Originally posted 13-Jun-24

Stan Garfield
4 min readJun 14, 2024

Steve Denning is a consultant, speaker, and author on leadership, storytelling, and management. He has written over 900 articles on strategy and leadership as a senior contributor for Forbes.

Steve is the former Program Director, Knowledge Management at the World Bank, where he spearheaded a major strategic shift. He now works with organizations on leadership, innovation, business agility and organizational storytelling.

Steve is a director of the SD Learning Consortium, a group of private sector firms that are committed to transforming the world of work. Steve has written over 40 articles for the management journal, Strategy & Leadership.

For more about Steve, see Profiles in Knowledge.

Selected Books

Four Knowledge Management Lists

Thirteen Key Elements Knowledge Management

  1. Communities of Practice
  2. Place (online presence)
  3. Help Desk
  4. Yellow Pages (expertise location)
  5. Primer (FAQ)
  6. Knowledge Artifacts
  7. Bulletin Board (threaded discussions)
  8. Doorway (external access)
  9. Demand (enhance using narrative)
  10. Imagination (for transformational innovation)
  11. Risk Management
  12. Values (conducive to sharing)
  13. Social Media (blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, etc.)

Seventeen Myths of Knowledge Management

  1. Knowledge is always a plus
  2. Knowledge always helps innovation
  3. Knowledge is sticky
  4. The concept of knowledge is infinitely extendable
  5. Knowledge can be transferred
  6. Knowledge-sharing is always a good thing
  7. Knowledge is more important than values
  8. People always want to have better knowledge
  9. The task of KM is to enhance the supply of knowledge
  10. There are structural solutions to the lack of demand for knowledge
  11. KM is the same for all organizations
  12. Knowledge is the only sustainable competitive advantage
  13. Knowledge management will transform the business landscape
  14. KM succeeded and no one knows it
  15. It was the IT vendors who killed KM
  16. The right question to ask is: how do you make knowledge-based organizations?
  17. Knowledge is the raison d’être for organizations and explains competitive advantage

Ten steps to get more business value from knowledge management

  1. Slice through the hype
  2. Fight off the IT firms
  3. Take a hard look at your own organization
  4. Set your knowledge management strategy
  5. Use narrative techniques to communicate your KM strategy
  6. Pay special attention to organizational values
  7. Encourage communities and cross-communities
  8. Set your incentives (carefully!)
  9. Measure progress (carefully!)
  10. Recognize the limits of knowledge

Seven laws of knowledge management

  1. Knowledge sharing is essential to economic survival
  2. Communities of practice are the heart and soul of knowledge sharing
  3. Virtual community members also need physical interactions
  4. Passion is the driving force behind communities of practice
  5. Communities enrich organizations and personal lives
  6. Knowledge sharing has inside-out and outside-in dynamic
  7. Storytelling ignites knowledge sharing

Three corollaries

  1. Knowledge sharing is at some point confused with IT
  2. Middle-management resists
  3. Vibrant communities of practice attract new talents

Support for Change: Storytelling as a Springboard

Radical Management: Creating a Safe Space for KM



Stan Garfield

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