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The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) along with the Korea Productivity Center kicked off the three-day Top Management Forum on Knowledge Management (KM) for SMEs in Jeju, Republic of Korea, 14–16 March 2017. The forum is a venue to discuss applications of KM tools and techniques and share the best practices and success stories among owners and top managers of SMEs, as well as consultants and practitioners who draft KM frameworks.
Nineteen participants from 16 member economies are attending the forum, which also aims to enhance the knowledge and capabilities of top managers and strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs through KM initiatives. Over the three days, the forum will cover the basic concepts and benefits of KM for SMEs, the APO KM framework and implementation approach, as well as the impact of Industry 4.0 on SMEs.
It will also give participants a better understanding of the importance and role of IT in KM efforts within organizations. The forum follows the format of lectures, country paper presentations, group discussions, observational site visits to SMEs in the ROK, and preparation of action plans by participants. Case studies on best practices of KM and challenges faced by SMEs in implementing a KM framework are included.
In the present global economy, knowledge or know-how has become the intangible resource that provides a competitive advantage, and SMEs are no exception. SME top managers need to manage knowledge for the same reasons as larger organizations, allowing them to become and remain competitive through their ability to manage and exploit knowledge.
KM is a discipline that enables individuals, teams, organizations, and communities to capture, store, share, and apply their knowledge collectively and systematically to achieve specific objectives. It can deliver a competitive advantage through greater competency and synergy, more balanced decisions with fewer errors, increased creativity and innovation, broader collaboration and knowledge sharing, and easier links to expertise and understanding.
The forum is being conducted by APO international experts Senior Lecturer Dr. Ida Yasin of Putra Business School (Malaysia), Principal Consultant Praba Nair of KDi Asia (Singapore), and CEO/CKO of Knowledge Associates Cambridge Ron Young of St. John’s Innovation Centre, Cambridge (UK). The program is line with the 2010 APO publication Practical KM Guide for SME Owners and will allow leaders from the sector to discuss and share knowledge on KM applications before adopting them in their companies.