We live in a world where major governmental policy changes take place via Twitter. One tweet can change the course of the world’s economy, with billions of dollars and millions of people being affected overnight. In this era, where stability and certainty are words we can only use to wistfully remember the past, agility becomes essential to an organization’s survival.
Being in an agile landscape means being able to adapt in a work environment that changes very quickly and unexpectedly. These emerging changes can be very significant and impactful to an organization. When one is not able to adapt to these changes, their overall performance falls. Consequently, organizational objectives and key performance indicators are not met.
The realization of the importance of adaptation within this changing environment is important. Why is it so difficult to adapt to perform better in an agile working environment? What should be done to adapt better with others as changes become increasingly common?
People work best when they know what to do and how to do it. This is usually only possible when people have the experience and expertise to do what is needed. However, when their responsibilities deviate from the norm, uncertainty crops in. They may not have the expertise or experience needed, and as such are unable to perform as required. Therefore, in order to effectively perform their roles, they will then have to seek and access relevant pieces of knowledge, to ensure that their expertise and experience matches up with their role and responsibilities. If they are unable to effectively access the knowledge needed to adapt to the changing requirements, the organization will lose their ability to grow more resilient in the face of these uncertainties.
As per the above, the one effective method to combat uncertainly is effective knowledge management. One of the ways to more effectively manage knowledge is to ensure a better understanding of issues, which comes from developing accurate and deep insights of expertise from many different perspectives. This requires connecting with people who possess the required expertise and experience needed to deal with emerging problems or requirements.
Once better understanding is achieved, organizations may wish to to further explore beyond the boundaries of existing expertise and capabilities. This involves developing better mechanisms for optimizing existing knowledge assets.
In short, organizational agility is the byproduct of effective knowledge management. Investing in optimizing knowledge assets, by acquiring, creating and integrating knowledge, will lead to a greater ability to confidently respond to the turbulence that uncertainty causes. This leads to improved performance. Hence, knowing how to optimize knowledge assets is the key to succeeding in an agile landscape.
Dr Rumesh Kumar