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Knowledge Management and the Role of the Chief Knowledge Officer Nancy Faget, 01/14/2004 - 08:52 AM

CHIEF KNOWLEDGE OFFICER


- What is the role of a C ! in a "#$lic sector organi%ation& - What co'"etencies an( s)ills 'a)e a C ! s#ccessf#l& - What are the "ersonal attri$#tes of a C !& *n an atte'"t to "#t so'e $o#n(aries an( li'its on the s#$+ect of M as a #sef#l conce"t in the ,-.- Fe(eral /o0ern'ent, a series of go0ern'ent an( in(#stry $rainstor'ing sessions 1ere hel( in May an( 2#ne 2000- 3he Fe(eral M Wor)ing /ro#" s"onsore( the go0ern'entin(#stry-aca(e'ia 1or)sho"s at the *nfor'ation 4eso#rces Manage'ent College, National 5efense ,ni0ersity, to (efine the roles an( res"onsi$ilities of a Chief no1le(ge !fficer 6C !7- 3hese 1or)sho"s foc#se( on the $rea(th of )no1le(ge an( s)ills nee(e( $y )no1le(ge 'anagers- 8artici"ants in the first session incl#(e( C !s or e9#i0alents fro' the Fe(eral go0ern'ent- 3he secon( session incl#(e( C !s or e9#i0alents fro' the "ri0ate sector, "ri'arily fro' infor'ation technology an( cons#lting $#sinesses- :ach gro#" foc#se( on the role of a C ! in a "#$lic sector organi%ation, the co'"etencies that 'a)e a C ! s#ccessf#l, an( the 'ost i'"ortant "ersonal attri$#tes C !s '#st $ring to the +o$- An o0erall res#lt 1as a (ee"er #n(erstan(ing of the i'"ortance of )no1le(ge 'anage'ent to organi%ations as seen thro#gh the eyes of $oth "#$lic an( "ri0ate sector Chief no1le(ge !fficers- 5r- 4o$ert :- Neilson, *4MC, of the National 5efense ,ni0ersity 1as instr#'ental in lea(ing these sessions an( $ringing the 1or) of the gro#" to fr#ition- N5, hosts a 1e$site that a((resses these i'"ortant to"ics, see htt"://111-n(#-e(#/ir'c/)'-cio;role/)'-ciorole-ht'3he res#lts of the sessions are (isc#sse( $elo1What is the role of a C ! in a "#$lic sector organi%ation& 4es"onses to this 9#estion sho1 that Chief no1le(ge !fficers in the "#$lic sector "lay a 'ar)e(ly (ifferent role than that of a Chief *nfor'ation !fficer 6C*!7- While C*!s foc#s '#ch of their acti0ity on "hysical co'"#ter an( net1or) assets, C !s foc#s their efforts on an integrate( set of acti0ities that a((ress organi%ational $eha0iors, "rocesses, an( technologies- 3hese acti0ities loosely fall in the areas of: lea(ershi" an( strategy, o#tco'es, $est "ractices/ "rocesses, )no1le(ge-sharing c#lt#re, co''#nities of "ractice, incenti0es an( re1ar(s, tools an( technology, e(#cation, ta<ono'y, an( reso#rces- 6see Fig#re 17 Analy%ing the content for each acti0ity in(icates that a C !=s role in0ol0es le0eraging the >soft st#ff> in organi%ations- Creating a )no1le(ge-sharing c#lt#re, cha'"ioning co''#nities of "ractice, "ro0i(ing lea(ershi" an( strategy, an( #sing incenti0es an( re1ar(s, are acti0ities that are the "ro0ince of the C !, $#t are to#gh to 'eas#re #sing tra(itional an( generally acce"te( $#siness 'etrics- 3hese acti0ities 'irror the acti0ities of s#ccessf#l Chief :<ec#ti0e !fficers 6C:!s7C !s '#st also "ossess a 1or)ing )no1le(ge of the tools an( technologies to le0erage the e<tant intellect#al $ase in organi%ations, tho#gh they are not necessarily technologists $y training- *n s#', their role is to create an( 'aintain an en0iron'ent an( at'os"here 1ithin

1hich all 1or)ers (eli0er 0al#e to the organi%ation #sing e<isting an( #ne<"loite( e<"licit an( tacit )no1le(ge so#rces- Fre9#ently, C !s f#lfill this role $y e<"eri'enting an( "artnering 1ith $#siness #nits- A((itionally, they are charge( 1ith the tas) of charting clear "rocesses, classification sche'es, an( tools to access an( #se e<isting (ata, infor'ation, an( e<"licit an( tacit )no1le(ge in a 'anner that "ro'otes sharing across ti'e, s"ace, an( $o#n(ariesClic) on i'age to enlarge

Fig#re 1: What is the role of a C ! in a "#$lic sector organi%ation& ?ac) to 3o" What co'"etencies an( s)ills 'a)e a C ! s#ccessf#l& 3his 9#estion atte'"ts to "ro$e $eyon( so'e of the e<isting literat#re a((ressing >1hat C !s (o> an( (eter'ine 1hat co'"etencies hel" 'a)e C !s s#ccessf#l, i-e-, >@o1 1o#l( yo# recogni%e a thir( (egree $lac) $elt C ! if yo# $#'"e( into one in the hall1ay&> 4es"onses can $e organi%e( into si< 'a+or co'"etency areas that C !s, or as"iring C !s, sho#l( "ossess- 3hese are: lea(ershi" an( 'anage'ent, co''#nications, strategic thin)ing, tools an( technologies, "ersonal $eha0iors, an( "ersonal )no1le(ge an( cogniti0e ca"a$ility6.ee Fig#re 27 ?oth "#$lic an( "ri0ate sector C !s felt that s#ccessf#l C !s '#st thin) holistically an( strategically an( '#st $e a$le to con0incingly co''#nicate the 0al#e of M to s)e"tical a#(iences- C !s nee( to 'o0e $eyon( 1hat 3o' 5a0en"ort calls >serio#s anec(ote 'anage'ent> 65a0en"ort an( 8r#sa), 1AA87 a$le to translate 9#alitati0e $enefits of M "ro+ects into 9#antitati0e $enefits to 1in the hearts an( 'in(s of Chief Financial !fficers 6CF!s7 an( C:!s- !ther1ise, 'any M "ro+ects 1ill fall into the 'anage'ent fa( category-

*n a((ition to the re9#isite lea(ershi" an( 'anage'ent ca"a$ilities, an( a 1or)ing )no1le(ge of tools an( technologies, e<isting an( as"iring C !s nee( to "ossess an a "riori "ersonal )no1le(ge $ase an( cogniti0e ca"a$ility set- Witho#t a "ersonal )no1le(ge $ase an( (e'onstrate( "ersonal $eha0iors, ne1ly a""ointe( C !s lac) cre(i$ility an( ha0e (iffic#lty >selling> M conce"ts to senior 'anage'entClic) on i'age to enlarge

Fig#re 2: What co'"etencies an( s)ills 'a)e a C ! s#ccessf#l& ?ac) to 3o" What are the 'ost i'"ortant "ersonal attri$#tes C !s '#st $ring to the +o$& 4es"onses to this 9#estion incl#(e( the follo1ing attri$#tes: "assion, "atience, "ersistence, sensiti0ity, organi%ational sa00y, s'art, 1ise, life-long learner, >thic) s)inne(,> integrator, an( (e"th an( $rea(th of )no1le(ge- With the e<ce"tion of life-long learner, 'ost of these "ersonal attri$#tes (o not (iscri'inate $et1een a C ! an( other senior lea(ers- /oo( chief e<ec#ti0e officers, chief o"erating officers, an( chief financial officers certainly "ossess the 'a+ority of the "ersonal attri$#tes in this list- ,"on reflection, the 9#estion sho#l( ha0e a((resse( 1hat #ni9#e "ersonal attri$#tes C !s sho#l( "ossess in a((ition to those attri$#tes associate( 1ith senior lea(ershi" "ositions- 6see Fig#re B7
Clic) on i'age to enlarge

Fig#re B: What are the 'ost i'"ortant "ersonal attri$#tes C !s '#st $ring to the +o$&

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