Wednesday 14 July 2021

5 steps to KM culture change

There are 5 generic steps to go through when introducing a Knowledge management culture. These are as follows.

  1. Define the culture you want to develop. Don't define it in woolly terms - "we want a knowledge sharing culture" - but define it in terms of the attitudes and behaviours you wish to become the default within the organisation (culture can be seen as a set of default attitudes and behaviours). These might be things like
  • People are open about their successes and failures 
  • We welcome new knowledge, whatever the source
  • People feel valued for how well they learn, rather than what they already know
  • People’s default behaviour is to share knowledge with others 
  • Collaboration gets you noticed and is rewarded, etc. 
  1. Measure the culture you currently have. Again, measure specific beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. Measure leaders and knowledge workers alike. Measure what people think about their own behaviour, and what they think about the behaviour and attitudes of others. Use focus groups and/or surveys. We have a KM culture survey which we can run for you, if you like, which measures 10 dimensions of a KM culture.
  2. Identify the main gaps between the existing and desired attitudes and behaviours. What are the main behaviours and attitudes you want to address first?
  3. Identify what is causing those gaps. Focus groups will help you here. Look at factors such as 
  • The reward, recognition and bonus scheme
  • The messages leaders give
  • The stories people tell
  • The reasons why people get promoted
  • The organisational policies (for example information security)
  • The layout of the building
  • etc
  1. Address these factors in order of priority.
  • Revise the reward and recognition scheme so knowledge seeking and sharing are rewarded rather than individual heroics
  • Revise the bonus scheme in a similar way 
  • Give the leaders new messages
  • Tell new stories
  • Promote different people
  • Change or clarify the organisational policies. 
  • Write a KM policy.
  • Change the office layout if needed.

We can help you with this if you like - contact us to find out more about our KM culture services.

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