A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Achieving Success in the Emerging e-Knowledge Industry   © SCUP 2003
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Mobilizing Leaders, Policy Makers, and Practitioners



Chapter 7

Achieving Success in the Emerging e-Knowledge Industry

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Mobilizing the enterprise community on the subject of e-knowledge is the most important of the ten immediate actions. Before this can occur successfully, we must understand the art of communication and change in the Internet culture. It’s not about pushing a powerful message and strategy, fully formulated and ready for action. It’s about storytelling, adding value, and changing how people feel about change and the future.

The reason so many change initiatives fail is that they rely too much on data gathering, analysis, report writing, and presentations instead of a more creative approach aimed at grabbing the feelings that motivate useful action.

John Kotter, 2002


Learning from
The Cluetrain Manifesto

This book with the peculiar name was written by four practitioners specializing in new media and communicating via the Internet. It started out as a Web site, attracting interested participants who offered their perspectives on how the Internet was changing the rules and routines of business communication. Eventually, the Cluetrain Manifesto Web site grew to contain 95 theses about communication and commerce in the Internet world and a wealth of insight about how practices are changing.


The book was merely a printed version of the nuggets that were found in the stream of conversation that ran through the Web site.

The Cluetrain Manifesto offers a simple thesis: The Internet is a throwback to the days when commerce was conducted in the bazaar. Commerce was about the conversations through which everything was discussed and negotiated: the nature of the product, its value, its price, and its terms of exchange. Over the course of time, the conversations shaped and personalized product offerings and what individuals thought of the products and those whose mark was upon them. Voice — the authentic expression of the individual that is present in the work of our hands and our minds — is as present in the Internet as it was in the commerce of the bazaar. The work of the Internet is carried on through conversation — Web pages, e-mail, discussion groups, blogs, klogs, product offerings, and communities of practice — that give new forms of expression to the human voice in our organizations, be they colleges and universities, corporations, trade associations, government agencies, or philanthropies.

We don’t know what the Web is for but we’ve adopted it faster than any technology since fire.

David Weinberger

To be effective, communication in the Internet Age must engage people in authentic conversations through which they discover meaning, especially for new ideas and concepts. These concepts can be put to work in our enterprises, to understand the potentials of e-knowledge. The liberating impact of Internet culture is not limited to people’s interactions via the Internet; it influences other interactions as well.


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  Successful change leaders identify a problem in one part of the change process, or a solution to a problem. Then they show this to people on ways that are as concrete as possible… But whatever the method, they supply valid ideas that go deeper than the conscious and analytical parts of our brains — ideas with emotional impact.

John P. Kotter and
Dan S. Cohen