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A chief knowledge officer (CKO) is a corporate title for a professional within an organization who oversees its knowledge management. Not all businesses have CKO roles, but many larger companies have carved out this position in order to benefit from a more proactive use of data and other knowledge resources, which can be used to gain competitive advantage and improve overall organizational performance.
A CKO is not another term for a chief information officer (CIO) or chief technology officer (CTO). Where a CIO/CTO is responsible for information or technology systems, a CKO is responsible for the organization’s knowledge management (KM). There are different definitions for the term knowledge management, but, according to Bill Kaplan, a noted industry expert and author of “Losing Your Minds: Capturing, Retaining and Leveraging Organizational Knowledge,” at its core, KM is about improving performance at the individual, team and organization levels through an improved ability to capture, adapt, transfer and reuse what you know about what you do.