Knowledge Strategy

The Value of Knowledge – released 20 July 2020

13 Jul 2020  

cov_9783110590227_Powell_DPM_v4And now, a word from our sponsor.  WARNING: unabashed self-promotion dead ahead:

Do you want to expand your organization’s “cognitive perimeter”?  Decrease your “knowledge-value gaps”?  Build an “epistemic wrapper” around your core product? Understand the “value vectors” driving your competitive future?  Manage your enterprise “cage of doves”?

You may understandably not have these initiatives on your radar — since each is a tool described for the first time anywhere in my new book The Value of Knowledge.  I’ll call it VoK here.


VoK is a unique stew of insights harvested from information/knowledge management, economics, and business strategy – lightly seasoned with a few notes from basic sciences.  It’s wide in scope — developed as a graduate school textbook — but full of clear, executable ideas developed for, and tested in, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits.  Illustrative stories and applied examples from my four-decade experience serving Fortune 500 firms and other clients are woven in throughout.  You can find out more, and download free introductory sections, here.

My goal is your success

If you are a “knowledge services” practitioner, manager, or client, you may indeed have the following items on your radar:

  • Putting your career on a more positive trajectory
  • Adding greater value for your clients and customers
  • Being confident in measuring and demonstrating that value quantitatively
  • Helping you envision and define success
  • Surviving our current global economic trauma

VoK discusses each of these at some length.  More broadly, it offers something to everyone who uses knowledge intensively in their work – now over one billion people worldwide, according to Gartner.  One reviewer remarked, “What makes your book strong is that it can be applied in practically any business discipline — from CFOs who want to understand what to measure, to business developers who want to scale out the business they are in.”

My goal is to help you achieve your professional goals while helping your organization achieve its goals and improve its performance.  I do this by showing you how we have applied MBA-caliber metrics and analysis to the challenges of managing enterprise knowledge and intelligence — and how you can, too.

Disclaimer #1

There is strong medicine in VoK, to be used with care.  It’s only fair that I mention a couple of disclaimers.  First, VoK is not a standard-issue business book that has a few good ideas fluffed out over hundreds of pages.  VoK is densely-packed — by my count, there is an average of about one major idea in each of the 266 pages here.  This is not beach reading or something you’ll want to curl up with next to the fire on a snowy evening.  It’s more a text, a reference, and an action map for plotting your success. It should be taken and savored in small doses.  It was written in short, topical nuggets – frankly, as your tour guide, I have my own attention span to manage!

To help you successfully navigate the unavoidable complexity, I have built in several way-finders.  A four-level table of contents and a detailed index help you focus on relevant challenges and solutions.  There are cross-referenced indexes of 28 major knowledge strategies and ten core Value of Knowledge principles that enable you to quickly home in on opportunities for improvement and development.  VoK Includes over 40 models and frameworks that you can rapidly deploy as analytic guides and templates. Each chapter ends with a list of key concepts and discussion questions to guide and reinforce your understanding.

Disclaimer #2

Second, VoK is not a book primarily about technologies.  Having started my consulting practice as a tech journalist, I wrote a tech-centric book long ago (The High Tech Marketing Machine) – only to find that parts of it were already outdated by the time it was published.  My publisher this time (De Gruyter) is known for sustained stewardship of ideas – so I have taken the long view here, and referenced technologies only indirectly.

Technology is supremely important — in fact in VoK I argue that our understanding of knowledge has accelerated in parallel with advances in technology; it’s often hard to tell which is the chicken, and which is the egg.  However, technology moves so fast that reference books like VoK are not the appropriate place to report them – this is better left to blogs and other more agile electronic media.

Why bother?

It took me two years to write this – and over two decades to research, develop, and field-test its contents.  Why have I done so — at the expense of more immediately gratifying pursuits like working with clients, or playing my guitar? For two main reasons:

  1. having practiced knowledge strategy for decades, I find that much of the existing literature falls short in addressing one of the key issues my clients consistently face — providing and clearly demonstrating a consistently positive ROI for knowledge and intelligence; and
  2. having run my boutique knowledge consultancy through two previous recessions, I vowed to use any means available to me to help knowledge workers survive and thrive in the next economic storm.

Little did I know how timely this work’s mid-2020 release would be!

Buy my book, pick my brain

As reviewers have noted, VoK contains ideas and frameworks that you will not find anywhere else. At €99 list, it’s pricier than most business books.  But compared to what clients pay for my advice and coaching, and what students pay for my teaching, I think you’ll find it a terrific investment in your future.

In addition, to celebrate the launch I am currently offering a free 30-minute Zoom conversation (a US$250 value) to answer your questions and offer you tips on how to apply the book’s lessons.  You qualify for this offer (which is subject to my availability and may be modified or withdrawn without further notice) if:

  • you have purchased the book or PDF; or
  • you are a current or former client of mine (whether through TKA, ORC, PWC, KPMG. Columbia, or LIU).

And if you can’t afford your own personal copy, have your organization (company, agency, or library) buy one — that way, you’ll get the benefit, and so will your colleagues.

The global village

Thanks to my editor “Mr. Guy” St. Clair and to my global editorial and production team at De Gruyter, the esteemed 270-year-old sci-tech publisher, for helping me compress many of my professional experiences into one book!  Thanks too to my nearly 200 clients, friends, students, and mentors who contributed indirectly to this work by challenging and inspiring me.  You know who you are…

I hope you will get your VoK soon so that you can begin taking full advantage of the insights, techniques, and tools on offer here. For a ten-minute preview, check out my new YouTube channel.  And please be sure to stay in touch and let me know how you’re doing!

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Recent Comments

  • Tim Powell on A brief pause: “Thanks, Les. My frequent conversations with you over the past year or two has helped my thinking a lot in…Jan 15, 13:07
  • Les on A brief pause: “Excellent advice thank you for your terrific reflection piece Tim!Jan 15, 09:40
  • Glenroy London on Knowledge Erosion: How to Avoid It: “Hi Tim I am knoco caribbean. About to join the global km family. Exploring km frameworks for design, development, implementation,…Jul 12, 08:52
  • Tim Powell on War of the Words: “Glad to oblige TJ — and thanks for your note — but I do encourage to try it for yourself…Jun 23, 08:10
  • T J Elliott on War of the Words: ““Chat credited me with founding and/or leading 20 different companies and writing 13 books. In fact, I founded one company…Jun 22, 22:42