Tuesday, 3 May 2016

How to introduce a KM culture? You probably already know.

Many client organisations ask us "how do we promote Knowledge sharing and learning as part of our culture"?  I tell them that they probably already have that answer.


Knowledge Management is probably not the only culture change program they have been through, and "sharing and learning" is not the only cultural trait that they want to promote. They have probably already introduced, and are promoting, a culture of (for example)

  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Diversity
  • Customer service
  • Financial prudence
  • or some other cultural train important to the organisation.

Knowledge Management therefore has an internal cultural model from which to learn.

Therefore my suggestion for answering this question would be to look at activities that support and promote any existing positive culture in the organisation, and then find out a) how they were introduced, b) how they are sustained, and c) how Knowledge Management can learn from this.

One of the key tenets of KM is "learning before doing", and learning about how to effect internal culture change is core knowledge for the KM team.

Find the people involved in previous cultural initiatives in your organisation. Talk to them. Hold a Peer Assist with them. Ask
  • How do you promote a culture of Safety?
  • How do you promote a culture of Quality?
  • How do you promote a culture of Diversity?
Learn the lessons from their success or failure. Learn what they did, and what they wish they had done. Learn how behaviours associated with the safety culture/quality culture/diversity culture have been changed, set, embedded and sustained.

Then apply that knowledge to your Knowledge Management Implementation initiative.

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