Knowledge Management Strategy & Rationale for Workplace 4.0

Knowledge Management Strategy Statement & Rationale for Workplace 4.0

Knowledge Management Strategy & Rationale for Workplace 4.0

It seems that Knowledge Management is making a come back, accelerated by the thrills of growth in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Machine Learning capability. As a result, I’ve been following the Knowledge Management initiatives promoted by the likes of Deloitte, APQC and the various KM conferences with great interest.

To help understand the new old approach to Knowledge Management, I’ve cut through the jargon to summarise the new old strategy and rationale for KM in workplace 4.0.


  1. We are so big we are starved of knowledge.
  1. Therefore we must get more knowledge, so we can be bigger and even more starved of knowledge.
  1. When we are so big and starved, we will have the right to take people’s knowledge and replace them with technology.


  1. We have the power and, therefore have the right to our employee’s knowledge.
  1. Employee’s have the knowledge and, therefore, deprive us of the power to be more efficient and effective.
  1. We must be proactive in extracting, storing and making available our employee’s knowledge for the good of our employees.
  1. Our employees are not working for the good of the company when they don’t share their knowledge
  1. If we do not extract their knowledge today, they will leave tomorrow
  1. Anyway, we are only mining our employee’s knowledge to offer them incalculable benefits.

The problem is that for all the advancements in technology, knowledge remains a human condition. However, for the majority, competitive advantage lies not in the low hanging fruit of technical knowledge, but in the higher-order ability knowledge that activates it.

Organisations will continue to experience knowledge-driven failures until leadership teams realise that their ability to adapt, to maintain and grow returns or competitive advantage, is limited not by competence (technical knowledge, which is generally widely available), but by competency (ability knowledge) and capability (agility).

The new old KM strategy remains the same. The new old KM rationale remains the same. The new old KM ‘solutions’ still fail to understand the complexity of the human condition that is knowledge – that, fundamentally, the Knowledge Management keystone is not built of process or structures, but human behaviours. Until that is recognised the value of Km will never be fully realised.


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