The Knowledge Management toolkit
In the quest for sustainable competitive advantage, companies have finally come to realize that technology alone is not that. What sustains is knowledge. It is in unchaining knowledge that lies in your company's people, processes, and experience that the hope for survival rests. Peter Drucker warned us years ago, but it's only now that companies have finally woken up to the value of managing their knowledge and bringing it to bear upon decisions that drive them up or out of existence. If your organization is confused by vendor buzz and consultant pitches about how they and their products can solve all your knowledge problems, be forewarned: It's not that easy. Knowledge management (KM) is just about 35 percent technology. While technology is the easy part, it's the people and processes part that is hard. The Knowledge Management Toolkit will provide you with a strategic roadmap for knowledge management and teach you how to implement KM in your company, step by step. Technology should not always be mistaken for computing technology; the two are not synonymous. Chapter 1, rather than this preface, introduces you to KM and to this book. Before you begin, a notational warning would be in order. You'll find a lot of citations because of the cumulative tradition that this book follows by choice. However, do not let this distract you; all that you need to comprehend a topic being discussed is footnoted on the same page. You can safely ignore all endnotes without losing any information (unless you want to trace bibliographic history). When a URL is mentioned in the text, you will likely find further information on it in Appendix D. You'll hear about the silver bullet, a term rooted in folklore of the American Civil War. It supposedly emerged from the practice of encouraging a patient who was to undergo field surgery to bite down hard on a lead bullet "to divert the mind from pain and screaming" (American Slang, Harper & Row, New York, 1986). You'll soon realize that you've found the silver bullet of business competitiveness. Think of this book as a conversation between you and me. Remember to visit the companion site at http://www.kmtoolkit.com. I would love to hear your comments, suggestions, questions, criticisms, and reactions. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.