The Case Against Knowledge Management

by Volker Weber

Companies waste billions on knowledge management because they fail to figure out what knowledge they need, or how to manage it. In his latest book, Thomas A. Stewart explains how to answer both questions.

In all these ways, the Kraken differs from KnowledgeCurve. The latter is supply-side; it's full of documents, artifacts, and other explicit knowledge. The content in its repositories aims to be canonical rather than iconoclastic. The Kraken is a conversation; KnowledgeCurve and its cousins are compendiums. KnowledgeCurve is about teaching; the Kraken is about learning. — Knowledge management resources go unused for one simple reason: They're not useful. Either the work isn't connected to the knowledge or the knowledge isn't connected to the work. — At PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bentley imagined that the Kraken would be filled with volumes of research papers; he was wrong, because the group's members were "creatives" whose purpose was "to be more innovative." They wanted a cafe, not a library. Their questions are unstructured, their problems may be new. They don't want answers so much as they want to talk to smart people. For innovators, the goal of knowledge management will often be to improve a person's chance of putting together the right team of experts.

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