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How Do I Choose the Best Knowledge Management Strategy?

Peter Hann
Peter Hann

In choosing the best knowledge management strategy, an enterprise must take into account the available resources, including the software and human resources that can be dedicated full-time to a knowledge management function. The corporate culture also should be assessed and the enterprise should consider whether changes are required to that culture. The objectives of the enterprise and the mission statement are other factors in determining the knowledge management strategy. The best strategy to follow also depends on the business model, the industry in which the enterprise operates and the nature of the customers and suppliers of the business.

The choice of the best knowledge management strategy may be adapted to take into account the goals of the organization and the resources available to implement the strategy. An enterprise with an innovation culture requiring support from knowledge management should gear the strategy to promoting the sharing of innovative ideas within the enterprise and links with relevant external research establishments or collaborative networks. An enterprise devoted to customer service should link the knowledge management strategy to customer feedback, collaborative online spaces, open innovation and involvement of customers in product development. The strategy should be geared to available resources in terms of the software to be used and the number of staff members who can be involved in knowledge management.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

The existing corporate culture is an important factor. If the culture is for employees to participate in decisions and be proactive with suggestions for improvement and innovation, then the knowledge management strategy may be geared to improving the channels for communication between management and staff. The strategy could aim to increase staff collaboration and ensure that staff suggestions are considered and, where appropriate, acted on. Where the corporate culture is centered on customer service, the knowledge management strategy could focus on improvement of the channels of communication and collaboration with customers.

Where sufficient resources are available, the knowledge management strategy could be directed toward changing the corporate culture to encourage a more innovative or customer-oriented approach within the organization. The strategy could involve establishing channels for staff suggestions, involving collaborative sites and incentives for serious participation such as monthly non-cash prizes for the best proposals. Regular meetings could be held for discussion of methods for promoting innovation or improved customer service. A formal process could be instituted to ensure that all staff suggestions are followed up and, if necessary, improved by further discussion with relevant staff. The knowledge management strategy could thereby ensure that as many staff suggestions as possible are translated into action by management.

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