Make change stick

Bringing a knowledge perspective to the organisation can mean overcoming deep-seated personal assumptions and beliefs about how things should be done. Simply telling people what to do is not enough for them to change.

One consideration might be what does knowledge sharing behaviour actually mean and how can this be encouraged and reinforced? Knowledge Works describes a framework of seven competencies that together make up knowledge sharing behaviour: networking, consideration and recognition, trust and empowerment, gathering and developing knowledge, managing and sharing information, communicating knowledge and applying expertise. You can download a copy of this Knowledge Sharing Behaviours Competency Framework here.  Finding advocates for the proposed change who have developed these competencies is helpful too.

Each of us has filters that influence how we receive information and respond to it – these have developed over our lives, starting with our personality and refined through our education and experience. Thinking carefully about the filter patterns that your audience has can help shape more effective communications.

Different nationalities have preferences too. Assuming that one way of implementing a knowledge related initiative will work everywhere is unlikely to be the best approach. The things that trigger and block interest in knowledge issues, the way relationships form at work, how structures and systems are received, the way performance management works, and how important senior management endorsement is to acceptance all need to be considered for each national culture involved.

One of the most powerful ways of creating change is through influencing the pattern of conversations in organisations. We often take conversation granted, but in fact it is the way that managers can come to understand the concerns of those impacted by the change and effectively address these issues and build commitment to new ways of doing things. Becoming more skilled at conversations means taking the time to plan for and then reflect on key conversations.

Take a look at the video of Alma Kucera, a Knowledge Manager who has found the approach to improving the quality of conversations proposed in Knowledge Works particularly useful (the interviewer is Christine van Winkelen):

Issues 1,2,9 and 15 of the Henley KM Forum Knowledge in Action series summarise the approaches to developing knowledge sharing behaviours, making the most of knowledge activists, working across national cultural boundaries and improving conversations that have been included in Knowledge Works.

                     Issue 1                                                     Issue 2

                      Issue 9                                                   Issue 15   

You can click through to register and download these here.

Additional Reading

Creating Knowledge Advantage: The Tacit Dimensions of International Competition and Cooperation, by Nigel Holden and Martin Glisby

Changing Conversations in Organizations: A Complexity Approach to Change, by Patricia Shaw

What Poetry Brings to Business, by Clare Morgan

Changing Minds. The Art and Science of Changing our Own and Other People’s Minds, by Howard Gardner

Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together: A Pioneering Approach to Communicating in Business and Life, by William Isaacs
Training with NLP: Skills for Managers, Trainers and Communicators, by Joseph O’Connor and John Seymour

Reinventing Management: Smarter Choices for Getting Work Done, by Julian Birkinshaw