What is Knowledge

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Knowledge is justified true belief.
A.J. (1956). The Problem of Knowledge.


Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experience and information.

KM is the process of capturing and making use of a firm’s collective enterprise anywhere in the businesson paper, in document, in databases (called explicit knowledge) or in people’s heads (called tacit knowledge).

A Community College’s Definition

“A discipline and framework designed to help our organization acquire, package and share “what we know” to enable decision-making, creativity, innovation and communication.”
(Cuyahoga Community College)

It originates and is applied in the minds of knower.  In organizations it often becomes embedded not only in documents or repositories but also in organizational processes, practices and norms. Davenport,

T.H. & Prusak, L (1998). Working Knowledge.

Knowledge is information in action. O’Dell
C. & Grayson Jr., C.J. (1998). If only we knew what we know.

What is Knowledge Management?
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Defined in a variety of ways. KM in education: a strategy to enable people to develop a set of practices to create, capture, share & use knowledge to advance. KM focuses on:
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people who create and use knowledge. processes and technologies by which knowledge is created, maintained and accessed. artifacts in which knowledge is stored (manuals, databases, intranets, books, heads).

KM is here to stay

KNOWLEDGE IS LIKE LIGHT. Weightless and intangible, it can easily travel the world, enlightening the lives of people everywhere. Yet billions of people still live in poverty unnecessarily.

Knowledge is defined ( Oxford English Dictionary) variously as (i) expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject, (ii) what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information or

(iii) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation. Philosophical debates in general start with Plato's formulation of knowledge as "justified true belief". There is however no single agreed definition of knowledge presently, nor any prospect of one, and there remain numerous competing theories.

Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, learning, communication, association and reasoning. The term knowledge is also used to mean the confident understanding of a subject with the ability to use it for a specific purpose.

What is Knowledge Management?  “Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, managing and sharing all of an enterprise’s information needs.

Knowledge management is a conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time and helping people share and organise information into action in ways to improve organisational performance.

It is a complex process that must be supported by a strong foundation of enablers, such as strategy, leadership, culture, measurement and technology.

Knowledge Management is creating a culture of learning, innovating, sharing and achieving - and most effectively implemented as part of Change Management.

“Knowledge is power.”

“But mere knowledge is not power; it is only possibility. Action is power; and its highest manifestation is when it is directed by knowledge.” Francis

The value of knowledge is derived from the value of the decisions with which it is associated. The measurement of KM success is therefore related to improved decision making and the achievement of objectives.

Knowledge Management is making better decisions by understanding the knowledge ingredients for decision making.

These information assets may include databases, documents, policies and procedures as well as previously unarticulated expertise and experience resident in individual workers.”

Where does KM come from?
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Infrastructure, Database, Web, Interface World wide markets, North American integration Aging population, workforce mobility, diversity Knowledge economy Quality Specialization, Volume, Order




Customer relations

Increase in information

Today’s knowledge organisation has a renewed responsibility to hire knowledgeable employees and specialists to manage knowledge as an intangible asset in the same way that one calls on an investor to manage a financial portfolio.

Data, Information & Knowledge
  DATA INFORMATION Data placed into a form that is accessible, timely and accurate. Storing / Accessing. KNOWLEDGE Information in context to make it insightful and relevant for human action. innovation, Insight, improvement.

Definitio Raw facts, figures n and records contained in a system. Reason Processing

Two types of knowledge
Explicit knowledge
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Documented information that can facilitate action.

Implicit (Tacit) knowledge
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Know-how & learning embedded within the minds people.

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Formal or codified Documents: reports, policy manuals, white papers, standard procedures Databases Books, magazines, journals (library)

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Informal and un codified Values, perspectives & culture Knowledge in heads Memories of staff, suppliers and vendors

Knowledge informs decisions and actions.

Need for KM
1. 2.

3. 4. 5.

Knowledge is rapidly displacing capital Unstable markets necessitate, reshaping of product & project lines Ability to exploit its own intellectual resources. Only the knowledgeable will survive. Knowledge is the key driver for decision support and decision making and enables effective decision by making knowledge about past projects

6.KM requires a strong culture of sharing 7. knowledge, skills, competencies and insight that the employee possessed at all levels of the organization. 8.Global market and increasing knowledge requirements

KM is the set of professional practices which improves the capabilities of the organizations HR and enhances their ability to share what they know

What is a Learning Organization?

A Learning Organization
Any organization “in which you cannot not learn because learning is so insinuated into the fabric of life”
Peter M. Senge, The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization

The Bottom Line: Any organization that has a culture and structure that promotes learning at all levels to enhance its capabilities to produce, adapt and shape its future.

Systems Thinking

Personal Mastery

The Learning Organization Focus

Mental Models

Shared Vision

Team Learning

In the Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge describes learning organizations as places "where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole (reality) together".

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The five disciplines of the learning organization discussed in the book are: 1) Personal Mastery 2) Mental models 3) Shared Vision 4) Team learning 5) Systems thinking- The Fifth Discipline that integrates the other 4

Why a Learning Organization?
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A company that performs badly is easily recognizable. Can you spot the signs? Do your employees seem unmotivated or uninterested in their work? Does your workforce lack the skill and knowledge to adjust to new jobs? Do you seem to be the only one to come up with all the ideas? And does your workforce simply follow orders?

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Do your teams argue constantly and lack real productivity? Or lack communication between each other? And when the "guru" is off do things get put on hold? Are you always the last to hear about problems? Or worst still the first to hear about customer complaints? And do the same problems occur over and over? If any of these points sound familiar the answer for you could be a Learning Organization.

A Learning Organization: Key Disciplines
SYSTEMS THINKING: Integrating all the functions in an organization into a cohesive structure. PERSONAL MASTERY: Personal and professional development that is in sync with the organization’s goals. MENTAL MODELS: Internalized frameworks and generalizations of how an organization works and responds to its environment. SHARED VISION: Developing commitment using “shared pictures of the future”; Everyone working for a common, agreed upon future. TEAM LEARNING: People working as teams and therefore learning as teams.

A mental model is a kind of internal symbol or representation of external reality, hypothesized to play a major role in cognition and decision-making. Once formed, mental models may replace carefully considered analysis as a means of conserving time and energy. A simple example is the mental model of a wild animal as dangerous: upon encountering a snake, one who holds this model will likely retreat from the animal as if by reflex. Retreat is the result of the application of the mental model, and would probably not be the immediate reaction of one whose mental model of wild animals was formed solely from experience with similar stuffed toy animals, or who had not yet formed any mental models about wild snakes.

The role of the learning professional as change  agent encompasses at least the following skills  and competencies:  • Visioning • Strategizing • Planning • Consulting • Researching: probing and surveying the organization • Communicating • Influencing • Facilitating

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• Give individuals the time to learn. • See the distribution of work from the lens of development and learning. Do not ask simply, Who can get the job done? Ask Who can get the job done and learn along the way? • Assess performance with a view to learning and development too – Ask both What has the individual done? and What has the individual learned? Give weight to both in any formal or informal assessment.

• Select and develop for competencies that support a learning organization – active listening, mentoring, coaching, etc, and focus management and leadership development accordingly. • Give managers the time to function as learning coaches. • Create incentives and rewards for individual learning. • Create incentives and rewards for managers as learning coaches.

Three broad questions

What is Learning What is Organization What is Learning Organization

What is systems thinking
• • •

What is a system? What is thinking? What is systems thinking?

We need to learn about






Learning organization Personal

Mental Models

Systems Thinking

Learning Organization

Shared Vision

Team Learning

Learning Organization
Mental Models

Shared Vision Systems Thinking Team Learning Leads to



Personal Mastery

High economic growth

System is a


System of tap water: who is deciding : you or water level ?

Personal mastery creative tension in rubber band


Personal mastery beliefs, reality, vision

Conscious and unconscious mind it is like iceberg

Mental Models: you and around you
attitudes + perception attitudes + perception


those around you

Shared visions

Shared Vision evolves

Personal 1

Personal 2 Personal 3

Shared Vision: fully aligned

Vision by all

Knowledge of systems’ thinking is power
Knowledge Information


The Learning Organization Goal

Make Learning Part of the Every Day Office Environment

The Learning Organization
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Encourages Continuous Learning Promotes Access to Learning Maximizes Information Sharing Increases Flexible Access to Training Works Efficiently Using Interactive Relationships Sees the Big Picture Shares a Common Vision

"The only sustainable advantage a firm has comes from what it collectively knows, how efficiently it uses what it knows, and how readily it acquires and uses new knowledge." Nagar Lai 2006