Monday, February 21, 2011

New Graduate Program in Information and Knowledge Strategy

Let's take a short break from the Kenya stories.

Allow me to report on a new development in the KM/knowledge services field.

Colleagues and friends know that corporate knowledge strategy and strengthening the connection between knowledge strategy and the organization's business strategy are high on my list of important topics. So I'm delighted to share the news that Columbia University has announced a new graduate degree in this area, the M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy.

Our company - SMR - has been involved in this work, and Columbia's School of Continuing Education has just published its announcement about the program. And on a personal basis, I'm particularly honored to have been invited to teach two courses in the program, Principles of Management and Leadership in the Knowledge Domain and Entrepreneurial Knowledge Services.

The program is important for a number of reasons. For one thing, this is the first time this subject has been addressed at the graduate academic level. There are many programs in KM, both graduate and in some cases at the undergraduate level (I've identified more than 40 KM programs, including quite a few in other countries). There are also many well-structured i-school programs. For people who are interested in formal education having to do with the knowledge strategy/management connection, though, I don't know of any other graduate program. So the new Columbia University program offers a very special - and unique - opportunity.

At the same time, Columbia's new M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy clearly demonstrates an innovative, forward-looking frame of reference for the university. This kind of initiative, recognizing the role that information management, knowledge management, and strategic learning play in organizations, is unusual in knowledge-related disciplines, and it is good to see this program being offered. As enterprise leaders seek to identify and implement the best opportunities for knowledge development and knowledge sharing for their employees (what we in the business like to call "KD/KS"), they are learning that they must do so not only for current organizational effectiveness but for future success. Columbia's program is a major step forward and is going to be extremely valuable for helping managers understand how to deal with corporate knowledge and managing knowledge services in the future.

The full description for the M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy makes it clear that this is a subject whose time has come:

"The most critical challenge facing organizations today is managing the analysis, evaluation, and dissemination of data, information, and knowledge for strategic decision making. Columbia University's new Master of Science in Information and Knowledge Strategy program trains students to develop the leadership skills needed to address this challenge.

"The program teaches students to plan, design, and evaluate initiatives in knowledge and information across a wide spectrum of global environments, including corporations, government, educational, and nonprofit institutions. Students also develop a critical insight into the legal, social, and cultural factors that influence an organization's ability to leverage information, and learn to analyze, manage, and solve problems that impact process, human resources, and technology."

Columbia's new M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy is a sixteen month integrated program taught in a hybrid in-class and online format, framed by three short residencies on the Columbia University campus in New York City. Particularly attractive for mid-career individuals looking for new challenges, the program is ideal for people who want to expand or extend their current workplace role, and for current (or future) entrepreneurs who recognize the opportunities to create new venture in the knowledge domain.

I'm looking forward to this. Being part of Columbia's new M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy program promises to be very exciting indeed.


Tom R. said...

Congratulations! This sounds both exciting and promising. Keep up the good work!

Dan Trefethen said...

Sounds like a great offering by Columbia and a wonderful opportunity for you, Guy. Sometimes when I read about a curriculum I think I should be back in school. This is one of those moments.