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The New Edge in Knowledge: How Knowledge Management Is Changing the Way We Do Business

The New Edge in Knowledge: How Knowledge Management Is Changing the Way We Do Business

Carla O'Dell, Cindy Hubert

ISBN: 978-1-118-01518-6

Jan 2011

256 pages



The best thinking and actions in the fast-moving arena of collaboration and knowledge management

The New Edge in Knowledge captures the most practical and innovative practices to ensure organizations have the knowledge they need in the future and, more importantly, the ability to connect the dots and use knowledge to succeed today.

  • Build or retrofit your organization for new ways of working and collaboration by using knowledge management
  • Adapt to today's most popular ways to collaborate such as social networking
  • Overcome organization silos, knowledge hoarding and "not invented here" resistance
  • Take advantage of emerging technologies and mobile devices to build networks and share knowledge
  • Identify what can be learned from Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon to make firms and people smarter, stronger and faster

Straightforward and easy-to-follow, this is the resource you'll turn to again and again to get-and stay-in the know. Plus, the book is filled with real-world examples – the case studies and snapshots of how best practice companies are achieving success with knowledge management.

Praise for The New Edge in Knowledge: How Knowledge Management is Changing the Way We Do Business

“You may think you know knowledge management, but this is new—how knowledge initiatives can incorporate social media, mobile technologies, and learning, for example. This book integrates the new knowledge management with the best of the old, such as communities of practice and measurement. KM still matters, and this book tells you why.”
Thomas H. Davenport, President’s Distinguished Professor of IT and Management, Babson College

"Over the last decade, knowledge management has emerged as a key success factor for the modern corporation, driven by tremendous advances in business analytics. This book studies the best practices in knowledge management and how leadership companies are applying them today."
Virginia M. Rometty, Senior Vice President and Group Executive Sales, Marketing and Strategy, IBM

“APQC has been on the leading edge of knowledge management for almost two decades. O’Dell and Hubert have captured those best practices and created a road map to transform the way people work. Reap the benefits of their experience.”
C. Jackson Grayson, Chairman and Founder, APQC and co-author of If Only We Knew What We Know

The New Edge in Knowledge is a useful how-to manual that takes best practice sharing and organizational capability building to the next level: Web 2.0, social networking, mobility, and communities of practice. National and international examples show how companies can create strategic alignment and systematic management to transfer knowledge rapidly and effectively.”
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School professor and author of SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good

"What has made our KM program strong is sticking to the fundamentals-- that's exactly what this book outlines. It provides trusted advisor guidance on how any company or organization can take the concrete steps to create and implement a world class KM strategy."
Dan Ranta, Director of Knowledge Sharing, ConocoPhillips

“Carla O'Dell and Cindy Hubert have written an amazingly down to earth, useful and practical book on knowledge management and its importance to modern business. Starting with the distinction between information and knowledge, they provide a viewpoint that leaves IT in the dust. Read it to prepare for tomorrow's world!”
A. Gary Shilling, President, A. Gary Shilling & Co., Inc.

“A practical business approach to knowledge management, this book covers KM's value proposition for any organization, provides proven strategies and approaches to make it work, shares how to measure KM's impact, and illustrates high level knowledge sharing with wonderful case studies. Well done!”
Jane Dysart, Conference Chair, KMWorld & Partner, Dysart & Jones Associates

“This book is a tour de force in the field of knowledge management. Read every single page and learn about best practices from the leading firms around the world. All of this and more from the company that leads the way in the field: APQC. I highly recommend it for your bookshelf.”
Dr. Nick Bontis, Director, Institute for Intellectual Capital Research

“Food for thought from two of the pioneers. Carla O’Dell and Cindy Hubert have been in the trenches with many of the organizations that have succeeded in leveraging KM for business benefit. They recognized early the symbiotic relationship between knowledge flow and work flow and have guided practitioners in the quest to optimize and streamline both.”
Reid Smith, Enterprise Content Management Director, Marathon Oil Company

“Carla O’Dell and Cindy Hubert take knowledge management from vague idea to strategic enabler. In so doing, they clear up the not only the whats, but the whys and the hows. This book establishes knowledge management as an organizational discipline. The authors offer a straightforward set of execution steps, coaching readers on how to launch their own knowledge management programs in a deliberate and rigorous way.”
Jill Dyché, Partner and Co-Founder, Baseline Consulting; Author of Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth

“The authors and APQC have put together an excellent ‘how to’ manual for Knowledge Management (KM) that can benefit any organization, from those experienced in KM to those just starting. The authors have taken their years of experience and excellence in this field and written a masterful introduction and design manual that incorporates industry best-practices and alerts readers to the pitfalls they are likely to encounter. This book needs to be in the hands of every KM professional and corporate senior leader.”
Ralph Soule, a member of the US Navy

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

Chapter 1 Positioning Knowledge Management for the Future 1

What Is Knowledge Management? 2

KM in a New Context 3

Primary Directives 10

Showcasing KM Leaders 12

Closing Comments 16

Chapter 2 A Call to Action 19

Determine the Value Proposition 20

Identify Critical Knowledge 23

Locate Your Critical Knowledge 24

How Knowledge Should Flow 29

Getting Buy-In 32

Closing Comments 32

Chapter 3 Knowledge Management Strategy and Business Case 35

A Framework for KM Strategy Development 36

The Business Case for KM 41

Closing Comments 43

Chapter 4 Selecting and Designing Knowledge Management Approaches 45

A Portfolio of Approaches 45

Selecting KM Approaches 48

Designing a KM Approach 52

What Can Go Wrong 53

Portfolio Example: Retaining Critical Knowledge 54

Closing Comments 59

Chapter 5 Proven Knowledge Management Approaches 61

Communities of Practice 61

Lessons Learned 68

Transfer of Best Practices 74

Closing Comments 78

Chapter 6 Emerging Knowledge Management Approaches 81

The Promise of Social Computing 82

Revealing New Facets of Information 84

The New Generation of Self-Service: The Digital Hub 85

The Digital Hub at Work 86

Challenges and Change Management 96

Our Recommendations 101

Case Examples 102

Closing Comments 107

Chapter 7 Working Social Networking 109

Guidelines for Enterprise Social Networking 110

Closing Comments 115

Chapter 8 Governance, Roles, and Funding 117

Governance Group 117

KM Core Group 119

KM Design Teams 123

Investing in KM 124

Balancing Corporate and Business-Unit Funding 125

Closing Comments 126

Chapter 9 Building a Knowledge-Sharing Culture 129

Lead by Example 130

Brand Aggressively 134

Make KM Fun 139

Closing Comments 142

Chapter 10 Measuring the Impact of Knowledge Management 143

A Portfolio of Measures 144

Measuring across the Levels of Maturity 147

The Power of Analytics 151

A KM Measurement System 152

Closing Comments 154

Chapter 11 Make Best Practices Your Practices 157

Above and In the Flow 157

Other Principles 158

So What Do You Do Monday Morning? 160

Appendix Case Studies 163

ConocoPhillips 163

Fluor 179

IBM 197


References 227

About the Authors 229

About APQC 230

Index 233