Without corporate knowledge management, your company lacks access to an enormous treasure trove of knowledge - the organization’s “swarm intelligence”. Also, individuals’ valuable knowledge is lost or not even noticed. Knowledge management platforms can solve those problems.
Why knowledge management is so important for corporate success, how knowledge loss can be prevented, and how collective corporate know-how can be made accessible are the focal points of this blog post.
Knowledge management in companies explained in brief
Taking over an ongoing or new project, a new position or even the complete management of a company can turn chaotic without a sound handover. The reason for this is usually not a lack of competence but rather gaps in knowledge.
The person who previously filled the position was able to acquire valuable know-how over their period of effectiveness. They may know more than they can or want to pass on to their successor during the transition phase. In any case, when someone leaves, the company often loses valuable - even essential - expertise.
How wonderful it is when you as the successor can close knowledge gaps with a few targeted clicks. When you can find out internal information without having to ask other colleagues personally or spend a lot of time searching for it. When you can find fresh, cross-departmental solutions from new employees at the click of a mouse and apply them directly.
To make all that possible, you first need to extract, collect and make accessible the company’s knowledge for all employees.
Enterprise knowledge management platforms convert this valuable swarm knowledge into processes and methods so it can be stored on a data repository and managed centrally.
Think of enterprise knowledge management platforms as the corporate brain, accessible at all times.
Why corporate knowledge management is worth its weight in gold
You have probably heard the saying "knowledge is power". The more you or your company know about markets, target groups and their needs, internal company structures and processes, etc., the more flexibly, cleverly, forward-looking, and profitably you can act. The key to continued success lies in the company's pooled knowledge.
When the accumulated corporate know-how is continuously reviewed and updated, you have an incredibly powerful tool in your hands. With bundled, constantly growing, and daily updated company knowledge, you have the power to continuously optimize your sphere of influence and make target-oriented decisions much more easily.
Even so, a filter is essential. After all, some knowledge areas are not relevant for every team member, or they contain information that should not be accessible to everyone. The collected knowledge must be managed. Thanks to knowledge management tools and systems for companies, this is easily possible.
How can knowledge loss be prevented?
The approach to preserving acquired knowledge has basically not changed since the first cave paintings. The first step is to identify the knowledge, next to collect it in one place, and then make it accessible.
1. Identify knowledge
Any company-relevant knowledge is important and can contribute significantly to the company's success. This knowledge can be discovered in many different ways. For example, lunch in the company cafeteria may reveal that another department has written an interesting and helpful blog article and published it on the company blog. The article may direct you via a link to a specific forum that addresses a precise topic relevant to your project. Surveys of your department, in-person and/or virtual team meetings, and targeted inquiries in team chats are just a few of many methods to identify knowledge.
2. Gather knowledge
Once you have identified various sources of knowledge, the next step is to tap into them.
Make the found know-how tangible via knowledge management in the company.
The individual knowledge of a single team member, for example, can be captured and digitally stored as a blog post, as an interview, or as part of a PowerPoint presentation.
Swarm intelligence is a particularly bubbly source of knowledge! In regular project group discussions on a topic, participants bring themselves up to date and set the next stage goals with combined knowledge power. Remember to record the meeting or at least write a digital meeting protocol. This way, the knowledge gathered will flow into knowledge management and not be lost.
A third option for enriching knowledge management in the company is to act outside your own sphere of influence. For example, contact with another department can offer new solutions for your own project. Contacts outside the company such as friends, former work colleagues, social media groups, external consultancies, etc. are also proven sources of knowledge, provided that the exchange does not violate any confidentiality obligations.
3. Make knowledge accessible
Many software solutions and tools enable knowledge management in companies. It is important that the software solution adapts to your company and/or project and can grow with it. Make sure the tool is user-friendly, easily accessible, and enables your team easily to share new insights and update outdated knowledge.
In addition, enterprise knowledge management tools should facilitate collaborative work. The empower® Slide Library is a prime example. You decide who can see and edit which content, manage multilingual content and update presentations with just one click. Images, templates, text modules, presentations, and documents are accessible throughout the company and can be found in a flash thanks to a Google-like search.
Advantages of knowledge management in your company
A knowledge database tailored to your company is an asset in many ways:
- Knowledge is documented and easily accessible.
- Company knowledge is preserved.
- Reasons for success and sources of error become visible.
- Customer service is improved.
- Staff workload is significantly reduced and efficiency increased.
- Communication, collaboration, and team spirit all improve.
- Solutions are found faster.
- Everyone is on the same knowledge level.
- And much more.
Our conclusion on knowledge management in companies
Whether top managers, project managers, sales and marketing departments, or the logistics center: almost every person and every department benefits sustainably from knowledge management in the company. The ability to store and centralize valuable knowledge and to enable your team to use and update it is an enormous enrichment.
The empower® Solutions are important building blocks of an optimally set up knowledge management in your company. If you want to know more about our add-in suite for MS Office, just contact us!
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