Knowledge Management

From The Mckinsey Quartlery via CFO, comes this piece stating that knowledge is power and profit. It provides a great look at how companies attempt to manage their knowledge base, and what efforts prove to be the best.

The truth is that the real value comes less from managing knowledge and more — a lot more — from creating and exchanging it. And the key to achieving this goal is understanding that a company's really valuable knowledge resides largely in the heads of the most talented employees. Moreover, they will be unlikely to exchange their knowledge without a fair return for the time and energy they expend in putting it into a form in which it can be exchanged. Then it must also be worth the price of seeking it.

In short, effectively exchanging knowledge on a company-wide basis is much less a technological problem than an organizational one: encouraging people who do not know each other to work together for their mutual self-interest. There is, of course, a well-known, well-tested solution to making it possible to exchange items of value among parties who don't know each other. We call it a market.

I think this is one reason small companies are so often only successful until they reach a certain size. Sharing that knowledge gets tough when you grow.

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