Knowledge and Performance

Knowledge management is one of non-instructional approaches to solve the performance problems. So much so knowledge management (KM) and human performance improvement (HPI) have developed their own fields, and people can make career out of them. I have been thinking about them as fields, and I have looked for their models and practices. This week I want to look at these two fields just from common sense. Really knowledge and performance, what are they about?

knowledge and performance

If we want to perform, we have to know how (knowledge). In a way, knowledge feeds performance. Well performance can produce knowledge too. Performing is to apply knowledge; knowledge can be learned through performance. It can be demonstrated as the loop above. It is obvious that if you learn from performance, you increase your knowledge; if you increase your knowledge, likely you will improve your performance. As for KM and HPI, KM would be a driven force for HPI.


However, to create worthy performance, only having knowledge is not sufficient. Performance is defined as “the outcome of behavior”. Behavior is about how to do, or what to do with the knowledge. The preferred behaviors have higher chance to produce successful performance. The preferred behaviors are such as, planning, organizing, active listening, innovating, and team-working. Talking about performance, it is always in certain kind of circumstances, in a system or organization. It also has some kind of expectation, the goals. Well looking at this, I find this a lot looks like Gilbert’s BEM. Gilbert is genius to come up with the BEM model to analyze the performance causes. This also shows the scope of HPI. It has to systematically consider all the components and in every angle.

When dealing with “management”, I would think something is complex. Management of knowledge comes up because knowledge has become complex in the system. Usually we face tremendous information, diverse experience, a situation that we need to transfer experience, or a situation that we need ideas to solve problems… For experience and ideas, it requires working with people, bring the best out of people. For information, what we face is the data. There is also data management. How to discover knowledge from data? It requires systematical tools, collecting, analyzing, or reporting data.

I find it makes sense about the relationship between knowledge and performance. The may have chicken and egg kind of relationship. To solve a problem in an organization, it has to start from somewhere. Well I think it would not matter start from where only if it has the right direction to lead the worthy performance.

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