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Why Knowledge Management Strategy Is Important for Business Sustainability

In today’s business environment, learning and knowledge have become key success factors internationally and intangible resources are of vital importance. The struggle between competing firms has moved from tangible resources to intangible resources where knowledge and the ability to use knowledge have crucial roles.

Organizations are becoming more global, multilingual, and multicultural with people being required to work smarter and faster. People have become more connected with them being expected to be “on” all the time and the response time measured in minutes instead of weeks.

Indeed, today’s work environment has become more complex with businesses being threatened by the vulnerability, uncertainty, and crisis that could have been prevented if Knowledge was better managed. Better KM can help companies anticipate uncertainties and design strategies to lessen their impact.

While managers would like to take a strategic approach to avoid an impending crisis, often they find themselves fire-fighting. With a Knowledge Management Strategy, corporate executives can better manage the complex, chaotic, and non-predictable environment, in which companies must achieve performance.

Putting Strategy on Knowledge Management

Knowledge is important to efficiency and productivity. Hence it is critical that organizations manage their Knowledge effectively and strategically. Having a strategy for Knowledge Management will provide companies a plan to better manage information and knowledge for the benefit of the organization.

Effectively, a good KM Strategy can gain senior management commitment to KM initiatives and attract resources for implementation. In the end, it can provide the basis against which the organization can measure its progress.

Taking the 3 Knowledge Management Strategies to Fore

Companies are now feeling the pressure of the need to be more competitive. Taking on a Knowledge Management Strategy can lead competing firms to take the high road to success.

KM Strategy 1: Reckless Negligence
Reckless Negligence is doing little or nothing to improve capabilities in information, data, and KM. This is one strategy that has ceased to be viable in today’s business environment.

KM Strategy 2: Knowledge Competence
The goal of Knowledge Competence is to be an efficient and effective company with sufficient emphasis on responsible management of Knowledge. To date, at least 50% of the companies in the world are in this category.

KM Strategy 3: Knowledge as a Competitive Advantage
The goal of Knowledge as a Competitive Advantage is to up the ante in the spirit of continuous improvement. Undertaking the third strategy involves making KM a critical capability of the organization.  At least 20% of the companies in this world are in this category. This is often adopted by Knowledge-Intensive Industries.

Essentially, our company must create a robust Knowledge environment. However, this can only be achieved when 8 KM critical success factors are put in place.

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About Joseph Robinson

Joseph Robinson is the Vice President of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is a marketplace for business documents--specifically, documents used by folks who work in a business function (e.g. Marketing, Corporate Finance, IT, etc.). These documents can range from Excel Financial Models to customizable PowerPoint Templates to "How-To"​ Business Frameworks, covering management topics from Digital Transformation to Growth Strategy to Lean Management. You can peruse a full list of management topics available on Flevy here. Prior to Flevy, Joseph worked as an Associate at BCG and holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. You can connect with Joseph on LinkedIn here.

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