An effective knowledge management strategy can provide a number of benefits in any organizational setting, whether it’s a business or a community or an entire nation. It enables individuals and organizations to better create, apply and transfer knowledge for a number of reasons. With an effective strategy for managing knowledge, organizations can develop more innovative products and services and drive the kind of positive change that leads to the maximum positive results. Without knowledge management, the innovation process grows stagnant and the input of new ideas and knowledge slows down. If you want to strive for excellence both as an individual and within your organization, you must do more than simply implement the knowledge management system that someone told you would be best. You should have an effective strategy to sustain your objectives even as the latest knowledge management trends and technologies evolve. Consider the following five of the leading reasons why you should have a knowledge management strategy and judge for yourself whether the benefits are worth the investment:
1. A Foundation to Grow On
Managing knowledge with an effective strategy increases an organization’s potential for growth and expansion to new markets. Growing and expanding an organization requires the ability to quickly learn and adapt, which is much easier with the right knowledge systems in place. A strategy that considers the right combination of methods, policies, principles, processes, strategies, technologies and tools provides the kind of foundation that fosters growth well into the future.
2. Faster Response Time
With an improved knowledge management system and strategy, your organization can respond faster and make more effective decisions ahead of completion. This is because people will have more direct access to the knowledge and tools they need, right when they need them, with a sustainable strategy in place for managing knowledge in a way that benefits everyone most. A multidisciplinary approach considers how the company, the customers, the employees, the industry and the stakeholders interact with knowledge, what they want and need and how to best manipulate knowledge resources to the benefit of everyone involved.
3. Improved Products and Services
Improving an organization’s capabilities for collaborating and sharing knowledge, both in physical and virtual environments, paves the way for continuous improvements in processes and end products. By more effectively managing your organization’s knowledge resources, you can be more innovative, which is the key ingredient for improving your product and service offerings. Technology companies can develop smarter products, health care companies can provide better services, research firms can explore new ideas, and the list goes on.
4. Increased Return on Investment
Strategically managing knowledge enables organizations to be more profitable and add value to their operation. By implementing a systematic and collaborative set of processes and methodologies, organizations can be more productive and cut back on the number of mistakes that hold them back. Without those roadblocks holding back the workflow, the organization can be more innovative, efficient and ultimately profitable.
5. Radical Cost Cutting
By streamlining knowledge management infrastructure and systematically reusing knowledge with a multidisciplinary approach to content and information, organizations and individuals alike can work more productively. An effective strategy allows organizations to manage their knowledge systems more effectively, reduce inefficiencies and redundancies and provide more convenient access to information. All this adds up to radical cost savings both immediately and in the future. Most importantly, an effective strategy will consider what works and what doesn’t, where knowledge is being used inefficiently and where improvements are needed most urgently.
Finding the strategies that make your infrastructure more efficient, standardize your content creation systems and simplify your collaborative tools can benefit your organization in far more than five ways, but these are among the most important. So, now that you know why you should have a knowledge management strategy, it’s time to get a better of understanding of what the right strategies might be for your organization. An experienced consultancy can help you determine the best course of action for your organization, however large or small your knowledge structures may be. The keys are to streamline, simplify and standardize. With the right guidance and a strategy based on experience in getting results, your organization can develop a strategy for managing knowledge that will sustain profitable growth for years to come.