So, what does it take to make sure we do not perish our most valuable resource: our knowledge?
After seeing many different incarnations of knowledge management initiatives and activities, I have reached the conclusion that we do not need more than the umpteenth website or a publication to keep knowledge alive... What we need is leadership.
We need leaders who create:
- the right environment to increase the flow of information and learning both inside and outside organizations
- a safe space for people to share their successes and failures
- a collaborative environment based on trust that fosters organic learning and sharing
If you want your KM initiative to succeed, show leadership.... Resist the temptation of putting in place a stand-alone KM activity. Be bold one to put in place a KM initiative that supports the mission and vision of your business. Get your head around the fact that reinventing the wheel is not only an expensive proposition, it simply not an option at all.
Before embarking on a KM journey, ask yourself: "Do I know what knowledge I have and do I know what I need". Once you've answered this fundamental question, consider the following:
- are you acting on the knowledge that you have
- are you using the knowledge that you have to create something new
- are you sharing and documenting what is working and what is not working
- are you motivating people and allowing them to share their successes and failures
- are you creating a sense of purpose for people to share their knowledge
Remember learning and sharing is rewarding and needs to be considered as an act of love.
For knowledge to grow, as a leader you need to keep at bay internal rivalries, you need to make sure people do not feel threatened by sharing and help them understand that sharing knowledge is a pathway to growth.
So as a leader of your KM activities and agenda, have a vision and lead your people to translate the vision into reality. Show your leadership by removing all barriers, create a space safe to learn, share, generate new knowledge and influence. Nurture those who share and learn willingly.
And yes, be inspired by Rumi..... "The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore"..... so ignore the naysayers and continue to pursue your vision of being a leader.
And remember as Rumi said "Ignorance is God's prison. Knowing is God's palace. " So lead and be the one who opens the doors to God's palace.