Jon Powell, the CKO of Hewitt Associates, spoke at the KMPro Chicago meeting today. Powell told us the story of his two years at Hewitt and the KM approach he has taken. In the end, he has a similar philosophy to Mark Clare of Allstate: match the KM strategy to the strategy of the company. Unlike Clare, Powell didn't have a new definition of knowledge management - he proferred Carla O'Dell's "information in action."
The story and Powell's style were captivating. He talked about the environment he found as he arrived at Hewitt and the lessons he has learned in building the KM effort. He started with a steering committee format and thoughts about building a KM infrastructure with them. Through the process, he discovered that Hewitt's culture works better KM solutions that are focussed on specific problems of the business units, rather than overarching KM infrastructures. And today that is where they stand with some of the IT-based systems on top of a standard infrastructure, where possible. The story isn't over yet. Pay attention to Hewitt Associates and Powell.