Learning to Fly: Practical Lessons from Some of the World's Leading Knowledge Companies / Edition 2

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"The first generation of knowledge management has come and gone. The second  generation which promises both deeper insights and greater impact, will be less about data and more about the social nature of knowledge, less about ‘capture and retrieval’ and more about innovating and sharing, and ultimately more about know-how rather than know about - the only knowledge that matters in any pragmatic institution. Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell show how new ideas and tools are making working and learning inseparable."
—Peter Senge, Senior Lecturer, MIT and Chair, SOL (Society for Organizational Learning)

"This book leads the way in communicating the purpose and practice of knowledge management. It offers clear and straightforward answers to the 'why? what? and how?' Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell are immensely practical in their approach to KM, yet manage to communicate a clear vision of 'the big picture' of how an integrated approach can impact business performance."
—Dr Christine van Winkelen, Director, Henley Knowledge Management Forum

"Collison and Parcell compellingly demonstrate how the combination of sharing behaviors, smart processes and enabling technology have made BP a world leader in knowledge management."
—Steve Ballmer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation

"This book goes beyond providing practical techniques for sharing knowledge. It provides a participatory approach to learning. People take responsibility and solve their own problems, by learning from others. It has caused us to rethink our whole approach to capacity building."
—Marcel Boisard, Executive Director, The United Nations Institute for Training and Research

"With distinctive clarity and simplicity, Learning to Fly combines real practice with rich experience to meet the need to leverage knowhow in a network-centric world. The authors have codified a set of proven tools and processes for teams and organizations to learn before, during and after, in order to dramatically improve their performance."
—Kent Greenes, Chief Knowledge Officer, SAIC

"Here’s what we have been waiting for - a practical way to apply knowledge management for immediate and identifiable business success. The authors have extensive experience in doing that and we should listen to them carefully. Just in time too, as the challenges of the future - wireless Internet, e-Business, continuing mergers, de-mergers and globalization - demand that we get on with the business of KM. This book makes it possible.
Well done, guys."
—Col. Ed Guthrie, US Army (retd.)

"There are very few knowledge management books written by actual practitioners and this is one of them. BP has led the charge in KM and these authors were there. A fine place to start one’s KM education!"
—Larry Prusak, Executive Director, IBM Institute for Knowledge Management

"Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell provide a thoughtful and action oriented guide to knowledge management. It should be required reading for both students, practitioners and, perhaps most important, for those executives that have to deliver on the promise of leveraging knowledge assets as a mechanism for gaining competitive advantage."
—Dr. John C. Henderson, The Richard C. Shipley Professor of Management, Boston University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841125091
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/3/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 332
  • Sales rank: 879,185
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Collison is a champion for knowledge sharing and an agent for change. He has presented to audiences at business schools and at conferences around the world, and is a regular contributor to specialist knowledge management publications. During his career he has advised government departments and worked with business leaders in many organizations, sharing the practical experiences he gained whilst working in BP's knowledge management team. As Director of Change & Knowledge Management for Centrica plc, he is responsible for developing organizational capability across this international energy and essential services company. Chris is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.

Geoff Parcell is a master practitioner. He has a wealth of experience gained from a diverse career in BP that has taken him from Vietnam to Brazil, and from geophysicist to facilitator. He was a core member of BP's knowledge management team during the late 90s, creating environments for sharing excellence in operations, organizational capability and innovation. He has just returned to BP after an 18 month secondment to the UN in Geneva. There he helped create an holistic approach for sharing experiences of the response to AIDS between those involved - communities, cities, civic society groups, NGOs, UN agencies and businesses.

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Table of Contents




1. Setting the Context.

2. What is Knowledge Management?

3. The Holistic Model – It’s More Than the Sum of the Parts.

4. Getting the Environment Right.

5. Getting Started – Just Do It.


6. Connecting Sharers with Learners – Using Self-Assessment.

7. Learning From Your Peers – Somebody Has Already Done It.

8. Learning Whilst Doing – Time to Reflect.

9. Learning After Doing – When it’s All Over.

10. Finding the Right People – If Only I Knew Who.

11. Networking and Communities of Practice.

12. Leveraging What We Have Learned – Capturing Knowledge.


13. Embedding it in the Organization – Preparing To Let Go.

14. Review of the Book – What Did We Set Out To Do?

Appendix A.

Appendix B.

Resources 1.

Resources 2: One Page Resources.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012


    This is a really cheap book for what you get. A definate buy.

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