Who is qualified to manage knowledge in an organization?

I was perusing a LinkedIn Group discussion on the topic: Who is qualified to manage knowledge in an organization? (https://www.linkedin.com/grp/post/77700-6055661098286223364) and found the discussion really interesting. One reader answered the question stating that “Knowledge should not be managed. It should be shared.” Below I share with you my reply to that statement.

There is no contradiction between knowledge sharing/leadership and knowledge management (KM). Many organizations fail to understand that the knowledge contained in their people’s heads and execution/records are valuable assets that need to be nurtured, organized, shared, and protected. Some can even be monetized. Hence, active knowledge management is required for best results. The question pertaining to “who is qualified to manage knowledge in an organization” is complex because a lot depends on the type of organization, its size, knowledge asset types, and intended distribution/utilization.

In most instances, the best answer is that no given individual can do it all: KM is most effective when performed as a team effort. This team should be comprised of a senior management champion, an information professional or KM-trained manager, an IT organization member, and a Human Resources representative. An operations person would also be very valuable. Ultimately, you want to impact: People, Processes, and Technologies and thus you need to bring in various levels of expertise and operational authority. A good place to start; however, is with an assertive information professional who can begin inventorying and assessing your human and record capital, framed in the institutional objectives set for KM by the organization’s leader. That person can then seek the support of the other departments I listed above.

KM can be a powerful force within an organization. It must be deliberate and it requires decisive commitment from the organization’s leadership and members.  Above all, it must be built upon a base of trust and a shared goal of contributing to achieve the organization’s objectives.

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