Friday, 19 June 2009

Motivating KM

An interesting blog post on KM and motivation got me thinking.

In terms of motivation for KM, I believe that once KM is fully embedded, you should address motivation as you do for any other management discipline. How do you motivate people to follow the company risk management approach for example, or to comply with diversity guidelines, or to do their budgeting and financial reporting? You do a number of things

1) you make the expectation for KM very clear, and you embed it in work structures. See for example the way BP have embedded KM within their common work frameworks

2) you make accountabilities very clear. The job description of the subject matter experts in Shell, for example, makes their KM roles, objectives and deliverables very clear. These are reviewed in the normal way, in their appraisals

3) you monitor activity, reward those who comply with work expectations through the ususal reward channels, and sanction those who are not complying. Look at the way Buckman labs operate - the notes that go out from the CEO saying "dear associate - you have not been sharing knowledge. How can I help you improve?" As Melissie Rumizen used to say - "we reward knowledge management. If you do it, we reward you by letting you keep your job". If your company is seriously committed to KM, then those who don't play the game - the knowledge hoarders, the wheel-reinventers - need to know that they are not working "the company way", and this needs to be visible in their rewards and recognition.

Motivating people to do KM should ultimately be done the same way as any other aspect of required working practice. Make it part of the job - part of expected working practice - part of "what it means to do my job well". People want to do a good job, so the message needs to be consistent - "doing a good job means fulfilling your KM accountabilities and expectations"

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