Knowledge assets - how to ensure they stay relevant
There has been lots of debate recently about knowledge assets, mainly the knowledge assets of an organisation... or at least I think that's what it means. So I'm just wondering what does the term 'knowledge asset' mean?
I have found lots of use of the phrase but no clear definition. The context of the article/blog/tweet/conversation is not always the same, in fact neither is the sector, nor the implication of the words.
For law firms, what might represent a 'knowledge asset'?
My view is it's more than KM processes and tools although these can be really valuable to sharpen up and gather opinion, a chunky element of the 'asset' recipe might be missing. Sharing experience combined with opinion, to create something more powerful... perhaps that gives us the definition of a 'knowledge asset'?
If there is an active community, taking ownership and refreshing that knowledge keeps it developing and remains meaningful and relevant. So it's 'best practice' with teeth, always being brushed up with regular interaction, expertise and consideration. That all has to come from various people with their own views and expertise, to shape, change and develop any asset. It shifts from something with little flex into a moving asset guided along with direction; otherwise you can see the possible result of too many discussions without any focus. I think that this is where it's possible to really add value and richness to knowledge, it has new depths.
Perhaps an unlikely comparison is the social media hub we are all familiar with, Facebook. Now I know it's not the same as a knowledge asset, and I'm not suggesting it is, but please keep with me for a few more seconds. There might be something we can learn. Many users enthusiastically keep their profile, status and more up to the minute. It develops its own best practice and the community of practice shares knowledge constantly. A friend of mine is a collector and regularly contributes to various Facebook groups and makes some amazingly useful connections. Her passion for Hello Kitty merchandise cannot be reined in, but it's very profitable - who knew?! So what's the point? Facebook has becomes a well leveraged (by some) personal knowledge asset, and is increasingly becoming linked to legal matters.
The Daily Telegraph recently reported the High Court's ruling to serve legal claims via Facebook, due to difficulties in trying to locate one of the parties. That's happened before through the County Courts but this is the first for the High Court.
Of course Facebook is not all it seems though. My friend's dog has his own Facebook page, and Facebook friends. His name isn't an easily recognisable dog name and no photo. He has even organised a party through Facebook, what a smart little fellow.