The management, organization, interpretation and use of that information are equally important. There is a fine, distinguishing line between information and knowledge in that knowledge is something we personally possess and retain as a result of the action we took, based on information received. This confusion has caused investors huge losses in technology ventures. Some academics believe that only humans can create knowledge and the computers process it. We can acquire knowledge in several ways including gleaning it from the experiences of employees and colleagues and through market research.
We live in a complex business world and it is necessary to be able to interpret information in a variety of different ways, taking into account diverse global views about the insecurity and uncertainty of the future. Knowledge management requires flexibility in this interpretation and should influence companies not to create long term strategies at this time.
New technology has provided us not only with the internet but also with video-conferencing, intranets and data-mining among many other tools and these may have some capability to manage the knowledge that we have accrued.
Knowledge management has many purposes including resolving and improving relationships with individuals and companies and increasing the knowledge of employees; helping to encourage innovative, creating thinking through reward or bonus systems: bouncing ideas around in the boardroom or on the factory floor all contribute to knowledge acquisition and management. Because there is a never ending flow of knowledge, management of it is an ongoing, permanent cycle of gleaning, collating, data-basing and editing as the knowledge is updated.
Strategically, knowledge management can be effected by sharing appropriate knowledge with individuals, teams, departments or absolutely everyone in the company. In this way, the company will encourage more knowledge to be forthcoming and perpetuate the cycle that will enhance the business and create new opportunities or new products and designs. Seeking the opinions of customers also adds to the knowledge base and provides information as to how they perceive the products and services on offer, whether they require additional products and services and how they feel generally about the company.
Correct management of this knowledge will increase sales and ensure improved customer satisfaction. Storing the knowledge acquired is a must, because something that is in someone’s head is of no use unless there is access to it and nothing can do that better than a good knowledge management software system.