Knowledge Enterprise:

Corporate Capabilities

Knowledge Management (KM)

Collecting, Leveraging, and Distributing Knowledge Throughout Your Organization

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach – Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!


"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." ~ Samuel Johnson 

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Tacit Knowledge

Knowledge Management Managing Creativity Effective Coaching Braimstorming How To Be More Creative The Power of Simplicity LOGO of Ten3 Busines e-Coach: Design Secrets Vadim Kotelnikov (personal website) Learning Organization Synergy Cross-pollination of Ideas Idea Management Innovation System Energizing People Getting Rid of Bureacracy Effective Feedback Differentiating with Different Types of People Positioning Effective Communication Instill Confidence (25 Lessons from Jack Welch) Innovation - Bringing New Ideas to Life Knowledge Communities Experimentation Continuous Learning

Balanced Organization: 5 Basic Elements

Wood (Corporate Capabilities):

The Five Organizational Learning Disciplines

By Peter Senge17

  1. Personal Mastery. Expecting people to develop their personal capacity to meet their own objectives, and thus those of the company, which in turn is organized to encourage that personal effort.

  2. Mental Models. Developing the right "mind-set" to guide actions and decisions.

  3. Shared Vision. Commitment of all members of the organization to its aims and its ways of achieving those objectives.

  4. Team Learning. Exploiting the fact that group thinking is greater than the sum of its individual parts.

  5. Systems Thinking. Acting on the understanding that actions and decisions cannot be isolated, but have ramifications through the organization.

The Process of Knowledge Conversion

Four Different Modes

By Nonaka13

  1. Socialization (the conversion of tacit knowledge to tacit knowledge);

  2. Combination (the conversion of explicit knowledge to explicit knowledge);

  3. Externalization (the conversion of tacit to explicit knowledge); and

  4. Internalization (the conversion of explicit to tacit knowledge).

Industrial Enterprise versus Knowledge-based Enterprise Learning Organization Teaching Organization Coaching Organization Knowledge Management Tacit Knowledge Knowledge-based Enterprise Sustainable Growth Sustainable Value Creation Vadim Kotelnikov (personal website) Knowledge Management

Distinguishing between Data, Information, and Knowledge

  • Data – symbols or facts out of context, and thus not directly nor immediately meaningful

  • Information – data placed within some interpretive context, and thus acquiring meaning and value

  • Knowledge – meaningfully structured accumulation of information; information that is relevant, actionable, and based at least partially on experience

Human Barriers to Knowledge Transfer7

  • Knowledge transfer is often a case of who you know versus what you know

  • Sharing your best thinking, data, understanding, and opinion with others diminishes your personal competitive advantage

  • Use of other people's knowledge is often resisted, in particular the 'not-invented-here syndrome' is difficult to brake down

  • Improving by synthesizing new ideas continuously while purging yesterday's conventional wisdom is difficult due to resistance to change

Distinguishing between Explicit and Tacit Knowledge1

  • Explicit knowledge – can be formally articulated or encoded; can be more easily transferred or shared; is abstract and removed from direct experience

  • Tacit knowledge – knowledge-in-practice; developed from direct experience and action; highly pragmatic and situation specific; subconsciously understood and applied; difficult to articulate; usually shared through highly interactive conversation and shared experience.

 Discover more!

Knowledge-based Enterprise

People Power

Employee Empowerment

Managing Knowledge Workers

Behavioral Change

Learning Organization

Teaching Organization

Coaching Organization

Balanced Organization: 5 Basic Elements

Suggestion Systems

Fun4Biz Suggestion System

Japanese-style Suggestion System

Managing Creativity in Your Business Environment


Mutual Creativity Between Business Partners

Idea Management

Letting the Best Idea to Win

Techniques for Fast Idea Evaluation and Decision Making

Idea Evaluation By Weighted Criteria

Idea Evaluation: 4Χ2 Perceptual Positions

Systemic Innovation


Your Cross-Functional Excellence

Systems Thinking

Innovation System

Technology Intelligence

Case Studies

British Petroleum


Silicon Valley Companies

Why Knowledge Management?

While most managers agree that managing knowledge is important, few of them can articulate what the value is or how to become a learning, teaching, or coaching organization. The majority of companies have their knowledge embedded in people and organizations. It is often intuitive, tacit, rather than explicit, and is rarely detailed enough to be especially valuable. Such knowledge often gets lost when someone leaves the company.


"All too often, knowledge exists with multiple points of view instead of the collective best thinking. It is occasional but not integral to the business. And, most important, it is available but not used very much."7

KM vs. Information Management

"Knowledge management" is different from "information management". While the former targets collecting and distributing knowledge - both explicit and tacit – throughout the organization, the latter deals mainly with documented explicit knowledge – or information - only.

Most companies create, have access to, and use plenty of bits of knowledge, but neither efficiently, nor effectively.

The increased emphasis on knowledge management is attributed to recent rapid developments in the following areas:

On a practical level:

  1. Shift to the new knowledge-driven economy dominated by knowledge-based enterprises and information-intensive industries

  2. Rapid advances in information technology.

On a theoretical level, increased emphasis on knowledge in the strategic management literature, in particular:

  1. Popularity of the new resource-based view of the company

  2. Postmodern perspectives on organizations

Transfer of Best Practices

Transfer of best practices is one of the biggest issues driving innovation, cost, efficiency, and satisfaction in most companies. Transferring the worst practices and practitioners is equally important as individuals who make the same mistakes over and over again are like a human version of a computer virus.7

 Best Practices  Progroup

Progroup is a US corporation that focuses on workplace diversity. It not only has its own knowledge specialists who build knowledge bases, but also has arranged with various corporations from whom it obtains knowledge to supplement its own efforts.

One type of arrangement involves buying specialized knowledge bases from other companies. This involves negotiating formally with the intention of purchasing an intellectual property right. Another arrangement involves the mutual sharing of knowledge by like-minded companies. These less formal arrangements have yielded a synergy that has proved extremely helpful to both the concerned companies over the long run. The arrangement has worked for both partnering companies because each one has been as committed to the success of the other as to itself. Thus the nature of the mutual-trust relationship that exists between both the partners has been important. Investing in a quality relationship takes time and effort but has proved worth this time and effort for Progroup.8

SYNERGISTIC ORGANIZATION (Ten3 Mini-course) - How To Build a Modern Winning Organization

Idea Management

Idea management systems and process can help your company make innovation a discipline. They can help make the hunt for new possibilities each and every department's business, as well as involve broader and more enthusiastic participation among managers and employees... More

Loose-Tight Leadership

Tacit Knowledge as a Source of Competitive Advantage

Tacit knowledge, or implicit knowledge, as opposed to explicit knowledge, is far less tangible and is deeply embedded into an organization's operating practices. It is often called 'organizational culture'. "Tacit knowledge includes relationships, norms, values, and standard operating procedures. Because tacit knowledge is much harder to detail, copy, and distribute, it can be a sustainable source of competitive advantage... What increasingly differentiates success and failure is how well you locate, leverage, and blend available explicit knowledge with internally generated tacit knowledge."3 Inaccessible from explicit expositions, tacit knowledge is protected from competitors unless key individuals are hired away... More



Ask Searching Questions

Don't ask one or two questions and then rush straight towards a solution. With an incomplete understanding of the problem it is very easy to jump to wrong conclusions.

Ask open-ended questions that elicit a wide rage of answers:

  • 'Why' questions  to discover the roots of the problem

  • 'How' questions to discover different routes to significant improvement (see an example)

Making an Internal Market in Knowledge


One source of competitive advantage is to diffuse throughout your company the unique, proprietary knowledge about customers, competitors, products, and techniques that resides in the minds of your employees. But many efforts at knowledge management have failed to deliver that advantage, because they haven't focused on the human factors of creation and broad exchange of knowledge within a company. Establishing an internal knowledge market with its own unique approaches to motivation, pricing, exchange, market facilitation, and competition can solve that problem and boost productivity. It is less about investing in technology than about encouraging authors to "sell" their valuable knowledge and other employees to "buy" it within a market that ensures its quality.11

SYNERGISTIC ORGANIZATION (Ten3 Mini-course) - How To Build a Modern Winning Organization


 Discover much more in the


Real Value of Knowledge...

Leveraging Knowledge...

Implementing a KM Program in Your Organization: 9 Steps...

The Process of Knowledge Management...

The Starting Point: Changing Behavior...

The Dynamic Theory of Knowledge Creation...

Corporate Knowledge Management System...

 Case in Point  General Electric (GE)...

 Case in Point  British Petroleum...

 Case in Point  Microsoft...

 Case in Point  Siemens...



  1. "Knowledge, Groupware, and Internet," Butterworth Heinemann

  2. "The Role of Tacit Knowledge in Group Innovation," Dorothy Leonard and Silvia Sensipe

  3. Relentless Growth, Christopher Meyer

  4. "Discovering Order in a Chaotic World," Margaret J. Wheatley

  5. "The Challenge of Managing Knowledge," Laura Empson

  6. "The Knowledge-Creating Company," Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi

  7. "The Centerless Corporation," Bruce A.Pasternack and Albert. J. Viscio

  8. "The Knowledge Management Fieldbook," Buckowitz, W.R. and Williams, R.L.

  9. "Framework for Implementing Knowledge Management," J.A. Albers, 2003

  10. "Knowledge Management System," Dan Mascenik

  11. "Making a Market in Knowledge," Lowell L. Bryan

  12. "Smart Business," Jim Botkin

  13. "A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation," Nonaka, I.

  14. "The Tacit Dimension," Polanyi, M.

  15. "The Knowledge-Creating Company," Nonaka, I. & Takeuchi, H.

  16. "An Empirical Test of Nonaka’s Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation," Richard G. Best, Sylvia J. Hysong, Charles McGhee, Frank I. Moore, Jacqueline A. Pugh

  17. Synergistic Organization, Vadim Kotelnikov

  18. Inspiring Corporate Culture, Vadim Kotelnikov

  19. Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF), Vadim Kotelnikov