I used to be an accountant, we know all about financial/monetary assets and keeping track of them, but what about knowledge? A lot of which walks out the door at the end of the day in the heads of your staff.
A lot of organizations don’t think of knowledge as an asset, so don’t manage it appropriately. Here are some things to consider to help you figure out if knowledge is an asset at your organization. (Thanks to Nick Milton for the list and the idea.)
- If your organization requires good knowledge based decisions, then knowledge is one of your key assets.
- If you are a consulting firm, a contractor, or an educational or professional body that creates and deploys knowledge on behalf of customers and clients, then again knowledge is one of your key assets.
- Knowledge will also be a key business issue for you if your staff turnover is high, and you need to transfer knowledge to new employees.
- Knowledge is a key business issue for you, if much of your core operational knowledge is held by people approaching retirement age.
- Knowledge is a key business issue for you, if you are involved in repeat activity, where knowledge from the past can help improve future performance.
- Knowledge is a key business issue for you, if many dispersed parts of the business are performing the same process, with varying results (in other words, some parts of the business know how to perform operations better than other parts, and that knowledge needs to be shared and re-used).
- Knowledge is a key business issue for you if your budget is being challenged and you have to contemplate delivering ‘more for less’, or (in the words of the business cliché) “work smarter, not harder”. Working smarter means making better use of your organisational knowledge.
So, is knowledge an asset at your organization? What are you doing to take care of it?