The Second KM Silver Bullet: One isn’t enough

As a friend of mine pointed out, it’s not enough to just create a strategy, it’s about the execution of that strategy.

And he’s right, strategies can sit on shelves, certainly I have had more than one client, that for various reasons did not implement the strategy we had developed together.

So what does it take to successfully implement a KM strategy?

A bunch of things, senior management buy-in and budget among them, but I would argue the most critical component, and the one that my friend posited, is Change Management.

There are many good books on Change Management by authors such as Peter Senge and John P. Kotter, to name two of my favourites. But what it all boils down to for me, is communication. Not just some manager decreeing, “thou shalt do knowledge management,” but a real conversation between the KM team and the rest of the organization. What do they need to be able to be effective in their jobs? How can the KM team help them? What do the users of the KM activities need to know about how to use the technology and the processes? What will aid them in their decision making and other things they are responsible for?

KM is there to serve the organization, to help it to be more efficient, effective, innovative, whatever the KM strategy identified as the business case for KM. It does that, in part, through the execution of the change management plan to support the transformational change that KM demands.

2 thoughts on “The Second KM Silver Bullet: One isn’t enough

  • Bruno Winck September 5, 2015 at 09:29 PM Reply

    As I was reading, I pause and I tried to find the answer to your question. In lieu of “change management”, I had “motivation”. This motivation it takes to undertake a collective effort. Now when I remember of lessons on the wall of “who moved my cheese” it boils down to the same. Finding the intrinsic reasons to apply a change on one’s daily routines. Routines of everyone, not just the KM team.

    I’m wondering if it’s not going to become even harder in the future and the solution could be to count more on the collective behaviour then on each person individual behaviour.

    • sbarnes September 5, 2015 at 09:58 PM Reply

      I think it will always boil-down to individual behaviours, but certainly the influence of others in the group will remain an important component in motivating others to change. This is why it is critical to identify the people others look to for guidance, not necessarily managers, but peers and colleagues; people who are network nodes within the organization.

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