Knowledge is power. All of us know this slogan. Those of us in the knowledge professions use it when needed as a banner of professional pride and aspiration.
It sounds reassuring, and probably had major validity when Francis Bacon coined it nearly 400 years ago during the Enlightenment.
The problem is — it simply is not true. In terms of the politics of the modern organization, KNOWLEDGE IS NOT POWER. Or, in mathematical terms:
Please read on to find how I reached this conclusion, and what its implications are.
Production and use
I created the Knowledge Value Chain® framework in 1996 to address what I had seen as a persistent and critical gap throughout my career — that the production of knowledge on the one hand, and its use or application on the other, were largely treated and managed as separate and distinct functions. I came to believe this shortcoming was key to many knowledge/ intelligence malfunctions, and starting giving talks about knowledge-value chains being broken.
The KVC model has two halves — the PRODUCTION half (Data-Information-Knowledge), and the USE half (Decisions-Actions-Value). In an ideal situation, the two halves work together as a seamless ‘engine’ of organizational awareness.