Sometimes I think that knowledge management is seen as old hat. Old hat or not it is still very much relevant to businesses today as most enterprises struggle to attract and retain skilled work forces and build sustainable businesses.

Knowledge management I believe is an important enterprise and management discipline. Our own leadership team often discusses and promotes resource allocation and utilisation with our clients. Intellectual assets are part of this very valuable resource base.

Interestingly, Gartner defines three categories of intellectual capital found within an enterprise’s assets:

Human capital — the experiences and knowledge of the enterprise and its employees, customers and partners. Employees can access and use this human capital.

Organisational capital — knowledge that has been represented and structured as data files, documents, networks, business processes, software, patents, Web sites and many other forms.

Relationship capital — knowledge about customers, markets, competitors, industry and the business environment.

So, how can you better manage and utilise your knowledge assets? Here are some ideas:

  • Inventory data, information and knowledge assets as part of your enterprise architecture.
  • Convert critical tacit knowledge held in people’s heads to explicit knowledge that is then made available to the organisation.
  • Use organisational knowledge to improve processes and efficiency and effectiveness levels.
  • Develop new products and services that react and respond to customer needs.
  • Analyse data and information to identify patterns and provide insight.

Aren’t most businesses doing some or all of the above? So maybe knowledge management is really not so old hat after all.