knowledge Management

knowledge management is new and is old, as any other thought system that has a value, ant that the combination of ideas that support it (and of which we are all aware) should restore faith on the theme to the interested people. The idea of knowledge management doesn’t come from consultants, it constitutes the practical and substantial response of executives and specialists to the needs of economy and society: globalization, communication technology and the cognitive perspective of businesses or organizations in general.

Globalization takes good part of the responsibility. World trade complexity and volume have no precedents; the number of competitors, products and distribution channels grows constantly. Even under the influence of ICT development a frenetic atmosphere is created in companies that see themselves compelled/constrained to accelerate their competitive roles in markets every time bigger, competitive and complex. This acceleration in an uncertain space forces these organizations to ask themselves:

  • What do we know?
  • Who knows it?
  • What we should know that we don’t know?
  • Who needs to know what?
  • Does our organization learn (acquire knowledge) from outside of itself?
  • Do we measure and assign a a value to our cognitive assets?

A non intentional consequence of using ICT is the higher value of knowledge that is not digitalized, coded or easily distributed over information and data. In the same measure with which access to information is amplified and and diversified, the value of cognitive abilities not yet represented in a way to have them managed grows constantly. As a result, cognitive components such as evaluation, design, leadership, persuasion, discernment, creativity, innovation, esthetics and sense of humor acquire a higher value. It is already recognized that, though information is one of the most important assets in an organization, the meaning of these cognitive abilities is accepted with more depth and width. The price that many companies pay for the omission of these perspectives reflects these consideration. This wave, though predictable, has become a tsunami that has found many software producers specialized in information and data processing to redefine knowledge management in a way very (and dangerously) reductive as “data and document transfer”.

knowledge management comes from the understanding of the critical value of the other factors, less typical than document or data, and the awareness o the need for finding modes to sustain it and get from it strategical benefits. The difference between organizational knowledge and information and data is, aside from effective, intuitive. For many “of the trade” knowledge seems to be a fundamental residual that in itself explains internal productivity after you have evaluated everything. After a brief analysis, it’s easy to understand that even a “perfectly managed” information leaves us far away from the Nirvana of highly effective productivity and innovation. The topic has been enough developed and mature as to detach it from its theoretical field. It’s already possible to organize real knowledge management projects.

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