The goals and objectives that law firms and businesses have for their knowledge management systems may vary, yet they usually fall into the same buckets. I have encapsulated what we have found to be the top five based on KM engagements with our clients.
As with any organizational goals it’s important to “rally the troops” to get their buy-in and support, so I also found a couple of inspirational quotes related to each one. I hope you can use them in your own efforts to encourage and motivate your own people.
Knowledge management is first and foremost about education. It’s a way to teach and enlighten people about something they don’t know.
“He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
Another reason for sharing knowledge is to learn from what has been done already. By leveraging the experience and capabilities of others, less time and effort is required and fewer mistakes are made.
“The more extensive a man’s knowledge of what has been done, the greater will be his power of knowing what to do.”
“When you know better you do better.”
We think of KM as a learning tool; it is also a tool for building community and strengthening the ties that bind employees together. Educational Theorist Etienne Wenger refers to this concept as “communities of practice” which are groups of people who share a concern or passion and learn to do it better through regular interaction.
“Knowledge management will never work until corporations realize it’s not about how you capture knowledge but how you create and leverage it.”
“Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes.”
It’s a paradox that organizations are very knowledgeable about obvious threats like computer viruses or fires, yet often oblivious to organizational risks like ignorance and complacency, which pose even more dangerous long-term threats. For whatever potential dangers that face an organization, it’s critical to know as much as possible about the contributing factors and possible outcomes.
“Knowledge is the antidote to fear.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
The holy grail of knowledge management is innovation. Capturing and sharing information provides raw material to help inspire people throughout an organization to figure out something different and better. Anything that facilitates and motivates those leaps of thinking should be encouraged and supported.
“Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be.”
“Knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.”
Actually, I could add a sixth goal of knowledge management. The quote that communicates it is credited to Sir Francis Bacon, who wrote “ipsa scientia potestas est” which has been succinctly shortened to this popular phrase:
Knowledge is power.
I invite you to learn how we can help your organization harness the power of your knowledge.