- Opinion & Analysis
- Read Time: 12 min
We may be in the second decade of the knowledge-worker era, but companies still have much to learn about what makes such workers tick.
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For “knowledge-based” to be more than a buzzword, managers must recognize that the concept has little to do with the kind of products they sell. Whether it‘s a cement maker like Holcim or a financial services company like CapitalOne, a company‘s knowledge base is predicated on how it uses knowledge to change processes, overcome traditional boundaries, set strategy, and create a corporate culture.
No enterprise can out-innovate all potential competitors, suppliers and external knowledge sources. Knowledge frontiers are moving too fast. In almost every major discipline, up to 90% of relevant knowledge has appeared in the last 15 years.
The more companies outsource, the more they approach virtual organization, with knowledge centers interacting through mutual interest and electronic systems. To mitigate the risks associated with reduced authority, companies must develop “best in world” capabilities, leverage the capabilities of others and innovate constantly. The author shows how to slash innovation cycle times and costs by 60%-90% and develop the full potential of intellectual outsourcing.
For the past twenty years, competition has occupied the center of strategic thinking. Indeed, one hardly speaks of strategy without drawing on the vocabulary of competition — competitive strategy, competitive benchmarking, competitive advantages, outperforming the competition.
In many large organizations, and some small ones, a new corporate executive is emerging — the chief knowledge officer. Companies are creating the position to initiate, drive, and coordinate knowledge management programs.
Current models of organizational strategy and structure fail to meet the challenges of the information age. Based on field study, the authors conceptualize an architecture, or guide, for virtual organizing that focuses on the importance of knowledge and intellect in creating value. Information technology lies at the heart of this business model for the twenty-first century.
Managers must think about and manage data differently in order to take advantage of this underutilized resource.
Scholars and observers from disciplines as disparate as sociology, economics, and management science agree that a transformation has occurred — knowledge is at center stage.1 Knowledge is information combined with experience, context, interpretation, and reflection.
With the decline of some well-established firms, the diminishing competitive power of many companies in a burgeoning world market, and the need for organizational renewal and transformation, interest in organizational learning has grown. Senior managers in many organizations are convinced of the importance of improving learning in their organizations.
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