What is a Foundational Process?
Talking about Core and Support Processes makes no sense without a Knowledge base. All processes related to how Knowledge flows through the organization are called Foundational. These include:
- Communications Management, broken down into:
- Internal communications, i.e. how the organization engages in dialogue with its people; and
- External communications, i.e. how the organization messages outwards.
Of course, Communications can also be broken down into:
- Formal communications, i.e. messages that have a form and clear objective behind them; and
- Information communications, i.e. the “bush telegraph” whereby most information gets around the organization.
- Information Management, which is the way in which the organization manages the flow from:
- Data (i.e. raw information being collected by the organization for whatever purpose)
- Information (i.e. data transformed into a more useful form, for example, collated under headers)
- Intelligence (i.e. the key information that is likely to inform decision making) and
- Wisdom (i.e. the few key bits of information that are actually used for decision making by the organization’s leadership.
- Information Technology, which is the entire structure of hardware and software that supports the knowledge structure of the organization.
Where do Foundational Processes come from?
There is nothing more fundamental than Knowledge, when it comes to a group of people called an “organization” working together. So Foundational Processes are well named and they talk to the fundamentals of though and speech: we think something and in order to “get it out”, we have to articulate it in spoken or written words. So, the source of our Knowledge is each other, collated over time. The challenge for the organization is to determine which bits of knowledge will eventually inform strategic decisions. The entire fields of IM and IT are devoted to figuring out how to bring information to bear on decision making in the organization (if not, they should be).