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Knowledge Management: The Ultimate Party Host

Dynisha Klugh, Director of Knowledge Systems, Ecolab
Dynisha Klugh, Director of Knowledge Systems, Ecolab

Dynisha Klugh, Director of Knowledge Systems, Ecolab

Knowledge Management’s (KM) multi-faceted nature allows it to be catered to an organization’s unique requirements. Despite the variety of ways an organization configures its KM program, successful programs have common attributes. Let’s explore them by visualizing a party where KM is the host.

KM has a Comprehensive Guest List

Embracing an interdisciplinary approach, KM invites key stakeholders to the party.

IT is invited. KM requires a tight partnership with IT professionals to enable relevant technologies. This includes an underlying platform and enhancing features such as enterprise search and chatbots to liberate content and effectively present information to users. Reflect on the power of a continuous relationship with IT to keep the KM program aligned with emerging technologies and digital strategies.

Project management is invited. KM programs require thoughtful planning, monitoring, and control for the initial implementation. Project management approaches are also necessary throughout the life of the KM program. For example, keen project management enables a KM program to expand to broader areas of the organization. It’s also needed when new features are added into the KM platform using an Agile or waterfall approach.

Change management is invited. This discipline is vital to the adoption of KM processes and tools. Consider how change management influences user behavior with KM elements such as gamification and recognition of valued content contributors. Change management also plays a transformative role for the organization by offering governance and communication deliverables like success stories to demonstrate KM’s effect on the company’s bottom line.

Human resources is invited. KM’s informal learning resources complement formal learning programs. Search terms from a KM platform can be analyzed when learning and development professionals conduct training needs assessments. Combined with talent management’s coaching programs, KM can reduce the amount of time it takes for employees to become competent on a topic. Even talent acquisition is boosted when KM is marketed to potential new hires as an avenue for faster development and networking.

Business teams are invited. Groups with tacit and implicit knowledge are essential guests. They create content and share experiences. They steward content. They consume content. Without them, there’s no party.

What stakeholders within your organization should be invited?

KM Fosters an Inclusive Atmosphere for Its Guests

KM promotes collaboration. Inter-mingling is encouraged. This is relevant when a KM program employs discussion forums and enterprise social tools to share knowledge across groups and regions. Knowledge transfer is hampered if there is perceived competition for information. To best engage employees KM must detail departmental benefits and benefits based on job role. A KM host must motivate SMEs to share knowledge in forums, through wiki articles, and in knowledge capture sessions. Being inclusive is also demonstrated by giving business teams a seat at the table to steer KM so that it addresses the organization’s needs.

KM Provides Nice Gifts

Like a thoughtful host who gives meaningful mementos to party guests, KM delivers differentiated value to an organization. KM harnesses the collective knowledge of employees to defeat competitors. KM showcases capabilities to win customers. KM fast-tracks employee learning. KM prevents loss of information when SMEs retire. KM’s ROI has many layers, and when done well, KM is a gift to the organization.

Utilize “ultimate party host” behaviors to give your KM program a firm foundation. It’s a guaranteed way to get your KM party started!

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