I’m at Singapore’s Changi Airport, waiting for my flight to Hong Kong. It’s my first time in the new Terminal 3, built at a cost of more than US$1 billion. As you can see, it’s pretty big, and it’s pretty quiet. It’s designed to add a capacity of 22 million passengers per year to Changi Airport, and you might expect that this won’t happen quickly.

So an investment like this is pretty much a huge act of faith. Which is not to say there’s not also a lot of determination behind it to meet the targets, accompanied by many different interventions, plans and initiatives that go far beyond the owner-manager of the airport, CAAS. It’s part of a national endeavour to maintain Singapore Inc’s competitive edge. And it is one of the more visible emblems of how serious Singapore is about what they want to achieve.

Now why can’t knowledge management initiatives be treated like that? Too often we build the spanking new terminal, but neglect the feeding programmes that will populate it. And by that I don’t mean providing incentives for people to come and walk around it. I mean paying passengers and planes.


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