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A network is not only a technical solution

Blog post   •   Jul 22, 2013 12:26 BST

Not many young people are interested in technology, but most use it. This means that the younger generation has a different attitude towards technology than the one that currently prevails in the IT industry. At the same time, more and more of them are talking about working hard to maintain their network. How does this all work? 

Well, the field of Knowledge Management is very much about looking after the knowledge and competence within a company by making knowledge networks available. In the same way as we ask family and friends for advice on private matters, knowledge and competence can break down silos within a company.

I am interested in the opportunities offered by technology, not by technology as such. In much the same way as I like listening to music, but I'm not particularly interested in the technology that makes it possible. On the other hand, I need knowledge to find the technical equipment that best meets my needs (formulated requirements) and what I'm willing to pay for it. My needs are to make use of technology when I'm out and about, sitting by my computer, in the car or at home in the kitchen. At the same time, I don't want to have to spend all my savings on buying new CDs every month. 

How do we handle our own limitations in the form of competence and knowledge?

In the creation of Knowledge Management, the workflow is based to a large extent on making knowledge networks, as well as so-called expert networks, available in order to quickly link up knowledge with the information required. This is achieved by setting up groups that cover work areas and areas of interest. Visualising these groups by means of, for example, Self Service tools enables people to take part in and follow the groups' discussions. Being able to take part in discussions is one of the biggest advantages of being part of a group. As a member, you have access to discussion threads that have been started in the group and you can also start your own. The value of discussing a question with like-minded people lies not only in the sharing of knowledge, but first and foremost in the open way in which it takes place.

I use the networks I have in the form of family and friends, on the phone, via Facebook or other private arrangements. The most usual way in which they help me is to find my way through the jungle of "the latest big thing", for example by emailing me a link. A perfect, simple way to find help when I lack the knowledge.

Private versus company network

The difference between a private network and those networks that exist within a company is that the private ones are networks that have already developed, and in the company they are often locked in silos, i.e. within the organisation.

The long-term value of Knowledge Management lies in transforming the concept of the network into something other than what it stands for today in technical terms. I will take a look at how this takes place and which methods have been developed in this field at a later date.

 Jannica Wahlund, JanCan Konsult, www.jancan-konsult.com

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