Reaching for the Knowledge Edge

How the Knowing Corporation Seeks, Shares & Uses Knowledge for Strategic Advantage

Kenneth J. Hatten, Stephen R. Rosenthal

Publisher: Amacom, 2001, 240 pages

ISBN: 0-8144-0634-3

Keywords: Knowledge Management

Last modified: Nov. 26, 2007, 3:16 a.m.

The concept of knowledge management is emerging from the haze of theory and abstraction to achieve new prominence for its practical application in business. Companies are realizing that what they know has a direct bearing on where they're going and how fast they'll get there. That's because knowledge is a key source of competitive strength and the backbone of intelligent strategy.

But knowledge, as every executive and manager knows, is also a slippery concept. How can a company accurately define and assemble the knowledge that realy matters to it? Most important, how can it use that knowledge strategically? This book shows you how to find the answers. It is not about "nurturing" knowledge. Instead, it's packed with original tools for integrating knowledge into corporate strategy. These tools include:

  • The Action Alignment Model, which gets you "up on the balcony" to see your business with fresh eyes and as a whole. Knowledge shared through this model will move functional managers beyond traditional finger-pointing ("we're on track; marketing is the problem") to a consensus on priorities for joint problem-solving.
  • The 3C Test, which lets you quickly size up new market opportunities by focusing on the capabilities and competencies that deliver what your target customers want. Use this rigorous yet simple test of knowledge in place of casual, partial assessments to reduce wasted effort and foolish risk-taking.
  • The EKG Review, which helps you capture strategically relevant knowledge. EKG ("experimental knowledge gained") couples deliberate experiments designed to test market opportunities with the efficacy of your strategies in mew markets. It gives you a disciplined, ongoing process for learning from your actions.

Based on field research by the Center for Enterprise Leadership at Boston University, Reaching for the Knowledge Edge is the first book to make knowledge management "real" by linking it explicitly to strategy. It draws on fascinating case examples from Dell, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, eBay, Laura Ashley, and other companies to drive home its points. Once you've read it, you'll know how to share and leverage your company's existing knowledge… and how to create new knowledge that gives you a competitive edge.

  1. "Knowing": Getting Real about Knowledge Management
  2. Aligning Action with the Customer
  3. Checking Feasibility: Customers, Capabilities, and Competencies
  4. Understanding Strategic Stretch
  5. Managing Stretch Risks
  6. Experimenting to Build Competencies
  7. Using the Performance Measurement System
  8. Getting Everyone Involved: A Knowing Culture
  9. Leading with Knowledge: A Personal Agenda


Reaching for the Knowledge Edge

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

OK ***** (5 out of 10)

Last modified: Nov. 26, 2007, 3:15 a.m.

Tries to be the link between KM and an MBA curriculum. Too long to be read and too short to succeed in its mission. A good read, but a bit superficial.


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