Thursday 14 January 2010

Who leads the A team?

Mr T Digi-Portrait
Originally uploaded by ssoosay
I posted a couple of days ago about the skills you need in a KM A team.

But who leads the A team? What skills and background do you need in the KM initiative leader? The choice of a leader is crucial, and we have seen several KM initiatives fail completely because the wrong leader was chosen.

First and foremost, you need a change agent. The leader needs to be a visionary, with drive, focus, and creativity. They need to initiate things with a lot of enthusiasm, and then not to hoard it, or hold onto KM - it has to be passed on to others for them to get the bug, and take it forward. They need to be the agent and driver of change.

The leader needs cross functional skills, and influencing skills. Influencing is a big thing; influencing other people who are not in your team; people are out there in the business.

The leader needs a strong profile in the company. He or she needs to be an insider. They need to know the company, know the structure, know the language and jargon and stories and people, and be very well networked.

If you can't get an insider, it has to be someone with extremely good interpersonal skills, very good communication skills, very good listening skills in particular, the ability to quickly understand what the issues are in an area, and not to come in with too much KM dogma.

Above all, the leader needs to be able to translate KM into the day-to-day working language of the organisation.

Finally the leader needs patience. Lots of patience! They need to be in KM for the long haul.

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