Epictetus once said, "It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows." In reference to the preceding quote, it is impossible for an organization to learn what they think they already know. By capturing organizational knowledge, an organization can learn what they already know and expand their knowledge with a Knowledge Management (KM) program. My second quote comes from Albert Einstein, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." If an organization uses their imagination to develop a good KM program, they can discover what they know, and use their imagination to develop and create an even better organizational environment.
Much has been written on how to capture organizational knowledge and put it in a presentable format where members of an organization can access the material in the "knowledge base" and "learn" how to do their job more efficiently or collaborate with other members of the organization.
Depending on the organization, the knowledge base can vary depending on the goods or services provided by the organization. Most organizations can tailor their knowledge base according to company's needs. One common trait often mentioned in KM, is the capture of "tacit" knowledge; knowledge that is gained from the employees who have been around the longest. Tacit knowledge is one of the most challenging forms of knowledge to capture. Unless you are the one with the tacit knowledge, how do you know what you don't know? Other examples an organization can include in their knowledge base are company policies, checklists, continuity books, raw data, surveys, or just a contact directory of experts in the organization.
From an organizational learning standpoint, a good KM program will give members of...