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Knowledge sharing a new frontier of learning Mariachiara Novati Presidente MACSE Italia www.macseitalia.it
How to share knowledge?Being a Manager Assistant is a very demanding job and every day we have to faceand solve different tasks.In many countries there are schools we canattend to prepare ourselves to enter thisprofession and later we can follow courses andseminars. Some universities and businessschools give us the possibility to get masters,too, but in my opinion the practice is the bestway to learn.The correct and more useful technique is learning from colleagues who have adeep experience in particular subjects and this is Knowledge Sharing.
Interaction & Exchange of informationTheoretically speaking, Knowledge Sharing is an activity through which knowledge (i.e.information, skills, or expertise) is exchanged among professionals, in this specific case ManagerAssistants, and a system to increase the competitive power of organizations, to improve theefficiency through sharing, enhancing and increasing the Intellectual Capital, people, and theIntangible Asset.In addition, Knowledge Sharing means interactionand exchange of information, experience andbest practice to reach common objectives andobtain better results. Since the ’80 organizationshave recognized that knowledge constitutes a valuableintangible asset for creating and sustaining competitive advantages.As people/employees are the Intellectual Capital, Intangible Asset represents the maximum valueand the best support to development and innovation.
The intangible asset The Intangible Asset is made of: Business relationship Human knowledge Work methodology Social relationship Specific Identity linked to the role To enhance the Intangible Asset through Intellectual Capital means: Create innovation Attract and develop talents Transform information in knowledge
The importance of networkFor this reason Knowledge Sharing is at the basis of Intangible Assets maximization, and to reachthis maximization are necessary a correct strategy and a straight methodology supported byadequate equipment.The path to follow is to obtain the best results through:Creating value making the individual knowledge available to all the members of the organizationUsing this new knowledge effectivelyConnecting the new knowledge to operations and processesLinking the new knowledge to business strategyThe sharing of knowledge constitutes a big challengefor networks and organizations because some peopletend to resist sharing their knowledge with the restof the organization, in fact one big obstacleis the common notion that knowledge is property and ownership, but shared knowledge offersdifferent viewpoints and possible solutions to problems.
Encourage discovery & innovationTo promote knowledge sharing and remove knowledge sharing obstacles, theorganizations/networks should encourage discovery and innovation.At the end of this process the result will be the creation of a common organizational culture.Until now organizations were our main reference, but the question is if it is possible to applyKnowledge Sharing to networks of people (i.e. associations of professionals) who have thesame role in different organizations or companies.I think this is possible and I am going to show you how.The point is how to manage “knowledge” in continuous and fastevolution and in particular how to transfer it to people working indifferent environments and business fields.The answer is: through training and the correct use of technology.
The process of Knowledge SharingThe first thing is individuating people whohave to share the knowledge and peoplewho need to know.This process can be developed using two different approaches, the first one isgiving information knowing in advance the need of the final “client”, thesecond one is offering specialized and targeted training simple enough tobecome immediately best practice.The first option is not useful for our network of Manager Assistants, becausewe do not know in details what they are expected to do, we cover so manydifferent roles in companies, but the results of the second one are what I call“knowledge workers” able to manage the know-how learnt through training,applying it in office day life.
The approach to Knowledge SharingI want to underline an additional plus to this approach, in fact there are wider andimportant effects on the organizations, too, because the trained “knowledgeworkers” will apply this new philosophy to all the working backgrounds becoming anexample for the colleagues and giving a positive push to the corporate culture.Put in action, the training project should be organized in three different modules:theoretical (passing the basic information)practical (case history and exercises)technological (instructing to use the tools)
The 4 phasesThe development of this project could be divided in four phases:1. Diagnostic analysis: to analyze the state of the art, to investigate the needs of theproject and to delineate a macro-analysis of the requests.2. Pilot phase: to create a project team working on thecriticalities trying to solve them.3. Implementation phase: considering the results of thePilot phase, the team identifies the most importantareas to be improved.4. Final release: divided in “definitive launch” and “follow-up”Looking at this path of development it is mandatory and essential to create amongthe participants a "Knowledge Sharing Culture" as part of this initiative.An isolated knowledge program, like the one I am proposing, looked after by aprivileged few is worthless and will not survive for long.Only effective collaboration and communication among professionals whichdisseminates across the whole network structure will give the necessary boost.
The individual approachIn fact the change must start at the individual.Every Manager Assistant has a sphere of influence alongwith their own individual knowledge, and this is where shemust believe a knowledge sharing culture can begin.To create a knowledge sharing culture it is necessary to encourage ManagerAssistants to work together more effectively, to collaborate and to share - ultimatelyto make their knowledge more productive.Even though Manager Assistants work in different companies it is possible toorganize seminars, round tables, focus groups, because if the old paradigm was“knowledge is power”, today the situation is evolving and “sharing knowledge ispower” such as knowledge sharing is in their personal interest .
What we can obtainIf we all understand that sharing our knowledge helps to do our jobs moreeffectively, helps to retain our jobs, helps in our personal development and careerprogression, rewards us for getting things done and brings more personalrecognition, then knowledge sharing will become a reality.