The relationship between team knowledge and organisational knowledge
The knowledge of a team needs to be seen in the context of the knowledge of the organisation.
If we treat Knowledge Management as an intra-organisation marketplace, then teams can be either consumers of knowledge or providers of knowledge, depending on whether, for a particular topic, the teams knows less then the organisation, or more.
Let’s examine this a bit, using the matrix to the right.
The team knows little, the company knows a lot.
In this bottom right box of the matrix, the company knows a lot more than the team. Maybe the team is inexperienced, or new, and this is the first time that they are attempting a piece of work. Here the team needs to import knowledge from the organisation, through Peer Assist, Knowledge Visits, reading Knowledge Assets, or seeking advice from the Communities of Practice. The team is a buyer in the knowledge marketplace.
The team knows little, the company knows little.
In this bottom left box of the matrix, neither the company nor the team know much. The team is trying something new or innovative, has sought knowledge from the organisation, and found there is nothing out there to learn from. The team now knows that they are innovators, that they are doing something which nobody in the company has done before, and it will be incumbent on them to develop knowledge on behalf of the organisation. They need to develop their own learning processes, such as Action Learning, or After Action Reviews, in order to identify, discuss and document the new knowledge they will discover.
The team knows a lot, the company knows little.
In this top left box of the matrix, the team knows a lot more than the organisation. Maybe the innovative project described above is finished, and the team have developed a lot of new knowledge. Here the team needs to export knowledge to the rest of the organisation, through Retrospects, Knowledge Interviews, or a Learning History, so that this new knowledge can be available the next time something like this project is attempted.
The team knows a lot, the company knows a lot.
In this top right box of the matrix, the team knows a lot and so does the organisation. They are experts in an expert company, and all is well. However even here there are things to learn, and the team looks for incremental improvements to the companies knowledge, and also stays abreast, through the communities of practice, with what other teams are learning.
previous - nextShared by: Nick Milton August 9, 2017