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What does a Chief Knowledge Officer do?

K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning

A chief knowledge officer strengthens an organization by treating its collected knowledge as a valuable, if intangible, asset. A chief knowledge officer strives to use the full potential of an organization’s knowledge by maximizing intellectual capital through reaching specific goals and objectives in regards to the discovery, use and dissemination of its knowledge. Chief knowledge officers ensure that company knowledge is not being undervalued and attempt to use it to the best advantage in order to stay viable and competitive.

Many chief knowledge officers are responsible for building and maintaining knowledge management programs for employee use. These kinds of programs usually have structures for tracking, organizing, analyzing, and developing information. The chief knowledge officer builds a framework that makes the programs accessible to other employees and promotes the programs and their resources within and outside the organization.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Using their understanding of a company’s knowledge, chief organizational officers can influence organizational changes. They can give advice on how to shape, advance, and manage the organization. They can also provide information about where the organization stands in relation to competitors and how it is perceived by the general public.

Accurate feedback from a chief knowledge officer can be especially valuable to executives who have become so closely associated with their business that they are no longer able to step back and view the organization with accuracy. For this reason, chief knowledge officers are valuable for helping keep organizations on track with informed opinions and practical plans of action. A chief knowledge officer must provide an unbiased, honest perspective to fellow employees.

There are several actions a chief knowledge officer can take to promote full understanding of knowledge within an organization. This includes continually promoting knowledge within the company culture and devising activities to raise awareness of organization processes. This helps to empower employees to make better decisions on a daily basis.

By enabling coworkers to get the most from organizational knowledge, chief knowledge officers help to ensure the continuing health of an organization. They enable organizations to survive during difficult economic times and make informed decisions that promote long-term growth. The optimum use of information ensures not only greater organizational success, but less waste of valuable intellectual resources. They enable an organization to reach its full potential.

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