Tuesday, 28 February 2012


The role of the Chief


Chief Seattle A recent discussion in Linked-In suggested that the role of the Chief Knowledge Officer is poorly defined, and very difficult.

That made me think.   Certainly the role is very difficult, but I would not say it is poorly defined.

We see the role as evolving over time. To begin with, the CKO is in charge of Knowledge Management implementation. Then, once implementation is over, the CKO is in charge of the effective operation of the Knowledge Management Framework. Roles and accountabilities in these two phases are as follows;

The role of the CKO during implementation of the KM Framework is as follows;
  • To design and deliver a working KM framework within the business, that delivers business value and is seen by customers as effective business practice.
  • To act as project manager for the framework implementation project. 
  • To represent Knowledge Management at the senior level of management
The Accountabilities of the CKO during implementation of the KM Framework are as follows;

·         Develop, together with the leadership of the organization, the objectives and deliverables of the Knowledge Management implementation program.
·         Deliver the implementation project objectives, within the agreed time frame and to the agreed cost and standard.
·         Ensure that the KM framework operates effectively and efficiently
·         Ensure that the KM framework delivers business value
·         Act as champion for the corporate vision for KM

The Role of the CKO during operation of the KM Framework is as follows

·         Sustain the corporate vision for Knowledge Management.
·         Act as champion for the Knowledge Management framework within the organisation
·         To provide assurance to senior management that Knowledge Management continues to be applied effectively and for business gain.
·         To project management any enhancements to the KM Framework

The Accountabilities of the CKO during operation of the KM Framework are as follows

·         Develop, together with the leadership of the organization, the performance indicators for Knowledge Management within the organization.
·         Report performance against these indicators and ensure target performance is achieved.
·         Agree any required improvements to the framework, and act as project manager for the improvement projects.
·         Represent the company externally in the field of Knowledge Management.

The required competencies for the CKO are as follows

·         A respected senior member of the organization
·         A history of delivering organizational change
·         Charismatic and engaging
·         Confident and effective communicator
·         Excellent leadership skills
·         Not afraid to take risks
·         Diplomacy
·         An appreciation of the technology and the human/cultural issues involved in KM
·         An excellent grasp of the organizational structure, vision and strategy and understanding of the business deliverables
·         An extensive network within the company

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