I blogged last month about "4 reasons to try KM"; logic, emotion, expectation and peer pressure. Here is a little more detail on these four incentives.
The first incentive, the incentive of logic, is the one that
you have to address first, when you start off knowledge management in your
organisation. You need a
business case and a logical business driver for knowledge
management, and you need to be able to explain these in a very simple way. In many ways, you need this logical argument
in order to convince management to let you even start, and when you to start
communicating about knowledge management, again you have to start with the
logical business case. This is not
enough to convince people, but it needs to be in place before or any of the
other incentives can work. It can be
really helpful if you get your CEO or another senior person to give you a
sound bite in which they “make the logical case”.
In order to bring the second incentive, the emotional
incentive, into play, you need to have some success stories from within the
organisation. A good success story, told
on video by the people involved, can begin to convey the value of knowledge
management emotionally and act as social proof. People tell how
much it helped them, how knowledge management solved a problem, or reduced a
risk, or added value. Through these stories,
you can begin to project a human face onto knowledge management that goes beyond
the logical business case. You can make
it personal. But you can’t make it
personal until you have piloted KM and have some success stories, and the stories really need to come from
within your own company in order for people to identify with them.
The third incentive, management expectations, comes later
after the piloting phase. Once you have
defined how knowledge management will work within your organization, when you
have piloted the knowledge management framework of roles, processes,
technologies and governance, then your managers can set clear expectations and
targets for knowledge management, and by doing so they give the message that
knowledge management is now part of the job.
Most people go to work to do a good job, at some stage managers need to
set the expectation that in order to do a good job, you need to include a
component of knowledge management.
incentive, peer pressure, comes later again.
Once you’ve made the business case, piloted knowledge management,
delivered the success stories, defined the framework and set management
expectations, then as you begin to roll out knowledge management across your
organisation a larger and larger number of people will begin to be
involved. This is where peer pressure
comes in; when people see others involved in communities of practice, re-using
lessons, sharing knowledge online and so on, then knowledge management becomes
“business as usual”, and not doing knowledge management becomes seen as
"This is the most comprehensive book I have ever read on the implementation of knowledge management. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned professional, it is all here. Absolutely a first-rate reference." (Robert H Buckman, retired Chairman and CEO, Bulab Holdings, Inc)
I am a director for Knoco, the international firm of knowledge management consultants, offering a range of knowledge management services, including knowledge management strategy, knowledge management framework development, and knowledge management implementation services.
I also have an interest in Lessons Learned