Transforming Knowledge Management

Are knowledge management initiatives in your organisation excessively general, expensive and overly complex? Have they delivered hoped for benefits? Could you achieve better and faster results with limited budgets and with existing people, structures and cultures?

Is a more focused, flexible and affordable approach to knowledge management required that can quickly impact upon performance, deliver multiple objectives and provide clear benefits to both people and organisations?

Is there a way to use knowledge of how best to do difficult jobs to increase individual and team productivity while at the same time cutting support costs and avoiding disruption, minimising risks, ensuring compliance and reducing stress?

 How do you build winning teams and high performance organisations in an era of uncertainty and change, when you may not be sure about what corporate structures, requirements and priorities might be in a few years time?

Is there a better and more cost effective and flexible way of providing your people with the knowledge and support to cope and excel at all stages of a transformation journey, or when venturing into an unknown future?

 Key Questions to be addressed:

What are the main problems with knowledge management and how can they best be avoided?

Are gaps between promise and delivery inevitable, or is there a knowledge-based approach to transforming performance and sustaining success that is both affordable and quickly delivers?

Is there a way of achieving a high performance organisation and multiple objectives with the people we have and our current corporate culture?

How can you ensure your organisation and its people will be able to cope and excel in the years ahead when the future is so uncertain?

Is there an approach to knowledge management that can be personalised and has the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements?

Can knowledge-based support be provided in ways that best meet the needs of those to be helped, and which can evolve as new issues emerge, and additional funding becomes available?

Course Overview:

Many current approaches to knowledge management are likely to disappoint. The course outlines a practical and affordable way of quickly achieving multiple objectives based upon a five-year investigation of what the most successful organisations do differently.

Knowledge management programmes are often expensive and general. A shift of emphasis is required from ‘knowing about things’ to ‘knowing how to do things’, from the storage of knowledge to its access and use, from serving the needs of C-suite executives to helping front-line and key work groups, and from information management to knowledge entrepreneurship.

Colin focuses on how to excel at demanding jobs and identifies critical success factors and what high performers do differently in areas contributing directly to the bottom line. He will show how knowledge-based performance support can enable ‘ordinary’ people to emulate the superior approaches of high achievers.

He will explain how people and organisations can benefit from capturing and sharing what high performers do differently, and making it easier for average people to excel 24/7 at difficult jobs wherever they may be. Huge returns on investment of over 20, 30 or 70 times have been quickly obtained by early adopters of his approach to creating high performance organisations.

Colin will look at how new forms of knowledge-based support can address contemporary issues and current requirements for speed of impact and flexible and affordable solutions. Applications can support mobile activities, relocation, outsourcing and new ways of working and learning.

The course will draw upon Colin Coulson-Thomas’ reports ‘Transforming Knowledge Management’, Talent Management 2’, and ‘Transforming Public Services’ which represent a quicker and more cost effective route to the high performance organisation.

 Who should attend?

Knowledge management and performance improvement professionals and managers and directors with knowledge development, management and exploitation responsibilities. HR and training and development managers, directors and consultants. Leaders at all levels of management and ambitious entrepreneurs who would like to boost the contributions of their teams and ensure their know-how in key areas remains relevant and at the cutting edge in an era of uncertainty and change.

Boards and/or management teams who would like to understand how to better develop, share and apply critical know-how and how more effective knowledge management could transform their organisations’ performance and prospects. The programme will help those with leadership responsibilities to identify key areas to focus upon and increase their ability to compete and win in competitive markets.

As well as those employed in commercial organisations and entrepreneurs, the course will also benefit public body and voluntary sector leaders. Better knowledge management and knowledge-based performance support can be the key to transforming public and other services.


Knowledge management and performance improvement professionals and middle and senior managers who would like to help their teams – particularly those in demanding front-line roles – to quickly raise their game and deliver better results for themselves and their employers.

Directors, entrepreneurs and those responsible for the performance of key work groups and building high performance organisations are also welcome. [An executive summary option is available for those who wish to learn how the approach could benefit their organisations, without the commitment of time the full course requires.

As a minimum the core boardroom team should attend courses for particular organisations. The maximum will depend upon the number of people for whom the programme is relevant. The approach adopted will reflect the number of attendees and the nature of their interests and needs.


To equip those responsible for knowledge management, improving performance, delivering key corporate objectives and building high performance organisations with an understanding of:

  • knowledge management and performance improvement issues in an era of uncertainty and change;
  • more cost-effective ways of improving performance and remaining current in areas that are critical for corporate success;
  • the distinction between managing, leading and supporting, and the importance of knowledge-based performance support;
  • affordable ways of capturing, sharing and applying critical knowledge and building high performance teams, communities and organisations;
  • a more effective approach to helping people to cope with complexity and excel at difficult jobs;
  • what a five-year investigation suggests are stress free ways of getting multiple benefits, quick paybacks and large returns on investment;
  • what they need to do to adopt successful (and avoid unsuccessful) approaches in areas vital for achieving key corporate objectives;
  • the importance of sharing what ‘superstars’ who are high achievers in particular areas and the most successful work groups ‘do differently’;
  • how teams and communities can be equipped with critical success factors for competing and winning;
  • how pioneering companies are making it easy for average performers to do demanding jobs in a winning way;
  • how to provide effective 24/7 knowledge-based support to people as and when required and wherever they might be;
  • the effective exploitation of corporate know-how and the importance of moving from information management to knowledge entrepreneurship; and
  • how ‘new leadership’ can ensure that people and organisations remain relevant and current.


The course will cover the following topics:

  • Setting the Scene – Learning from best practice
  • Knowing ‘about things’ and knowledge of ‘how to do things’
  • Knowledge management challenges and issues
  • Preparing for an uncertain future
  • Different approaches to transforming performance and performance levers
  • Capturing, sharing and applying know-how and building performance
  • Building and supporting high performance teams and communities of practice
  • Stress free performance transformation
  • Sharing critical success factors for competing and winning
  • Case study examples of what pioneering companies are doing to provide better
    support and build high performance teams
  • Providing 24/7 knowledge-based performance support
  • Increasing knowledge and understanding of complex areas
  • Making it easier for people in stressful roles to do difficult jobs
  • Using performance support tools to transform key workgroup performance
  • Engaging people and helping them to help themselves and stay current
  • Key lessons from the experiences of pioneers
  • Benefits of the approach suggested for both people and organisations

 Course Materials:

In addition to a course summary handout, if required delegates can also receive a copy of Transforming Knowledge Management, a 223 page A4 size report that sets out a more affordable route to achieving greater returns on investment and building a high performance organisation.

Key Learning Points:

Today’s organisations need approaches that can work with existing people and cultures, simultaneously deliver multiple objectives and ensure continuing relevance and viability as situations and circumstances change.

There is a proven and cost-effective route to the creation of a flexible high performance organisation in which average people are engaged, and can understand complex areas and excel at difficult jobs and success can be sustained.

Too often the knowledge that is stored is ‘commodity knowledge’ and ‘about things’. Knowledge needs to be relevant to what an organisation is seeking to do and the critical success factors for excelling in key roles and winning in the area concerned.

Knowledge-based performance support can build confidence and understanding, and be easy to disseminate to teams and business partners in multiple locations. Support can incorporate social networking and automatically update when users are on-line.

Relevant and current support can be provided wherever help is needed, at a place of work, out of the office, or on the move. The right knowledge-based support can liberate, facilitate innovation, enable responsible risk taking and ensure compliance.

Expensive initiatives are not needed. ‘New leadership’ and an affordable ‘bottom-up’ approach can achieve transformation and simultaneous progress on several fronts.


Many approaches to knowledge management, change and transformation have led to disappointing results. Delegates will:

  • appreciate how the role of the leader is changing, with more emphasis upon providing support;
  • learn about an approach to knowledge management and improving performance that can quickly deliver multiple and measurable results;
  • discover how to obtain multiple benefits while at the same time reducing stress by making it easier for people to do difficult jobs;
  • learn how leading companies and public organisations focus upon critical success factors for delivering key corporate objectives;
  • find out why some teams, work groups and enterprises are so much more successful than others;
  • learn key lessons from the approaches and practices of over 2,000 companies, 500 professional firms and leading public bodies;
  • in particular, learn how to provide flexible 24/7 knowledge-based support; and
  • share the experiences of pioneering organisations that have transformed the performance of important teams and key work groups.

Benefits of attending:   

The drawbacks of current and costly approaches to knowledge management and performance improvement can be avoided in favour of an alternative that quickly delivers multiple benefits for people and organisations.

Time consuming and disruptive corporate transformation programmes can be replaced by focused and cost-effective alternatives that generate large returns on investment.

Critical success factors for key corporate activities, and what high performers do differently, have been identified and enable 24/7 support to be provided to average performers wherever they may be to enable them to excel at difficult jobs.

The flexibility of what will be proposed can allow it to ‘live’ and stay current and relevant in an evolving situation by means of automatic updates where delivery is via the internet, a laptop, palmtop, tablet device or mobile phone. People can be supported 24/7 whenever and wherever they need help.

If the recommended approach is adopted ‘top down’ transformation programmes, efforts to change corporate cultures and the internal communications streams found within many ‘management of change’ programmes may no longer be required.

Course Leader:

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas PhD, a member of the core ELMS Global team and an experienced chairman of award winning companies, is an international adviser on change, knowledge and talent management; learning; director, board and business development; and transforming performance. An experienced process vision holder of major transformation programmes he was the world’s first Professor of Corporate Transformation. He has helped over 100 organizations to improve director, board and corporate performance; reviewed the processes and practices for winning business of over 100 companies; and spoken at over 300 national and international events in over 40 countries.

Colin’s 40 books and reports include Transforming Knowledge Management, Talent Management 2, Transforming Public Services, Developing Directors and Winning Companies; Winning People. Colin has held professorial appointments in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, India and China, and a variety of private, professional and voluntary sector board roles, including as chairman and president. He has also held public board appointments at national and local level, and is a part-time member of the business school team at the University of Greenwich and an Adjunct Visiting Professor at Manipal University.

Colin is a Fellow of seven chartered bodies. He was educated at the London School of Economics, London Business School, UNISA and the Universities of Aston, Chicago and Southern California. He obtained first place prizes in the final examinations of three professions and his latest publications can be obtained from: