Strategic Management and Knowledge Asset Management

The start of the 21st Century became a new era for Strategic Management.

For the first time, organisations could start to look much closer through the lenses of their key knowledge areas, to create totally new strategies based on the combination, or re-combination of knowledge assets. “Combining critical knowledge assets in new and unique patterns, through a sort of knowledge kaleidoscope, enables management to see things quite differently” says Ron Young.  “In the year 2000, we learned how to identify the critical knowledge assets of an organisation, map them in simple visual ways, and combine them in unique strategies”.

Today the discipline of knowledge asset management has developed and matured into one of the most powerful strategic management tools for the knowledge intensive organisation. And because knowledge underpins everything we do, that means virtually all organisations, large and small, are predominantly knowledge driven.

A simple web search for Strategic Management defines it as “the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by a company’s top management on behalf of owners, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external environments in which the organization competes.” That definition serves us well in Industrial Economy thinking, especially when we consider ‘resources’ to be tangible, but it falls short when we consider the Knowledge Driven Economy that we are now witnessing.

The Knowledge Driven Economy is not a separate economy, as such, but within our global economy, it is that rapidly growing and dynamic  part which is far more dependant on our use of knowledge, which is intangible in nature, for income and wealth creation.

Today we have the opportunity to take Strategic Management to the next level.

Today we can ask :

  • ‘What key areas of knowledge, if we really could manage them better (acquire, create, transfer / protect and apply) would make a big difference in achieving our objectives?’
  • ‘Within these key areas of knowledge, what are the key knowledge assets that we have, or must obtain, that we can apply in new combinations to achieve and/or exceed our objectives faster?’

This means developing and managing a strategic portfolio of knowledge assets.

Strategic Asset Management requires Knowledge Asset Management

Knowledge asset management, linked directly to the Strategic Management process and to Strategic Asset Management, is the discipline that could take organisations from just managing knowledge for incremental ‘operational improvement’ to also leveraging knowledge as a key asset to ‘strategically transform’.

Knowledge asset management is the next strategic step forward from operational knowledge management.

‘Those organisations that manage their knowledge assets wisely will dominate the 21st Century”.

Our Knowledge Asset Management education briefings and programmes for senior managers and executives who are concerned with the latest developments in strategic management and asset management can be viewed here.

Our paper provides a framework for ‘The Five Dimensions of Knowledge & Innovation’.


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