Knowledge Management is In

Richard Karlgaard (Forbes) has a collection of CEO quotes from the CEO summit. His conclusion: “Of surprise to me was how much these CEOs talked about knowledge management. In fact, this tenet was universal at the Microsoft CEO Summit: Smart companies will prosper; the rest will die. CEOs are happy to buy technology that makes their employees smart, especially about customers.”

A few quotes:

Joe Forehand, Accenture: “As the economy improves, it’s going to be all about the customer again. If we want to win, we’re going to have to win the battle of the customer. The cost of acquiring and servicing customers is higher than ever. Brand loyalty is at a lower point than we’ve ever seen. Technology needs to integrate the whole marketing cycle–marketing, branding, sales, customer service and postservice support. We need true insights about the customer.”

Klaus Kleinfeld, Siemens: “If I have people sitting in Sweden who specialize in offshore oil drilling and I have a customer sitting in Texas who wants to do some offshore oil drilling, I need to make sure that the data flows between these two parties in the shortest time possible. Companies have to tap the knowledge that sits with every individual. There’s huge potential if we can do that and do it quickly.”

Marks: “I have 100,000 employees, 25,000 of whom are knowledge workers. I write an e-mail about every week to ten days,distributed to everybody in the world. People like to hear from me because they feel I’m talking to them directly. So I can send that e-mail out, and within about 24 hours everyone will have read it. The amazing thing is how I can change the direction of the entire company within 24 hours. Ten years ago I couldn’t do that.”

Anderson: “What do I want? A device that provides precise just-in-time information about a specific customer and provides just-in-time learning for the employee so that we can leverage information for the benefit of the customer.That would be a powerhouse killer app.”

Kleinfeld: “I would love to have a structure for just-in-time knowledge and one for just-in-time access. When you’re out in the field somewhere, you want to have the answer right there, right away. The power of that would be unbelievable.”

My favourite is by Forehand: “Microsoft should create an Xbox for the business world [general laughter]. Seriously! Start with that in mind–everything is included, you can see things in color and see what’s right and wrong. Start with how you approach Xbox, and tie that to business.”

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.