Continuation of 'Leveraging on existing knowledge':
Having looked at some of the fundamental principles that form the foundation for making use of existing knowledge, let's go on to understand exactly what is existing knowledge and how it has to be leveraged upon:
What is the existing knowledge that needs to be made good use of?
- Business knowledge
- Domain knowledge
- Functional knowledge
- Process knowledge
- Customer knowledge
- Employee knowledge (people skills)
- Market/Environment knowledge
- Competition knowledge
- Technology knowledge
Knowledge could be those that can be
- Documented - completely explicit - Organizational structure
- Taught - How to reach a place - shortcuts/what to do in certain situations etc (maps may be a good documented substitute though)
- Taught, observed and learned through practice - How to conduct meetings
Each knowledge type has to be shared and made good use of through different techniques and tools. Making good use of existing knowledge implies the following:
- If I've done it once, I should be able to do it again more efficiently/effectively
- If I've done it once, I should be able to teach someone who has not yet done it or someone who tried it differently and did not learn what I learned
- If I've done it once in a certain way and someone else has done it in some other way, we both get together and learn from each other and put together the best of both and mutually benefit
- If I've done it once, I document it and circulate it to a large audience who not only learn from it but also keep adding to it so as to improve it and provide alternatives
The culture has to be ready to learn and share...independently and collectively.
The processes have to be ready to accommodate for learning and sharing activities. Anytime, All the time
There ought to be tools that help people learn and share...independently and collectively.
The sharing has to haapen through the right channels at the right time and to the right people and has to be made available forever....though it keeps changing its shape and size and form as it evolves and changes with time....!
For all this to happen, the organization has to identify the knowledge that's important for the business, understand how, who, when, where and why knowledge is generated, enable it to be shared, provide an environment for people to learn and generate the knowledge and understand how it is used and provide the necessary tools and cultural orientation required.