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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

By Kevin Desouza and Yukika Awazu, The Engaged Enterprise

For any organization, failure to maximize organizational knowledge can have a major impact on efficiency and effectiveness. In global organizations, this problem and its effects are amplified by however many regions in which the business functions. Here, Kevin Desouza and Yukika Awazu highlight four tips to improve and help unify the KM strategies across borders.

1. Communicate your KM strategy: Leadership must be advocates of the KM strategy in order to gain an organization-wide understanding of the KM vision. From the CEO down, all business units must be aware of this leadership vision and have the same overall knowledge sharing goals.

2. Have a global rather than local focus: To be successful, organizations need to shift their focus from local to global procedures. Individuals should also be trained on the need to follow formal procedures for knowledge sharing and storage across multiple business units to achieve global, close-looped knowledge application, reuse and innovation.

3. Appreciate local variances in KM practices: Cultural differences impact how knowledge is managed in diverse countries. We must appreciate the differences in cultural knowledge management practices and develop ways to work around them and achieve the organization's common goals.

4. Integrate enabling technologies: Divisions of the organization may operate very different technological solutions for fostering knowledge exchanges. This requires solution integration and connectivity management. Failure to appropriately integrate the different technological architectures will lead to poor global knowledge searches and failed efforts in building a truly global KM program.

Excerpted from Integrating local knowledge strategies, in the September/October 2006 issue of KM Review.

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