We’re all agreed, aren’t we, that managing the company’s strategic knowledge is not a job for amateurs?
The executive who has a title of something along the lines of “Director, Knowledge Strategy” or “Chief Knowledge Officer” is expected to be pretty proficient in knowledge management/knowledge services. Any strategy management role in a company is demanding, but we can safely assert that managing enterprise-wide knowledge strategy has something of an exponential quality to it. Simply being required to focus KM/knowledge services across the entire organization calls forth a wide range of talents, expertise, experience, and just plain old “get-up-and-go” (as Prince Charles once described that particularly American attribute).
There’s more to it than a list of skills, though. As strategic knowledge professionals seek to move forward, it’s probably best to begin with the most common pitfall they have to deal with. Time management (age-old challenge that it is) seems to be the first defeat knowledge strategists experience. Whether in the C-suite or on the fast-track to get there, a leadership position relating to KM/knowledge services requires mastering the basics of how to get the most out of the workday. Only when time management is mastered will the strategic knowledge specialist begin to feel successful.
So how is it done? A first step takes a look at each task – preferable early in the day, the time management experts say – and calculates whether the task is related to what we call the “day-to-day” routine, or whether it’s something we have to sit back and give some thought to (I like to think of these tasks as “big picture” tasks, since they often – when successful – determine how the enterprise is going to move forward in handling knowledge strategically.)
Once categorized, we connect the task to anyone else who is going to be involved: Is this something I hand over to my personal assistant or knowledge support specialist? Is this a task that calls for meeting someone? If so, where and for what purpose? Will this task take me offsite? Will this task require me to avoid contact with others until it is completed? These are the questions we ask, and either intuitively or with a pencil and paper we find ourselves with a list and a pattern for what the day will be like.
Of course we don’t stay on track. What executive does? But the senior executive with strategic knowledge responsibility is going to find himself/herself with a better handle on “getting through the day” if the tasks to be completed can be organized and performed with a sense of control. And isn’t that – in the long run – what time management is all about?