We most of us realise that introducing Knowledge Management is a culture change process, and we generally also realise that culture change is not something that happens all at once. We know that culture is changed one heart and one mind at a time, but we also need to realise that each individual heart and mind does not change all at once either.
There are a number of steps to successful KM culture change, and it is worth understanding these, as you cannot move an individual or a team more than two or three steps in any one interaction.
The steps are these
- First Contact - the first time that the individual or team hears the term "knowledge management"
- Awareness - the individual or team becomes aware of knowledge management as something that may be an issue in the organisation
- Understanding - the individual or team understands what knowledge management means (in basic terms)
- Acceptance - the individual or team accepts that there may be value in knowledge management, either a WIIFM for themselves, or a value proposition for the company
- Trial - the individual or team agrees to try knowledge management. This leads to the first commitment threshold - the commitment to act
- Adoption - assuming the trial has gone well and delivered more value than it cost, this is when the individual or team agrees to adopt knowledge management processes or technologies
- Embedding into work process - this is where the individual, team and eventually company embeds knowledge management into work process
- Embedding into culture - this is where the individual, team and eventually company Internalises knowledge management as "something we just do." At this stage it becomes a core value.