Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 7 Issue 8
Business transformation and knowledge management
Change management features heavily in the implementation of any knowledge-management strategy and is one of the trickiest elements to get right. This month, however, we turn the tables a little and look at how, once established, the lessons learnt from implementing knowledge management and its related practices, tools and mindsets can ease the pain of further business-transformation initiatives, such as adopting new technology, re-focusing corporate strategies, or managing mergers or acquisitions.
As Chris Collison director, change and knowledge management at Centrica says in our ‘Your say’ feature on page 11, change is the new ‘business as usual’ with companies having to stay on their toes to keep up with, for example, more sophisticated customer expectations, greater pressures from globalisation, new technology and more demanding employees. Facing up to these challenges can involve making some radical decisions about the organisation that may be difficult to get off the ground. The organisation’s employees and culture can present obstacles and resistance to change, but through careful management, they will ensure that new technologies or strategies are a success.
This is where knowledge management can make a difference by opening channels of communication, supporting employees in their daily tasks and ensuring knowledge flows freely across the organisation. On page 13, Stephen John describes how, in a bid to transform its functions, strategy, structure and operations, a global pharmaceutical company has developed a programme to nurture and create a cadre of leaders that will take this transformation forward. In addition, experts in change and transition discuss the role of knowledge management in successful business-change programmes.
Changes are also afoot at Ark Group. Jacquie Bran, head of our events team, is leaving our London office to join the Sydney team. Regular readers will be familiar with Jacquie’s monthly feature, ‘Five minutes with…’, which has featured expert practitioners from companies such as Fortis, Reuters, Jaguar Cars and the Ministry of Defence. We wish her luck as she struggles to adjust to a life of sunshine down under. Taking up the reigns this month is James Renton, project manager of a number of KM events at Ark. His first interview, with Anders Hemre, former CKO at Ericsson Canada (page 31), sets high standards for things to come.
Nurturing elite players at the FA
Some of the world's greatest sporting heroes are British footballers. David Beckham, Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand are some of the most talked about sportsmen, frequently adorning the front covers of magazines and receiving the industrys highest accolades across the globe. Craig Simmons and Stuart Smith describe how the Football Association in the UK is using knowledge-management techniques to spot and develop elite players from an early age using methods such as the Four Corners Model.
Charting the KM roadmap
As part of the UK's Local Government Programme, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is undertaking a Knowledge Management National Project. Dagmara Kodlubanski and Alasdair Mangham discuss the development of the KM roadmap that forms an essential part of this project and covers aspects such as information management, organisational learning and knowledge generation.
Ford learns when not to replicate
In a manufacturing environment, communicating bad news and sharing knowledge about specific accidents and incidents can ensure they are not replicated with more sinister results. Stan Kwiecien explains how the application of knowledge-management methodologies can lead to a safer workplace.
Business transformation through leadership development
Many companies overlook the value of creating structured development programmes that turn high potential employees into the successful leaders of the future. In the first of a two-part series, Stephen John describes how a global pharmaceutical firm has created a programme to identify and develop the core capabilities required from tomorrows leaders. Part two will follow this autumn to provide an update of the course's success.
Book review: Knowledge Management and the Smarter Lawyer
Thomas Collins reviews Knowledge Management and the Smarter Lawyer by Gretta Rusanow.
Five minutes with... Anders Hemre
James Renton, project manager with the Knowledge Management events team, spent five minutes talking to Anders Hemre, formerly director and chief knowledge officer at Ericsson Canada and is currently owner of interKnowledge Technologies.
Country focus: Norway
Sandra Higgison talks to Christian Rangen, managing partner at Knowledge Management Consulting, about the evolution of knowledge management in Norway.
Your say: KM and business transformation
A major challenge when implementing a knowledge-management strategy is managing the changes at all levels of the organisation. However, one of KM's hidden benefits is that once integrated, knowledge-focused practices, tools and mindset can be leveraged to ensure future business-transformation initiatives are a success. Sandra Higgison speaks to Chris Collison, Richard Cross, Martyn Laycock and Simon Roberts about the role of KM in business transformation.
The knowledge: Anthony Bettencourt
Now in his seventh year at Verity, Anthony Bettencourt has been instrumental in transforming what many saw as a broken company into a multi-million-dollar technology firm. Having faced testing challenges along the way, Bettencourt talks to Sandra Higgison about his role as CEO and president, his biggest achievements and the advice he would offer his peers.
Put it to the board: Organisation constellations
A large German retailer recently expanded into the European market by taking over its biggest competitor, a French company. The new company kept the German name. The stock market was initially positive about the takeover. However, soon after the acquisition, the integration of IT operations stalled, which threatened annual profits. Although they had agreed to merge the two existing systems, the French managers argued that the German system was too inflexible and would not work under their conditions. This is common in international M&As. What seemed to be a straightforward merger of people and operations became a muddle.