Knowledge management and business growth

Identify business knowledge sources


Businesses gather their knowledge and information from many different sources, both inside and outside of the organisation. For example, you could capture knowledge from:

  • meetings
  • reviews
  • audits
  • processes
  • performance assessments
  • market research
  • customer feedback

However, a primary source of knowledge in a business is the experience that develops within it.

Organisational memory

It is important to preserve the skills or know-how you have built up in your business. You need to find formal ways of sharing your employees' knowledge about the best ways of doing things. For example, you might create procedural guidance based on your employees' best practice. See how to create a knowledge strategy for your business.

Employee and supplier relationships

You can capture knowledge by seeking the opinions of your employees and your suppliers - they'll have their own views on how your business is performing. You can use formal surveys to gather this knowledge or ask for their thoughts informally.

Customer knowledge

You should understand your customers' needs and be clear on what they think of you. You may be able to develop knowledge sharing with customers that is mutually beneficial. Talk to them about their future requirements and see how this knowledge can help you research and develop ideas, new products and services.

Market knowledge

Stay up to date with developments in your business sector. How are your competitors performing? How much are they charging? Are there any new entrants to the market? Have any significant new products been launched? Try to understand your competitors and use market research and market reports to develop knowledge of the industry you operate it.

Knowledge of the business environment

Developments in politics, the economy, technology, society and the environment could all affect your business' development, so you need to keep informed. Consider setting up a team to monitor and report on changes in the business world.

Professional associations and trade bodies

Get information from professional, academic and government publications, reports from research bodies, trade and technical magazines, etc. Search for a trade association.

Trade exhibitions and conferences

These may allow you to see what your competitors are doing and discover the latest innovations in your business sector. Read about trade shows and exhibitions.

Product research and development

Scientific and technical research and development can be a vital source of knowledge that can help you create innovative products and retain your competitive edge. 

Non-executive directors

Recruiting non-executive directors can be a good way for you to bring on board specialised industry experience and benefit from ready-made contracts. Learn more about recruiting company directors.

Collaboration between businesses and associated institutions

Groups of businesses or associated institutions with common interests - known as clusters - sometimes join forces in order to share knowledge. Find out how to fuel business growth through collaboration.

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