KM is now officially linked to Quality Management in ISO 9001 (2015)

For the first time, organisational knowledge and its management are a core part of ISO certification requirement. Will this be a game changer projecting Knowledge Management as a mandatory thing to do?

Clause 7.1.6. Knowledge

Determine the knowledge necessary for the operation of its processes and to achieve conformity of products and services.

This knowledge shall be maintained and made available to the extent necessary.
When addressing changing needs and trends, the organization shall consider its current knowledge and determine how to acquire or access any necessary additional knowledge and required updates.

The following notes are also included:

NOTE 1: Organizational knowledge is knowledge specific to the organization; it is generally gained by experience. It is information that is used and shared to achieve the organization’s objectives.

NOTE 2: Organizational knowledge can be based on: a) Internal Sources (e.g., intellectual property, knowledge gained from experience, lessons learned from failures and successful projects, capturing and sharing undocumented knowledge and experience; the results of improvements in processes, products and services); b) External Sources (e.g., standards, academia, conferences, gathering knowledge from customers or external providers).

This is not a KM standard, only a requirement for KM. It basically states that organisation need to give proper attention to organisation knowledge in context of quality of product and services.

Meerkat in Action – Learning from Nature

I love animals and took this picture of a Meerkat family at Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Pretoria, South Africa.

Meerkats live in very harsh conditions across Africa but they are capable to adopt very smart survival strategies, which is mainly based on mutual trust. “One member is assigned the job of guard while the mob feeds. As soon as they spot any danger, they alert the whole clan, which then has enough time to run for safety.” Meerkat are part of the Mongoose family, but have evolved in the Southern part of Africa and learned how to survive in extremely harsh environments.

For Meerkats, it is all about trust; one slip of alerting the mob can be the difference between life and death.

From a knowledge management perspective, due to uncertainties, threats and constraints, we are also required to work in “harsh” conditions and need smart knowledge management strategies to survive.

What can we learn?

Words like “Trust, Social, collaboration, teamwork, caretakers, stay safe from predators. Meerkats are very good at digging (knowledge leaders need to dig deep!), immune to certain types of venom (don’t take it personally). Have excellent eyesight, they can spot predators at great distance and have ample time to react (knowledge leaders need to have a good vision, stand tall and look at the bigger picture and change their strategy at exactly the right time). Meerkats are lovable.. Knowledge leaders need to be admired as well.
Feel free to add your lessons to the list.

Three perspectives when presenting the case for Knowledge Management

  1. KM as a PROGRESSIVE capability, an enabler that is a key element in building the organisation’s future.
  2. KM as a CORRECTIVE intervention, fixing problems such a poor customer service or poor service delivery.
  3. KM as a PREVENTATIVE measure, to mitigate the knowledge that ‘walks out of the door’ with the retiring workforce and knowledge hemorrhage during a cycle of retrenchment.

Originally published on LinkedIn Pulse: