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Articles: Starting Out

A Short Course in Knowledge Management (page 5)
Author: Jerry Ash

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Understanding Knowledge
Auditing Knowledge
Restructuring for Knowledge
Changing the work culture
Building Knowledge Networks
Utilising Computer Technology
Getting Started

Utilizing computer technology

Even though this article warns against the "technology trap," information and communication technology has an exciting role to play as the great enablers of knowledge networking. But they are the medium, not the message. Once human networks are formed, the application of interactive technology can succeed because it will be layered on a new knowledge community with a need for the mutual sharing of knowledge and ideas. The power and effect of knowledge will be amplified far beyond the limits of time and space and the association will be a valuable resource in the virtual world.

Technology is such a vital player that leaving it until later would be just as fatal as letting it dominate the initiative. Educating computer techs to the true meaning of knowledge cannot begin too soon and selecting computer consultants should be based in part on their ability to pass the quiz -- define knowledge; describe the role of technology in managing knowledge; tell us how much you know about our knowledge needs.

Getting started

There are those who believe that knowledge management is just another fad. They are wrong. It is as certain as the knowledge economy and the prevalence of the knowledge work that demands it. There is much yet to be learned about managing knowledge, but a wait and see attitude will seriously jeopardize the future of any association.

Now is the time to get started. The knowledge audit is a good beginning. It will help develop an understanding of the knowledge need and assess the capacity of an association to be the knowledge leader in its field. It will defeat fear of the unknown and set the wheels in motion for strategies, planning and action which can retain the association's position as the premier source of expert knowledge and information for its members.


Jerry Ash is Senior Counsellor, The Forbes Group and
Chief Executive, Association of Knowledgework
Article used with permission