Improving a Weak Knowledge Management Strategy

By Harrison Clover   |   July 15, 2019
Improving a Weak Knowledge Management Strategy
If the outcomes of your knowledge management system lag behind your expectations, you can improve those results by strengthening your knowledge management strategy. Prior to making adjustments, take an assessment of those issues that seem to deter knowledge sharing.

Your knowledge management system is designed for collaboration, so addressing any obstacles to knowledge sharing is an excellent starting point.

With this point in mind, investigate your organizational conditions that may hamper knowledge sharing, and identify methods to motivate knowledge dissemination. Collaborative methods, such as vicarious learning, can prove to be more difficult to implement. Thus, adjusting your knowledge management strategy to optimize knowledge sharing should have a positive impact.

What is at the core of obstacles to knowledge sharing? Humans! Rather than focusing on metrics, you may achieve greater outcomes by addressing corporate culture issues. Let’s take a look at two of these circumstances.

The Rigid Hierarchy

In today’s competitive landscape, a traditional hierarchy may be considered archaic. Yet, it still remains common. In this hierarchical formation, knowledge flow replicates collaboration logic. It is one way only, which is top down. Knowledge is transferred from managers to workers on a trip in the down elevator.

In this model, knowledge collaboration between peers can be hindered, especially if your organizational culture favors a highly competitive environment between coworkers. Knowledge sharing in this culture tends to be formal and happens only when requested by upper management.

How Can Your Knowledge Management Strategy Help?

In this case, your strategy can facilitate the diversification of knowledge flows. In practice, a good beginning point is a centralized knowledge base. Team members can enrich the base with new information and assets that become available through a search. This is how your staff can find the key information they need regardless of the owner. In addition, they can seek out experts and consultations, thereby gaining knowledge equally from peers and managers.

Since employees used to the hierarchy may need encouragement to share, the process can be introduced formally. Adding and refining knowledge assets can be a part of each employee’s regular tasks. You can follow with online and live training, or invite experts to answer questions in order to stimulate sharing.

Isolated Teams

It is also possible that your teams are isolated from one another due to culture. Static teams may be productive, but have tremendous unlocked potential. In this situation, knowledge circulates freely between team members. However, inner knowledge sharing can become tribal knowledge sharing.

How Can Your Knowledge Management Strategy Help?

A viable knowledge management system will enable knowledge flow to cross the borders of isolated teams. Information becomes easily searchable and relevant. To benefit teams across your organization, the process can be formalized in best practices that apply to all business units.

Your knowledge management strategy can address the human elements that may weaken knowledge sharing. You can adopt cross team forums and databases with learning materials. Information will circulate more freely and produce a better outcome.