Monday 23 January 2017

What knowledge managers wish they had done to communicate KM better

Communication is key to KM. How could we do it better? Here's what Knowledge managers say.

BarCamp AMS 2005 Opening - 35
Originally uploaded by roland
KM is a change program, and communication is a lever in delivering change. Every Knowledge Management implementation needs a communication strategy.

For all the KM implementations we have been involved with, we try and hold a learning review at the end, to learn from the successes and challenges. At these reviews, the knowledge managers within the organisations share their learnings with us.

Here’s what they have to say on the topic of communication. You can see they didn't always get it right! (NB each quote is from a different knowledge manager)

"We should have allocated always in our plan, an element of communication process. Even when push came to shove, we should have fought for that just like we fought for some of the other things that were close to our hearts and our commitment".

"We should have implemented a communication strategy, to define all the different ways of communicating, what the medium would be, what the target audience would be, what the message would have to be".

"Compared to some that we have seen, our communication is very much better. (Program X) for example are putting a lot of effort in, but they are not telling anybody anything. We took the opposite tack, and decided to tell people that something was coming. When they ask questions, we say "we do not yet know the details"".

"Maybe what we could have done with the benefit of hindsight is have that communication strategy right from the start instead of inventing it three quarters of the way through".

“Make it someones accountability. To form a strategy and to keep revisiting that strategy. Don't let it fall below the water line”.

"We developed a bulletin for people who self-select to stay in touch with things. There are 1000 or 1200 people in the organisation who have an interest in what we are doing. Every month we send an e-mail to all the new joiners, and say "Do you know that people are sharing their trade secrets on the intranet all across the company? would you like to be kept in touch with this?" And every time we have a workshop with a group of people, we add them on, and every time we do some consultancy or just meet people we ask them if they would like to subscribe. We send it out once a month by e-mail. It is quite colourful, it is not just plain text, we put coloured text in it, we have four bulleted items, and there's a link to one thing on the KM site and then two other things on the intranet which have been published, and we advertise our workshops".

"We could easily have doubled or trembled the level of communications that we were doing, if we had had the manpower".

There is a consistent message here. Every one of these knowledge managers realises the importance of communication, and most of them wish they had dome more of it. 

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