The single most important “KM sale” you can make is to your senior leaders. In my first two posts on this topic, I asserted that in my experience, if you get them on board, everything else will be much easier. If you can’t: try, try, and try again. Valuable tools for getting leaders’ sponsorship and support include telling stories, making the business case, and selling the benefits.
A few tips for selling the benefits of knowledge management
With any change initiative, all stakeholders want to know what’s in it for them; implementing a knowledge management program is no different. To help leaders understand the benefits for them personally, and for the organization overall, answer the following questions.
- Why should we implement a KM program? Articulate your vision.
- What exactly are the benefits? Develop a list of benefits (see the list below) and tie these to your organizational goals.
- How will a KM program help our organization accomplish its most critical objectives? Tie your Top 3 KM Objectives to the organization’s overall priorities.
- How will our organization improve as a result? Make the business case.
- How will our people’s needs, opportunities, and challenges be met? Share compelling use cases from analogous organizations and scenarios.
15 KM Benefits
- Better and faster decision making
- Users can easily find relevant information and resources
- Ideas, documents, and expertise can be reused
- No duplication of effort
- Mistakes aren’t repeated
- Existing expertise and experience can be leveraged
- Important information gets communicated widely and quickly
- Processes and procedures can be standardized and repeatable
- Methods, tools, templates, techniques, and examples are available
- Unique expertise becomes widely accessible
- Customers can see exactly how knowledge is used for their benefit
- Accelerated customer delivery
- Organizations can leverage scale
- The best organizational problem-solving experiences are reusable
- Innovation and growth are stimulated
Lucidea has published my latest book, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program, which includes additional information on powerful ways of obtaining leadership commitment, including storytelling, building a KM business case, and much more. I hope you will find the book relevant, insightful and timely.
Storytelling should be incorporated in many knowledge management implementation steps, activities, and components
Appreciative inquiry and Positive Deviance take a positive approach to change and are methods that support a strong knowledge management program.
Social network analysis in KM is mapping and measuring relationships and knowledge flows between people, groups, organizations, and other entities
A knowledge valuation process involves quantifying the value of knowledge assets, reuse, and innovation, helping justify investment in your KM program.