Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Knowledge Factory

SECI Model at Fuji Xerox - from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

A Model for Learning

When researching knowledge management and organizational learning you're bound to come across the SECI model and the work of the Nonaka and Takeuchi. Appreciating the value of tacit knowledge (carried in people's minds) and explicit knowledge (codified or articulated) is paramount for the knowledge based industries.

The authors of the SECI model emphasize that as valuable as the knowledge assets may be, the process of creating knowledge and how it is transformed is where the real potential lies. Simply managing existing knowledge is not enough.

The Heart of the Machine

Intuitively we know that human talent is the critical success factor in hi-tech and other knowledge based contexts. Creativity and innovation are primarily human functions and are hard to systematize but are essential for ongoing success.

Additionally, the picture below demonstrates how all significant knowledge transformation, and ultimately it's conversion to business revenue, is primarily a human function. In fact, I would suggest that the individual human mind is the core, the engine of the knowledge to value transformation process. Effective teamwork and collaboration accelerate and amplify this individual capability, but the processing is still ultimately individual.

Empowered for Value

Is your organization designed to optimize the knowledge to value transformation? Or are most of your energies centered around managing your existing knowledge assets? Perhaps it's time to put the fuel back in the real engine.

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