All entries for Monday 22 April 2013

April 22, 2013

KBAM: Practicing what we learn

I am a firm believer that if we are not going to practice what we learn, then what's the point? In light of this, it was very encouraging to see how our group has already started the practice of sharing knowledge.

Basically, we divided the task amongst ourselves so that each of us had a separate section to look at in the online notes on moodle. The purpose was to spend time developing an understanding of our individual topic within Asset management and knowledge management, and then share that understanding with other group members. This is what we did, and I believe it worked really well. There are obvious advantages of sharing knowledge in this manner too. For starters, we managed to cover all the sections in a short period of time. This suggests that sharing knowledge can really make your life easier, which is a very nice thought.

Moreover, we were all able to transmit our detailed and personalized understanding of the area we were looking at. It was more than just sharing data or simple information.

This moves me nicely to my final point. Since we all gave a detailed presentation to the group, we were in effect sharing tacit knowledge. However, as we also made notes (either on computer or handwritten), we can also very conveniently share explicit knowledge rather than simply tacit. This can be beneficial in a number of ways. For example, let's suppose a new member joins us. He or she can easily access that knowledge even though they were not present when each of us delivered our presentations to other teammates. This also explains why it is so important for companies to have a system in place that actively transforms the tacit into explicit knowledge. It ensures that any new recruits can easily access and benefit from the knowledge gained by other employees' experiences.


KBAM: Why is knowledge management important?

Knowledge management is undeniably very important. Judging by how all the topics put forward for seminar were related more closely to knowledge management than asset management, it seems that almost all of us appreciate its importance too. Whilst, I do not wish to undermine asset management (which is also vital), it was, nonetheless, an interesting observation.

So one must ask: why is knowledge management such a big deal?

In my opinion, the answer lies partly in the constant bombardment of data that we get regularly. For example, anyone who has been to an assessment centre and done the e-tray exercise will concur with me that an overload of data is almost suffocating. In that short space of time, you get close to about 30 emails in your inbox which require you to interpret data and make a decision. Now, if these organizations are using that to mirror their day-to-day work, then that paints a very critical picture. Essentially, these companies are living and breathing on data. This ever-increasing overload of data has, in my opinion, made knowledge management very important. Some would even go as far as comparing it with the analogy of a life support machine.

As a future manager, I hope to instil a culture where learning is a routine and knowledge management is a priority. This will not only aid the decision-making process at the organization but also harness innovation and generate wealth.


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