A chief knowledge officer
) is an organizational leader, responsible for ensuring that the organization maximizes the value it achieves through "knowledge". The CKO is responsible for managing intellectual capital and the custodian of Knowledge Management
practices in an organization. CKO is not just a relabelling of the title "chief information officer
" - the CKO role is much broader. CKOs can help an organization maximize the returns on investment in knowledge (people, processes and intellectual capital), exploit their intangible assets (know-how, patents, customer relationships), repeat successes, share best practices, improve innovation, and avoid knowledge loss after organizational restructuring.
CKOs must have skills across a wide variety of areas. They must be good at developing/understanding the big picture, advocacy (articulation, promotion and justification of the knowledge agenda, sometimes against cynicism or even open hostility), project and people management (oversight of a variety of activities, attention to detail, ability to motivate), communications (communicating clearly the knowledge agenda, have good listening skills and be sensitive to organizational opportunities and obstacles), leadership, teamworking, influencing, and interpersonal skills. The CKO who successfully combines these skills is well equipped as an excellent agent of change for their organization.
Other terms for CKO include knowledge manager, director of intellectual capital (e.g. Scandia), director of knowledge transfer (e.g. Buckman Laboratories), and knowledge asset
manager (e.g. Dow Chemical).