Knowledge Management (KM) is a vital resource for companies. With its history rooted in the management consultant community, KM has grown into crucial information and collaboration frameworks that facilitate multi-industry business growth. Developing a customized KM plan requires expert assessment of knowledge needs then matching the right information to the right collaboration resources and tools to meet those needs. Just as important, it also requires finding the right people in an organization to facilitate the implementation and expansion of the company KM system (KMS). These people are Knowledge Leaders. Here are five truths to help you tap those people already in your work culture who naturally utilize their accumulated knowledge, skills, and resources to create the kind of knowledge sharing culture that is essential to running a successful business.
Truth 1: Knowledge Leaders are initiative takers.
Knowledge Leaders are the people in your organization who take the initiative to identify new opportunities. They instinctively offer help with projects, outcomes, or challenges within the organization and have built up a strong repertoire of captured and uncaptured information because they are invested in your corporate vision. They are like walking, talking databases who offer informational resources to facilitate profitable decision-making and make efficient workflows happen in your business.
Truth 2: Knowledge Leaders are knowledge gathers.
These individuals have demonstrated that they are highly capable of identifying information assets that are purposeful to your business growth and assessing the best way these assets can be utilized. The variety of resources they employ can range from internal assets—such as building their knowledge of current policies and procedures within the company—to external assets—where they may network or take classes to learn about alternative solutions outside your company.
Truth 3: Knowledge Leaders are expert communicators.
Often naturally social, Knowledge Leaders are willing and eager to offer their captured informational resources to help everyone in the organization, and they possess the communication and interpersonal skills to do so. They have a knack for clearly and unassumingly communicating what they know to assist in problem solving and in developing frameworks to achieve organizational outcomes. Their inviting communication styles respect and address individual differences in readiness when moving ahead with corporate initiatives.
Truth 4: Knowledge Leaders are natural collaborators.
A company’s Knowledge Leaders are not always top management, and they definitely are not individuals who like to be a “one-man show”. They flourish in team settings, and beyond this, they are intuitively skilled at team building and nurturing relationships with people who may have uncaptured knowledge or information. Moreover, they are naturals at cultivating an overall culture of company knowledge-sharing through actionable efforts to achieve desired outcomes for everyone involved.
Truth 5: Knowledge Leaders are knowledge empowers.
Knowledge Leaders have a high capacity for capturing details, aligning people, and executing appropriate actions to get things done. Their level of commitment to reach the objectives of a KMS can be contagious. They set an open, inviting tone of knowledge empowerment by creating a cohesive culture of sharing that allows all team members to bring their solutions to the table. This enables an array of knowledge assets to be identified and can create awareness of new opportunities and solutions. Such efforts are invaluable when aligning team members with business priorities.
Use these truths to help you identify the natural Knowledge Leaders in your organization. Consider them your Knowledge Management champions who will guide your business objectives towards success. They are already spread throughout your organization, creating profitable changes on multiple levels. Identifying them puts the right people in place to successfully implement an active and thriving KMS.
SPARK THOUGHT is well-equipped to assist you with finding your next Knowledge Leaders while creating or upgrading your Knowledge Management System. We listen. We collaborate and innovate. We deliver customized Knowledge Management Solutions.