Tuesday, 15 November 2016

2 ways to combat "not invented here"

There are two ways to get over the "not invented here" syndrome, and to get people to trust and use content. 

We all know the not-invented-here hurdle. e have all seen, or heard of, fantastic stores of knowledge that people will not use because they don't trust it, and have no faith in the credibility of the contents.

"I won't use it" they say "Because i don't know where it's from. I would rather use my own store of knowledge, because its always worked for me".

You can understand this attitude. Why should you use some untrusted and unknown store of knowledge if you have your own local store that seems to do the job. Putting your faith in something new and something untrusted can be a big risk.

Here are two ways in which you can help people have that faith.

Involve the users in creating the knowledge in the first place.


The worst thing you can do if you are looking to get knowledge used, is to build it in isolation from the users. They should be involved at every stage - in recognising the need to share knowledge, in deciding what knowledge to collect, in deciding the structure of the knowledge, and in contributing to the contents. As far as contribution is concerned, this could be anything from sharing useful documents, to invovement in workshops, dialgue sessions and wikithons.

If you build it, they won't come. If THEY build it, they WILL come.

Involvement increases trust and overcomes Not Invented Here, because if people are involved, they helped to Invent it Here.

Make sure there is a trusted senior sponsor for the knowledge. 


The second way to help build faith and trust in a store of knowledge is for it to have the endorsement and approval of a respected senior expert.

  • A store of engineering knowledge should be endorsed and sponsored by the Chief Engineer, 
  • A store of geological knowledge should be endorsed and sponsored by the Chief Geologist,
  • A store of legal knowledge should be endorsed and sponsored by the Chief Counsel, and so on.  
This high level endorsement acts as a stamp of approval. It says "you can trust this knowledge - it has my full support". 

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