In future, information reception and quick actions will be the indispensable activities for any kind of business. To keep track of changing business world, companies have developed information – processing system. Intranet and Internet are the two buzzwords, nowadays. And why should they not be? It helps in getting correct information not only regarding company but also an industry. In general a whole global business economy can be known with these two tools. A company can now advertise for its products on the net, also can accept an order for it. This is a dramatic change, which has happened and may change the way in which business is conducted.
For example, a company now has to keep a customer database, which should be updated frequently, because a competitor also has an advantage of new information technological tools to get the relevant information about customers. All these things make computer network an integral part of knowledge management. Therefore, it is extremely important for companies to build one for them, as it is a tool which manages information, which inherently a knowledge management activity.
The key will be to use it with utmost care. if a company has an Intranet then the problem before the company is how to avoid hackers, which wants to use information regarding company for malicious purposes. The security to this knowledge is must. The company has to ensure that a key data is not revealed to hackers. Having an expensive firewall is not to solve problems an incidences of hacking data even in their presence has been reported. An extremely crucial data can be placed on paper which hackers will not have access to. The key information can be passed with global mobile phones. Measures of these kinds can prevent leakage of key information.
One more key activity of knowledge management is knowledge retention. Companies are aware of the fact a loss due to leaving of one key person, whose knowledge is extremely important, can be beyond expectation. The fact that the turnover is high in case of knowledge-based fields like software, biotech field is because opportunities exist and therefore chances of loss of one knowledge source are high.
Hence, it is going to be crucial for companies now t come up with newer approaches, to retain their existing knowledge pool. Satisfying the basic needs of employees is not going to be enough. The higher order needs of employees should be satisfied as well. Employee stock option schemes are one part of it. Employees have welcomed it with excitement. They now see to the company as their own valued thing. It creates a strong bond between them and the company.
Human beings are highly emotional beings. They deal with the material assets with logic and emotion. Their knowledge-sharing attitude affects the performance of the company. If this attitude has to be enhanced, the management must first of all start appreciating their views and opinions. The manager ahs to say ‘thank you, John’, without your support this problem would not have solved’. This has to be done again and again.
Not once in a while. Manager cannot achieve what he want unless he knows how to deal with their emotions. The key to their treasury of knowledge is to induce personal bonding. Manager should see that they have the key with them. Employee will also come up with his best if he sees that he has a friend with him and not a work-oriented boss. Then, he would anything for his friend. This environment will be highly suitable for knowledge building and sharing activities.
The company will also have to make efforts to preserve their intellectual capital, which is in the form of patents. It vies firm a sustainable advantage over its competitors. The fact that huge amount of investment goes into research and development and patent-building activities indicate its importance. The management of this knowledge requires company management support. How to preserve it and get the most out of it will decide the future of the company. Every year thousand of patents is filed U.S. always has a significant portion of it. This fact is reflected in their better economic conditions as compared to other economies in the world.
This is something to learn from U.S. The knowledge building must get priority over other things in business. The companies now conduct training programs to enhance creativity within the employees. They are induced to think creatively. This type of knowledge generation has become extremely important. Because a new and practically implemental idea gives firm a great boost. It can literally kill the competition. Of course it is not an easy thing.
The company has to make efforts to make employees think on their feet. The freedom to experiment with the existing set up is something, which most employees want to do but cannot do because of management orders no to play with existing set up of plant. Creativity asks for risk. A failure in an attempt can cause a monetary loss. Should the companies allow it? The answer should be ‘Yes’. Because, if it clicks, then there is nothing like it. An employer must see that their thinking people think creatively and not routinely. Creative knowledge will become a weapon if dealt with care.
Recently companies like HLL, Indian airlines have asked their people to remain absent for a certain period. It is to reduce the administration cost. But the effect of not having people at workplace is something, which should be ascertained. these are people who have gained knowledge about the company after working for it. The effect of a lack of decision-making at workplace by these people who are asked to remain absent might get reflected in the balance sheet later. The move can backfire. Similarly, the effect of downsizing and outsourcing to increase efficiency can also prove to be fetal. Companies need to think on these issues first before taking such a decision. They just cannot allow their knowledge pool to remain absent for the purpose of reducing the administration cost.
The real measure of company’s wealth lies in the kind of people who manage it. The shareholders of the company give more importance to the abilities of the people who are involved in management cadre. This is because they want knowledgeable people with right attitude to govern their company. They expect from them a work, which will give them maximum return. In other words it’s the knowledge capital, which they value most. In future with increasing competition it will be assuming a greater importance. The onus will be on management to apply their knowledge for the benefit of the company.
In order to gear up the process of knowledge management the company must identify the key knowledge resource within the company. The company should prepare its own organizational map, wherein it will be clear to find out the key personnel who can be contacted for the guidance. Such a map will be beneficial for the people working within the company as well as for the people who are external to the organization. Currently no company has a map with person’s name and his knowledge capital written side by side. it is not a bad idea to have such a map posted on the entrance of the organization.
While hiring people the organizations has to see whether the person has a knowledge and necessary attitude to support the knowledge building and sharing culture of the organization. The human resource department now cannot employ traditional methods of recruitment. The test before selection has to be such that the person selected possess knowledge building and sharing attitude. If it’s not done in that way, then it might prove to be the destroyer of the entire knowledge management attempts. The person should be well equipped with all the knowledge about group dynamics. It is extremely necessary because institution is really created not by individuals but by relationship between them. All the interaction and forces among group members have to be such that they support the idea of knowledge building and sharing.