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Executive's Guide to Knowledge Management

The Last Competitive Advantage

Executive's Guide to Knowledge Management by James J. Stapleton
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The traditional means by which companies seek a competitive advantage over their rivals have lost their effectiveness. Factors such as raw materials and inventory, overhead, customer consciousness, and profit margin have been so thoroughly standardized and exploited that business can no longer reduce costs in these areas to any significant degree. The technology revolution of the 1990s and the post-bubble information explosion, however, have created one critically important function that remains wildly unregulated and completely up-for-grabs-knowledge management. James Stapleton draws upon twenty years of helping turn average companies into extraordinary success stories that reveal how to capitalize on the last true competitive advantage in the Executive's Guide to Knowledge Management.

Stapleton explains that while the most significant challenge of the last century was acquiring information, the chief problem of the twenty-first century is figuring out what to do with it. This task can be distilled into two goals:
* Defining and eliminating the subjective factors in the information-gathering process that can hinder knowledge management
* Ensuring that all employees have access to information and the operational latitude to act on it in a manner that is meaningful to the company

Stapleton believes these goals can be achieved by forming an organizational "infomentality" for organizing the array of data, opinion, and information inputs into usable, applicable knowledge. With all personnel understanding what is important and what to do with what is important, mistakes are eliminated and knowledge is employed to its maximum advantage. Subsequent chapters describe processes for building knowledge, gathering intelligence, compiling competitor information, improving customer relations, and maximizing referral source information. The author also puts forth a ten-step system for turning information into knowledge that focuses on finding information, analyzing it, acting on it, and maintaining it.

With the explosion of information now available, corporations must be able to transform a wide variety of data and opinions into applicable business knowledge in order to remain successful. James Stapleton gives executives the tools they need to capitalize on the last competitive advantage.
Wiley; March 2003
258 pages; ISBN 9780471445517
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Title: Executive's Guide to Knowledge Management
Author: James J. Stapleton
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