Business leaders across the UK and US have identified that harnessing their internal knowledge assets can help create better client relationships, according to a new study commissioned by Ernst & Young into attitudes towards knowledge management. The research, conducted by YouGov Stone during July-August 2012, involved a representative sample of 100 CFOs, COOs, CEOs and/ or Board Directors representing private sector transnational companies of 1,000 employees or more from across a range of industry sectors.
At a time when business leaders are reassessing how to create growth in a challenging economic climate, the survey of senior decision-makers revealed the most commonly perceived ways that knowledge, collected both internally or externally, can be used to build client relationships. The top-10 responses from this group were:
- spending more time researching insights into the client and market (42%).
- improving the process for knowledge transfer (42%).
- investing more resources into research and development to improve enterprise knowledge (40%).
- creating greater diversity in the workplace (an indication of a willingness to embed knowledge management practices into corporate culture) (31%).
- learning best practice from other organizations and sectors (30%).
- developing a knowledge creation and innovation strategy (30%).
- managing the knowledge creation programs (28%).
- focusing more attention on creating a culture of enterprise and innovation (27%).
- involving customers and suppliers in the development of knowledge-based goods and services (27%).
While all the executives agreed there is value in using knowledge management to develop client relationships, the approach to implementation varied between the US and the UK. Spending more time researching client and market issues was identified by almost one-half of US respondents (47%) as the best way of applying knowledge management to the building of client relationships, followed by improving the process for knowledge transfer within a team (44%), and helping to develop knowledge creation and innovation strategies (44%).
Conversely, when utilizing knowledge assets UK business decision-makers placed greater emphasis on investing more resources into research and development (55%), followed by improving the process for knowledge transfer (39%) and investing in greater workforce diversity (36%).
Ernst & Young’s Global Knowledge Leader Jeff Green said: "At a time of economic uncertainty, the knowledge advantage is no longer just about internal efficiency. Investing in strong knowledge assets, framed by a cohesive knowledge culture, is a core part of the way we deliver exceptional client service. This is reflected in the fact that wherever our people are, they are connected to each other and to our knowledge resources, so they can respond insightfully to clients. This survey suggests that more organizations are also seeing knowledge management as an important part of their culture, essential for building client relationships and part of how they recognize and reward their people."
Fonte: Ernest Young - http://www.ey.com/UK/en/home