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Articles: knowledge management

What makes a good knowledge manager?
Author: Wally Bock

It's part of the great new title buzzword game we've got Chief Information Officers, and Chief Knowledge Officers, and Chief Learning Officers, and Chief Intellectual Asset Officers, and all of those are spiffy titles. The question is, what makes a good one?

Communications professor Diane Gayeski says that the good ones are people "who know the business, can see the big picture in trends, and then can crystallize and communicate a whole range of strategic messages in a form that employees can understand and use."

WALLY'S COMMENT ... Seems to me that that's an excellent recipe for a good CEO. If I were looking for a Chief Knowledge Officer or Information Officer, or Learning Officer in today's world, here's what I'd look for:

  • I'd look for someone who was passionate about the idea that the stuff in the files in our heads is really valuable and can be put to use.
  • I'd look for someone with enough interest in and comfort with technology and its dramatic changes to be able to understand the technological side of how all of this knowledge management stuff might happen.
  • And I'd look for someone who is politically adept and had the ear of the CEO.

Come to think of it, why do all these ideal executive descriptions leave out the part about good internal political skills?

This material originally appeared in Wally Bock's Briefing Memo Newsletter of 1 July 1998.

Copyright   1998 Wally Bock
A Common Sense Approach to the Digital Age
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Article used with permission