This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

KM at Aventis

Aventis Pharmaceuticals has a clear mandate for knowledge management in their research & development organization, which they call Drug Innovation and Approval. There is a Knowledge Networks Management organization that reports to the head of R&D, as described at their website:

DI&A Knowledge Networks Management is a unique function that includes Knowledge Management, Alliances and External Networks Management and Risk Management. These teams play an important role in facilitating two key principles of the DI&A philosophy: knowledge sharing and maintaining a "network-centric" organization.

Even the DI&A name is a nod to a different thinking process. Frank Douglas, the lead of DI&A is quoted a number of times in an article on Creating the High-Output Mindset from Modern Drug Discovery. Discovery, Research, Development are all part of the same set of processes, not separate silos. Douglas and Aventis believe that this leads to all sorts of synergies that are not necessarily available in traditional organization structures. Not surprisingly for the pharmaceutical industry, Aventis is worried about reducing the new product cycle time from the typical 10-15 years to 6-9 years.

The first pass Google on "Aventis Knowledge Management" returns 18,000+ hits, from magazine & journal articles to press releases to conferences to their own website (39 hits at aventis.com). Digging deeper through Google searches on Aventis, shows that there are a number of people in this organization (not just a single KM lead), who appear to be responsible for a variety of KM projects: Implementing Tacit's KnowledgeMail, expert search, eRooms, customer relationship management, document management, and others.

Aventis has only been around for four years, but they are the merger of companies that have been around much longer: Rhone Poulenc Rorer and Hoechst - both of which have long histories. This has probably given them the opportunity to try organizational structures, such as the Knowledge Networks Management group, that take advantage of new ways of doing business.

Integration or centrifugation

KMPro with Jon Powell