Successful Knowledge Leadership: Principles and Practice

Understand and build the skills and abilities, behaviours, and techniques needed to drive KM success.       

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  • Publication date: June, 2013
  • Pages: 95
  • ISBN: 9781783580477


Effective knowledge management demands equally effective leaders.

Yet, what exactly is an effective knowledge leader? What are the attributes and skills needed? What are the challenges that knowledge leaders face and, importantly, how do they overcome them? 

Ark Group’s report, Successful Knowledge Leadership: Principles and Practice addresses these key questions, revealing the critical skills and abilities, behaviours, and techniques needed to drive KM success.       

Respected KM experts and top influencers Arthur Shelley, Dave Snowden, Stan Garfield, Euan Semple, Alice MacGillivray and more offer their insightful advice on key topics, including: 

  • The 12 principles of knowledge leadership;
  • Discovering your leadership style;
  • How good leaders can improve the success of KM;
  • Establishing a results-oriented approach;
  • The importance of leadership and enabling change;
  • Moving from knowledge leadership to connected leadership;
  • Facilitating human interactions and improving knowledge sharing;
  • Aligning your KM programme with overall organisational strategy; and,  
  • Leveraging the benefits of social media (with a checklist for a social media model).

Practical examples are featured throughout the report highlighting successful KM leadership practices within organisations such as HP, SAP, the BBC, and the European Commission.

You’ll also find insightful case studies from knowledge leaders currently overcoming KM challenges and making a success of their projects and overall KM strategy. These include:

  • AstraZeneca – The role of the KM leader in developing a KM culture and embedding knowledge leadership as an accountability within key roles in the organisation;
  • Meyer Vandenberg – The leadership role in embedding a KM repository into everyday work practices;
  • Severn Trent Water – The role of leadership in knowledge management success;
  • EuropeAid – The hurdles for knowledge sharing and leadership in a big organisation;
  • The Department for Communities and Local Government UK – Leadership challenges with regards to shared services in public sector KM.


Chapter 1: 12 principles of knowledge leadership

Chapter 2: How good knowledge leaders can improve the success of KM

Chapter 3: The KM leadership challenge

Chapter 4: Praxis makes perfect: The nature of leadership in knowledge management

Chapter 5: The modern knowledge leader: A results-oriented approach

Chapter 6: Making sense of social media – The knowledge leader’s perspective

Chapter 7: Knowledge leadership on the edge

Chapter 8: From knowledge management to connected leadership

Chapter 9: What knowledge leader are you: Embedded, Consultant, or Product Entrepreneur?

Chapter 10: The hurdles for knowledge sharing in a big organisation – Two case studies on EuropeAid

Chapter 11: Knowledge management as stone soup – The recipe for success

Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here


Dr Arthur Shelley
Dr Arthur Shelley is the founder of Intelligent Answers and the author of ‘The Organizational Zoo, A Survival Guide to Workplace Behavior’. Prior to this, he was global knowledge director, Cadbury Schweppes.
Angelo Mohanan
Manager, knowledge management, KPMG
Athanasios Karagrounas
Head of information & knowledge management, International Olympic Committee
Dave Snowden
Founder and chief scientific officer, Cognitive Edge
Stan Garfield
Knowledge Management Author, Speaker, and Community Leader
Tushar Kulkarni
Assistant manager, knowledge management, Wipro Technologies
Alice MacGillivray, PhD
Independent consultant,
Euan Semple
Writer and consultant
Katrina Pugh
Academic director of Columbia University’s Information and Knowledge Strategy master’s program, and president of AlignConsulting
Glynys Thomas
Senior knowledge manager, The Parthenon Group
Nico Keppens
Knowledge and communication officer, European Commission (EuropeAid)
William (Bill) Stockton
Co-founder, Klever
Alison Zartarian
Project management leader, AstraZeneca
Alison Jones
Knowledge manager, Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers
Emily Timmins
Innovation and skills manager, Severn Trent Water
David Smith
Assistant director of Corporate Records Management and Information Assurance Services, Department for Communities and Local Government

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