“How we conceptualize knowledge greatly impacts the way we design our KM systems and strategies” (Dixon, 2009). Knowledge management can be viewed in terms of how knowledge is shared, developed and conceptualized. Knowledge is not always truth in some respects, thus the ability to manage knowledge effectively determines the value of the asset. The advent of Web 2.0 has allowed a multitude of people to express themselves in a multiplicity of ways (Shirky, 2009). That said, the resulting management paradigm has been turned upside-down in an effort to afford this new knowledge base.
Filter – Then Publish
At one time knowledge was first organized and filtered by an individual or individuals based on fact then published at a relevant point in time. People were connected to content, thus knowledge increased explicitly (Dixon, 2009). This explicit knowledge continues and information in some of its forms still passes through a filter before it reaches the masses. Still, we have now seen a rise in knowledge resulting from experiences. These experiences are then shared in various forms such as the social network (Dixon, 2009). As Web 2.0 has evolved, knowledge has become collective in nature. Thus we are in a revolution of knowledge (Shirky, 2009).
Publish – Then Filter
The knowledge from a seemingly infinite number of sources is the product of new technology. These bits of information come from voices around the world, begging to be heard, but where does the consumer of knowledge draw the line in terms of fact-based information? One of the biggest problems with filtering after the fact lies in confirmation. With such an infinite number of sources contributing to the knowledge pool fact and fiction can get lost in the noise of the Internet. This is where leadership thrives.
The Role of Leadership in Knowledge Management
Leaders shine as beacons of knowledge management. The leader ensures that everyone has a voice, and in turn that the voice is balanced with accurate ideation. For example, the diligent leader presents both sides of an issue and gives relevant sources to help knowledge consumers find the right balance of information for their needs. The leader keeps the lines of communication open. The competent leader fights misinformation with relevant and verifiable knowledge from a variety of reliable sources. A great tool at the leader’s disposal produces a greater responsibility to manage. It is not the role of a leader to feed opinion, but to objectively manage information for greater understanding.
Dixon, N. (2009, May 02). Where Knowledge Management Has Been and Where It Is Going. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from Conversation Matters: http://www.nancydixonblog.com/2009/05/where-knowledge-management-has-been-and-where-it-is-going-part-one.html
Shirky, C. (2009). Here comes everybody. New York: Penguin Books.