BRIDGE is known for its knowledge management practices, in support of both our work with our communities of practice and with other project partners, and as a KM service provider. As part of our own growth as an organisation we are members of Knowledge Management South Africa, a society for knowledge management professionals which supports the research and development of knowledge management practices in both private and public sectors.
KMSA recently held the KMSA e-Imbizo Webinar Week, and BRIDGE’s knowledge manager Melissa King presented on ‘Supporting Communities of Practice through Knowledge Management’. Themes covered at the conference included:
– Evolve and sustain your KM programme
– Role of technology in KM
– Breaking down the barriers to knowledge sharing
– KM culture and change management.
The Imbizo hosted several international speakers (from various African countries, from the UK, Hong Kong and the US) as well as local speakers from the corporate sector, public sector government departments, and universities. BRIDGE was the only speaker from the local NGO sector.
Ideas about how knowledge is produced, shared, received and used were discussed across a number of contexts. These ranged from knowledge exchanges between those inside an organisation, the knowledge flow between organisations and other stakeholders, to knowledge sharing between countries. Contexts for the implementation of knowledge management systems and activities were varied. But with all these variations it was clear that certain key concepts around knowledge management – from the types of knowledge that exist (ranging from data to wisdom), to the tools needed to make knowledge accessible, to the notion of using knowledge management for applied action and change – are shared across contexts. Knowledge management is truly a cross-cutting need for all contexts and sectors.
Some key takeaways from the conference include the idea of knowledge management as change management; knowledge management as the foundation for informed decision-making; learning from experience and sharing best practice as the key to innovation; and the cost to an organisation of ‘lost knowledge’, with its corollary of Return on Investment in relation to good knowledge management practices.
The conference referenced the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) knowledge management systems standard (ISO 30401:2018) which was registered in 2018, and other KM standards are also available. BRIDGE will certainly be watching the KMSA space, and growing towards these standards. To see the presentation, click here.