The Organization of Leadership IVJune 26, 2018
Third dimension: Organization of Knowledge
The organization of knowledge, as we define it, refers to the management of information and talent. Simply stated, it is the informal process in which knowledge is created, used, transferred and shared within an organization.
Peter Drucker, the influential management guru, defined it as “putting knowledge at the center of productive activity”. Indeed, this concept offers a shift from prior paradigms, where innovation and learning were predominantly an individual process, practiced by those who were skilled or specialized in a given craft. And often knowledge they accumulated, was invisible to others.
Over the past two decades, knowledge management has often been associated with computers, information systems, or initiatives focused on specific software packages to manage information. Additionally, organizations have deployed creative approaches to documenting process/procedures, cross-training, storytelling, mentoring, and forming cross-functional teams in the attempt to capture and manage knowledge.
Today, due to the growing importance of gaining more knowledge as a form of competitive advantage, companies are focusing increasingly on creating “learning organizations”, where every person, at every level, is learning collectively and openly.
While knowledge used to be available to a select few and passed through organizations via specific channels, today knowledge, on just about any topic, is available for all to acquire, instantaneously. This is making for an increasingly adaptable and agile workforce. A recent article published by Michigan State University, reinforces this stating “gone are the days of knowledge workers, today companies must prepare themselves for what research is calling the learning worker.”
And companies like LinkedIn are helping to facilitate the new paradigm by making access to knowledge, in all its forms, a commodity. LinkedIn, by enabling information to float to where it can best be leveraged, effectively helps people lift and transform themselves.
This shift in how knowledge is managed and shared will have a significant impact in the workplace of the future. Organizations that excel at building working environments to harness and unify the knowledge residing within their teams, will continue to unlock their potential and unique competitive advantage.