Knowledge in organizations is a key factor to survive in today’s world. The question is how we use it and in which way we share the explicit and tacit knowledge.
The people in organizations possess valuable knowledge, and they use their knowledge every day both in private and in their organizations. Not every one knows how to share it even if they would like to do so. On the other hand some individuals like to keep their knowledge for them selves.
To take care of these challenges people need to be stimulated in how to share and use the right tools.
“Knowledge Management ( KM ) is a compelling new information technology that can help organizations leverage their knowledge capital for increased competitive advantage”. ( Ref: Davenport and Prusak,1999 )
There are different views in this field, and one of them is about pitfalls within KM. Von Krogh et al ( 2000 )point out that one problem involves fluid styles and too many messages from top managers. Get the right information to the right people in the right tempo, this depends upon information technology. The writer argues that the main purpose should be on the human capital, feelings and social interaction. The authors try to emphasize the importance of serendipity and openness. When tools and methods get a dominating role in organizations, it reduces peoples attention.
Von Krogh et al, suggest to mobilize a knowledge activist who will provide some overall direction for knowledge – creation initiatives.
To make sharing happen we need to converse with each other, and find arenas where this is possible. You can arrange people in small groups, have a chat when having a cup of coffee, in a project, in a meeting, in a team , in a workshop and so on.
Organizations who invest in a knowledge sharing culture understand the value of their employees, and the importance of the human capital.
Back to how we converse and Von Krogh’s et al, point of view: “It is ironic that while executives and knowledge officers persist in focusing on expensive information – technology systems, quantifiable database, and measurement tools, one of the best means for sharing and creating knowledge already exists within their companies. Good conversations are the cradle of social knowledge in any organizations”.
When the author talks about tacit knowledge, it is important when held by individuals participants, has to become shared in an atmosphere of high trust.” Such open – ended conversational interaction, in which members learn to trust each other and have established a caring atmosphere, generates new concepts”.
Zeldin, say’s: “Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards”. (Zeldin 1999)
Zeldin is explaining the meaning of conversations in a perfect picture.
Let us share knowledge.
Inger Lise E. Greger, MSc. Change Management