Executive Information Systems, Inc.

Home of The New Knowledge Management, The Open Enterprise, and The EKP

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About EIS:

What We've Done and How We're Different

EIS is a knowledge management consulting, intelligence, and training organization. We help organizations to enhance their knowledge processing and their ability to learn and adapt. The form of knowledge management we advocate and practice is called The New Knowledge Management (TNKM), and over the past 5 years we have been among the few developers and first practitioners of it.

Why The New Knowledge Management?

TNKM is necessary because the old KM focused on Knowledge sharing and distribution alone, and not on Knowledge Production and Innovation. So the old KM is not about managing knowledge making, trhe area in which much of the value of Km may be found. The old KM also lacks a comprehensive conceptual framework, so it can't provide a clear guide to building KM as a professional field, an also can't provide a means of approaching may of the important KM problems organizations face in the real world. In addition, the old KM lacks a clear normative focus -- an organizational end-state that provides a vision for Knowledge Management. It provides no target to aim at, no built-in standard for evaluating KM programs and projects. Finally, the Old KM neither clearly distinguishes knowledge from information, nor clearly distinguishes knowledge processing from knowledge management. In other words, it fails to distinguish KM from other activities of managers and knowledge workers and, as a result calls into question the usefulness of KM as a field of endeavor.

EIS Accomplishments in Developing TNKM

EIS's work in developing TNKM (See, for example, Key Issues in The New Knowledge Management)  has resulted in certain accomplishments and competencies that differentiate it from other KM consulting and training organizations. Here they are.

  • EIS developed a unified theory of knowledge providing a foundation for TNKM.

  • EIS developed a model of the origin of the knowledge life cycle.

  • EIS, together with one of its primary allies, Macroinnovation Associates, LLC (MA) produced and continues to develop the knowledge life cycle conceptual framework, a framework that provides a basis for describing and understanding knowledge processing and for specifying the primary objects of Knowledge Management.

  • EIS, together with MA, produced and continues to develop a new multidimensional framework for classifying KM activities. It is the most detailed classification of KM activities produced to date.

  • EIS, together with MA, has developed a new knowledge conversion model, based on a transactional complex adaptive systems framework. The new model reveals the incompleteness and inadequacy of the Nonaka-Takeuchi SECI model as the basis of knowledge management programs.

  • EIS developed a new analysis of the role of culture in KM. The analysis helps to place culture in perspective and provides a conceptual basis for analyzing its impact on knowledge   processing and KM.

  • EIS, together with MA, is developing a normative KM model called the Open Enterprise, as a basis for attaining sustainable innovation, internal organizational transparency, and inclusivenss in distributed knowledge processing and problem-solving (in The Open Enterprise: Building Business Architectures for Openness and Sustainable Innovation).

  • EIS has produced and continues to develop the Enterprise Knowledge Portal (EKP) construct, a conceptual framework for grounding a future application supporting all sub-processes in the KLC and knowledge management activity as well. EIS research (in Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management) has shown that knowledge portals are still in the future in spite of vendor claims to the contrary. EIS research has also specified the path to the knowledge portal and has provided a foundation for EIS consulting services assisting companies interested in EKP or eKP development.

  • EIS is developing a KM software evaluation framework based on the EKP construct. The framework will provide a map for placing various types of software in the context of a cognitive map based on the EKP, and also for comparing software products occupying the same niche in the EKP framework.

  • EIS, together with MA, is developing a new taxonomy for classifying types of capital. The comprehensive capital model is a new construct transcending current intellectual capital frameworks and integrating processs capital concepts. The model provides a completely new foundation for consulting work in the KM-related capital assets measurement field.

  • EIS, together with MA, is developing a framework for systematic development of KM Metrics. In this area EIS has produced new work on KM Benefit Estimation, a technical approach to KM Metrics, and a conceptual framework of descriptors and metrics related to the KLC. Working together, EIS and MA have developed a comprehensive classification of KM metrics.

  • The practice of TNKM is about producing and integrating new solutions to problems arising in knowledge processing, and it is about implementing those solutions through knowledge management decisions and actions. EIS, working with MA and KMCI has developed a new methodology called K-STREAM to support producing, integrating, and implementing knowledge management solutions through projects. K-STREAM is practical and adaptive. It is driven by the task patterns proposed as solutions to knowledge processing problems. It is centered on estimating the impact of such a solution on business structures. It is iterative and incremental. It recognizes the non-linear nature of progress toward real KM solutions. It incorporates the KLC, KM and all the other frameworks listed above. It also integrates a variety of well-known techniques of analysis and practice and IT applications as necessary.

These analysis and practice techniques include business process and systems modeling and simulation (System Dynamics, CAS simulations Econometric Modeling, Object Modeling), communities of practice, Story-telling, knowledge cafés, Group Decision Process Methods (Delphi, Nominal Group Technique, Group Value Measurement Technique, Team Analytic Hierarchy Process), Cultural Analysis, Value Network Analysis, Influence Network Analysis, Semantic Network Analysis/ Cognitive Mapping/Knowledge Mapping, Measurement Modeling (Analytic Hierarchy Process, Balanced Scorecard Modeling), and intangible asset analysis. The IT applications include: Collaboration, Knowledge Discovery in Databases/Data Mining, Group Decision Process Support applications, Applications supporting analytical modeling and simulation, intelligent agents, computer-assisted learning, support for semantic network analysis/cognitive mapping, text abstracting and full-text indexing, queryng and reporting, searching/retrieving, packaged analytical applications, balanced scorecard applications, support for object modeling, assessment capture/ best practices software.


Executive Information Systems, (EIS) Inc. incorporated in 1993 to provide the finest applications of Information Technology to Decision Support. Through a series of consulting engagements, development efforts, and research projects in Data Mining, Data Warehousing, and Knowledge Management, EIS has evolved a focus on The New Knowledge Management, as an organizing concept for its KM consulting activities. In the area of IT KM applications, the Enterprise Knowledge Portal is EIS's focal business solution.

TNKM is not just a brand name for EIS's activities. It is the outcome of a continuing process of re-inventing Knowledge Management by seeking and formulating its foundations and then using these to create integrated KM interventions in organizations. Interventions that make sense because they're aimed at knowledge processing problems that account for an organization's inability to compete effectively and to cope with its environment.


EIS's primary consultant is Joseph M. Firestone, Ph.D. Executive Vice-President and Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) of Executive Information Systems (EIS), Inc. Joe focuses on product, methodology, architecture, and solutions development in Knowledge Management and Enterprise Information and knowledge Portals. He performs Knowledge and knowledge management audits, training, and facilitative systems planning, requirements capture, analysis, and design.

Joe was the first to define and specify the Enterprise Knowledge Portal (EKP) Concept, and is the leading writer, designer, commentator, and trainer in this area. He is widely published in the areas of Decision Support (especially Enterprise Information and Knowledge Portals, Data Warehouses/Data Marts, and Data Mining), and Knowledge Management, and has completed a full-length industry report entitled "Approaching Enterprise Information Portals." He is also the author of Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management, and the co-author of Key Issues in The New Knowledge Management and The Open Enterprise: Building Business Architectures for Openness and Sustainable Innovation. Joe is also the co-editor of a special issue (Vol. 12, April 2005) of The Learning Organization Journal, entitled "Has Knowledge Management Been Done", and the developer of the KM Blog "All Life Is Problem Solving" at http://radio.weblogs.com/0135950.

Joe is a founding member of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and the Managing Director and CEO of it and its parent company The Center for the Open Enterprise, LLC. He is also the Director of the KMCI Knowledge and Innovation Manager Certificate (CKIM) Program, and Director of the KMCI Research Center. Joe is also a frequent speaker at national conferences on KM and Portals, an author whose articles have appeared in industry periodicals including KM World, Intelligent KM, Knowledge Management Magazine, and Intranet Strategist, and a trainer in the areas of Enterprise Information Portals, Enterprise Knowledge Portals and Knowledge Management (KM).


EIS's strategic allies include Macroinnovation Associates, LLC, a boutique KM consultancy run by Mark W. McElroy, KMCI, The Center for Sustainable Innovation, Inc. (CSI)and EM Software Solutions, Inc.. Mr. McElroy and Dr. Firestone have worked closely together in leading development of TNKM concepts, and both have worked closely with KMCI in developing its educational and research programs. EM Solutions is a Washington, DC area software and systems integration consultancy and software development firm whose capability includes development of business process engines for enterprise integration and process automation using its proprietary Template Software O-O development product line.

Contact Joe Firestone:



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