Knowledge Management

The exchange as well as the generation of knowledge within an organization; may be in the form of databases, best practice seminars, technology fairs, cross-functional teams, e-mails, and groupware.

Knowledge Management

Common Knowledge Associates defines Knowledge Management as an organization’s capability to leverage its knowledge to meet its objectives.  

When Knowledge Management is implemented effectively in an organization:

  • Employees easily find information and resources,
  • Redundant effort is avoided, 
  • Mistakes are not repeated, 
  • Scarce expertise is made widely available,
  • Clients see how knowledge is used for their benefit, 
  • New employees are brought up to speed quickly,
  • Knowledge is retained when people move positions or leave the organization

To accomplish that level of effectiveness, Knowledge management must be implemented as a system with the following elements:

  • Knowledge processes to enable everyone to conveniently share, innovate, reuse, collaborate, and learn.  For example, AAR, Peer Assist, CoPs, etc
  • Defined roles to facilitate/teach the processes that produce the exchange of tacit knowledge and that manage explicit knowledge, for example, the roles of knowledge specialist, practice owner, CoP facilitators, etc.
  • Technology adequate to support high quality search, CoPs, knowledge assets, expertise locators and collaboration tools, etc.
  • Governance structure to identify an organization’s critical knowledge needs, provide recognition, support knowledge management with resources and time, etc).

The paradox of knowledge management is that it is not necessary to have a collaborative culture in order to implement knowledge management, rather implementing knowledge management has to potential to change an organization’s cultural so that over time it becomes more collaborative and open – to become a learning organization.  This change occurs because knowledge management is experiential: we learn to share by others’ sharing with us and realizing the benefit we have received; we come to value the knowledge of peer’s because others’ acknowledge the value of what we offer to them; we learn to collaborate when we come to realize that we share the goals of others.

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What Clients Say

"Nancy provides strategic insights to ConocoPhillips. Her ideas spawned our knowledge sharing program (still flourishing today). She was instrumental in getting our execs onboard: a company that connects and operates like a global company would drive business value..."

Dan Ranta
Director, Knowledge Sharing, ConocoPhillips

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"I am impressed by Nancy’s work on knowledge transfer and sensemaking. Her recent work on collective sense making, harnessing collective wisdom to handle organizational complexity, is ground breaking and fascinating..."

Eric Tsui, Professor, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and
VP Hong Kong Knowledge Management Society

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“I know that Nancy understands better than anyone the difference between mere talking and real communication. She is expert at helping groups of people speak listen authentically and intelligently as an important step toward shared understanding, effective problem solving, and innovative thinking..."

Don Cohen
Managing Editor, NASA ASK Magazine

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"HEMA Academie is the largest online academy in the Netherlands, we made the course "Common Knowledge Organizational Learning" because of an interview with Nancy. She is gifted with a special kind of energy and has the power to analyze complex problems as an enthusiastic team player..."

Drs. Helma van den Berg,
Head of production, HEMA Academie

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"Working with Nancy, I've seen first-hand the power of collective sensemaking. Bringing analytic tools to bear provided new insights into interdependent activities, overall system functioning, and leverage points. Collective sensemaking helps teams work smarter."

Mike Silver
SVP of Corporate Operations, HealthInsight

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"Nancy pulled off a great feat at the US Army KM conference. She got the whole room talking, all 200 of them! It broke the mold of presentation after presentation. The feedback was overwhelmingly, "Let's do more of this at the next conference."

COL Charles Burnett
Deputy Director, Center for Army Lessons Learned, Fort Leavenworth, KS

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"Her approach to collective sensemaking drives how we teach knowledge management, facilitate communities of practice, and coach highly effective teams of leaders. There is no better way to create competitive advantage in the 21st Century knowledge environment."

Mike Hower
Chief Learning Officer, Strategic Knowledge Solutions, Inc.

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Recent Client Successes

The US Army KM conference had a very traditional format, three or four speakers in a row, with a few minutes of Q&A then on to the next speaker. Working with the conference design committee, we introduced interaction opportunities spread throughout the conference that made a huge difference for participants...
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Ecopetrol, the largest company in Colombia, held a Technological Environment Forum to build a knowledge management strategy for the company through the work of more than 100 leaders. The Forum contacted Nancy and asked her to come to help them understand effective knowledge management strategy...
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Huawei had twice attempted to implement KM without having achieved the results that had hoped for. When Huawei contacted Nancy, they knew they wanted to focus on the human side of KM, drawing on what people were learning through their on-the-job experience and how to spread that knowledge...
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The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. I have had the pleasure of consulting to IHI, particularly in the area of “spread” for over 10 years. But until recently IHI has not had a knowledge management program or staff...
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We were able to help save the knowledge developed in the canceled NASA Constellation project. Working with NASA’s Dave Lengyel, we brought together engineers from all 10 NASA centers to develop a knowledge capture strategy...
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