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Participants from all over Tokyo picked the brains of two world-renowned knowledge management (KM) gurus, Dr. Laurence Prusak, Executive Advisor to The World Bank and NASA, and Dr. Ikujiro Nonaka, Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University, on 27 May 2015. The APO–GRIPS Special Joint Forum on New Perspectives on Productivity in the Knowledge Economy highlighted the various facets of the present and future knowledge-based economy.
Dr. Prusak contends that the principles of productivity increase for knowledge work are fundamentally different from those for physical labor. He pointed out that increasing knowledge productivity is our most significant challenge in the current era. Dr. Prusak kept the audience riveted from the outset of his presentation without relying on audiovisual aids or the use of Powerpoint slides.
Dr. Nonaka, the father of the organizational knowledge creation theory, asserts that leadership with phronesis, or practical wisdom, is essential for increasing creativity and knowledge productivity to drive innovation. He used case studies from Honda and Toyota to illustrate his points.
Amid laughter at the anecdotes shared by both speakers, the audience asked incisive questions about how KM could be applied to everyday operations, especially in the context of corporate Japan, among other specific situations.