From Knowledge Management for IT Professionals

2.1 Stage 1: Understand pressures to change

2.1.1 A vision for knowledge

Every organization has a corporate strategy or plan that defines the business, sets out medium- to long-term direction, and provides a series of goals on which managers can focus to drive the business forward. By understanding this strategy, those leading knowledge management projects can gain insight into how the position of the organization can be improved to give it some advantage. This strategy may not be published for public scrutiny - though in most cases, a flavour of it can be picked up from the 'mission' and 'vision' statements commonly set out in annual reports - but the essence of strategy will certainly be in the minds of those in leadership and influencing positions. All organizations need clear statements of purpose and intent to reduce 'drift' from the intended direction and as a basis for setting performance targets.

What we need to understand now is how does knowledge management strategy fit into this? The accepted meaning of the term 'strategy' relates to both

  • the interaction of intent - of the mission, long-term goals and sense of purpose of an organization, and

  • efforts to deploy resources in pursuit of these goals.

The authors view the role of a knowledge management strategy as complementary to corporate strategy: setting out a vision and plan for knowledge and information within the business, in pursuit of the organization's larger aims. The corporate strategy must be our starting point, and we should understand and...

Copyright Tom Knight and Trevor Howes 2003 under license agreement with Books24x7

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