Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Knowledge Asset is a common term, but one with a variety of meanings. Sometimes people talk of documents as “knowledge assets” (Google), seeing a document as containing explicit knowledge, and therefore being an asset.
I would look at it slightly differently. I would see an asset as something that brings value, and therefore a knowledge asset should provide valuable knowledge. A document may not be knowledge – it may just be a document – but some documents do provide valuable knowledge. A document is a knowledge asset, if it can provide you with valuable knowledge. If you can read it, and know what to do, then it is a knowledge asset.
A cookery book is a knowledge asset, if you can read it, and know how to cook a dish you never made before. A Haynes car manual is a knowledge asset if you can read it, and know how to change the cylinder head on your Nissan Micra. A company Wiki is a collection of knowledge assets, if your staff can read it and know how to perform new tasks.
So a knowledge asset needs to be not just a document or record, but a document or record that others can interact with to gain new knowledge which will be of value to them.
". (Knowledge) … becomes an asset when some useful order is created out of free-flowing brain-power … " Thomas A. Stewart