating content above it.

Building a Successful KM Program

This book suggests appointing a knowledge management leader to prioritize critical knowledge and develop a strategy for implementing a KM program. A call to action should be generated by identifying valuable knowledge that contributes to overall organizational goals. To sustain and evolve the program, a framework should be developed by creating project plans, budgets, and leveraging technology. Lastly, sharing the development strategy across departments will avoid redundancy and enhance competitiveness.

Effective Knowledge Management

Effective knowledge management involves providing employees with the right information they need at their teachable moment without disrupting their workflow. Alongside traditional tools, emerging technologies such as RSS alerts and wikis can break down barriers to the flow of information and improve employee access to knowledge assets. Additionally, social networking tools can help create and sustain relationships.

When selecting a KM approach suitable for your firm, consider the nature and pace of the work, bonds between employees, and whether critical knowledge is tacit or explicit. Moreover, a digital KM hub can facilitate remote access to knowledge assets, collaborative work environments and expertise from any location via any electronic device.

Successful KM programming requires a designated champion, a design team, and a project leader. Additionally, it’s important to establish scalable programs, replicable infrastructure, and secure the funds and support to ensure consistency and sustainability. Giving employees a compelling reason to use each strategy is crucial, as well as identifying the correct people and processes and finding IT solutions to support them. Finally, embedding KM strategies within teachable moments and measuring pilot programs to learn from failures and successes is essential.

Successful Knowledge Management

To effectively manage organizational knowledge, it is essential to address immediate concerns while building long-term capabilities. Organizations can use a combination of self-service technologies like intranets, role-based portals, and content management tools, lessons learned sessions to share best practices and replicate successful ideas, communities of practice of employees to exchange information, and transfer best practices between organizational units to improve overall performance. Successful knowledge management relies on initiating programming that supports the smooth flow of critical knowledge.

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