In order to motivate those in your organization to embrace knowledge management, you must be able to passionately describe the end-state vision for your program. What does KM look like when it’s working? Establish a vision for how knowledge management should work, and relentlessly work towards making that vision a reality.
As an example, here is my vision for how knowledge management should work:
- People, process, and technology elements that enable everyone to conveniently Share, Innovate, Reuse, Collaborate, and Learn are in place.
- A single global platform is available, with access to community sites, websites, team sites, content repositories, and collaboration tools.
- Everyone can interact with the platform in the ways they prefer, including entirely by email, mobile client, desktop client, web browser, RSS feed, etc.
- A unique global, cross-functional community is available for each major specialty, role, and focus area, with a site, a calendar, frequent events, useful news and content, and active discussions.
- Everyone belongs to at least one community, including the one most closely aligned to their work, and pays attention to the community’s discussions and activities.
- Anyone needing help, an answer to a question, relevant content, an expert, or information on what the firm has done and can do may post in a community discussion board or the Enterprise Social Network (ESN) and receive a helpful reply within 24 hours.
- Everyone can easily find, follow, be made aware of, and share what is going on in the ESN, activity stream, blogosphere, content repositories, etc.
- People are recognized, rewarded, and promoted if they Share, Ask, Find, Answer, Recognize, Inform, and Suggest. Leaders set a good example by doing so themselves.
- What one part of the firm knows, the rest of the firm knows; different parts of the firm routinely work together; ideas are solicited and implemented; high levels of trust and transparency exist; leadership engages with all levels of the firm’s members; people work out loud and interact with people they didn’t know before, and individuals learn effectively.
- Decisions are made quickly and effectively; it’s easy to find information and resources; open communications are made frequently and widely; redundant effort is avoided; mistakes are not repeated; scarce expertise is made widely available; clients see how knowledge is used for their benefit; sales and delivery are accelerated; innovation and growth are stimulated; morale is high; and the firm’s reputation is strong. As a result, the organization thrives.
There are many examples of KM visions. You can certainly adapt these, but the vision you create should be specific to your organization and should be one that you can articulate passionately at any time.
Lucidea Press has published my latest book, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program, which includes inspiring examples of KM visions from Kent Greenes, Chris Collison, Karla Phlypo-Price, Kate Pugh and many others, as well as additional advice and insights drawn from my career as a KM practitioner.