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|Do You Need a CKO?:
(Chief Knowledge Officer)
A Chief Knowledge Officer is a senior executive who is responsible for ensuring that an organization maximises the value it achieves through one of its most important assets - knowledge. Although only a few companies have people with this explicit title, those with similar responsibilities include Director of Intellectual Capital, Director of Innovation. Note - a CKO is not simply a relabelling of the CIO (Chief Information Officer) or MIS Directors. The role of a CKO is broader and different. So what is the answer to the question: "Do you need a CKO?"
Yes ... If
You Want To
For example: Dow Chemical has realized over $125 million through better exploitation of its patent portfolio; Texas Instruments has saved investment in a new plant by sharing knowledge of best practice from its existing plants.
No ... If
For example: Bob Buckman, CEO of Buckman Chemicals has personally driven their knowledge initiative forward; Company X is developing an intranet, and hopes this alone will give them the benefits of knowledge management (we're not so sure!)
Role of the CKO
There is no set formula but most CKO's responsibilities include:
The characteristics of a CKO are very much that of a hybrid manager. We have consistently found that they must be good at:
Other generic general management characteristics required are leadership, teamworking, influencing, and interpersonal skills. A combination of all these skills equips them as excellent agents of change.
What Should You Do?
See the related Insight Knowledge Management: making sense of an oxymoron. See also:
Management Insights are publications of David Skyrme Associates, who offers strategic consulting, presentations and workshops on many of these topics.
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