How would you define knowledge? For most, the correct definition would be a collection of learned experiences or a conscious aggregation of information and/or ideas about a particular discipline. While this definition works for most real-world usage of the phrase, it exposes one critical flaw in how most organizations treat the concept of knowledge – the emphasis is almost always on the quantifiable form of knowledge usually derived from didactic, procedural learning processes.
Although this form of knowledge constitutes a massive block of what we consider knowledge, it’s important to recognize that knowledge comes in other forms as well. Knowledge management is the business process that works to identify, collate, optimize and apply all forms of knowledge existing in any business enterprise with the core motive of using it to improve such a business’s competitive stance. Knowledge management exposes the multi-dimensional nature of knowledge and, in so doing, helps businesses to mobilize what would have been unidentified knowledge silos into purposeful assets. To do this, the ideal knowledge management framework leverages four core mechanisms – knowledge creation/capture, knowledge auditing, knowledge structuring, and knowledge sharing.