Mar 112009

Now that President Obama has appointed the nations first Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, I believe that it is time to appoint a Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) for the nation. As many of you may know several government agencies already have CKO’s in place (US Army, US Air Force, USDA, Minority Business Development Agency). So, why a CKO for the nation?

In this age of the knowledge economy our intellectual assets are the most valuable assets that this nation has. As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age there will be a tremendous gap in knowledge at our government agencies as well as in the private sector. The nation’s CKO will begin to put in place a national strategy to address this phenomenon as well as people, process and technologies that will ensure our nation stays competitive and thrives during this time of the transitional workforce.

In general the nations CKO and its office will be responsible for mobilizing and maximizing the nation’s knowledge assets from the various agencies, being a catalyst for innovation in not only technology but in the way we work, learn, collaborate and share knowledge. I see this office meeting with the CKO’s at the various government agencies to promote the national knowledge management agenda as well as with CKO’s in the private sector to obtain a holistic view of what works and what can be done to effectively keep the United States as a leader on the world stage.

Let me know what you think, I’ll be interested in knowing your views on this.

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  2 Responses to “Appointing a Chief Knowledge Officer at the federal Level”

  1. Interesting idea, Anthony, but one fraught with questions. The political view of knowledge, and the knowledge economy, is a long way from industrial concepts of knowledge management. In the UK at least, the governmental view of knowledge is focused on universities, and on high-tech business and financial services (see our newsletter piece on teh UK knowledge economy

    I would worry that until government learns from successful industry models of KM (which will be difficult to do, given that there is still so much confusion around the topic), then a national CKO would not neccessarily be doing the things you or I might think they should be doing.

  2. Nick, thank you for you comments. In the US many government agencies are using KM effectively. I agree with you that high tech business has embraced KM, especially consulting and services firms such as IBM and Deloitte. It is my hope if the US does appoint a CKO that this person would leverage the lessons learned from other government agencies and the industries, which have effectively used KM. One aspect of KM is knowledge sharing and I believe this collaboration will lead to the national CKO implementing the policies, practices and technology that would be beneficial to the nation. This will ultimately drive the innovation that we need.

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