In a prior posting about Timothy W. Powell and his contribution to our work in KM, knowledge services, and knowledge strategy (Other Voices: Building the Business Case for Knowledge Services), I had the great pleasure of introducing Tim to SMR’s clients and colleagues. Now that “other voice” is being heard again, in a couple of very tangible and productive ways.
For one thing, Tim has for three terms worked with me as one of the guest faculty in the class I teach – Management and Leadership in the Knowledge Domain – as part of the M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy program at Columbia University in New York. Tim’s special subject is the knowledge value chain (KVC) and he’s become well known for his expertise in helping clients (and those of us who know and use his work) understand how KVC strengthens us as we “work and compete,” as he puts it, “in what is widely acknowledged to be a knowledge-based economy.”
Tim also guest lectures in two other versions of the class, available in Columbia’s post-Baccalaureate program and in the university’s new Business Practice course. It’s a treat to have Tim with us, and I can state outright that students make it clear that what they learn from him helps them as they prepare to work as knowledge strategists. He teaches them how to establish the ROI for knowledge strategy, for building the business case for knowledge services, and since they take this course seriously, they use what he says to go on to be successful as knowledge thought leaders.
So while you can read the post referred to above (and even learn about Tim’s work as he interviews me in the film posted at the upper right, in which he’s kind enough to focus on my work with knowledge services), I think we should shift the focus a bit and share some thoughts about his two newest contributions to our work.
For one thing, we did another film together, for the classes at Columbia, which you can view here.
Reaching an even wider audience is Tim’s latest book, The Knowledge Chain Handbook (New York: The Knowledge Agency, 2014). Recognizing that knowledge (as he says in the first line of the book) is “a fundamental resource of our economic lives,” Tim shares his thoughts about KVC for a very simple reason: “Organizational leaders sense that knowledge is important as a strategic resource, yet we don’t know how to measure or manage it – or how to discuss it at more than a basic level.”
With The Knowledge Chain Handbook Tim gives us (and those organizational leaders we work with) very clear guidelines for – as he puts it – “raising the ROI of intelligence.” Of particular value in this version of Tim’s work with the knowledge value chain are the distinctive statements each chapter title states:
- KVC Principles: Overview – Fundamentals of the KVC
- KVC Principles: Detail – Inner Workings of the KVC
- KVC Applications – Managing the Intelligence Process Using the KVC Model
- KVC Lessons – Putting the KVC into Action
- KVC Scorecard – Fixing a Broken Knowledge Value Chain
It’s pretty obvious that I like many things about the book, but I think what most impresses me – and which I share with students and clients – is the clarity of the arrangement. Tim has re-purposed the slides from his teaching as illustrations for what he’s saying. He does it on each page of the book, and the rest of the page is a brief discourse on the points made in the illustration. A very neat technique indeed, and not only does Tim include notes about some of the case studies that lay out the points he is making, he writes very well, so the whole package is well presented and – not always the case with practical or technical books – a pleasure to read, even for knowledge workers with limited experience with our theories and principles.
I’m looking forward to working with Tim as the new academic year comes into play.