Abstract: Is This Job Really Necessary? On balance, yes. The growing herd of corporate executives who carry the title of chief knowledge officer have real work to do–if they can figure out how to do it.
Chuck Lucier, a partner at Booz Allen & Hamilton, the consulting firm, has an odd distinction: He is one of the world’s few former chief knowledge officers. Lucier was one of the first CKOs when he got the job in 1994, and still a rare bird when he relinquished it a few months ago. The title has, however, been spreading as fast as zebra mussels, those pesty freshwater mollusks, native to the Caspian Sea, that in less than a decade have found their way into every Great Lakes inlet and bay. Daniel Holtshouse, director of knowledge initiatives at Xerox, has been trying to take a census of the CKO population–not easy, because titles and responsibilities vary–and estimates that about a fifth of the FORTUNE 500 employ someone who, in role if not always in name, is CKO.
Thomas A. Stewart: Is This Job Really Necessary? On balance, yes. FORTUNE Magazine, January 12, 1998: 154-157
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