Knowledge Management exists to support an organization’s larger efforts.   That is, it serves to further the larger goals of the organization; Knowledge Management is not the final goal, and rarely is captured knowledge an end unto itself. Unless an organization exists solely to capture information in something like an archival effort, there is almost certainly a larger organizational goal.

It follows that the Knowledge Management team must have strong insight into how the rest of an organization works.  Knowledge ebbs and flows, and the team must be able to both capture information, as well as make it available in an appropriate and timely manner.    

What is appropriate when it comes to access to knowledge? Not all information is destined to be made available to all work units.  It can reasonably be said that there is a hierarchy of sensitivity, and some information meets the criteria to be protected.  The Knowledge Management team must strive strike a balance between total access to information, and creating information silos.

All of that to say, the Knowledge Management team must have insight at every level of an organization.  It must be able to not only ingest and digest data, but must also have a strong sense of an organization’s goals at the macro level. As much as any other work area, Knowledge Management is a collective effort by both the team and the organization.

For this reason, it may be safely asserted that Knowledge Management is driven by relationships as much as it is driven by the capture of knowledge itself.  Those relationships define how effective a Knowledge Management team may be, and subsequently how useful the resulting Knowledge product will be for the organization.

Effective Knowledge Management is cooperative.  Organizations may live and die by the collecting and parsing of data, and Knowledge Management is intrinsically woven into that process.    The end to which Knowledge Management strives is the effective capture and recall of institutional memory.  Anything less is just document storage.

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