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Knowledge Works: The Handbook of Practical Ways to Identify and Solve Common Organizational Problems for Better Performance by Jane McKenzie, Christine van Winkelen

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Chapter 1

IDENTIFYING VALUABLE KNOWLEDGE

Snapshot

Valuable knowledge can be found in many places in organizations, from unique business models or solutions, key value-adding processes, core technology competencies, to business support systems that integrate knowledge across the organization. Identifying an organization’s most valuable knowledge is the first step in deciding how to prioritize investments in projects designed to retain and develop that knowledge.

A systematic plan of action can be created by mapping key knowledge resources and then evaluating their importance and accessibility. There is a series of questions you can use to help you with this process. The approach works for different levels of detail. You can adapt it depending upon whether you are looking to create an overall strategy or to develop specific initiatives. Three case studies show how different types of organizations applied the approach and what they learnt from it.

Why this Matters

Knowledge is widely recognized as a strategic resource. Current thinking goes further than simply acknowledging it as a source of competitive advantage: experts argue that turning knowledge into value is the main reason for firms to exist.1 While there may be agreement that a knowledge perspective should underpin an effective business strategy in today’s fast moving, global knowledge economy, many organizations have no process for identifying their most valuable knowledge and creating a plan to manage it. There is little ...

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