“To master the virtual equation and make all the elements work together, you have to become the connector. In fact, your greatest role as a virtual manager is to link the various parts of his/her team to accomplish the goals that lead to its formation in the first place. You may need to shift gears, perform ream tune-ups, realign, and refuel your team’s energy along the way.”
― Yael Zofi,
Understanding sensemaking is important when designing KM systems. Sensemaking can be thought of as a dynamic system of evolving knowledge and organizations and how it is made sense of by managers. It is different from traditional decision-making processes whereby the environment is known and the courses of action simply have to align with pre-determined goals.
Knowledge-forming organizations understand the need for creative individuals (highly nomadic, offroaders, rovers) who usually interact with the wider environment which is outside the norm. With advances in ICT, there is intensive competition for these innovative people and it is no longer possible to manage them in traditional ways.
Intellectual and Social Capital in Knowledge-Based Organisations :
- apply science, technology, art and social science to design of new products and processes.
- intellectual property is accumulated in the form of patents, and generate revenue from the licensing of patents.
- also include research organizations which mostly deal with intellectual capital.
- book publishers, art galleries, and recording companies, etc., also have ideas which are represented in copyrights, brand and trade names.
Because the best knowledge is found in the heads of people scattered all over the world, organisations are moving towards networking and virtual teams.
Networking and Virtual Teams
Virtual teams include knowledge workers who are geographically dispersed and collaborate online using various tools. Virtual teams are used as they have better access to international markets and have abundance of talent, cheaper expertise and a flexible workforce. Some of the communication tools include telephone, emails, video conferencing (skype), and other social media tools like blogs.
Click here to watch a short video on global virtual teams!
KM and social media both use technology to access information. However , KM is what company management tells me is important whereas social media is how other people show me whats important through their real life experiences. For organisations to gain value from social media, they need to mass collaborate. This requires a purpose, social media technology, and forming communities. Social media enables knowledge sharing and improves business operations, for example:
- In virtual communities, knowledge intervention by an expert can ensure knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination on a continuous basis.
- Social media has potential for facilitating tacit knowledge sharing, which is considered essential in new business models.
- Social media can make communication visible, which in turn can help organizations in their meta-knowledge.
- Social media can facilitate the easing of knowledge problems through providing necessary information, locating knowledgeable people, providing a virtual context, harnessing collective wisdom, and building trust.
People normally associate the following with a KM system:
- Groupware systems
- The intranet and extranet
- Data warehousing, data mining
- Decision Support Systems
- Content management systems
- Document management systems
- Artificial intelligence tools
- Simulation tools
- Semantic networks
Here is an example of a KM system design by JAEA R&D Review 2008 Copyright(c) Japan Atomic Energy Agency. All Rights Reserved :
To get more information on KM tools, design and implementation, click here.
“Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.” ― Arthur C. Clarke
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