Measuring Knowledge Management within Organisations
Measurement has been always one of the most challenging processes faced by all kind of senior managers in organisations – whatever the measure was – and definitely one of the most daunting activities performed by organisations. In fact, our whole MBE course is mainly based on the idea of measuring business performance in organisations.
Measuring is not an easy task, and especially those concerned with Intangible assets, or the human capital which is one aspect of the intangible assets of an organisation. Some studies indicate that around 85% of organisations’ value is based on their human capital. David Norton has remarked the significant importance of those assets within organisations, but sadly most organisations don’t tend to spend more time or money on understanding their employees, and the top management of those organisations have no understanding of how value is created within their companies. Norton says “the asset that is most important is the least understood, least prone to measurement, and hence least susceptible to management”.
To this end, when we recommended some specific knowledge management strategies for Waveriders; did we think how those strategies would add value, or how do they fit in the overall vision and strategy of the company? Or how could we make sure that these strategies are embedded within the value chain of the company? Or how could we tell if those strategies are effective or not, or are they the right ones for this company?
Maybe our proposed strategies are very good strategies overall, but they might not have the business impact, or they might not fit within the context of the current situation of the company, and where it wants to transform itself over the next three or five years’ time; I truly believe that this is a very difficult task for organisations, and it’s very hard to tackle, especially when it comes to tacit knowledge, and for instance it’s hard to measure the effectiveness of knowledge sharing, or knowledge retention. There might be indirect ways for measuring, but there is no direct ways for measuring the effectiveness of managing knowledge within companies.
I think one of the most important steps is to establish the right performance measures that link the knowledge management strategies with the vision and the overall strategy of Waveriders. This is the key building block for ensuring an effective measurement knowledge management system in Waveriders.