Institutional knowledge is the stored information of employees of a company. It consists of data, projects, regulations, perspectives, policies and procedures. It can be the sum of decades of company history.
More broadly, institutional declarative knowledge may be found in corporations, professional groups, government bodies, religious groups, academic collaborations, and by extension, in entire cultures in the form of oral storytelling.
At times it is referred to as organizational knowledge or institutional memory, somewhat akin to cultural capital, like the ‘collective hard drive’ of a company.
In essence, institutional knowledge is what an organization knows and how it does things.
Only recently has it been recognised that institutional knowledge needs technology to ensure its preservation, assist with its curation and with its ease of access.
What Are the Benefits of Institutional Knowledge?
Institutional knowledge benefits productivity. Employees can draw upon great depths of previous experience to save time, preserve resources and avoid common problems.
For example, drawing on institutional knowledge can keep employees from repeatedly encountering the same problems and avoid wasting time having to develop a solution that already exists.
Further, institutional knowledge builds a sense of culture, identity and unity. It becomes highly potent material for workplace training programs such as onboarding.
It is clear that institutional knowledge is a valuable asset in any organization. So it remains that preserving and curating it, updating and managing institutional knowledge should be a priority.
Instead of relying on a ‘transmission of memories’ among employees, it’s time to harness the ease and efficiency of technology to curate, store, share and manage institutional knowledge. This is where EdApp comes in.
EdApp is a microlearning-based LMS with software that delivers on all devices including mobiles and desktops. It can store and preserve institutional knowledge and convert it efficiently and effectively into workplace training programs.
The Loss of Institutional Knowledge
There are variety of factors that are at play that can cause institutional knowledge to be lost or damaged:
- Employees that relocate or retire
- A senior executive or CEO reconstructs a different agenda that is removed from earlier knowledge
- Company merger
Consequently, institutional knowledge can simply become complicated, incomplete and noisy rhetoric.
Further, when institutional knowledge is not embedded into the hard drive collective memory or becomes too dense to access, knowledge fatigue and neglect sets in. Vital data is lost and institutional knowledge becomes the proverbial storeroom that is home to everything and owned by no one.
It is estimated that there is 2.5 quintillion bytes of data stored every day around the world. That’s a lot of storing, so retrieving and curating meaningful institutional declarative knowledge from all of that data is beneficial on a number of levels.
Managing Institutional Knowledge
There are four easy steps to follow in managing institutional declarative knowledge.
1. The first is to build a strategy. Consider and allocate its stewardship and prioritise its preservation.
2. Identify key elements from the institutional memory that you want all to have access to and understand.
The above are the non-negotiables and the source of your next two steps:
3. Turn this declarative knowledge from implicit assumption into policy, procedure, protocol and training programs.
4. Use technology.
Three Ways EdApp Can Assist in Managing Institutional Knowledge:
There is a way to create a process by which your team continually captures and curate’s institutional declarative knowledge to make it a living and evolving body of useful information that is accessible to people as they come into the organization.
This is with EdApp’s Editable Content Library.
- EdApp’ s Editable Elearning Content Library is a comprehensive eLearning library of fully editable courseware to suit any team or organisation. Free to all EdApp users, the Editable Content Library provides a platform for institutional knowledge to be safely stored, continually captured, curated and accessed by all in a convenient microlearning platform.
For example, the content of an in-house onboarding program can be easily and effectively deployed with the assurance that the material is up to date, correct and complete.
- A gold standard of EdApp’s Editable Content Library is the PowerPoint conversion feature. This second feature means that after a dust off, PowerPoint presentations can be easily uploaded to EdApp and your institutional knowledge capital will go from dormant data into beautifully engaging microlessons within minutes. This tool will always be free to use, as many times as required.
- The microlearning option is a further key feature of EdApp that can be utilised to ensure not only achieve access but to gain maximum learner engagement with institutional knowledge.
Microlearning is the breaking down of information into topical, bite-sized chunks. By interacting with these highly-targeted learning bursts, lessons become much easier to digest, and learner engagement and knowledge retention are increased.
Like EdApp’s Editable Content Library, microlearning can be parcelled with Brain Boost. This is a daily quiz that greatly assists in knowledge retention and learner engagement. Brain Boost quizzes is a further tool to ensure institutional knowledge does not remain dormant data.
Utilising technology to preserve, curate, and ultimately manage the vast resource of institutional knowledge is a no brainer.
With help from EdApp taking stewardship of institutional knowledge, its preservation will no longer be at risk and the benefits of sharing institutional knowledge will go from strength to strength.