Posted by Shira Fernaldes Karni on August 22, 2019.
This is the era of knowledge. In today’s world, while knowledge doubles itself approximately every 12 hours, knowledge half-life is rapidly getting shorter and shorter. Evidently, this new reality yields a constant need for learning and refreshing one’s knowledge on a regular basis. In this article, I will elaborate on the risks and challenges organizations face due to the inescapable changes in knowledge. In addition, I will initiate the discussion on how a joint KM-Learning approach can provide organizations with a solution that enables competitive advantage rather than risks mitigation.
Organizational Risks & Challenges Due to Rapid Changes in Knowledge
While in our daily life we have the freedom to choose which knowledge we consume and to what extent, in an organizational environment it is a completely different story. Often, employees are not up-to-date with the latest regulations, legal requirements, changes of internal processes & procedures, and other business-related pieces of knowledge. This challenge, of uninformed employees and utilization of dated knowledge, can bring organizations to face a high risk of business continuity and unexpected charges.
If that is not enough, the inflation of digital tools and technologies that are constantly facilitating our workplace create confusion and disorientation among employees who are looking for a single focal point and one source of truth, whether for consuming knowledge or for learning. Thus today, it is extremely important that organizations will create solutions and accumulate experiences to make learning and knowledge retrieval almost invisible for their employees’ daily tasks.
Knowledge Management (KM) and Learning: Learning in the Flow of Work
Contemporary knowledge workers are often simply too caught up in their flow of work. Hence, the average employee is able to carve out only about five minutes a day for formal learning.
To overcome these inherent challenges, a new approach takes place: Learning in the flow of work. Under this umbrella, a structured KM-learning approach enables organizations to provide their employees with on-demand and experience-based learning methods for specific situations. Until recently, employees had to address different organizational solutions to fulfill their daily needs: a learning system for learning, a KM solution for business-driven knowledge, and a legacy system in order to perform the operational tasks. Learning in the flow of work that starts and ends via a single focal point can create a seamless digital workplace experience for employees.
We now live in a world where employees’ learning needs are unique, thus, a key part is making the content most relevant for every single user. To create engaged employees, we must provide concise chunks of knowledge. Adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) features/capabilities and context-based personalization can decrease time-to-knowledge, which helps achieve consistent employees’ performance and higher efficiency. Conducting these steps will help ensure the right knowledge to the right person on the right time, as part of day-to-day tasks and activities.
Knowledge management and learning experience platforms, alongside chatbots, are the new digital frontier for learning in the flow of work. However, in this story, technology is only the enabler. Utilizing a structured methodology is necessary. Furthermore, a governance model and processes that align with the organization’s strategy, set the ground for a sustainable framework for the creation, curation & dissemination of knowledge and learning objectives. In addition, defining a robust taxonomy, while contextualizing and restructuring the content, helps ensure easily digested content.
The Future Is Now
The digital workplace is no longer about having as many innovative tools as possible. It is about creating one neat, intelligent, and seamless user experience that achieves the organization’s goals, and answers the employees’ needs. It is recommended that organizations develop solutions that harness existing platforms to create a single focal point for all of the employees’ knowledge & learning needs. AI-based personalized and contextual search, a balanced “push vs. pull” mechanism, and a unified UI-UX to all retrieved content, can do just that. In addition, a conversational learning and knowledge retrieval chatbot on top of primary systems is a straightforward and effective way to pair on-demand learning and business-driven knowledge with daily tasks. The more “intelligent” the chatbot is, the more personalized experience it can provide and higher engagement rates it can achieve.
The future is now. In the 21st century, ongoing transformation of work and the need for people and organizations to constantly upgrade their capabilities and keep a high proficiency level are all known facts. It is the organization’s responsibility to provide employees with the right systems and tools to do so. We now have the capabilities to adjust and build digital solutions that can provide organizations with a competitive advantage within the gig economy. Wisely utilizing these capabilities can constantly keep organizations one step ahead when facing the unavoidable rapid and accelerated knowledge turnover.
1 Bersin, J., (2018), Learning In The Flow Of Work: Arriving Now, retrieved from: https://joshbersin.com/2018/11/learning-in-the-flow-of-work-arriving-now/
2 Bersin, J., & Zao-Sanders, M. (2019), Making Learning a Part of Everyday Work, Harvard Business Rearview, retrieved from https://hbr.org/2019/02/making-learning-a-part-of-everyday-work
4 Bersin, J., (2017), The Disruption of Digital Learning: Ten Things We Have Learned, retrieved from https://joshbersin.com/2017/03/the-disruption-of-digital-learning-ten-things-we-have-learned/
5 Agarwal, D., & Bersin, J., Lahiri, G., Schwartz, J., Volini, E., (2018), From Careers to Experiences: New Pathways, Deloitte, 2018 Global Human Capital Trends, retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/human-capital-trends/2018/building-21st-century-careers.html