In the emerging knowledge economy, the ability to manage knowledge is becoming ever more crucial. The creation and diffusion of knowledge are increasingly important factors in economic competitiveness. Knowledge is not only embodied in goods and services, particularly in high technology industries, which provide the highest rates of growth in productivity and employment in manufacturing industry, but also in knowledge as a commodity itself, manifested in forms such as intellectual property rights or in the tacit knowledge of highly mobile key employees.

While organisations have always had some form of 'knowledge management' system, usually under another name, it is now apparent that the ability to systematically identify, generate, acquire, diffuse and capture the benefits of knowledge can provide a substantial strategic advantage. The extent of intangible assets in major firms, often exceeding their tangible assets many-fold, is one illustration.

Based on an analysis of the new rules of competition under the global knowledge economy, and extensive experience in a range of firms, a diagnostic has been developed to allow organisations to determine the effectiveness of their knowledge management, and thereby to benchmark their activities. New approaches are being developed to provide a sounder basis for the strategic management of knowledge through managing organisational information, organisational knowledge, and individual knowledge, and the transfer and translation processes between each of them.

We have identified the Knowledge Management Journey as a 'fivefold way', involving:

  • Establishing appropriate information management systems and processes.
  • Identifying and locating the knowledge and knowledge sources with in the organisation.
  • Codifying knowledge (ie translating knowledge to information) where re-use econonmies can operate.
  • Creating networks, practices and incentives to facilitate person to perosn knowledge transfer where the focus is on the unique solution.
  • adding the personal knowledge management to the HRD repertoire.