Recently at a workshop with one of my clients, an older employee commented ‘Its strange, that you would have to come here and teach us this topic, since many years ago we were the leaders in these tasks and could have taught others. What happened?’
His comment directly brought attention to Knowledge Management (KM). It is the process of creating, sharing, using, managing and saving the knowledge and information of an organisation. The organization referred to above, over the years, had failed to pass on the knowledge of the older generation to the new generation of workers.
It is important to understand the differences between knowledge, information and data. Data is a set of facts, information is arranging the facts in a way that makes sense and knowledge is the ability to use the information to a worthwhile end. I often use the example of a bicycle. Data is knowing the height of the bicycle, the diameter of its wheels, the number of gears. Information is arranging this data to understand that the bicycle can be ridden using centripetal and centrifugal forces. Knowledge is the ability to ride the bicycle.
While data and information can be stored and shared using documents, knowledge usually resides in persons. Knowledge Management is the ability to build that know how in the business organization, share it with others within the organization and pass it down to future employees. When someone leaves an organization abruptly chances are there is a loss of knowledge. On the other hand, employing an experienced person creates an opportunity to increase the organization’s knowledge.
When you begin to see knowledge and information as valuable resources or intangible capital not captured on the balance sheet, you appreciate the value of knowledge management. As a new Real Estate Agent it pays to join an established broker, since it offers an opportunity to gain knowledge by interacting with the more experienced agents.
In the modern world of business, knowledge and information are becoming increasingly important, as the complexities of the market increases. Also the ability to turn data and information into knowledge is critical, since facts and information documents are of no use to the organization unless someone has the knowledge to act on them.
The ability to increase your income as a Real Estate Agent is directly correlated to your growth in the knowledge of the profession. Knowledge is mostly gained through the gathering of relevant information and then through guidance or trial and error one gains knowledge through the experience of doing.