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What is excellence?

This article appears in the issue January 1999 [Volume 8, Issue 1]

The simple pursuit and ultimate achievement of certain business strategies or solutions are the usual, and acceptable, measurement for business performance. Something doesn't work right; let's make it better.It is KMWorld's belief that the universe of knowledge-based processes and toolsets can be effectively applied to achieve that performance measurement, every day.But there's a greater calling. Read any corporate mission statement and you'll find lofty goals, such as "achieve absolute quality," "gain and keep customers," "foster and leverage individual innovation." Those initiatives fall more into the realm of corporate value than business process. They inspire greatness from organizations.KMWorld is in search of such excellence. Each issue published in 1999, beginning next month, will carry a feature profile of an enterprise (either private-sector corporation or public-sector agency) that exemplifies a standard of achievement in its efforts to fulfill its corporate values and mission goals aided by the application of knowledge management tools, systems, organizational development and business processes and practices.What values do we wish to honor? Those our readers identify as the most desired outcomes of knowledge management initiatives:

  • Gaining Competitive Edge
  • Nurturing and Sustaining Innovation (and, yes, Invention!)
  • Achieving Quality Goals
  • Improving Customer Service, Care, Retention and Relationships
  • Driving New Business Performance Levels
  • Delivering Bottom-Line Results
  • Achieving Return on Investment and/or Return on Time
  • Improving Efficiency and Productivity
  • Shortening Product/Service Development and Time-to-Market Cycles
  • Managing Change
  • Enhancing Human Capital Value
  • Aiding Research and Development

Achievement of those goals results from not only strong leadership and clear visions and missions, but the successful planning and implementation of tools and practices that execute faithfully to the goals. One view of KM is that it is the full convergence of management and business processes and practices with high-level information and communications infrastructures and tools to achieve enterprise goals and imperatives. Efforts such as those often result in multiple benefits. But KMWorld is seeking the singular pure and definable result that propels the initiative from a mere IT deployment into the realm of business-changing, performance-improving excellence.We'd like your help in finding the compelling success stories of enterprises that are blending people, practices, processes and technologies in their Search for Enterprise Excellence. The organizations our Editorial Board choose to profile will be considered Best Practices Award Winners and will be so recognized in the appropriate issue of the print magazine, in www.kmworld.com and announcements to the industry and appropriate media. Additionally, in each category, two Honorable Mention runners-up will be named and covered in KMWorld with an editorial case brief and presented with a certificate. (All fully completed nominations deemed worthy by the Editorial Board will be covered in Nomination Briefs in the appropriate issues.)Monthly user-enterprise award recipients and their primary integrators, consultants or solutions-providing vendors who spearheaded the applied-technology side of the KM project will be presented with plaques and reprints of the KMWorld profile at the time the announcement is made. All winners will be honored with trophies at a KMWorld-hosted In Search of Excellence Best-Practices black-tie dinner later in the year.How are nominations made? All online at www.kmworld.com/excellence. Please go there to learn more about how you can help us celebrate excellence in 1999 and help build the KM community


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