Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Looking for a New Edge in Knowledge Management?

Have you picked up your copy of The New Edge in Knowledge: How Knowledge Management Is Changing the Way We Do Business yet? If you've had interest in knowledge management over the last "x" years, you know that knowledge management is challenging subject area / management practice to understand, and within which to develop and implement practical, impactful initiatives that provide individual and organizational benefit. It is also often a difficult subject to have management conversations about, in particular when some managers don't understand that part of their responsibility is managing social processes for learning and knowledge sharing inside their organizations.

What I really liked about The New Edge in Knowledge, and why I think it should should occupy first place on your book shelf or e-shelf, is that it brings significant clarity and resolution to all the key KM challenges and questions such as: What is knowledge management? What is its relationship to information management and corporate culture? What type of initiatives comprise knowledge management? Where do social / collaboration technologies fit in? How do I measure success? How do I enable change? What should we do next?

Most importantly, this is not a practitioner's bible. It is a business oriented, practical view, based on solid research and best practices, that will inform effective strategic thinking and decision making about how to best improve the processes and practices people to create, share, and learn from information and from each other in a business context. That this is an excellent resource is not a surprise given the authors (Carla O'Dell and Cindy Hubert) and the organization (APQC).

I think this book fills an important void. There is lots of very valuable academic research and practitioner information about knowledge management, but a notable absence of business oriented, jargon-free material for managers/decision makers.  "Edge," like it's predecessor by the same authors, is an excellent business read.

Buy it. Learn from it. Use it. Then consider leveraging other APQC KM resources.  You won't be disappointed.