Knowledge plays a significant role in high-performance. Companies bank on the knowledge of people who build it. Capturing and using the knowledge of people gained through routine work and association with customers is not an easy task. A lot of companies make it their business to build tools for knowledge management. Routine practices within the company is a reflection of the shared knowledge and value system – the culture of the company. Practices evolve through applied knowledge of people in the company at all levels.
When companies focus on current actions and outcomes heavily, they tend to achieve results as expected. At the same time, the company and its employees tend to develop selective attention. People tend to ignore adjacencies, other possibilities and upsetting disruptions in their business. The knowledge acquired through experiences that is not routinely used becomes hidden, locked. These nuggets have to be unlocked for higher performance and business sustainability.
Unlocking the hidden knowledge within the company should be a key priority for business leaders to remain on top-of-the-game, to remain relevant in the changing dynamics of the market. One of the ways to carry out is to involve a cross-section of people in solving critical business problems and identifying new possibilities with the current resources and capabilities of the organization. Encouraging open-innovation and democratizing innovation within the company helps in routinely unlocking the hidden knowledge.
At an individual level too, you develop selective attention. The significant amount of knowledge you gain through work gets locked. Unlock this hidden knowledge periodically by participating in work away from your comfort zone. Volunteer in other functional areas. Challenge yourself in discovering and proposing new ideas and ways-of-working. Make the best use of it.