Tying Social Software to Business Metrics that Matter

Many companies are interested in implementing (or already have implemented) social software in an attempt to streamline processes and increase employee communication. Often times, however, the new software is not integrated across the company in a way that makes it useful and lasting.

How to Break the Expert’s Curse

Experts could be our most powerful teachers—but often they’ve lost the ability to connect with novices. Research by Ting Zhang reveals how experts can rediscover the experience of inexperience.

How to Prevent Experts from Hoarding Knowledge

Lack of time or resources can, of course, constrain knowledge transfer. But one barrier to passing deep smarts along to the next generation that is often unaddressed is the expert’s inclination to hoard knowledge. Financial incentives, personal ego, and discontent or frustration with the company are three of the top reasons individuals choose to keep their expertise to themselves. But they’re also three issues that … [ Read more ]

How New BofA Executives Learn its ’Deep Smarts’

Bank of America’s stringent onboarding process for new execs ensures they understand role expectations, quickly develop networks, and learn from other leaders what it takes to succeed. From the new book by Dorothy Leonard and colleagues, Critical Knowledge Transfer.

A Little Knowledge Management Can Be a Dangerous Thing

According to the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), knowledge management (KM) is defined as: “a systematic process of connecting people to people and people to knowledge and information they need to effectively act and create new knowledge.” But is KM is worthwhile business practice and, if so, how should it be measured?

Boosting Inter-Organizational Knowledge Transfer

The successful acquisition of knowledge across organizational boundaries is essential for innovation and creativity. In a new article, IESE’s Marco Tortoriello and his colleagues argue that organizations interested in mobilizing knowledge across formal boundaries must move beyond the simplistic version of “boundary spanners” (individuals who link different organizational units) toward a deeper understanding of the network relationships in which boundary spanners are embedded.

How Much Do You Know?

The most important thing that companies have learned in the past twenty years is that managing knowledge requires knowing more about both knowledge and management than a lot of big firms seem to know.

Rethinking Knowledge Work: A Strategic Approach

Knowledge workers’ information needs vary. The key to better productivity is applying technology more precisely.

How Knowledge Management Affects Team Performance

Improvements in efficiency and quality vary with a team’s tasks and location, as well as with the access its members have to institutional databases.

Knowledge Management Below the Radar

Adam Richardson of frog design has clustered a variety of KM approaches into a 2×2, and describes some of the specific things done at frog by way of illustration. This is not to say that these are the best methods, but they do show that there are often many below-the-radar and informal methods of achieving knowledge sharing that don’t get recognized as being valuable for … [ Read more ]

Are You Wasting Money On Useless Knowledge Management?

Is your company investing in expensive knowledge management systems that are useless for making big, strategy decisions? Most companies recognize the need for knowledge management, but often delegate it to the IT and HR departments without linking it to corporate strategy, often thereby wasting both resources and the strategic options their firm’s knowledge could generate. The problem is that most current knowledge management efforts merely … [ Read more ]

The New Infocracies: Implications for Leadership

Because an infocracy is based on power created by access to widely available information, it demands a different type of leadership than a bureaucracy.

Peter Drucker on The Value of Ignorance

Peter Drucker was the most renowned management thinker of the 20th century, but his greatest insights came not from his considerable knowledge, but from his ignorance. In this excerpt from his new book A Class with Drucker, William A. Cohen, a longtime protégé of Drucker, recounts how the “father of modern management” once illustrated to his students the value of ignorance.

How to Turn Data into a Strategic Asset

One of the most lucrative assets companies own could be the data they possess. The challenge is turning it into relevant, usable information. Analytics can be a powerful tool in this effort. Accenture profiles a five-step model for putting analytics at the center of corporate decision making.

How to Optimize Knowledge Sharing in a Factory Network

Designing a manufacturing network entails devising and managing flows of innovation and know-how—not just determining what to produce and where—and organizing the resulting logistics flows.

The Practical Wisdom of Ikujiro Nonaka

To help corporations create knowledge more consciously, the author of Managing Flow draws on Western and Eastern philosophic traditions.

Leveraging Knowledge Management Across Strategic Alliances

Alliances will have a major impact on management in the 21st century. In an alliance, managers will have to make difficult decisions about when to partner and with whom, as well as how to structure and manage the partnership. Those managers who can leverage information and knowledge across each stage of the alliance process will find that a knowledge-based approach is critical to the success … [ Read more ]

Global Operating Models for Managing Knowledge Work

Increasingly, companies are spreading “knowledge work” tasks – such as research and product development – overseas as a means to increase competitiveness, reduce costs, access new talent pools and establish a presence in emerging markets. Yet many struggle to achieve the performance to which they aspire.

This paper describes how a structured approach for understanding the link between decision-making (how work is governed) and workflow (how … [ Read more ]

Choosing Your Knowledge Management Strategy

This paper surveys a number of different Knowledge Management (KM) strategies and a range of driving forces for knowledge management activities. The authors then attempt to produce a simple classification tool that will allow us to link the drivers to the KM strategies, using a number of published heuristics. Finally, a case study is presented which applies the method suggested and discuss its usefulness.