Originally published on February 20, 2018

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This is the sixth article in the Profiles in Knowledge series featuring thought leaders in knowledge management who are gone but not forgotten. C. Jackson “Jack” Grayson, Jr. was born on October 8, 1923 and died on May 4, 2017. He was the chairman of APQC, dean of two business schools, head of the U.S. Price Commission, a farmer, newspaper reporter, and FBI agent. With his wife, Carla O’Dell, in 1977 he founded APQC as a private sector, non-profit organization.

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Jack was one of the first people in the nation to sound the alarm about our sagging productivity, quality, and competitiveness. He founded the nonprofit APQC (American Productivity & Quality Center) in Houston, Texas. It was his answer to a dangerous economy — it was an initiative that would help improve American competitiveness.

“Productivity is something like motherhood,” he told The New York Times in 1980. “Everybody believes in it but most people ignore it.” In 1990, Business Week said of Jack, “Few, if any, individual Americans have done more during the last 20 years to shape the country’s economic future for the better.”

Profiles

  1. LinkedIn

Obituaries

  1. APQC

APQC

  1. In Memoriam

Content

1. Twitter

2. Let’s Get Back to the Competitive Market System

3. A Bridge for Two Cultures

4. Knowledge transfer: Discover your value proposition with Carla O’Dell

5. California Management Review: If Only We Knew What We Know: Identification and Transfer of Internal Best Practices with Carla O’Dell

6. Harvard Business Review: If Only We Knew What We Know: Identification and Transfer of Internal Best Practices with Carla O’Dell

7. The Forgotten Lessons of Business: An Interview with Productivity Pioneer Jack Graysonby Claus von Zastrow

  • Q: If innovation alone is not enough, what comes next?

8. Book Review of If Only We Knew What We Know: The Transfer of Internal Knowledge and Best Practice by Lee Spain

  1. In part one, O’Dell and Grayson lay out their working definitions and build a framework for internal knowledge transfer. The authors define knowledge as “information in action.” They move on to formally define Knowledge Management as “a conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time and helping people share and put information into action in ways that strive to improve organizational performance.” They further distinguish between the tacit knowledge stored in the minds of employees and the explicit knowledge that is formally documented in the organization. From this beginning, the authors move on to identify the following steps as a cycle for transferring knowledge: 1) identify important knowledge, 2) collect the knowledge systematically, 3) organize the knowledge, 4) share the knowledge, 5) adapt the knowledge, and 6) use the knowledge to solve business needs. Each step in the process has potential problems to be overcome. The authors use case studies extensively to show how successful enterprises overcome these problems. The authors also establish a framework detailing the essential value propositions, enablers, and management steps that underpin a well executed KM effort.

Presentation

American Productivity & Quality Center

Videos

1. What is Productivity and What is Quality?

2. APQC Origins

3. Advancing America one process at a time

4. Journey to Productivity

5. On Innovation

6. Losing the Race

7. Productivity: The Avenue to a Stronger U.S. Economy

8. Skydiving on 90th Birthday

9. APQC Tribute

Books

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  1. If Only We Knew What We Know: The Transfer of Internal Knowledge and Best Practice with Carla O’Dell

If you know of additional content by or about Jack, please comment and provide the link.

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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