KM Archive Home   Site Guide   I3Update   Insights   Resources   K-Shop   About Us   Contact Us     ::Our new (2011) KM website is ::



KM Basics










Other Topics

Creating the Knowledge-based Business

Key lessons from an international study of best practice

David J. Skyrme and Debra M. Amidon

Sorry. This report is now out of print. We are investigating ways of making the content available.

This report, published by Business Intelligence, focuses on the key experience of companies currently leading the field. It identifies and analyzes key processes, techniques and tools for creating and harnessing knowledge. It shows you:

  • Why effective knowledge management is crucial to your future business success - the business case for knowledge management
  • How to identify and classify corporate knowledge
  • Frameworks and models for knowledge management - tried and tested by leading-edge companies
  • Essential resources, capabilities and skills - new roles, including that of a Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO)
  • How to create a knowledge culture - overcoming what is usually the largest obstacle to sharing knowledge
  • The role of technology - how to identify and implement solutions for effective knowledge development and sharing
  • How to protect corporate knowledge

The report contains the results of an exclusive Business Intelligence / Ernst & Young survey of knowledge practices in 500 companies in Europe and North America. It also contains 10 major case studies as well as a further 23 caselets.

What Readers Say

"I have greatly enjoyed reading your report on knowledge management, one of the hottest issues of our decade. Your report combines the advantages of a high level introduction, with a lot of detail on benefits, the value proposition behind knowledge management, and the technology implementation. There is a lot of material pulled together in this report from a variety of sources - especially useful if you need to sell the benefits of knowledge management to the board members of your company." (Dr Marcus Speh, Senior Advisor, Shell International).
"An excellent report, well organized, well written and full of valuable insights. It is a model in itself of how to transfer knowledge and I believe it will be the bible, certainly over the next year or two, for knowledge practitioners working to ensure their businesses get real tangible benefits from managing and exploiting knowledge." (Ian Lang, Zeneca Agrochemicals).
"For organizations investigating the benefits of knowledge management or in the early stages of implementing a knowledge-based strategy, this report is required reading. At the price, it is less than the cost of one day's consultancy - and in most cases should be much more valuable." (Rory L. Chase, Journal of Knowledge Management).

The report has been widely acknowledged as a comprehensive coverage of the key challenges facing knowledge intensive organizations (which is 92 per cent of all organizations according to respondents of the survey published in the report), and has been cited in many general management publications including the Financial Times, and Director, and in specialist publications including Knowledge Inc., and Information Age.


Chapter 1 - The Momentum of Knowledge Management
Drivers behind the knowledge management movement
- Why TQM and BPR are not enough
- The role of knowledge in corporate success
- Thought leadership: shapers of the knowledge agenda
- The foundations of knowledge management
- Knowledge management in practice

Chapter 2 - Knowledge Management in Practice
Surveys of knowledge management
- The latest Business Intelligence/Ernst & Young survey

Chapter 3 - Knowledge Leadership
Setting the direction and gaining commitment

- Do you need a CKO (Chief Knowledge Officer)?
- The role of the CEO
- Leadership at all levels
- Creating a knowledge management architecture
- Knowledge teams

Chapter 4 - The Measurement Gap
The baseline for improvement and adding value

- Why measure intangible assets?
- Information and knowledge as critical resources
- Limitations of traditional accounting
- New measures of success
- Identification of intangible assets
- From asset value to useage value
- Justifying investment in knowledge management

Chapter 5 - Value Adding Processes
Leveraging your knowledge potential

- Knowledge strategy and policy
- Managing the knowledge asset
- Knowledge-based business processes
- Knowledge Identification - the starting point
- Creating the knowledge base
- Using and diffusing knowledge
- Knowledge protection

Chapter 6 - Creating A Knowledge Enhancing Culture
Ways of improving knowledge creation and sharing

- New structures, new cultures
- The networked organization
- The politics of knowledge
- Levers of change
- Workspaces that work
- Connections, communications and conversations
- Supportive reward systems

Chapter 7 - Roles and Skills for the Knowledge Age
Developing Organizational Knowledge Competence

- New roles: their recognition and development
- Skills for the knowledge-based company
- The shift to learning
- The Learning Organization

Chapter 8 - The Technology Infrastructure
Facilitating Knowledge Sharing

- Knowledge based systems
- The first generation: what went wrong?
- Knowledge discovery tools
- Knowledge mapping and related tools
- Collaborative Technologies
- Groupware and intranets
- Videoconferencing

Chapter 9 - An Agenda for Action
- Opportunities and Challenges
- State-of-theory vs. state-of-practice
- Lessons from the leaders
- Critical Success Factors

- Bibliography/Notes
- Glossary
- Consultancy Profiles
- Cases summary

Each chapter has a summary and central chapters have 'best practice guidelines' synthesized from the experience of knowledge leaders.

Full case studies are 4000-6000 words, giving insights into the approaches used, and the lessons learned:

  • Anglian Water - transition from a regional utility to a global oriented business by making knowledge, innovation and learning the key levers of customer service.
  • Buckman Laboratories - using K'Netix TM knowledge sharing networking to bring all the company's knowledge to solve complex customer problems.
  • CIGNA - how its moved from profit into loss by making available the best knowledge of its underwriters as an integral part of its business processes
  • Department of Trade and Industry (UK) - put in p,ace key policies and conducted an information audit to identify gaps in its knowledge
  • Dow Chemical - A structured approach to intellectual asset measurement that generated savings of over $125 million in its patent portfolio
  • Glaxo Wellcome - capturing the and harnessing the knowledge of its scientists through a learning organization programme that resulted in the adoption of knowledge networking techniques
  • Monsanto - a Knowledge Management architecture was fundamental to creating a web of knowledge
  • Price Waterhouse - shows the 'power of taxonomy' in its knowledge centres to share best practice across the world
  • Skandia - insights into its Navigator to the future and the way that it conducts 'futurizing' to develop new businesses
  • Steelcase - has transformed its business by novel techniques to capture customer knowledge
  • Thomas Miller - combining the power of groupware and a learning centre to bring its detailed expert knowledge of insurance to assess risk and develop client wining proposals.

Other Cases: Analog Devices * Booz, Allen & Hamilton * BNFL * BP (2) * CIBC * Dow Chemical * Enrst & Young * Glaxo Wellcome * Global Knowledge Network *Hewlett-Packard (2) * Hoechst Celanese * Hoffmann La Roche * Hughes * MITRE * Rover * Sharp * Standard Life* Teltech * Unipart * US Army * Xerox


Creating the Knowledge-based Business, David J. Skyrme and Debra M. Amidon, Business Intelligence (1997)
Pages: 510 plus index. ISBN 1 898085 27 7

This report is now out-of-print. The content is gradullay being updated and reflected in more specialized Knowledge Briefings and our current Reports.

Related Publications and Services

David Skyrme Associates provides consultancy services and workshops that provide more personalized knowledge on winning strategies and effective 'how-tos' for knowledge management.

Top of Page
Home | Search | I3 UPDATE | Insights | Resources | About Us | E-mail Us