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The knowledge value chain (KVC)

Knowledge Value Chain

KFC are initials that might slip off the tongue, even if the product doesn’t necessarily slip past the tongue. No doubt the acronym KVC – as applied to the knowledge value chain – is much less known, though I believe the concept is incredibly valuable, if not necessarily as a commodity but as a valuable tool providing actionable insights, leading to revenue opportunities.

The underlying idea is very simple and relates to the idea of knowledge as an entity possessing great value (of which more later) and sitting within a spectrum of human activity and attainment.

At one extreme of the spectrum lies data, the quanta or ‘stuff’ which together inform us about the world in which we live and operate. When taken together and amalgamated, data coalesce to yield information whichinform us about how the world is operating. When this information is interrogated, it can generate actionable insights which allow us to predict actions, consequences behaviours – so-called knowledge. When our knowledge base is tested and extended and applied to new contexts, it provides a deeper understanding of our world, enabling better decision making and navigation of the complex landscapes presented to us. And when the passage of time allows deep reflection, thoughtful probing, broad correlation and profound observation, our understanding matures into a deeper wisdom.

It could reasonably be argued that this spectrum illustrates the process and purpose of all education. The axis from left to right across the spectrum could reasonably be labelled learning or time. It could be further argued, ontologically, that navigation of the knowledge spectrum lies at the heart of the human vocation.

It is probably readily accepted that navigating the spectrum is worthwhile. Those of us intimately involved in education and training see navigation of the knowledge spectrum as having immense purpose and significance. Others might conceive of it as worthy but ‘academic’, in the increasingly British conception of the word ‘academic’ as peripheral or irrelevant (a trait of the national psyche which is both telling and concerning).

The former is indisputable to me. The latter I would challenge strongly. As I argued in a previous post on this blog, a deep awareness of the knowledge spectrum, and thoughtful attention to its navigation, adds palpable commercial value to individuals and organisations amid business transformation and innovation. In this context, I find it helpful to refer to it as navigation of the knowledge value chain (KVC) because progression along it not only brings advancement but tangible and measurable commercial value. All of us involved in business transformation and innovation programmes, and indeed in L&D and related activities, would do well to correlate our activities with a determination of progression along the KVC. Such insights could be immensely useful in deciding priorities and resource allocation, for example in the sense of navigation of the innovation ecosystem, or determining how best to foster an innovation culture.

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