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What organisations need to know about Knowledge Assets Andrew Webber, Chief Marketing Officer of Whitespace

As the dynamic world of technology advances, organisations must boost their competitive edge. In today’s society, businesses spend a significant amount of time focusing on the value of their physical assets. As a result of this, many organisations overlook their knowledge assets, blocking opportunities to innovate. These intangible resources are at the core of businesses’ success,

Knowledge management enables organisations to enhance their transformation through communication and collaboration, therefore allowing businesses to dig deeper into their insights. This is often ignored by companies as many businesses perceive sharing their expertise as a threat, or receiving them from another organisation as a weakness. However, the Global Deloitte Survey states that 80% of businesses that manage and share their knowledge have a greater competitive advantage. 

The three key elements of knowledge assets 

There are three key elements to knowledge asset management that all companies must consider: organisation learning, knowledge production and knowledge distribution. Firstly, organisation learning is the procedure of organisations gaining knowledge and insight from external organisations to boost their competitiveness.

Following on from organisation learning, companies should then look at the use of knowledge production. This is used by organisations to modify raw information into valuable knowledge so that it can be utilised to aid business growth and development.

After all of the above has been examined, the final consideration that companies need to make in terms of knowledge management is knowledge distribution. This is the process that allows all employees in an organisation to access and use the information retained by the firm. It will also increase the speed of problem solving and encourage innovation, and therefore will strengthen the relationship between businesses and their customers. 

The benefits of sharing knowledge assets

Businesses tend to rely heavily on their knowledge assets to make decisions and to highlight key market trends, as opposed to utilising other companies knowledge and sharing insights to accelerate and aid growth. 

Gaining insight from external perspectives allows organisations to pick up significant shifts in the market that they might not have recognised and gain a fresh understanding of how to excel in the industry. Networking allows start-ups to share their innovative ideas, as well as allowing corporates to share their knowledge and experience in the market at the same time. The opportunities this can bring to these organisations is overlooked far too often. Being open with other companies regarding knowledge assets and gaining a range of advice allows businesses to reflect upon failings and highlights new opportunities. 

Why businesses are reluctant to share their assets 

Businesses must understand their intellectual properties to maximise their growth. Despite this, many companies imprison their knowledge rather than using it to their advantage. 

Due to this, stovepiping can occur in an organisation, where information is only available to specific individuals or departments. This can result in an absence of productivity and can lead to organisations missing important opportunities. To overcome this, businesses must communicate internally to ensure they maximise the businesses potential. 

In addition to this, companies tend to hide information from external parties due to the threat of sharing valuable information to their competitors. However, when start-ups and corporate companies collaborate and share initiative it acts as a gateway for businesses to progress and have a competitive advantage. 

Typically, knowledge assets are primarily managed by senior management. However, sharing the responsibility can add value to the assets by allowing the business to be more innovative and to develop further. This is because younger employees may have different ideas and angles that could help the business progress in a modern direction. In addition to this, placing staff in different positions and teams could create new opportunities with the organisation’s knowledge assets.

Challenges when managing these assets 

One of the biggest challenges organisations may face is being able to understand the value of their information. This also includes prioritising what assets to protect and keep exclusive, and also selecting what information to share can seem complex to some companies. To overcome this, businesses must develop a variety of approaches to prioritise and place value on certain assets to know what will be beneficial to share externally. In addition, companies will need to be able to understand when new knowledge overrides old knowledge.

In summary, businesses must ensure that they are sharing their knowledge assets to maximise their growth potential. Sharing intellectual properties allows companies to evolve alongside technological and market trends, boosting businesses presence in the industry. Therefore, adapting ideas and gaining new insights is extremely important to allow businesses to develop their intellectual properties and open new opportunities. Adapting to sharing insights and developing a better communication strategy will be beneficial to all businesses; boosting innovation and increasing their competitiveness.

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2020