Digital is the way how we will learn in the future, says Sandra Balazikova.
She thinks that we are already living in the future, but she does not dare to guess what the distant future brings. "The more information and knowledge available, the more the decision can be made easier and faster. Every profit-oriented company knows that well-timed decisions are crucial for further economic development," advises a global expert on knowledge management working for an American technology corporation Dell, Mrs. Sandra Balazikova.
Q: New technologies have a significant impact on how we work, how we learn, and how we interact with the world around us. How do you perceive this shift in recent times?
The shift is significant, whether it concerns interpersonal or employment relationships. When I look back at how society worked, the system of education, and communication, it is evident that we are living a completely different time. Things are much #faster. Communities are diverse, and language is changing (various abbreviations in online communication, which certainly causes the older generation some new "wrinkles on the forehead"). Also, the availability of information is becoming infinite. We work in ultra-flexible working hours, in virtual teams, on global roles, remotely from home. We overcome time differences and can be "connected 24/7". We have a wide range of #knowledge and have easy access to information (the most up-to-date information). We can have a broad scope and can make quick decisions in several areas. On the other hand, those things that make our professional lives easier can cause a heavy burden in our personal lives. So it's great we have various activities and training on topics such as "#Work_Life_Balance," setting #values and priorities, Internet and smartphone addictions.
Q: Following the experts technology will allow us to learn easier and faster and keep us on the "wave." How far is this future or learning ?
I think we are already living in the future. I dare not to guess what the distant future will be. We may use smart glasses to see the latest news or information necessary or essential for us too. Current #technologies have significantly changed the way of learning. We used to learn about a form of radio training on the Australian continent, overcoming great distances. Today it is a reality. We can study at a reputable university online (via computer, webcam, and headset) without meeting classmates and professors. Therefore, the form of acquiring knowledge is different. We visited libraries, conducted research from the books, and prepared papers (mainly factual and comprehensive). Today it is necessary to validate that papers authenticity and check whether they are not downloaded from the Internet (due to easy access to the information). The teacher should focus and direct the students to think about the #content, the #facts, formulate an #opinion, and take a #position. Also, to effectively present and keep the audience interested (Effective "online" presentation via conference call or video conferencing is a challenge). I remember waiting in the queue for the printed publication "Chronicle of Humanity." Today we would probably download some application "Chronicle of Humanity-online," which would regularly supply us with the latest information. I would not have to wait for the next edition in printed form, which would be out of date at the time of printing. Today, if we are interested in a topic, we have regular access to current information, and we can stay updated any time we wish. There is an #overload of information out there. It is necessary to be able to understand which data is #relevant. It is critical today.
Q: Does the millennial's approach to work impact knowledge management?
A very topic. We had "#Millennials" on the "#internship" summer program. If we ask ourselves the question: What will the young generation do if they look for answers to their questions? The probable answer is: they will click on the Internet and search online. Companies know that digital is the future. It is clear since we accepted the Internet as a new communication medium. So the answer is definitely yes.
Q: Social networks have revolutionized the way we use the Internet. How does this manifest in knowledge management?
As I mentioned in the answer above, #digital is the #future. I worked for the company responsible for education and marketing communication, specifically within #ePlatform (the company's strategic business pillar focused on online sales). I had the opportunity to see how #social_networks and users' opinions affect customers' shopping habits. It is necessary to adapt training or development programs for employees, adapt communication. Traditional examples are #career social networks, which have changed the approach to sourcing candidates, and at the same time, have made it possible to #promote the company's brand. #Intelligent_technologies are increasingly enabling us to expand our knowledge.
Q: Why integrate knowledge intelligent technologies? How does it affect the company?
#Knowledge means power and #influence. And time is money. The more information and knowledge available, the easier and faster we can make the decision. Every profit-oriented company knows that well-timed informed decisions are crucial for future #economic developments. Intelligent technologies help to do this.
Q: Mobile devices have become the primary tool for accessing the information. What is the impact on knowledge management?
#Mobile_devices have opened up a whole new dimension of how we #access_information. We have constant access, 24/7. Mobile devices support knowledge #sharing in organizations. A senior manager who spends four days a week on business trips can view the attendance of his employees on his mobile device, approve a holiday request and beforehand find out in the company knowledge data system other details. So the answer is clear. Mobile devices have a significant #impact on #knowledge_management.
Q: The visually processed information is replacing large textual content. What is the benefit of this shift?
The reason, in my opinion, is the availability of an enormous amount of information that we need to filter/select. Like the "Answer first" method - give me an answer - what you want to tell me, so the processed visual information can help me preselect which information I consider helpful, for example, in the decision-making process. In today's #overload_of_information, no one has time for lengthy presentations and documents. The short #video, to share the main message with us, is much more #effective and #striking than a 3-pages document. As part of my work, we introduced the so-called "#Knowledge_nuggets." Short, concise videos where we summarized the exact information. This saved hours that our colleagues would have to spend, for example, training online. Much information is presented visually in the form of #pictograms. Here, however, I would draw attention that some pictograms may have different meanings in different countries. I recommend working thoughtfully with the content and knowing what information I want to convey. Those companies that have grasped this correctly are today's IT, industry leaders.
Q: In the past, several interesting concepts supported the idea of knowledge management. Where do you think lies the success of knowledge management?
Knowledge management is mainly part of a cultural change in the perception of accessing information. Every change takes time. There are companies on the local market that, for example, have not yet implemented a system for evaluating work performance. Some companies have all the necessary information covered on the intranet. For example, what is happening in their industry is introducing new products at the global markets. List of local benefits offered to employees or promoting an employee to the managerial function. It sounds unbelievable, but that's the reality. #Knowledge_management enables us to operate globally and makes it easier for our employees to access the right, up-to-date and necessary information that helps them perform their work. It's mainly about believing that the #data_is_accurate, and if I make a #managerial_decision based on it, it will have a positive effect, for example, on the development of my team.
Q: Many search engines can search and evaluate a wealth of information. So why invest in in-house tools?
The answer is directly in the question, in the word-internal. Each company has its internal regulations and standards. Answers to these internal regulations are not on the public search server. Various global programs such as "PIP" (a performance improvement plan), a global tool for getting feedback from superiors, or an internal knowledge management system offer information and answers to questions about these programs and tools.
Thank you Sandra.
About Mrs. Balazikova.
Sandra Balazikova is a Global Knowledge Management Expert at Dell. She led and co-piloted regional projects and helped to create platforms and tools for knowledge management. Sandra participated in the design and integration of knowledge management within various regions such as Europe, the US, and China. She received a prestigious award from the company's founder, Michael Dell. Sandra is a Master of Finance from the University of Vienna. Sandra is a certified expert in "lean-efficient management" (LSS).
A series of MENITY Leaders Talk interviews.
Interview with Mrs. Balazikova by Mr. Janik, a partner at MENITY.
Pictures © MENITY.