James Krohe Jr.

Managing knowledge is hard to do well because managing knowledge is hard to do at all. Knowledge is at once a process, an outcome, and a raw material. Managing knowledge thus cuts across all the familiar institutional boundaries, which is why some firms base their KM efforts in their IT departments, some in HR, some in “business strategy” departments, some in new departments set up … [ Read more ]

James Krohe Jr., Gene Bellinger

With on-demand access to managed knowledge, every situation is addressed with the sum total of everything anyone in the organization has ever learned about a situation of a similar nature. The problem is that the sum total of everything anyone learned about anything is usually a muddle. If you doubt it, Google “management.”

James Krohe Jr.

a repository is no better than the questions asked of it, and people tend to seek only information that they perceive is relevant to them, because their notions of relevance are limited by their lack of information—the so-called relevance paradox. This doesn’t matter much, however, if people don’t ask questions in the first place. Left to themselves, people prefer to exploit the unofficial KM systems … [ Read more ]

James Krohe Jr.

The awkward truth is that while failure may teach a company how to succeed, success often teaches a company to fail, by misleading it into thinking that it knows more than it does.

James Krohe Jr.

At the heart of KM has always lurked a subversive notion: If knowledge is a company’s most important asset, and if the people who work for it collectively possess a deeper knowledge of how the company works, then the people employed by it should be better placed to run it than the executives. Harnessing collective wisdom only needs some means to manage collectively.

How Much Do You Know?

The most important thing that companies have learned in the past twenty years is that managing knowledge requires knowing more about both knowledge and management than a lot of big firms seem to know.

James Krohe Jr.

Organizations may be ever striving to streamline and boost operational efficiency, but corporate English grows increasingly less effective as an everyday medium for doing what people need it to do, which is to inform, motivate, explain. What should be clear, concrete, and concise is vague, abstract, and wordy. The English that has evolved in the American management corps shares family traits with the mumbling of … [ Read more ]

If You Love Your People, Set Them Free

Winning back disengaged employees will require changing the nature of work itself.

James Krohe Jr.

Richard S. Wellins, Paul Bernthal, and Mark Phelps of Development Dimensions International wrote in a 2005 article, “for the past two decades we have been trying to realize the benefits of empowerment, teamwork, recognition, people development, performance management, and new leadership styles.“

If you want to know why efforts to engage the workforce have failed so dismally, look again at that list. It contains not a … [ Read more ]

James Krohe Jr.

What makes knowledge workers is not what they know but how well they are able to use what they know.

Money Changes Everything

The greatest obstacle to making decisions regarding money is the money itself.

Are Workplace Tests Worth Taking?

Are companies getting their money’s worth by psychological testing of workers? More to the point, is there any real evidence that years of testing have produced more honesty among employees, identified more leaders, or eliminated more crazies – or is testing merely another management hallucination brought on by breathing copier toner fumes?

Some quick answers: While testing is better than not testing, there are many more … [ Read more ]

Why Is Customer Service So Bad?

Everyone says it’s very important. Everyone wants to do it well, because their reputation depends on it. And most executives think they’re a lot better at it than they are. The subject isn’t sex, or even golf. It’s customer service. Every company that sells something – by definition, every company – says that service matters, but these days the maxim that retailers live by is … [ Read more ]

The Revolution That Never Was

CEOs are making more than ever, while their employees’ real wages are falling. Why is no one leaping to the barricades?

Look Who’s Talking

What do a stand-up comic, a former POW, an astronaut, a basketball star, a cancer survivor, and Bill Clinton have in common? You’ll find out in this tour of the corporate speaking circuit.

The Battle for Corporate Power

“The large, publicly owned corporation is, nominally, a representative democracy. But power in most corporations lies everywhere but in the hands of the people. For decades, the shareholders of big U.S. companies have resembled the pre-Revolutionary American colonists, who labored under an indifferent ruling class that looted the people’s wealth and that left them few lawful means of redress. Today, citizen shareholders vote for referenda … [ Read more ]