Creating, organizing, sharing and analysing knowledge to delight customers.
Such knowledge can be
- objective (based on facts), or
- subjective (based on opinion and belief, sometimes called tacit knowledge).
What is knowledge?
The Greek philosopher, Aristotle (pictured right), in his book,
Nicomachean Ethics, defined three types of knowledge:
Knowing how to do something (professional/technical skills).
Knowing why something happens (from theory).
Knowing what is the right thing to do -from
- contacts with people (e.g. customers and employees).
How to create knowledge in your organization
1. Customer focus
Knowledge must delight customers. So employees must value them as their top priority, never forgetting that
their jobs are dependent on customers.
2. Great employees
Knowledge comes from people who have the brains, self-motivation, creativity and support (encouragement,
information and money).
So the best people must be recruited who are motivated to:
- deliver results (particularly in teams).
- learn (via training, education and feedback on performance).
3. Creativity and innovation
- constantly question existing knowledge.
- constructively debate relevant issues,
Employees increase their knowledge by freely sharing it and continuously learning.
So departmental/functional, bureaucratic and communication barriers must be removed (called a
An organization and its employees must have the humility to learn from their experiences and
5. Corporate culture and leadership
Chief executives and managers must
- encourage everyone to learn by rewarding knowledge creation.
- give people the autonomy to achieve it.
The organization's corporate culture must
emphasize learning and knowledge creation.
Key quotes explained
“Knowledge is the most democratic source of power”
Toffler (American futurist and
writer, pictured right).
Knowledge empowers and liberates people, because, as the English philosopher, Francis Bacon, famously asserted:
“Knowledge is power”.
“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence”
- David Hume
,Scottish philosopher (pictured right)
New knowledge is based upon facts, not opinion, past beliefs and what you would like to believe.
Knowledge creation requires humility, avoiding dogmatic arrogance that blinds people to the truth.
But feeling and emotions shouldn’t be totally ignored.
“We know the truth not only by the reason but also by the heart”, the French philosopher,
Blaise Pascal, said.
“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory”
- Friedrich Engels
(pictured right) ,co-author
Marx of the Communist Manifesto)
Theory is only useful, if it can be applied successfully in practice.
Thought is important but it must be put into action.
“The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation”, the English scientist,
Jacob Bronowski, said in his book, The Ascent of Man.
“Knowledge without integrity is dangerous and
Johnson, English writer (pictured right)
Knowledge must be used for moral purposes.
“The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea
Twain , American writer (pictured right)
New ideas are often ridiculed and attacked, because they threaten existing knowledge and beliefs (as Darwin’s theory of evolution did).
This prompted the English writer, George Bernard Shaw, to say: “All great truths begin as
(pictured right) and Robert Sutton (pictured right below), The Knowledge-Doing Gap (2000)
Many organizations don’t put their knowledge about business success into action, because they spend too much
time talking and thinking about their problems.
Unfortunately they don’t learn by doing but learn by
- reading and listening to management experts.
- failing to understand that success requires the right philosophy (and values) as well as policy.
(pictured right), Intellectual Capital
Knowledge comes from intellectual capital which has three sources:
- employees’ intellectual ability and learning (human capital).
- relationships and reputation with customers (customer capital).
- the organization’s knowledge that “doesn’t go home at night” e.g. concerning its processes and systems for
doing things (structural capital).
Nonaka (pictured right) and Hirotaka Takeuchi (pictured
right below), The Knowledge-Creating Company (1995)
Knowledge comes from continuously innovative people who are clever, creative, co-operative (sharing knowledge)
and inspired by their organization’s purpose and ideals.