At an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) meeting, I was listening to a presenter develop his concept around Knowledge Management. I started thinking, we’ve all heard “knowledge is power.” If you’ve spent any time at all on the web, you probably get the picture that business culture is adapting that idea more into “sharing knowledge is power.” Essentially adding the fifth P of marketing – participation – to the original marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion.
This is most visibly relevant to organizations externally with new technologies and communication channels like this blog. But it’s also important internally – how to communicate strategy, important project details, employee benefits, schedules, etc.
We’ve been discussing this here at Bing quite a bit lately. What are the appropriate avenues for each type of information so people can easily stay in the loop, and ultimately become more productive, efficient, and profitable?
Knowledge Management isn’t just a tech concept, it’s a business philosophy. It is an evolving set of principles, processes, and organizational structures that help people share and leverage knowledge and ideas to meet business objectives. But even in this age of web 2.0 and sharing, it’s ironically not an easy philosophy for everyone to grasp.
For example, you may be thinking, “why should I share my ideas?” You aren’t alone. Many people hold back because they:
- are insecure about their knowledge.
- don’t trust others with the value of information.
- are afraid of negative consequences/feedback.
- believe knowledge is their competitive advantage.
By sharing knowledge, you gain more than you lose. Sharing knowledge creates synergy. If I share an idea, just creating the dialogue with other associates helps me shape and improve the idea, thus benefiting from their unique insights and knowledge. So, participate! You’ll quickly sense the benefits of collaborative effort.