Knowledge Management at Katzenbach Partners, LLC

The introduction of a Knowledge Management system at Katzenbach Partners, LLC illustrates the need to develop systems that accomplish company goals, while at the same time are highly intuitive and user friendly. Katzenbach needed a system that was flexible and allowed its rapidly growing workforce to achieve synergy by connecting with other members, managing resources, and fostering intellectual capital development.  It was important that this system was designed to align with the values and goals of the company itself.  For example, this system provides a direct benefit on the company’s first goal of having a clear and lasting client impact. The knowledge center provides greater continuity to teams working with the same client, even if the members of that team change from year-to-year.

The biggest obstacle facing Katzenbach was the adoption of this system by partners. The system relies on the participation of partners to provide feedback and intellectual capital in order to be effective. Designing the system to be intuitive not only aids in early adoption, but also saves time uploading documents, allowing members to spend time on clients. Another feature that aided in adoption was the hybrid formal and informal elements which provided a minimal structure while allowing users to adapt the system as they see fit.  Additionally, Katzenbach sponsored fun events such as “Stump Niko” and a “Tagging Party” to create buzz and excitement over the new knowledge management system.  What I found most interesting about the public analytics displayed was the “Top Ten Inquiries with No Results,” which identified the white space in the system. This is a powerful tool because it helps managers identify the areas of weakness within the company’s knowledge center.

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