The future of knowledge in businesses and society is first and foremost a question of culture and technology. The evolution of technology has been far ahead of the evolution of corporate communication culture in many respects. That is why we are well advised to be more effective in linking together technology and culture. It is well worthwhile, for individuals and for the company and society. To this extent, IT is promoting a renaissance of the human being in the work world. Once again, human beings with their constantly changing knowledge and entrepreneurial skills are becoming more important than the static process.
Courage to Enter into Knowledge Partnerships
Many knowledge management projects in the past have failed. The available infrastructure may have been basically suitable, but companies simply forgot that their real knowledge resources were their employees, not the IT system. If a company does not have a culture of communication, it lacks the transparency and the right incentives. Mere technology can help very little.
It is better for a company to have the courage to enter into a partnership rather than being afraid of employees soon leaving with their knowledge. Of course, the loss of valuable employees is a recurring problem for a lot of companies. The question is this, however: Does this loss have to occur? What did the company do to forge lasting bonds between itself and the employee and his know-how? An important trend is emerging in many industries in this regard. Partnerships are clearly on the rise. In an attempt to preserve employee expertise for the company, an increasing number of firms are turning employees into partners, be they lawyers, consultants or architects.
This too is an expression of a new culture of communication and cooperation that furthers us in all areas. And that preserves for us the knowledge we need to cope with the future—as individuals and as businesses. Innovative software solutions can contribute to the process by making it more attractive for employees to apply their knowledge in the company. Anyone working with methods and tools out of the past and interested in turning salespeople into number-driven bookkeepers will have a hard time in the future.