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KM Strategy and Frameworks

   An approach to framing knowledge is to examine the idea of knowledge and strategy. Arguably, there could be only three strategies: to lead, to follow and to protect. In effect, an organization can be tempted to occupy a low risk, low reward position, exploiting and protecting existing stable products, processes and customers. This initially low-risk strategy evolves into high-risk strategy over time through competition driving the organization into selling capacity as a commodity. Alternatively, the organization can face its crisis and choose to move into introducing new market values by deliberately choosing to innovate through doing something different which initially is high-risk, with potentially high reward. In time, this high risk and reward strategy stabilizes by having introduced a market standard which can become a low risk and has the potential for increasing as opposed to diminishing returns.
   
   The strategy for Knowledge Management must be set after the definition of the organisation's goals, as for example:
• Improving the availability of knowledge to the employees;
• Organisation learning from failures as well as from successes;
• Cultivating the potential for the creation of new knowledge;
• Enhancing knowledge sharing among the employees;
• Increasing the awareness to knowledge management.
   
   The proposed strategy is therefore based on the concept of the life cycle of knowledge and on the tight relationship between Knowledge Management and the organisation's operational or business goals. Knowledge Management would then be established as a comprehensive programme including all four phases of this life cycle, and their business relationship:
• Knowledge capture and documentation;
• Knowledge retrieval for reuse;
• New knowledge creation;
• Knowledge sharing.
   
   A multitude of frameworks have been developed for the implementation of KM, yet they all have in common five elements that are important to their success:
• A clear structure providing directions on how to conduct and implement KM;
• Knowledge types or knowledge resources clearly delineated;
• KM processes or activities needed to manipulate the knowledge;
• KM influences or factors that will affect the performance and bearing of KM;
• A balanced view between the role of technology and human beings in KM.
   
   The ultimate goal of the Knowledge Management action (as any other actions within the change programme) is to achieve a required competitive advantage. The relationship of the KM implementation with the operational goals and the business results is therefore to be established through the measures for the KM implementation. Specific procedures to perform the required activity and to measure their influence and possibly their concrete effect on business results need to be phrased out for each phase.
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