Re: Creating a Cultural Capacity for Knowledge Management #culture #trust

Tammy Bearden

Stirring question, Rob. Culture is boss, it totally sets the norm and cadence of an organization. Those who rock the boat, even if in the strategic best interest of the org., need tough skin. 

One huge barrier I have seen is: success in the way things have always been done, or complacency. Another is the effort to apply the rigor to purposeful, disciplined knowledge sharing and capture. And of course getting limited budget relative to ROI is always hard, especially if KM is incongruent with risk-averse financiers/c-suite. Need to continuously secure buy-in by using KM principles and tactics to help others be successful (WIIFM.)

Defining organizational decision-making very clearly will afford opportunities for KM growth/success. What’s the decision to be made and who is the decision maker? Consensus is important, but the decision maker can take in all input then decide. 

Another opportunity is with Storytelling...share success stories that envelop KM principles and touch points. Carefully tell of failures that could have been avoided with more KM rigor. And always promote/celebrate failures as learning opportunities and iterations on a future success.

Eager to read others’ thoughts on cultural barriers to KM success! 

On Apr 27, 2018, at 8:39 PM, Robert Bogue rbogue@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:


Friends –


I’ve been pondering a problem and I’d love folks thoughts on it.  I think that often times we speak of the KM initiative as disconnected from the organization’s culture but in my observation there’s rarely anything that has as much impact on the KM project as the corporate culture.  (including budget and staffing)


I was wondering what you believe are the cultural barriers and opportunities to KM projects – and what you think the tools or techniques are effective at encouraging the creation of a culture in which KM (and the organization) can thrive.


To provide a set of examples, I believe that one of the major factors is the degree of trust in the organization.  I believe that lack of trust is perhaps the biggest barrier.  I believe that one of the opportunities for improvement in organizations is communication.  Strangely few organizations (large or small) have a clearly articulated communication strategy.  From a tools perspective, I believe that there’s an opportunity to leverage “affinity groups” to start the idea of sharing.  Initially these groups might be entirely unrelated to the organization’s work.  They’re designed to make sharing inside the organization the new norm.


Obviously, there are other things that I see as items in each of these categories – but I’m really interested in what you believe.


Care to share your thoughts on the relationship between culture and KM – or the factors that influence it?




Robert L. Bogue

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