Knowledge Management A Tool for Exploring Skills and Increasing Benefits

Knowledge Management
A Tool
Exploring Skills and Increasing Benefits
-Krishna Thapa

(Chairman, Village Welfare Society-Gorkha/

Knowledge is know how in simple term of entity. The skills, experiences, educations, insights, concepts, feelings, ideas, ways of doing work, ways of thinking are the nature of knowledge which an entity possesses that used to take effective action to achieve entity goals. It is understanding the why, what, how, who, when, where relative to taking some action. Best practices, case study, success story, lesson learn are the form of knowledge.
“Knowledge is "information combined with experience, context, interpretation, and reflection. It is a high-value form of information that is ready to apply to decisions and actions." T. Davenport et al., 1998
Tacit knowledge is personal, context-specific knowledge that is difficult to formalize, record, or articulate. It is stored in the heads of the people. It is mainly developed through a process of integration, debate and trial and error encountered in practice. Explicit knowledge is that component that be codified and transmitted in systematic and formal language, for example, documents, database, web sites and emails.
"Explicit or codified knowledge refers to knowledge that is transmittable in formal, systematic language. On the other hand, tacit knowledge has a personal quality, which makes it hard to formalize and communicate." I. Nonaka, 1994
Knowledge Management, as a concept, it is about the way that organizations create, capture, sharing and re-use knowledge to achieve objectives. Knowledge is created in the heads of people. It can be captured by putting it on paper, entering into a computer system, or simply being remembered. Knowledge is shared. When knowledge is shared and used, it leads to more knowledge creation. When it shared with the group of people, it explore the skills of the people and increase their financial as well as social benefits in low cost of investment.
To define knowledge management it is important to look at the two parts that make up the term, knowledge and management. Knowledge is part of the hierarchy made up of data, information, knowledge and wisdom defined as the following: Data are raw statistics and facts. Information comprises the basic facts with context and perspective. Knowledge is information which provides guidance for action. Wisdom is understanding which knowledge to use for what purpose. Management is part of another hierarchy that includes supervision, management and leadership. Supervision is dealing with individuals tasks and people. It works at the operational level of an organization or sub-unit. Management is dealing with groups and priorities at the tactical level. Leadership is dealing with purpose and change at the strategic level. KM: the business discipline. As a business discipline and theory, KM was developed by management and organisational theorists/practitioners in the 1990s. It may also have taken over the learning organization 'baton' since 1995.
There is no agreed definition of “knowledge management”, even among practitioners. The term is used loosely to refer to a broad collection of organizational practices and approaches related to generating, capturing, disseminating know-how and other content relevant to the organization’s business.
Some would argue that “knowledge management” is a contradiction in terms, being a hangover from an industrial era when control modes of thinking were dominant. Thus knowledge is not just an explicit tangible “thing”, like information, but information combined with experience, context, interpretation and reflection. Knowledge involves the full person, integrating the elements of both thinking and feeling. Hence some object to the implicit suggestion in the use of the term “knowledge management” that knowledge can be so managed, as revealing a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of knowledge.
Many practitioners see “knowledge sharing” as a better description of what they are about than “knowledge management”. Advantages of "knowledge sharing" include its commonsense comprehensibility, along with a certain degree of inter-activity implicit in any sharing. Drawbacks include the possibility that even "sharing" is insufficiently interactive, and that it implies (falsely) that the existence of knowlege precedes the sharing process, thereby (wrongly) separating knowledge management from "innovation" and "research".
Overall, whatever the term employed to describe it, knowledge management is increasingly seen, not merely as the latest management fashion, but as signaling the development of a more organic and holistic way of understanding and exploiting the role of knowledge in the processes of managing and doing work, and an authentic guide for individuals and organizations in coping with the increasingly complex and shifting environment of the modern economy.
University of Texas: The systematic process of finding, selecting, organizing, distilling and presenting information in a way that improves an employee's comprehension in a specific area of interest. Knowledge management helps an organization to gain insight and understanding from its own experience. Specific knowledge management activities help focus the organization on acquiring, storing and utilizing knowledge for such things as problem solving, dynamic learning, strategic planning and decision making. It also protects intellectual assets from decay, adds to firm intelligence and provides increased flexibility.
Knowledge management is a concpet, a business management tool, a collection of technologies and a philosophy. Pleople who are involve in managing and using knowledge, process (communication strategy) for taping the knowledge from data, and tools that used to share and desimination of knowledge, are the major elements in knowledge management. It is a tool for collecting and connecting the knowledge.
Knowledge-sharing programs have to cope with the issue of adapting know-how to the local context in which it is to be applied. Where the know-how is extremely robust and the local context largely predictable, this may not pose so much of a problem. But in most areas of complex activities or in areas of rapid development, know-how is typically less than fully robust, with continuous evolution, and the local context is often unpredictable; hence knowledge of the local context and local know-how become very important. Often in complex environments, problems will appear as wicked problems, in which the issue is not so much finding the answer to a defined problem, as it is one of defining the problem to which one is trying to solve. Once the problem is successfully defined, the answer may be obvious.
• Whom to share knowledge?
One of the major decisions concerns the intended beneficiaries of the knowledge-sharing system. Knowledge sharing programs may aim at sharing with either an internal or an external audience. Internal knowledge sharing programs typically aim at making the existing business work better, faster or cheaper, by arming the front-line staff of an organization with higher quality, more up-to-date and easily accessible tools and inputs to do their jobs, and so add value for clients or save costs. External knowledge sharing poses greater risks than internal sharing programs — raising complex issues of confidentiality, copyright, and in the case of the private sector, the protection of proprietary assets — but it may also offer greater potential benefits.
• How to knowledge be shared?
The reach of know-how and experience possessed by individuals can be greatly extended once it is captured and explicated so that others can easily find it and understand and use it to increase their benefits.
In ancient Greece, the philosopher, Plato, in his dialogues, captured and elaborated the thinking of his mentor Socrates, and so succeeding generations have been able to discover and share that thinking, and in turn reinterpret those thoughts and to be stimulated to achieve fresh insights and creativity. In other cultures, the Analects of Confucius, The Art of War of Sun Tzu, or the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, have served similar knowledge sharing functions.
In modern times, reports of activities, minutes of meetings, memoranda, proceedings of conferences, and document filing systems maintained by organizations and community groups are traditional commonly-used devices for recording content in paper format so that it can be transferred to others.
More recently, electronic databases, audio and video recordings, interactive tools and multimedia presentations have become available to extend the techniques for capturing and disseminating content.
Although these tools are not yet everywhere available in the developing world, they are spreding rapidly and present a unique opportunity for developing countries to benefit most from the technological revolution now unfloding: low cost telecommunications systems can help the countries to leapfrog ahead throught distance education, distance health services, and much better access to markets and private sector partners aboard.
There needs to be a consensus within the organization as to the principal channels by which knowledge will be shared, whether face-to-face, or by way of help desks, by telephone, mobile phone, fax, email, collaborative tools (blogs, you tube, flickr, face book so many) or the web, or some combination of the above. It is important not to ignore face-to-face communications, since this is still the best and highest quality to transfer knowledge between individuals. Storytelling and communities of practice are the more effective tools to share the knowledge in the community and it covers the large no. of community people in once. Storytelling and communities of practice are the cost effective and efficient tools to share the knowledge in the community people.
• Why knowledge be shared?
Knowledge management is not something that is undertaken for its own sake, but rather something that supports the business of the organization. Reaching explicit agreement as to why knowledge is being shared, and its likely contribution to organizational performance, is crucial to sustaining support over the medium term. These motivations may relate to increasing speed, lowering costs of operation, accelerating innovation or widening the client base.
Knowledge is an asset, we have to manage and value of it. It has power to increase the benefits of the users and it helps to increase the efficient to take action on entity to bring the impact. So, it needs for every one.
Knowledge management tool is a knowledge hub from where the people get knowledge easily in simple way to use in their daily practices. It connects the pepole who generate and collect the knowledge and who use the knowledge. People have some how knowledge to do work and there needs to explore it in use of others. KM tool is useful for exploring the know-how knowledge into concrete knowledge which is fully benefited. Knowledge management is the low cost tool for exploring the skills of the individual as well as community people for the developing countries. Story telling and communities of practice are the effective tool to share the knowledge within the community and outside the community and it holds the huge mass in once.
In Nepal, so many plans and programs had implemented and have been implementing to empower the community people for social and economic benefits. So many groups (formal and informal), organizations, government agencies and private firms have established to implement programs and to launch the business. It is truth that the knowledge of individual, never seen shared with in the single group, organization, agency and private firm. There is no culture of sharing the knowledge among the groups, organizations, agencies and private firms. So, the cost of plans and programs is increased and worthless to bring the impact. But every organizations/agencies/private firms has been established to empower the people to overcome from the poverty. So, the knowledge management tool is necessary to all of us to do a work in effective and efficient way. We have to think once before plan.

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