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Knowledge Leadership (KMCI Press) [Paperback]

Steven A. Cavaleri , Sharon Seivert
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 16, 2005 0750678402 978-0750678407 1
In Knowledge Leadership, Cavaleri and Seivert describe the dawning of a new era in which individuals are “leading” rather than “managing” knowledge. In the past, many knowledge-based initiatives have failed because leaders underestimated the powerful link between knowledge and performance improvement – and also because they mistakenly thought that “information” was the same as knowledge. Cavaleri and Seivert claim that, while information is a necessary precursor to knowledge, it is not sufficient in itself for improving business performance.

The authors describe notable organizations that use the pragmatic knowledge strategies they describe to gain competitive advantage. Pragmatic knowledge is the result of individuals’ developing a deeper understanding of how (and why) things work best in practice. The process of creating pragmatic knowledge transforms key lessons from systems thinking, total quality management, and organization learning into a powerful new business strategy.

To help readers apply the concepts and tools in this book, Cavaleri and Seivert draw on case examples and a decade of original cross-cultural research about knowledge leadership. They also invite readers to use The Knowledge Bias Profile to discover their knowledge leadership style. The book systematically outlines a user-friendly strategy for becoming a knowledge leader and for building high-performing, knowledge-based organizations.

Editorial Reviews


From Harvard Business School's book review (August 8, 2005 edition of Working Knowledge)

Knowledge management is a tad passé if all we imagine is managing the brainpower of our colleagues. More important these days, according to this book, is for individuals to actually lead the creation of knowledge in their organizations in a systematic and pragmatic way: That's how innovation and competitive advantage take hold. This serious book offers a comprehensive framework in that direction, helping you first to evaluate your own "knowledge leadership" style and then see the big picture within the company.

In a non-gimmicky way, the authors-specialists in learning organizations and management-serve up the Yogi and Commissar figures once described by Arthur Koestler, the late novelist, philosopher, and political activist. As used here, the Yogi is someone who challenges others to question their assumptions and beliefs in order to forge a new path for learning. Commissar leaders prefer to focus on action and changing the outward behavior of others.

"The message for knowledge leaders from Arthur Koestler's book, The Yogi and the Commissar, is that any rigidly held worldview, although seductive on the surface, is inherently limited and likely to cause leaders their own demise. Although it is no small task, becoming a knowledge leader requires you to become aware of-then reduce the dysfunctional effects of-your own worldview and perpetual blocks," they write.

The book is divided into six parts: Why Should You Care About Knowledge?; Becoming a Knowledge Leader; Putting Knowledge into Action; Developing Pragmatic Knowledge; Leading Fast Knowledge-Based Organizations; and Putting it All Together. Plenty of examples, illustrations, and executive summaries help to clarify what can be a difficult and unwieldy challenge for a fast-paced company.

"Starting change efforts by increasing self-knowledge may not be the most comfortable for business leaders, but it is where knowledge leaders have to begin-and we think it will be a differentiating trait between good and great leaders in the future," the authors conclude.

"The authors of this well-researched and clearly
written book stimulate reflection with intriguing images and practical tools, and they guide towards
action with examples from private, public, and
not-for profit organizations. Readers will come away not only with an up-to-date understanding of the field of knowledge management, but also with greater
self-knowledge, enabling them to hone their leadership skills and strategies."
-- Ariane Berthoin Antal, Social Science Research Center Berlin and co-editor The Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge

"A refreshing scholarly perspective of Knowledge Leadership for creating functional, adaptive, sustainable, and timely knowledge-based
organizational strategies to affect bottom line performance. Drawing upon a solid pragmatic understanding of systems thinking, the authors
offer an incisive analysis of how to develop and apply pragmatic knowledge in today's organizations. Real world industry cases and scientific analyses of knowledge profiles support the conceptual and
pragmatic framework while offering tools for bridging the knowing-doing divide."
-- Dr. Yogesh Malhotra, PhD, MBA, BE, CCP,CEng
Founding Chairman and Chief Knowledge Architect, BRINT Institute, LLC; Faculty of Management Information and Decision Sciences, Syracuse
University Whitman School of Management

"Knowledge Leadership is a timely response to a widely felt need within the KM field. Practical, readable and with sound foundations, it is a valuable guide for leaders who want their companies to become part of the elite Knowledge-based Organizations, those companies that base their long-term strategies on knowledge differentiation. If you lead, you must read."
-- Javier Carrillo, Professor of Knowledge Management and Director of the Center for Knowledge Systems, ITESM, Mexico.

"Knowledge leadership is the key to sustained competitive advantage in the knowledge economy. Steven Cavaleri, Sharon Seivert and Lee Lee help us to understand what knowledge leadership is and show us how to recognise, develop and become knowledge leaders. If more people in business, the professions, and public and voluntary organisations use this book to undertake similar journeys to become leaders in their fields we will all benefit."
-- Professor Colin Coulson-Thomas, author of 'The Knowledge Entrepreneur'

"Kudos to Cavaleri and Seivert for sharing this enlightening volume on the wisdom and power of skillful knowledge management. For those of us who have the fortune of working within a visionary and well-balanced "robust learning" environment, Knowledge Leadership: The Art and Science of the Knowledge-based Organization is a great resource to keep our knowledge strategies and processes on track.

For organizations that have not yet effectively embraced the "era of knowledge" or utilized knowledge as the source of innovation and success, this book provides a gold mine of tools to integrate the knowledge development process and knowledge management initiative.

This illustrative resource can guide receptive organizations to 'develop actionable and pragmatic knowledge,' which can facilitate engaging employees to foster innovation and ultimately yield a competitive edge.

This book provides an invaluable guide to managers who are on the journey toward understanding knowledge-based organizations, and can serve as a useful overview of the role of knowledge in organizations for managers just beginning the journey."
-- Lynn S. Quinn, Manager, Retail Human Resources,
Eileen Fisher, Inc.

Book Description

A knowledge-based framework for developing outstanding leaders in the new economy

Product Details

  • Series: KMCI Press
  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750678402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750678407
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.3 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,626,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge Leadership, a job for everyone August 9, 2005
"Stimulate passion for (knowledge) exploitation ánd exploration !". That's the message Steven Cavaleri and Sharon Seivert offer us in this thoughtful new book. Organizations can create more value when the innovative knowledge leadership principles, described in this book produce results that are difficult to imitate. Knowledge leaders can discover unique ways to use knowledge to realize sustainable competitive advantage. But what does this really mean in practice? How do we get there? How can we become more pragmatic in using knowledge to improve performance - both as individuals and organizations? What can we learn from theory, science, business practice (companies as Toyota) and history ? These and many other questions are clearly answered by the authors all in the context of the intriguing process of what they call knowledge leadership.

Cavaleri, one of the founding fathers of what has come to be known as The New Knowledge Management (TNKM) and Seivert suggest to leaders that it's time to shift their perspective toward envisioning how knowledge can be used to drive performance to higher levels. And that knowledge in organizations is better led than managed. The book reflects this theme using the eclectic and inclusive thinking of its authors throughout all 359 pages of the book. For example, the authors use strict dichotomies between various learning styles, personality types, and organizational systems. And through their delicate balancing act, they always lead the reader to higher levels of synthesis, balance, and harmony in envisioning a new role for knowledge in companies. This book is aimed toward all levels of knowledge-workers, including everyone in a company from the CEO on down. Everyone can become a Knowledge Leader.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Hank Hadders does a fine job summarizing important features of Knowledge Leadership and I won't repeat any of his remarks.

Let me first say that this is a book I'll keep close to my desk for ready reference. It is full of practical advice about how to turn knowledge into learning. Cavaleri and Seivert recommend that we experiment with our behavior to generate concrete experience which we think thoughtfully about before deciding what is the value of what we have learned. Then we can apply our knowledge to take effective action to solve problems and make decisions.

This model is dynamic and meant to be acted upon continuously throughout our life. Knowledge is always provisional; that is, meant to be tested by some new experiment which generates experience that may or may not confirm what we think we know. By the way, what we think we know is often wrong. Cavaleri and Seibert convincingly demonstrate the power of our biases to lead us astray. Constant feedback from the environment and from those we work with is necessary to provide truth value to our knowledge.

I must admit, I loved this book and recommend it highly. Clearly written with many useful examples, Knowledge Leadership will help the reader to practice taking an active approach to learning that builds on constant experiment to deepen understanding of an ever changing world. This is not simply a book to be read and thought about; it is a call to action. In Knowlege Leadership Cavaleri and Seibert give us the tools to turn action into useful knowledge.

Buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
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