The Knowledge Network
The knowledge network is another method in which an organisation can share and transfer knowledge. It acts as a method of codifying knowledge, and can be part of a system aimed at converting tactit knowledge that is relevant to an individual intro readily available (if not necessarily understandable) explicit knowledge. A well known example of an organisation that has implemented a knowledge network is Caterpillar. Having faced a potential future skills shortage due to an ageing workforce, Caterpillar implemented a knowledge network allowing workers to share information. This enabled the organisation to retain some of the knowledge from its workforce who were due to retire, ensuring key knowledge was maintained within the organisation and readily available for future and younger workers to access.
This concept of the knowledge network again links to MBE students who blog. We are able to access informtion that other people write down, we can query it, challenge it and ultimately gain knowledge and insight from it. If we did not blog, we would not necessarily have access to other people's thoughts and knowledge certainly would not be as readily available to share. There are of course problems with knowledge networks. As I have said in previous blogs, culture is hugely important to making it work. People need to be confident enough to share their views, people need to trust that other people's views are in fact correct and people need to be willing to share knowledge that they consider their own personal asset. Therefore, these issues need to be avoided to ensure that a knowledge network programme is successful. This is achieved primarily through creating the correct culture amongst employees to support a knowledge network.