This Way to The New Edge in Knowledge

This book choice post first appeared on the Major Projects Knowledge Hub on September 11, 2019.  Liz will be posting book choices to the Major Projects Knowledge Hub throughout the month of September 2019.

Book Choice: The New Edge in Knowledge: How Knowledge Management is Changing the Way We Do Business Carla O’Dell, Cindy Hubert. APQC 2011

Hello again on a September Wednesday.  Liz McLean here, inviting you to read about more about the cost of knowledge loss vs. the gains of knowledge assets continuity. Or, to say it more plainly, have you thought about the clear and compelling business reasons for mitigating loss of deep smarts? (See Liz’s book choice #1 from September 4 here) Are you ready for some clear and direct actions that you can implement in projects to ensure continuity and re-use of the know-how that makes it all go? Well, then!  Read on.

This book is high on my choice list because the data sources, research and case studies have the authoritative weight and industry standards of APQC.   Content is fresh, straightforward, easy to follow and rooted in the pragmatic business needs of major projects teams and stakeholders.

I’ve been immersing myself over the last 18 months in knowledge transfer and continuity approaches, practices and thought leaders, so that’s why I’ve highlighted this section for you.  Chapter 4’s “Portfolio Example: Retaining critical knowledge” is a fantastic entry point on these topics.  It addresses one of today’s most pervasive knowledge and business issues – knowledge loss, costs of that loss and slowed competitive momentum from the constant movement of employees from project to project.

APQC’s research data has shown (2011) that less than half of survey respondents have plans and activities in place to retain and transfer redeployed or retiring employees’ deep smarts. The content in this portfolio example details the best ways to build strategic business approaches to reverse losses and instead embed knowledge retention efforts into business processes.  Whether isolating and pinpointing a priority process or expert, the authors give compelling and practical action plans for organizational capability building.  New Edge surfaces the essential fundamental efforts, and include case reviews of Aerospace Corp., Michelin and NASA’s knowledge transfer models.

New Edge in Knowledge has much more than that chapter/section that I just highlighted. It’s a useful how-to manual that takes best practice sharing and organizational capability building right to your enterprise.  It includes numerous case studies along with that essential chapter on measuring the impact of knowledge management (everyone always wants more of that!). What gives this choice my vote is the newer approaches that focus on enterprise social networking and collaboration practices, e.g. having open and curious conversations to facilitate deeper connections and flows to succeed in the now and in the next.

I hope you find some insightful ah-ha’s in this choice.  I do.