Knowledge generation is a key to propelling you into a better future.
Your biggest asset
Information and knowledge already in your business are probably the biggest assets you have as it helps you to be successful and stay ahead. However, this information and knowledge need to be updated and additions made, if you are to progress and stay on top.
So, how do you do this and how do you get the new information and knowledge you want and need? The quality of the information is critical along with how it is utilised and you want and need it at an affordable price?
Satisfying your level of wants and needs in acquiring information and knowledge.
You have a range of options
As set out above, you now have a range of options to choose from when it comes to getting information and knowledge. The first level is now very inexpensive and can provide you with the basic tools and processes along with programs and training sessions using live and recorded webinars which you can activate at a time and place to suit you. Often you can acquire the knowledge online for free if you have the time to invest in finding it.
Previous options were regarded by many as either too expensive, had no follow-up, or misused time and resources, e.g. travelling to a workshop or seminar. For a smaller business, while the actual cost of a workshop was not an issue, they were generally held during working hours and time on the job was lost which was the main concern.
When you find what you need online, you may need to get a more in-depth understanding, which can come from a facilitator or coach via email or over the phone. Mostly this can be quick and cost effective if you have the questions you need to be answered carefully framed, so time is not wasted interpreting exactly what you want.
“It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others”. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
Using modern communications technology it is possible to get the services of a specialist online to address specific problems. This is usually all you need to move a complex situation forward, without the costs associated with personal visits. Not everything can be successfully executed online and this is where a personal visit with a specialist facilitator or coach comes in. There will always be issues that will take the time to work through and sometimes a workshop with a facilitator may be the most appropriate course of action.
Today you are able to gain the information and knowledge you want and need to run a successful business, with a minimum of fuss and expense and at the same time dissipate any problems and frustrations you might have.
Classifying the information and knowledge you have
- Data – is raw information, i.e. statistical data, which is generally unusable for the average business.
- Information – is data which has been sorted and put into understandable chunks. It is specific about situations or products and has been gathered by communication, news, research and market intelligence.
- Knowledge – is information, facts and skills acquired through experience or education in practical use, the special information you and your business has, wants and needs, in order to prosper. It is the practical understanding of a subject.
- Wisdom – is a retained automatic understanding of what to do, you just know what is right, it’s called common sense. It is the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships, where experience, intuition, knowledge and good judgment guide our thoughts and ideas.
Practical information and knowledge management
The practical management of the information and practical knowledge, or ‘know how’ you have to operate your business, is critical to its success and sustainability. Here are some pointers to improve the management:
- Identifying what information and knowledge you already have.
- Identifying what information and knowledge are missing and needed for the business.
- Capturing the critical industry knowledge and information you should have.
- Properly qualify and document in a usable form for its usage.
- Recording and storing for easy retrieval and use.
- Disseminating into the hands of the people who need to know and use it.
- Leveraging the value to grow and run the business better.
- Learning about the Internet of things and Big Data.
- Looking at how it might be turned into a competitive advantage.
People are forever saying they have no time to grow their businesses because they have to keep working out how to do something over and over again, which is surely a big time waster. The fact is that the more times the same piece of knowledge is used, the more you multiply its value.
A piece of knowledge put into a ‘knowledge management system’, where it can be easily retrieved and used over and over again, must improve the overall performance of the business. When a piece of information or knowledge is properly documented and exposed to a number of people you will be amazed how it can be and will be, improved upon.
Knowledge is king and will build your castle.
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Sometimes people take their knowledge for granted and have no concept of its true value. The main thing is to make a start by gathering your people together and do some ‘Brain Storming’. From this, you can start to identify an action list of what is important information and knowledge for your business and how and where you will acquire it.
Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of information and knowledge that they can apply to work, their community and their lifestyle will be the movers and shakers that incrementally shape our future.