Optimizing knowledge flow is the difference between simply “managing” knowledge and leveraging a company's collective intelligence. In short, the importance of knowledge flow comes down to better alignment of work product and insight in context, better distribution of employees’ work, and better discovery of organizational intelligence.
The need to manage knowledge goes back literally as far as we can look. The very act of recording knowledge is what enables us to look backwards at all. Paleoanthropologist Adam Benton explains in his article Why did prehistoric people make cave art?
"…cave art was an attempt to keep a record of species seen before, preserving the knowledge of them for when they returned."
In his 1997 paper titled Knowledge Management: Where Did it Come From and Where Will It Go?, author Karl M. Wiig, explains the evolution of Knowledge Management.
"Early on, the focus [of Knowledge Management] was on concerns with how to make the most with limited resources. Later, the focus shifted to making clever products. Presently, advanced organizations focus on creating ingenious solutions and developing broad relationships to make customers succeed in their business."
Wiig goes on to explain how Agrarian, Natural Resource, Industrial Revolution Product Revolution, Information Revolution, and Knowledge Revolution economies all applied the concept of knowledge management differently but with similar intent. He concludes that prioritization of knowledge management as a specific competitive advantage by corporations in the late 70s and early 80s was an inevitability.
Releasing in 2001, SharePoint became the most popular tool for knowledge management in an organization. It was considered the first integrated and comprehensive solution for sharing information, files, applications and websites in the network.[source]; born out of a simple idea: to simplify sharing documents.
Early on, the [Knowledge Management] focus was on concerns with how to make the most with limited resources. Later, the focus shifted to making clever products. Presently, advanced organizations focus on creating ingenious solutions and developing broad relationships to make customers succeed in their business.
I help companies grow. Sometimes that means helping them develop products and sometimes that means helping them figure out how to sell them. In my current role at Brainspace I’m doing the latter. As we started to look at ways to create a systematic approach to generating demand and moving that demand through a pipeline, we settled (as many have) on aPredictable Revenue inspired approach.
My name is Brandon Gadoci and I’m the director of inside sales at Brainspace where I’m helping bring our powerful Knowledge Management & Content Discovery Product to market. As part of that effort I created a webinar aimed at helping companies create, surface and act on the ideas. The webinar went great, so I thought I would share some of the ideas and slides here on Medium as well.
In this article I’ll cover:
- The History (and inevitability) of innovation
- What does an innovative enterprise look like?
- The Big Data Mess
- Identifying Expertise
- Getting Experts to contribute
- Putting it all together with Brainspace
Where Does Progress Come From?
In Kevin Kelly’s book, What Technology Wants he puzzles over why it wasn’t until the 18th century that scientific progression began gaining momentum…
[T]here is a puzzle. The necessary ingredients of the scientific method are conceptual and fairly low tech: a way to record, catalog, and communicate written evidence and the time to experiment. Why didn’t the Greeks invent it? Or the Egyptians? A time traveler from today could journey back to that era and set up the scientific method in ancient Alexandria or Athens without much trouble. But would it catch on?
Ultimately, Kelly concludes that such a pursuit demands time and attention—in other words, a civilization with the leisure to think about future needs.
Science is costly for an individual. Sharing results is of marginal benefit if you are chiefly seeking a better tool for today. Therefore, the benefits of science are neither apparent nor immediate for individuals. Science requires a certain density of leisured population willing to share and support failures to thrive.
In order for a group of people to affect change, they must have access to the necessary tools, the time to use them, and methods to guide them. We’ve seen this with the invention of the wheel after hunter-gatherer populations had enough food to stay in one place. With leisure time and exploration came the wheel, which ushered in a new form of mobility. Further, as communities began to congregate into cities, the mutual benefit of myriad products and services provided even more time to rethink the way we produce goods. Scientific advancement as described above was a result of tools, time and methods. It is my opinion that we are seeing such an alignment in the world of product creation today.
Millennials are commonly referred to as the carefree, me-focused generation who are hard to manage. The truth is that they are extremely talented, productive and can be an enormous asset to any company, you just have to take time to understand how they work. Here are some tips, strategies, products, and resources for you, but first here are some stats about Gen Y.
As a Generation X-er (although I feel like I’m a Gen Y trapped in a Gen X body) I am in an interesting position as I look to my parents for guidance on professional success. Their model comes from a different time and we should be collectively careful of it’s application today. Here are nine things we learned from our parents about success that probably aren’t true anymore.