The Value of Knowledge in a New Job

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Knowledge Management > Forum > The Value of Knowledge in a New Job

The Value of Knowledge in a New Job
Lloyd Lawrence, Manager, Australia, SIG Leader
Knowledge is an interesting thing: in one respect, once we have it, we never lose it. In another respect, when a change occurs our previous knowledge typically has limited application to a new situation.

Having just moved from the Aviation industry to a State Government Education organisation, in a lot of ways I need to start all over. Time for me to step back, observe and learn the new organisation. Time for me to evaluate my previously gained knowledge and see how I can apply it for the best for my new organisation. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in and contributing!

⇒ What successes have you had applying previous knowledge in a new organisation just after a job change?

The Value of your Knowledge when you are Starting over in a New Organisation
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Indeed knowledge is a funny thing.
My experience with starting in a new organization is that after an initial apparent decrease in the value of your knowledge, after a while as you learn new things and combine that with what you already knew, the value of your knowledge increases considerably.

That's why I think that changing jobs now and then is good for your own development, but also for the organizations you work for. Indeed if a person works for a very long time for the same employer, that is no longer considered as a pre like perhaps in the past.

Value of your Knowledge When Starting Over
Ahmad Sultan Abdulla, Consultant, Malaysia, Member
Agree with Jaap. Starting in a new job is actually a good thing in all respects, as it opens up new horizons and new ways of doing things. Your "core knowledge" remains relevant and forms the basis of your "thinking".
The question is how do you innovate, recreate and adapt your existing knowledge to your new environment, problem situations and offer solutions. This can only be done by first taking some time to understand the current work processes, work culture and the people involved in your new firm. The best place to start is to ask plenty of questions and make many connections.

Value of Knowledge in a New Position
Geoffrey Athey, Director, United States, Member
Every new person changes an organization. The key as a new guy is to not tear down fences too quickly (before you understand why they where built in the first place).

Knowledge in my New Position
Lloyd Lawrence, Manager, Australia, SIG Leader
I am now five weeks into the new role and indeed I have been able to apply my "base" knowledge on a daily basis. I'm frequently adding value through a different point of view and building upon past experiences.
I must say though that my success thus far has been through co-operation with my new work peers, and mutual trust.
I am fortunate for my past efforts in knowledge management here and the knowledge handover I received, as this has ensured we are aligned for the best outcomes.

Some Value Factors on Changing Jobs
srinivas, Lecturer, India, Member
Coping with the different culture of the new organisation requires an adaptive mind set. By observing and learning you can develop a delivery mechanism of your own.
In your previous organisation you might have been exposed to some delivery mechanism of services or products, and that could be customized to the new context.
Or someone in the senior management may appreciate your different view point as it may add to the knowledge base or even to the bottom line...

What is the Value of Changing Jobs?
Rajesh Sharma, Manager, India, Member
My opinion is very clear and firm that when one meets new employees, people and stakeholders that will certainly enhance one’s knowledge which can be used for the organization. It is useful for innovation and for improving the work culture.

Application of Previous Knowledge to New Situations
Pio Mandizvidza, Manager, Zimbabwe, Member
I just want to question the rationale behind stating experience as a prerequisite for advertised jobs. Are employers aware of the (lack of) relevance of previous experience in the face of technological advances. I also feel that person's social, moral and spiritual aspects have something to do with her or his experience and adapting to new situations at work.
Should we discard those without experience in favor of the more experienced ones? I think these issues need to be explored further
Does some method or approach exist to measure the fit of someone's experience to new situations?

RE: Value of your Knowledge When Starting Over
Lloyd Lawrence, Manager, Australia, SIG Leader
@Ahmad Sultan Abdulla: Thank you Ahmad for your reply, I have found what you said to be the case. I've been able to combine my previous knowledge of reporting, with tools new to me and this in turn has opened more opportunities for me... Which in turn creates benefits for the organisation.

RE: Application of Previous Knowledge to New Situations
Lloyd Lawrence, Manager, Australia, SIG Leader
@Rajesh Sharma: Thanks for your response Rajesh. It's true, as we have new interactions, knowledge exchange has a mutual benefit, and the link to innovation is often forgotten but good to remember.

RE: Application of Previous Knowledge to New Situations
Lloyd Lawrence, Manager, Australia, SIG Leader
Hi Pio, your response is quite valid. Only this week I read about the importance of evidence or track record over experience, particularly for higher level positions. Also, as you say, a person is much more than just their experience. Life experiences and beliefs influence ones decisions and actions, and therefore their interactions and contributions to the organisation. True leaders can see the qualities in each individual and strategically place them in a team in such a way that they can contribute and balance the other team members. "The Organisational Zoo" by Dr Arthur Shelley is a great methodology to take advantage of this.

Previous Experience is Still Relevant for Job Applicants
Ahmad Sultan Abdulla, Consultant, Malaysia, Member
@Pio Mandizvidza: whilst I do not disagree with you in general Pio, I still think previous experience is still relevant and forms the "knowledge" for systemic thinking. Activities and processes may change as with competence and new technology but core deliverable and understanding the purpose of the activity remains the same. I may recruit an inexperienced person but only in areas where I want to have a clean sheet of canvas to draw but still "knowledge" does play an important role.

General Functional Knowledge and Portability to a New Job
Ed Neri, HR Consultant, Philippines, Member
Businesses in a country would tend to have similarities in basic or general functional knowledge. Functional areas such as purchasing, accounting or personnel administration can be ported to another business in the same country.
The emphasis on being in the same country is due to the application of laws that doing a function may be required to be followed. Different country, different laws you may not be aware of.
A new job holder may require the person to learn the practices, but in general would not have problems adjusting to a new work environment in terms of work processes.

Value of Experience in a New Job
Isaiah Maisiba, Accountant, Kenya, Member
The new job poses two pertinent issues: A new environment and a new job.
Of the two, the latter is easier to navigate through if the organisation has an induction programme to see you around the basics, otherwise your individuality succeeds where Standard Operating Procedures stop.
Next is environment, this is more challenging in terms of emotional intelligence requirement, making of new friends, learning organisational culture(context), knowing and accessing the owners of knowledge(tacit) , and buiding trust with colleagues. Political, economic, social, technical, environmental and legal spheres need assessment. Understanding all these spheres ensures a shorter learning curve to value addition. Since you have the clearest mind, you critically assess the processes and can suggest improvements after subsequently understanding them. You will be able to assess your new environment via SWOT(strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) Analysis. Learn as much as you can and overcome the discomfort being out of your comfort zone. 'Difficulty is the mother of invention they say' and productivity is applying know-how and creativity applying knowledge in a new environment.

Job Change Knowledge and Learning
Maurice Hogarth, Consultant, United Kingdom, Premium Member
I am recruited to apply my knowledge and cumulative experience.
Moving within a career line, even across industries, the learning concern was less to do with professional knowledge than with learning to apply my knowledge in the new situation, with people, who did not know what I did.
No-one goes into an organisation knowing everything they need to.
Longer term knowledge building comes from a combination of taking in knowledge from the organisation and from formal learning, as needed.
I was advised, and pretty much stuck to it, to change jobs every three years.
1st year to bed in;
2nd year to develop and contribute;
3rd year to prepare the ground for the next incumbent and for your next job, gaining the knowledge to best help you “hit the ground running”.
If intending a change of industry/career (e.g. IT to finance; industry to education) then new knowledge will be required beforehand.
EXPERIENCE: 10 years worth or 1 years worth repeated 9 times (and 9 years out-of-date)?

Knowledge is Valuable for a New Job
jeymerd bello, Analyst, Member
The knowledge we already have is always important for a new job. One's knowledge contributes to the new job as innovation or by improving the work methods. And for the worker the new job is a new opportunity to apply his expertise and experience.
All those things improve the work environment.

Widened Expertise, Scope and Breadth
Lloyd Lawrence, Manager, Australia, SIG Leader
@Jeymerd bello: What I have observed in my present role is that past team members have focused on particular aspects. A new member's contribution can certainly widen the expertise, scope and breadth of tasks undertaken. To me, it's been very beneficial to have a base to build upon.

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Lloyd Lawrence

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