Conceived less than 20 years ago, "Knowledge Management" (KM) is the business discipline about which managers perhaps know the least. Having spent pots of money investing in it, the benefits are still marginal. This is because practitioners are still feeling their way. Now that the boom days are temporarily over, it is timely that KM can be more fully exploited, for it conceals an application that is indispensable for the foreseeable struggle ahead - and after, including an overlooked way out of the credit crash dilemma facing those dogmatic decision makers juggling the option between austerity and growth. It's not rocket science. It's a way of doing both, in this case by re-focusing on the old-fashioned notion of productivity implied by this book's Chapter 2 heading: Getting from A to B without going via Z. The journey to this solution is through the unacknowledged, iceberg-like and delinquent edge to the enthusiastically pursued flexible labor market, a workplace development that is proving to be among the most corrosive of components to good decision making.
Whilst the ability to more easily hire 'n fire has allowed commerce and industry to more quickly refashion workforce numbers to suit changing market conditions and circumstances, the elevated level of employee churn, which was already high in more 'normal' times, has introduced accelerated conveyer-belt workplace discontinuity and associated corporate amnesia. These are modern phenomena that have prevented institutions from learning from their own hard-won and expensively paid-for experiences. The result? A never-ending recital of repeated mistakes, re-invented wheels and other unlearned lessons, the cost of which is significant. By any measure, the attendance of unremitting and poor employee determinations by employees on behalf of their employers signifies the matching forfeiture of their own special acquired 'wisdom' - and this book's title. By reducing the level of poor decision making in a clearly identifiable quarter of corporate dysfunction, employers will help to address the late Peter Drucker's declared crisis of productivity, his belief being that businesses and other types of organization are largely wasteful in their production.
This book will outline how, through two misconceived and underexploited processes of KM, employers can learn to work more efficiently, even with high employee churn. The processes are the better management of their Organizational Memory (OM) and proper employer-instigated Experiential Learning, the use of which will also enable organizations to continue utilizing the experiences of employees after they have left their employer's employ. And by addressing the limitations of conventional approaches to decision making and Experiential Learning, this book takes KM to the next level with the biggest big-ticket application of all in today's economic quagmire. By way of repetition, productivity has a very, very close relationship with competitiveness and that elusive prize growth...