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Applied Knowledge Services: A New Approach for Management and Leadership in the 21st Century Organization

Presentation by Guy St. Clair and Barrie Levy to the SIKM Leaders Community on September 15, 2020

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Applied Knowledge Services: A New Approach for Management and Leadership in the 21st Century Organization

  1. 1. Applied Knowledge Services: A New Approach for Management and Leadership in the 21st Century Organization SIKM Leadership September 15, 2020 Guy St. Clair and Barrie Levy
  2. 2. What We’ll Cover  Define Knowledge Services  Review Knowledge Services Value  Explain Knowledge Services Evolving Management and Leadership Approaches  Highlight Knowledge Services Critical Success Factors 2
  3. 3. Organizational Success Builds on Knowledge Sharing The one issue that increasingly challenges all knowledge workers — including business and enterprise leaders — is the management of intellectual capital. It is the foundation for the organization’s intellectual framework. With knowledge services, the organization can realize strengthen research, contextual decision making, accelerated innovation, and successful knowledge asset management. Intellectual capital: intellectual material that is put to use to create wealth … the sum of everything everybody in a company knows that gives it a competitive edge. (Intellectual capital: the new wealth of organizations, 1997) Thomas A. Stewart 3
  4. 4. Knowledge Services = Knowledge Sharing  Since the early 1900s, organizations have struggled to identify and manage practical and utilitarian information, knowledge, and strategic learning.  The 20th century continuum from information management to knowledge management and the 21st century continuum from KM to knowledge services now enables the knowledge culture. 4
  5. 5. Defining Knowledge Services Knowledge services is the management and service-delivery methodology that converges information management, knowledge management (KM), and strategic learning into a single over- arching operational function. 5 Knowledge Management Knowledge Services
  6. 6. Knowledge Services  Its purpose is to ensure the highest levels of knowledge sharing within the organization in which knowledge services is practiced and enabled as a knowledge sharing culture.  Management and leadership for knowledge sharing is the responsibility of the knowledge strategist.  Knowledge Services is not just KM. It goes beyond KM. It includes KM but there is a difference – knowledge services also converges with information management and strategic learning.  Knowledge Services is similar to most understanding about KM, so perhaps it’s just nomenclature: “A rose is a rose.” 6
  7. 7. Knowledge Services  A specific framework for managing knowledge sharing in any organization — for-profit, non- profit, or not-for-profit.  Organization, profession, or subject agnostic. Knowledge Services works in any group or environment.  Enables the application of management, leadership, and knowledge services principles to working with information, knowledge, and strategic learning in and throughout the organization, community, or group.  Combines prescriptive directions (“how-to”) for applying knowledge services with attention to the philosophy and history of management and leadership and their connection with information and knowledge services.  Enables the knowledge strategist to use this background, in combination with management and leadership skills, for knowledge sharing and establishing the value of knowledge services in building the organizational knowledge culture. 7
  8. 8. Knowledge Strategy …the management discipline that ensures organizational effectiveness (business success/ organizational success/ community success) by matching intellectual capital management with the corporate, organizational, or community mission. 8 Knowledge Strategy Competitive Strategy Corporate Strategy General Strategy
  9. 9. Knowledge Services: Management and Leadership The Knowledge Strategist is uniquely positioned for:  Understanding the organization’s communication and knowledge-sharing habits  Using professional expertise and background for evaluating how information and knowledge are managed  Providing particular strengths for aligning knowledge value and use with corporate goals. 8
  10. 10. From Management to Humanistic Management Knowledge Services is an established discipline for strengthened knowledge sharing — a single (whenever possible) enterprise-wide discipline for the benefit of the business, organization, or community – connecting with organizational success as knowledge workers seek to improve knowledge sharing in the workplace.  David E. Lilienthal (Management: A Humanist Art): The heart of the modern managerial task is to close the gap between man’s goals and the fulfillment of those goals…  Peter Drucker (“the father of modern management”): Management has mostly to do with people, not techniques and procedures. Their engagement is what matters. … Management is about human beings. 10
  11. 11. From Human-Centric Management to Transformational Leadership 11 Leadership is about leading by serving, not by being subservient, but by bringing others along, setting the example that it isn’t just about the leader but also about those he or she leads. – Deborah Hunt Knowledge Strategist/Director, Mechanics Institute We need leaders who practice listening… Successful leaders are those who are listeners and unifiers, and through them we find common ground. – Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO, The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute Frances Hesselbein has been long considered at the forefront of transformational leadership, which she describes with eight specific attributes. She calls them ”milestones,” tools for enabling organizations to “meet their destination.” These directives are transformational, used to connect knowledge strategy with the organizational mission, with each contributing to the development of the organization or community’s knowledge strategy. 1. Scan the environment 2. Revisit the mission 3. Ban the hierarchy 4. Challenge the gospel 5. Employ the power of language 6. Disperse leadership across the organization 7. Lead from the front; don’t push from the rear. 8. Assess performance.
  12. 12. Knowledge Leadership 12 All people want to belong to and feel part of a community. ... This is why high engagement leadership works well: it encourages people for a cause they care about and relies on their hearts and minds to find ways forward for solving their own problems. – Margaret Wheatley Organizational Behavior Author and Consultant “Real” managers recognize both their roles as business tacticians and strategists but also as leaders of people. … They build trusting partnerships at the highest levels, enabling culture and leading through change. – Kevin Manion Senior Manager, Employee Services, Amazon Knowledge strategists understand that management and leadership principles both support and drive knowledge strategy development and implementation. Yet the leadership required for maintaining and sustaining the knowledge culture must have a different focus. We call it “knowledge leadership.” Its primary purpose is to ensure that the knowledge services process is managed for the benefit of knowledge use in the organization and that knowledge value is conveyed back to all community stakeholders. The knowledge strategist accepts the responsibility to provide knowledge leadership, having the ability, the knowledge of concepts, and the skills for that rarified role. Why? Because the knowledge strategist:  Knows the communication and knowledge sharing habits within the organization  Is particularly skilled for evaluating how intellectual capital is developed, shared, and used in the community  Is expert in aligning knowledge value with organizational goals.
  13. 13. Conversational Leadership (Conversational Communityship) 13 In an increasingly complex world, appointed leaders simply don’t know enough to decide what is new and better. Leadership is a group sport, not an individual heroic activity. – Dr. Edgar Schein Appreciating the extraordinary but underutilized power of conversation, recognizing that we can all lead, and adopting a conversational approach to the way we live and work together. Three core questions: 1. Are we having the conversation we need to be having right now? 2. Are we having it in the way we need to be having it? 3. In what ways are we forming community in this conversation? Incorporating conversational leadership into knowledge services – knowledge sharing – opens the door to “lighting the way,” moving our organizations, communities, and other groups out of the darkness we are currently experiencing into a future when people come together to achieve mutually agreed-upon goals. We need a new approach to leadership. We need to see leadership as a practice as opposed to a role or a position of authority. It may be time to consider that leadership is a choice that is available to all of us. – John Hovell Managing Director & Co-Founder, STRATactical International LLC
  14. 14. Putting It All Together Management, Leadership, and Knowledge Services The knowledge strategist’s two-part primary leadership responsibility:  To define the knowledge culture for the larger organization  To pave the way for restructuring the organization – or strengthening it – as a knowledge culture. Three critical points of focus:  The Knowledge Audit  Change Management  Collaboration 14
  15. 15. Critical Success Factors: The Knowledge Services Audit Why an “audit”?  Regulatory environment: “audit” is an up-or-down term – an operational activity that determines specifically whether or not a particular regulatory requirement is – or has been – met  Not necessarily evaluative in the larger sense  With the knowledge services audit, the knowledge strategist seeks to broaden the evaluation:  how well is the situation being handled?  how well is service delivery being performed?  How well is knowledge being shared?  The activity itself can be described in whatever terminology is appropriate to the organizational culture: “appraisal,” “assessment,” “evaluation,” “review,” etc. (“audit” is not always appropriate for working, especially in financial services!). 15
  16. 16. Change Management and Collaboration Change Management – Or Change Leadership?  Peter Drucker said it best: One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it (and especially in a period of upheaval like what we are currently experiencing now), and change is the norm. But unless it is seen as the task of the knowledge strategist to lead change, knowledge services and knowledge sharing will not survive. In a period of rapid cultural change, Drucker said, the only ones who survive are the change leaders.  For the knowledge strategist, change is an opportunity. The knowledge strategist looks for change, knows how to find the right changes, and knows how to make them effective both outside the organization and inside it. The key element (perhaps the key element) for the knowledge strategist’s success has to do with change. The knowledge strategist does not manage change. The knowledge strategist leads change. Collaboration is the name of the game.  Organizational, community, or group success is based on how efficiently people find what they need. If they spend too much time or money looking for information and knowledge, they are wasting resources and inhibiting the community’s larger success. And finding themselves professionally frustrated.
  17. 17. 17 Thank you. Guy St. Clair or Barrie Levy
  18. 18. If You Want to Know More Additional references for knowledge services include: 1. Guy and Barrie’s book, The Knowledge Services Handbook: A Guide for the Knowledge Strategist, published by De Gruyter. 2. Guy’s earlier book (2016) Knowledge Services: A Strategic Framework for the 21st Century Organization, also published by De Gruyter. 3. Guy’s blog (SMR’s Knowledge Services Blog) is available at SMR International or at It is also usually posted at Guy’s profile on LinkedIn. 4. Guy also manages and invites you to join the LinkedIn Group KM/Knowledge Services. 18
  19. 19. And to End with a Happy Announcement 19 Timothy W. Powell The Value of Knowledge The Economics of Enterprise Knowledge and Intelligence Series: Knowledge Services De Gruyter Saur | 2020 Stanley A. Garfield Handbook of Community Management A Guide to Leading Communities of Practice Series: Knowledge Services De Gruyter Saur | 2020