I was recently asked to keynote a conference on Turning Knowledge Into Value, funded by the European Union. That’s something I care deeply about, and I am greatly honored to have been asked. I have been head-down on that, and will share with you at least a top-line on what I’ve come up with.
I was at first planning to pull a few slides out of my Knowledge Value Chain® Handbook, and call it a day. But then the organizers doubled my speaking time, and at the same time I realized I wanted to give them more than that.
Knowledge is the engine of value
The KVC model can be the starting point for examining various issues. I decided to use the KVC core principles as a jumping-off platform, but to then get more granular on how you actually go about building an “engine of value” on a foundation of knowledge — step by step.
My experiences on the faculty of Columbia University’s Information and Knowledge Strategy program were helpful, as were comments from other faculty members there. But I also began to weave in themes from my stints in new product development at KPMG and PwC, as well as from the development of The Knowledge Agency. During those efforts, I’ve learned empirically — by trying things, by making mistakes, and by eventually finding out what works best.
Knowledge as a Service
In my experience, all knowledge is tacit. Knowledge is irreducibly human — it all resides in our heads. Before it can be socialized or shared, it must be made explicit — which we do though language and other forms of mediated symbolic expression.
In KVC terms, the way to get your knowledge into your client’s head is to first convert it into “information”. Then you can “communicate” it to the client, who can then convert it into his own tacit knowledge — and then make decisions and execute value-generating actions based upon it.
But “Knowledge as a Service” — as I refer to nearly-pure knowledge disciplines like law, finance, and management consulting — is only one avenue for knowledge to be manifested in a value-generating form.