I blogged recently about what Knowledge Management looks like when embedded, and suggested it was an Attitude, a Habit and a Framework. Here is a short real-life story that shows what I mean.
The story is told by a drilling engineer, involved in planning and drilling oil wells on an offshore platform. Here he is describing how he shared knowledge with other parts of the organisation. The knowledge exchanged during this story has now been adopted as standard practice, and has delivered savings adding up to many millions of dollars to the organisation.
We can see the elements of Attitude, Habit and Framework illustrated in the story column, as described in the Interpretation column.
|"On our platform, we typically use (and here he goes into details of a particular engineering solution), because this eliminates a whole step in the process which typically saves us 3 to 5 days".||This sentence is an introduction and explains that the team had valuable knowledge to share. Saving 3 to 5 days time may be worth more than $1 million.|
|"One day while I was writing the final well report, I was reviewing this process and I realised that this was the first time we had used this combination" ||Habit. Part of the habitual process used by this organisation is to review operations, in this case as part of an end--of-well-report, which includes a review of lessons.
Attitude. Recognising the fact that the team had learned something new, the engineer immediately assumes that this knowledge will be useful to others.
| "I thought that I should put this on the KM system, because it might have interest to other business units". ||Framework. This organisation operates a complete framework, including a Lessons Management system for sharing good practice and lessons, and also assigning roles and accountabilities. The engineer knew that he was accountable for recording the new knowledge.
|"The day after I placed this learning on the system, someone from (a business unit in another continent) wrote me an email asking for procedures and reference runs, and I sent it all off the next day". ||Framework. The Lessons Management system contained the facility for notifying other teams working in a similar context. Within a day, this new knowledge had travelled around the globe.
Attitude. The other team immediately realised that knowledge from elsewhere may well be extremely valuable, and so got in touch to request more details.
|"Two days later (another business unit) sent me an enquiry saying they were also interested in such applications, and I was more than happy to help". ||Attitude. The engineer recognised the value of knowledge exchange, and so was "more than happy to help".