Davenport's next big thing

Another book for my pile. In the June 1, 2003 issue of CIO Magazine, Tom Davenport writes about the new "big thing" in relation to his new book, What's the Next Big Idea. He promises a number of columns in future issues.

A Measurable Proposal - The New Work Order

I believe that the next big process change initiative should involve knowledge work. Let's examine how we do strategy, marketing campaigns, mergers and acquisitions, and R&D programs. Maybe we could even take on the process of management. This time - unlike in days gone by with reengineering - we should involve those who do the work. I see no reason why participative, creative efforts can't improve knowledge processes just as they improved the more structured, less knowledge-intensive type.

I like his focus on knowledge processes. Essentially, the next big thing is that organizations will discover a need to get a handle on how knowledge is created and / or used and then look at what can be done to make those processes better. And rather than looking at the high level, organizations really need to consider how people create and use knowledge. To Davenport's point: how do knowledge workers operate and what can we do to help?

This first article highlights the ideas of personal knowledge management - and not just the latest crop of software. We need to have the technology and now how it fits to the larger world of the organization - how does the technology support the knowledge processes of the organization?

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