I3 UPDATE / ENTOVATION International News - Special Edition:
Global Knowledge Leadership Map
Global Momentum of Knowledge Strategy - Debra M. Amidon
- Global Knowledge Leadership Map
- Responses from global survey
- What They Said
- Details of additional analysis
Snippets - Debra Amidon on Faculty at two new courses
Welcome this first 1999 edition of I3 UPDATE / ENTOVATION International News, a free briefing analysing developments and key issues in the
networked knowledge economy. This is a special edition covering the launch
of Global Knowledge Leadership Map at the Third World Congress on the
Management of Intellectual Capital, held at McMaster University in January.
This is put in the context of the growing momentum of the knowledge
movement to be a truly global phenomenon. We hope you enjoy this
informative issue and take time to view the map at
I3 UPDATE is also available by email. See the administrative information page.
David J. Skyrme
Debra M. Amidon
There are now hundreds of conferences featuring aspects of the knowledge
economy in every corner of the globe. What began in 1987 as an initiative
to harness the intellectual capital of a nation has been embraced as a
global agenda of international collaboration. The management technology is
universal and can be applied to small, medium and large-scale enterprises.
The focus on knowledge applies to both profit and non-profit organizations.
It provides a shared purpose among all levels of the economy, from the
individual to the societal. In five short years, the ENTOVATION Network has grown to include professionals linking across functions, industries and regions of the world. And the benefits are just beginning.
Recently, we took a survey of a diagonal cut of this network to create a
Global Knowledge Leadership Map (http://www.entovation.com/kleadmap/). Results were premiered at the 20th Annual McMaster Business Conference
(20th January 1999) in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in a presentation -
"Tour de Knowledge Monde". Representatives from over 30 countries responded with their reflections and aspirations. Their messages document the multiple facets of expertise of knowledge professionals as well as their
broad geographic reach in both industrialized and developing nations alike.
Readers will begin to see the emergence of a common language and shared
Professionals form a variety of countries offered their comments:
Argentina, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia,
Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New
Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States
By design, those selected to participate included some of the well-known
leaders in the field as well as those who have just graduated from doctoral
programs. We heard from CEOs and entrepreneurs. There are theorists or
academics as well as practitioners from a variety of functions. Many
considered their role as integrating the two "the ultimate form of
There are some startling similarities in the way that problems, issues and
solutions are characterized. On the other hand, there were also several
counterpoint positions on the topics which leads us to believe that the
knowledge field is beginning to mature in ways that concepts and practices
can be debated - quite a stretch from only a few years ago when they could
hardly be discussed.
For instance, some believe that the knowledge economy is a matter of
philosophy and have been influenced by historic and modern philosophers.
Others believe that the field of knowledge management attracts philosophers
and beware! One respondent believed that there was a need to influence
middle managers, while others thought it was essential to be a top
management agenda. Still others believed that this is a revolution, a
grass-roots movement causing fundamental transformations. Many described
how extremely complex is the subject - all encompassing, global,
multidisciplinary and multi-dimensional; while others felt it was not
rocket science - more a matter of good common sense.
Some felt that they were wrestling with new concepts and language; others
say that the focus is as old as the beginning of time when humans began to
communicate. Several had come from the fields of quality or re-engineering;
but they all considered that this new direction would provide far more
sustainable results. The leadership required was described as "courageous","inspiring" and "visual/visible".). Some described it as the shift from the
micro-to the macro-perspective of the world. Others felt that it was a
matter of making the macro- more operational. The most compelling
observation is that one cannot tell who is a theorist and who is a
practitioner. There were many surprises!
Three things were very clear. First, the transformation is more a function
of behavior and culture change than technology. Second, these changes are
difficult, but well worth the effort. Third, all seem to feel that we are
on the right path toward a more prosperous future.
Responses by Question
a. What are the roots of your interest in the knowledge field?
Knowledge professionals come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds:
physics, chemistry, medicine, S&T policy, technology development, business
administration, psychology, manufacturing, accounting, telecommunications,
software development, information systems, economics and more.
Their professional responsibilities included: technology transfer,
licensing, HR management, business process re-engineering, strategic
alliances, quality, communications, knowledge processing, stress
management, systems dynamics, knowledge elicitation, mapping and modeling
The scope of current work varied: bridge between technology strategy and
planning, organizational transformation, scientific method development for
knowledge leadership, government intervention, and creating a general
understanding of the future.
b. Who has influenced you and why?
Managers, parents, family, friends, peers, clients and spiritual leaders
have influenced many respondents in personal ways. They learned from those
who were competent and those who were not. Many professors were named that
represent a cross-section from the hard and soft sciences.
Several authors had provided direction, either through books and/or
research reports (e.g., Nonaka, Amidon, Sveiby, Skyrme, Senge, Stewart,
Edvinsson, Savage, Davenport, Peters, Kogut, and Ackoff); but none provided
as much impact as Peter F. Drucker. Of course, there were numerous others
who were referenced, such as Argyris, Effendi, Marcic, Davis, Bacon, Hume,
Shein, Kantor, Kofman, Dodgson, Zohar, Lev, Hall, Husserl, Hegel, the young
Marx, Masuda, McLuhan, Polyani, Wittgentein, Shannon, Simon and March and
others. Some are well known in the knowledge field while others represent
the influence of other communities.
Interestingly enough, there were some former CEOs referenced such as
George Kozmetsky (also featured on the Map), Regis McKenna, and Arie de
Gues who are also well-known authors. There were other management
practitioners, such as Andy Law (Fast Company), Keith Davies (Institute for
Life Long Learning) and Norman Strauss (Ethos Metasystems). Still others
references "clusters of people and networks" more on the idea of
"communities of practice" - both human and technical.
c. What are the greatest challenges you have faced?
Everyone seems to be gaining knowledge of the concepts. Of course, such
understanding leads only to the need for further understanding! Others have
clearly been putting the concepts into practice and are much more concerned
with implementation strategy, communicating the mission, creating the
value proposition, maintaining the momentum.
First, there is a need for understanding the real value of knowledge. We
cannot get lost in the buzzwords. There are new definitions of terms that
are oftentimes confusing. There are disparate perspectives in the field,
which need to be rationalized. This applies to philosophy as well as
practice. There is a need to connect the notions of human potential to
The value proposition has shifted from one of cost quality and time to one
of economics, behavior and technology. In short, people are searching for
ways to go beyond the deep emotional commitment to the mission toward more
rational thinking on the relevant tools and techniques. It was
characterized as being on the 'leading' vs the 'bleeding edge.' How might
we articulate the knowledge agenda in pragmatic management terms rather
than academic philosophy?
Second, there is a need for change within enterprises, in national policy
and society-at-large. The old rules just do not apply to the new economic
realities. In some respects, we are living in 5th generation change
dynamics and operating with 2nd and 3rd generation management technology.
Several described new organization forms: self-directed, networked and
purposeful. We may even be innovating the whole art of leadership more
suitable for 21st century management. It requires those comfortable with
adapting to new mechanisms (e.g., the balanced scorecard, visualization of
Intellectual Capital). How might we shift from classical/traditional
thinking to more flexible mode-operandi to be able to take full advantage
of this emerging field? How can we prepare people and organizations to act
more intelligently? How can we "make knowledge just as important and
measurable as cycle time, process yield, cost reduction and productivity."
Third, there is a need for supporting mechanisms for practitioners to put
the concepts into practice. It seems that the technical support is more
widely available than we would have thought, although admittedly the
technology is often misused. The potential has yet to be realized. Although
intranets have been effective in promoting internal conferencing and the
Internet has enabled global networking, it is clear that we need a new
class of tools to effectively create, codify, exchange and apply new
knowledge effectively and efficiently. Much of the visualization and
modeling research is moving swiftly to that end.
We need to challenge traditional thinking. To create entirely new
management philosophy, standards and practice, we also need new models of
success, complete with case study examples. Experts from multiple countries
need powerful messages to convince their business communities and
government officials to take action. Many have accepted the rationale, have even articulated their intent to become a knowledge-based enterprise
or a knowledge-based nation - and are now seeking options for
implementation. There is probably some mapping "of an international order" to be done so that we can learn form the learnings of one another.
d. What have you been able to accomplish?
Responses varied from those who felt they had accomplished "little" to
having made "significant progress".
There were, of course, many that had research results to report. The
research was not always done in the academic laboratories, though. In many
instances, results were from action research and collaborative learning
where people were able to explore the connections between the disciplines
and across functional and even industry boundaries. Most responses,
however, were quite nationalistic in spirit, with the exception of the
activity in Europe now promoting a more regional geographic approach for
Some had made the connection between mission and performance. Others had
influenced language and cross-boundary processes. Several were practicing
what the preach by initiating and participating in a variety of teams,
networks and special interest groups dedicated to the focus of knowledge
and/or innovation. Some had even bridged the two!
For some, they progress was due to their own initiative, crystallizing the
agenda in terms that they could formalize in a research institute, a
futures center, a survey, a degree program, a start-up firm, a specific
product or service. Many have authored their own books and articles and are
active in the "community of knowledge practice". All considered themselves
more as learners than leaders per se; but each is making a significant
contribution to the field.
Many commented that this was a never-ending work, a "work-in-progress" so
to speak. They'd been able to accomplish bits and pieces, but not been able
to realize the potential of the broad overarching goals and potential this
economy brings. One thing most respondents shared, they did understand the
total picture and the value of viewing the opportunity in holistic terms.
e. What still needs to be done?
Simply stated, there is agreement that there is a lot to be accomplished, almost everything. Most realize that we are only at the beginning of a
major transformation that will take decades. We have only scratched the
surface of the real impact of this new economy. It will take several years
for the common language to emerge. We need to reconnect the roots of
heritage with the vision of what we might become (i.e., recover from the
downside effects of downsizing and re-engineering).
First, we need new concepts and articulated in words which are easy to
understand and even easier to implement. They must be easy for managers to
consider without being simplistic. Knowledge must be seen as a resource, in some instances even the raw material from which producs and services
are developed. We need to document the importance of this "knowledge
capital" as a precious asset to be managed for the benefit of an
organization as well as the sustainability of mankind. We need an economic
theory of knowledge!
Second, we must create an awareness - focus attention and make the
opportunity more public. The vision must be visible. We must overcome the
traditional paradigm of "knowledge hoarding" and create new methods and
incentives for knowledge sharing. We must capture the attention of top
management, middle management and newcomers to the field. Move the debate
"from technology to content" says one respondent. Another says move the
debate "from content to process, the innovation process".
Third, we must create the environment to manage collective intelligence and
an innovation culture which values new ideas and responsible risk-taking.
Academics, industry leaders and government officials all have something to
contribute, and even more to learn. Focus must be on interaction,
interdependence and collaboration, not competition. We need to bring
together the East and West in ways which support and leverage the
creativity of one another.
Fourth, we need practical and acceptable methods for the measurement of
intellectual capital as well as the effective deployment of knowledge
management technology. The supply-chain needs to be re-designed as an
innovation value-system. We need more systematic methods of evaluation and
institutional frameworks conducive to these modern methods. We need more
effective training methods for both business and technology managers. We
need more stories of successes and failures, story telling, becoming an
art of the knowledge economy. We need more intelligent ways to dialogue,
both electronic and face-to-face. We need to make the virtual community
manageable through such structures as "knowledge cells". We need a new
value-system based upon collaborative work.
f. What is the vision that you hold for a knowledge economy?
There is no way to do justice to the power of the multiple visions shared.
Clearly, knowledge is seen as the engine for value-creation. What lies in
the future is/must be grounded in values, competencies and the quality of
relationships. It is an economy of open access rather than knowledge being
perceived and managed as a "private good". The reasons are because of the
bountiful nature of the resource and its quality to multiply as it is
shared with others.
This new economy we are innovating works for the people creating a world
free of poverty, disease and violence. It is an economy directed toward
sustainable development placing knowledge at the point of need or
opportunity. It is an economy that is transnational in scope, balancing
the local/national needs with a global scope. The driving mandate is one of
creating a Society with a better quality of life and increased standard of
living worldwide. And the initiative begins with the individual, where
What follows are sample comments provided by individuals who are featured
on the Map:
- "Unlimited opportunity to make a difference." (Ackerman)
- "Knowledge is more important than raw material." (Al Subyani)
- "A world full of satisfied stakeholder." (Bart)
- "An economy grounded solidly in moral and ethical standards." (Benetiz)
- "The vacuum of ignorance is filled with understanding, world is freed from
poverty, disease and violence, people are stimulated and satisfied by
learning and innovation" (Brewer)
- "Future work is more abstract - turn the world of ideas into rapid
development of goods." (Bruno)
- "A world without nations, just human beings working for the common good."
- "The emergence of a global consciousness, a critical mass of individuals
realizing the potential of knowledge to leverage a universal process of
sustainable development." (Carillo)
- "Knowledge is shared all along the value and supply chain, using
stakeholders as a source of knowledge." (Chiaromonte)
- "The government can act as an articulator and promoter of the interaction
process (across government, companies and universities), aiming at the
generation of innovation." (Cunha)
- "Really treat education as a national asset that is planned for and
managed in innovative ways." (Davenport)
- "New meaning to the importance of combining human capital and structural
- "Knowledge Economy, in a paradoxical way, is becoming the most
equalizing force in the world/the West acquiring a humility which helps us
become better citizens of the earth." (Evans)
- "Multinational groups with members out of different disciplines, forming
and disbanding around their subjects of interest, enabling collaboration and
innovation, both international and national/local, where valued intangibles
materialize in increased quantity." (Fazekas)
- "I have a dream - technology will be our first resource to reach vast
amounts of our population to allow them to access qualified knowledge
without current limitations they are now facing." (Fernandez)
- "The more I give you, the more I have. The more I change, the more I have
to change, I do not negotiate a contract, I negotiate a relationship. Thus,
the invisible hand of the market must be accompanied by an invisible
- "Knowledge is the unique resource for enterprises and individuals to live
in a good manner in the New World." (Gassalla)
- "A shared virtual memory storing networked pieces of knowledge and
automating the knowledge creation circle at the global scientific community
- "Pay special attention and focus to solve the world development problems
from a knowledge perspective and to get a consumer 'economically
- "Will give more value to people and use technology to better understand
how to manipulate the knowledge hidden in people." (Kayakutlu)
- "A civil society in which noble managers of all types collaborate to
produce the best goods and services - A society which respects, values, and
uses the tolerant, equitable aspects of our heritage Organizations in which
smooth-talking, self-aggrandizing, exploitive managers are not successful."
- "Real knowledge management is about the flow of meaning." (Kilpi)
- "The rise of newer kinds of economic goods and services that are digital
in form, heavily dependent on knowledge and, in many respects, will
transform today's technology information society into a
digital/knowledge-based economy." (Kozmetsky)
- "Getting beyond the zero-sum game." (Kurtzke)
- "With knowledge being a universal language, this is a form of economy
which will promote collaboration rather than competition or conflict, and
one that promotes a business environment that reduces wastage of earth
resources and human years due to replication and re-inventing wheels,
insecurity and isolation." (Lau)
- "We will learn that there is nothing to hold, when we have the knowledge
and we can (use) manage it, so we can do anything we think. We have to work
on the borders of our mind to see the full potential." (Maciewski)
- "Individuals, organizations and nations alike must reestablish their
'Value Quotient' based upon knowledge-driven innovation. Entitlement is
dead Exploitation of non-renewable natural resources is not sustainable, use
knowledge and experience to create a new balance between need and resources
on a global scale." (Macnamara)
- "Knowledge is comparable (but not identical or similar) with 'material'
and 'energy'. Economy is always based upon knowledge." (Mahdjoubi)
- "A world in which you can access knowledge and use it to create value
without restrictions." (Malpartida)
- "A new value-system in which people are motivated to exchange knowledge
and do collaborative work." (Mercier-Laurent)
- "A World in which man would be at the service of man and not using him
for his own benefit." (Montero)
- "The future of a World Economy." (Nguyen)
- "An economy that works for the people, by the people, and of the people.
An economy that is not controlled or led, but supports a decent living for
- "Knowledge does not follow the rules of all economic resources; it is not
scarce! It is not subject to the laws of diminishing returns! If we can
find the way to leverage the intellectual capital of ourselves, of our
firms and our communities, we can create a better future for us all." (Rabinovich)
- "Knowledge becomes the main engine of value-creation. Human beings and
the quality of their relationships becomes the key determinant of success
in this economy." (Saint-Onge)
- "When we discover the creative energy in one another's souls, then we
have unlimited fuel for the Knowledge Economy. The real frontiers are
within us as we learn to appreciate and value differences, unique
differences, and learn that as we become energized as individuals, our
Knowledge Economy will gain energy in new ways." (Savage)
- "Technological solutions for knowledge management, especially multimedia
and 3D/VR." (Sihn)
- "Stop. Think. Listen. Learn. Understand what motivates other people, so
that you can share your knowledge in a way that builds a truly
collaborative win-win relationship." (Skyrme)
- "Big improvements for companies that structure and manage the strategic
importance of knowledge." (Stokholm)
- "An Economy managed as if people matter." (Sveiby)
- "The Knowledge Economy will become the great equalizer between the haves
and have-nots. People's mental machinery, their intelligence and attitude, is a greater resource than what they know or understand. Given that, and
the increasing levels of education in many developing nations, we have the
potential that people everywhere can participate in the knowledge economy
on more equal terms than before." (Wiig)
- "A structure where innovation and sharing is facilitated and not left to
chance, where individuals can obtain added knowledge by building on their
competencies (converting training to a 'pull-system')" (Yearsley)
- "Society in which the knowledge assets become the core competitive power
and creates value, the direction toward the new millennium." (Youn)
- "The Future is an 'Intellect Economy', related to practice and action.
Intellect integrates knowledge with capabilities. It's where the East and
the West come together for mutual gain." (Zhouying)
- In short, we are creating:
"A new economic world order based upon
knowledge, not technology,
innovation, not solutions,
value-systems, not value chains,
customer success, not satisfaction, and
international collaboration, not competition." (Amidon)
We are analysing all the responses to provide a detailed synthesis of what
the insightful comments made by the Global KNowledge Leaders. This will
shortly be available for a price of $49.00 plus shipping and handling.
Volume discounts are available for 6 copies or more. To reserve your
advance copy, please send a message to Kathaleen Rooney - email:
email@example.com (Kathaleen Rooney). Members who participated will be
entering into an on-line dialogue to further explore their values,
competencies and vision. Stay tuned for continued analysis.
This project would not have happened without:
- the generous financial support of Dr. Clinton C. Ackerman, CEO of
Knowledge Jobs. Visit their Website http://www.knowledgejobs.com to see the classification schema for knowledge professionals
- the design and implementation of the map under the direction of Margaret
- the presence at McMaster of international concert pianist, Silvard Kool
(http://www.silvard.com) - who accompanied the presentation with a medley of compositions characteristic of different regions of the world. The video is forthcoming.
We will keep you informed of further developments, but in the meantime
visit the Knowledge Leadership Map at
and find out more perspectives on the knowledge economy from around the world.
Update February 2000
Read about progress towards The Entovation 100.
8-12 February. - Knowledge Management Series, London, including Knowledge
'99 & E-Business '99 Exhibition. Unicom.
8-9 March (San Francisco); repeated 15-16 April (New York). The 1999
Conference on Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning. The
17-19 March. Designing and Measuring the Value of KNowledge Management, New
24-25 March 1999. Knowledge Management: The Information Management Event,
London. Learned Information.
29-30 March. IKMS '99. Delphi's International Knowledge Management Summit.
13-14 April. Knowledge Management in R and D, London. IQPC.
26-28 April. Designing a Virtual Corporate University, Washington DC.
Corporate University Xchange.
Our ongoing analysis of knowledge management tools continues. There are significant developments in suites derived from document management
systems. OpenText is one company to watch in this space
http://www.opentext.com. Our current focus is customer facing knowledge tools (not sales automation!) and community building tools. We welcome any feedback to products and services that readers have found worthwhile in this area.
Debra Amidon will be on the faculty at several forthcoming courses,
- - Knowledge Innovation: Operationalizing the Concepts, a virtual 3-week course sponsored by the Knowledge Ecology University, February 15 - March 5, 1999
- - Executive Leadership Program: Capitalizing on Innovation. Residential one-week intensive course sponsored by the Banff Centre for Management, Calgary, March 14 - 20, 1999.
For further information see http://www.entovation.com/services/newcour.htm
Of the range of new magazines launched in 1997-8, we rate Knowledge
Management (CurtCo) as the best newcomer with a wide range of readable
articles. We continue to regard Knowledge Inc. as the most rounded and informative, the Journal of Knowledge Management as the most rigorous and professional, Knowledge Management (Ark Publishing) as the case specialists and Knowledge Management Review as the most thoughtful. To show no favours, between us, we have contributed at least one article to each of these four. It is good to have such a range of general management oriented periodals covering knowledge. Do you have a favourite magazine that is on your 'must read' list? Tell us about it. For links and other comments see:
© Copyright, 1999. David Skyrme Associates Limited and Authors - All rights reserved.
This newsletter is copyright material. In the interests of dissemination of
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I3 UPDATE / ENTOVATION International News is a joint publication of David Skyrme Associates Limited and ENTOVATION International Limited - providers of trends analysis, strategic advice and workshops on knowledge management
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