A colleague — recently installed as the Knowledge Services Manager in a large organization — has asked for advice about how to explain knowledge services. He is proud of his new title, and he is comfortable with what he is expected to bring to the organization that has employed.
Nevertheless, he often gets as the question we all deal with, almost on an never-ending basis: “Just what is knowledge services?” And the second part of the question: “How does knowledge services work?”
Here’s my advice for answering the first question:
Every business and every organization runs into snags in managing what its people know. It doesn’t matter whether the enterprise is for-profit, not-for-profit, or non-profit. Identifying the organization’s intellectual capital and then building a knowledge-sharing structure to see that it is shared and utilized is an ongoing challenge.
The best way to meet this challenge is to utilize knowledge services, the management and service-delivery methodology that converges and blends information management (including technology management), knowledge management (KM), and strategic learning.
Knowledge services is a practical solution for knowledge sharing, and its three elements are easy to describe:
- Information management: acquiring information, maintaining it, distributing it to those who need it, and ultimately disposing of the information, through archiving or deletion.
- KM: working with the organization’s intellectual capital — the combined knowledge of all organizational stakeholders — KM is the knowledge services element that enables the capture, development, sharing, and utilization of organizational knowledge for the benefit of the organization.
- Strategic learning: training and learning — in any format, formal or informal — that when acquired leads to better performance in the workplace, in support of the organizational mission.