The American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) describes knowledge management as a mindset that extends beyond the flow of traditional business processes. It focuses on the dissemination of information, engagement of key resources, and ultimately the adoption rate of best practices across the entire value chain. Consider the idea that knowledge management and sustainability concepts are intricately aligned. In fact, knowledge management is a critical aspect of business sustainability.
The Forbes post, Ten Things You Need To Know About Managing Knowledge, explores the effective use of information in today’s business settings. Focused primarily on research and development, yet taken from a sustainability perspective, the article has much to teach us about the acquisition and application of sustainability concepts. The ability to define, implement and manage future business opportunities depends largely on the availability and quality of information, accessing critical information is a necessity. Building on this idea, the article, Knowledge Management—Emerging Perspectives, provides a defined vehicle to access and assess critical business information:
- Mission: What are we trying to accomplish?
- Competition: How do we gain a competitive edge?
- Performance: How do we deliver the results?
- Change: How do we cope with change?
Social media has an emerging role in knowledge management. Creating bridges between the corporate world and its stakeholders, social media closes the gap on knowledge management and business intelligence, especially if sustainable communications and performance is valued by your stakeholders. Social media for sustainability communications has become both a risk and an opportunity. Monitoring, listening, and dialoguing with key stakeholders in the social space not only offers a competitive advantage but also provides other key ingredients for successful social media engagement:
- Information or data collection
- Brand and reputation management
- Public relations
- Media management
- Crisis management
Furthermore, exploring the Information Week article, What Enterprise Social Success Stories Have In Common, we examine the adaptation of social tools and strategies into today’s business improvement efforts. Contrasting the limited success of simple external tool implementation, the true differentiators are implementing social media strategies with purpose.
“The idea that people will quickly and easily adopt an enterprise social network because of the parallel with consumer social media is one people overestimate at their peril. The organizations that experience the most success with enterprise social networking are united in their ability to unite people--and to demonstrate the power of those connections.”
The use of social media collaboration technologies can help organizations break down silos and facilitate knowledge sharing across business units and corporate functions.
Julie Urlaub is the founder and managing partner of Taiga Company, a sustainability social media consulting firm, where she aids clients to powerfully engage in sustainability-related issues and stakeholder communications in the social space.
Leveraging 15 years of business development and communications expertise in the energy, medical and IT industries, she now consults, blogs, tweets and advises clients on a variety of issues related to the intersection between environmental stewardship, sustainable business practices, and the bottom-line benefits of sustainability strategies. Julie leverages a BA in Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and IT studies from Southern Methodist University to meet the social, technological, and environmental business objectives of Taiga's clients.
Her effervescent attitude inspires others to eco action. Leading by example, with over 25,000 Twitter followers and a blog with global reach, she works with companies to maximize sustainability strategies and to communicate how their sustainability strategies are making a difference in their business and in our world. Not only does Julie walk the talk, she rides it, too, as an endurance mountain bike racer.
image: F Mira via Flickr cc (some rights reserved)