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


Robert L. Bogue
 

I’ll try to respond to the entire thread here rather than continue the natural fragmentation.

Stephen –

First, I agree that the Microsoft comment will beat Chuck Norris (except nothing beats Chuck Norris.) I believe (but can’t support) that the problem is that Chuck Norris’ credibility markers negatively impact credibility in this area. Speaking from personal experience, people can’t process someone who has a deep technical background and is simultaneously business and strategy minded. I keep my SharePoint Shepherd brand (http://www.SharePointShepherd.com) as far away from my technical brand as I can. When I was initially launching the product people either didn’t accept that I’ve worked with the product teams to develop SharePoint or that I could talk to end users. Those thoughts were mutually incompatible in people’s minds. So credibility markers are stereotypically driven to a positive or negative bias for the thing that we’re evaluating. Change the context to a fight and Chuck Norris will win irrespective of being independent or being a member of the Texas Rangers.

So, credibility markers mark a specific kind of credibility and that may negatively impact the kind of trust that you’re trying to assess. In terms of supporting research, this thinking comes from the marketing industry. I can’t pull a specific reference off the top of my head but it’s generally accepted in marketing that you need to establish credibility with a prospect to get them to convert to a client. This is loosely related to Rogers work in Diffusion of Innovations where he spoke of Knowledge-Attitudes-Practices. (See http://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2012/07/01/book-review-diffusion-of-innovations/)

Your other challenge is about organizational trust. Here you may be right, but I think that it’s a trust based on a perceived person. In many cases it’s leadership but in some cases it may be the persona for the person in the organization. So Balmer might have been perceived as a buffoon but the typical Microsoft person was seen as technical and nerdy. So when evaluating the request for trust we may be using the expected persona instead of the leader. (Yes, my thinking is shifting based on this conversation. It may be trust in a leader or in the persona we expect.) From product development I know that the more “real” we make the personas, the better our results. It’s like we manage to activate some of those mindreading mechanisms that evolution gave us.

To test the idea of organizational trust, I’d want to understand how it behaves differently than individual trust. If it behaves like individual trust, then I’d wonder if we’re seeing some reflection of individual trust.

The next point/conversation seems to be about probabilities. It’s very true that we reject the reality of probability in our lives. We want to have the illusion of control. (See Compelled to Control at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2013/07/31/book-review-compelled-to-control-recovering-intimacy-in-broken-relationships/ ) Our ego is very adept at protecting itself. We like to believe that it’s our agency that results in our success instead of recognizing that there’s a lot of luck and timing in it. (See Change or Die at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2014/07/29/book-review-change-or-die/ for more on The Ego and It’s Defenses.) The Halo Effect has probably the best coverage of probabilities in our world. (at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2016/09/26/book-review-the-halo-effect-and-the-eight-other-business-delusions-that-deceive-managers/) Of course, Kahneman’s work Thinking: Fast, and Slow (at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2012/08/21/book-review-thinking-fast-and-slow/ ) is very good at helping understand our biases as it comes to probabilities. Finally, How to Measure Anything (at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2011/10/01/book-review-how-to-measure-anything/ ) has some good techniques for minimizing the effects of our biases and getting us to reasonable answers.

All of that is to say that we’re lousy at probabilities – and there’s a limited amount that we can do to improve it given our ego’s need to defend itself against the idea that it’s not in control.

Murry –

So I think that you may be underestimating how easily people are swayed. Nudge, for instance, (at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2017/04/10/book-review-nudge-improving-decisions-health-wealth-happiness/ ) speaks about how simple small changes have dramatic impacts. I know from my work on collaboration systems that the cold-start problem is very real. People won’t move into a space until they understand what the cultural norms are. Many years Amazon got in trouble for compensating their reviewers for their reviews. However, it was necessary to get enough reviews in the system for people to know what to do. I think that credibility systems work because they can be a proxy for real credibility. In truth we have tons of credibility systems. Take college degrees. For the commercial world, they’re a credibility marker/system for the intellectual capacity of a person. In academia the proxy is publications. (Publish or perish) LinkedIn is becoming substantially more popular. We look at the people that they know in terms of quantity and particularly the people we know in common and think to ourselves “Well, if they know all of these people they must be alright.” Understanding how social webs are used as credibility markers/systems is interesting. Analyzing the Social Web is a good primer. (at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2017/01/16/book-review-analyzing-social-web/)

Another reference for our irrationally is Predictably Irrational (at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2017/05/22/book-review-predictably-irrational-hidden-forces-shape-decisions/) we’ll use anything we can to be able to make impossible decisions. We’ll use tea leaves or dice rolls to help us believe that we’re making the right decision. How is a credibility system any less of a nudge than that?

I’m admittedly a bit lost on what your perspective is. Do you not believe that credibility markers exist? Or that trying to give folks proxies for “getting a feel for” credibility is useful? I use “getting a feel for” rather than estimating probability because we don’t make rational decisions. Here, I appreciate Klein’s work in Sources of Power at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2011/10/23/book-review-sources-of-power-how-people-make-decisions/

I think I responded to most of the major points – please feel free to bring back any point I might have missed.

Rob
-------------------
Robert L. Bogue
O: (317) 844-5310 M: (317) 506-4977 Blog: http://www.thorprojects.com/blog

From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 3, 2018 3:27 AM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Creating a Cultural Capacity for Knowledge Management



then what would be the point of a credibility system?

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds km@bounds.net.au<mailto:km@bounds.net.au> [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>>
To: sikmleaders <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Wed, May 2, 2018 11:51 pm
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Creating a Cultural Capacity for Knowledge Management

I don't disagree at all, but to me it feels like a statement of "10% trust" is really more of a crude way of expressing our emotional state anyway. For obvious reasons, humans rarely calculate an actual probability that a person can be trusted so it's not intended to be a literal, rational statement anyway.
Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================

Stephen Bounds

Executive, Information Management

Cordelta

E: stephen.bounds@cordelta.com<mailto:stephen.bounds@cordelta.com>

M: 0401 829 096

====================================
On 3/05/2018 4:19 PM, Murray Jennex murphjen@aol.com<mailto:murphjen@aol.com> [sikmleaders] wrote:

one more quick comment on this: for any credibility/trust rating system to work we have to assume people are rational decision makers. This means we would see 10% as 10% and 80% as 80%, nothing more or nothing less. I won't go into it in total but the bottom line is that the vast majority of us are NOT rational decision makers. This does not mean we are irrational, but it does mean we are influenced by our emotions....murray jennex

-----Original Message-----
From: Murray Jennex murphjen@aol.com<mailto:murphjen@aol.com> [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com><mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>
To: sikmleaders <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com><mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wed, May 2, 2018 11:15 pm
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Creating a Cultural Capacity for Knowledge Management


a thought on human nature and trust. Trust is related to risk in that as humans we estimate our amount of trust or risk the same way and are subject to the same human failing related to estimating. While I can't cite you the paper, what I remember from the class is that humans are bad at estimating at the extremes... What I mean by that is that if we hear something has a 10% chance of happening we assume it won't, the same can be said for trust, if I trust you 10% most everyone hears I don't trust you. Same on the other end, I say there is a 80% chance of something happening we as humans assume it is certain, in trust if I say I trust you 80% most everyone hears I trust you. In actuality neither statement was true (I don't trust you or I trust you), what was true was that I had a low degree of trust or a high degree of trust. The point I'm getting to is that if we rate credibility we will have the same outcome: your rating is 10% so everyone says you aren't credible or your rating is 80% so everyone thinks you are credible, and in reality neither statement is true. I've considered rating systems in the past for knowledge artifacts and it boils down to the legal argument versus human perception. I rate something 80% and legally I have acknowledged that the artifact may not be trustworthy but users perceive it as being trustworthy, and of course vice versa. Finally comes the interesting argument for what you would consider 50% trust, this would boil down to your philosophical bent, are you a half full or half empty person? And of course would it really matter? This why I haven't pushed credibility rating systems although I've used confidence factor ratings (but these suffer from the same arguments). I haven't even approached the discussion on who decides the rating. My final point is I don't think credibility or trust rating systems will work....murray jennex

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds km@bounds.net.au<mailto:km@bounds.net.au> [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>>
To: sikmleaders <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Wed, May 2, 2018 5:35 pm
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Creating a Cultural Capacity for Knowledge Management

Hi Rob,
You make some strong arguments. I don't disagree with anything you have said except in nuance. I certainly agree that we lack evidence to be certain one way of the other.
In particular, I think the idea of credibility markers is fantastic. Is that your own concept or do you have any go-to papers from people who explore that idea?
However, I still don't think it's realistic to attribute 100% of trust to individuals. Let me give you a counter-example as a thought experiment. It would be easy enough to test in an survey, I might actually get around to doing it one day.
Let's imagine that a media release comes out claiming that a security exploit in Cisco network equipment has been found and is being actively exploited by hackers to gain access to Fortune 500 companies. That information is then presented in one of six ways and subjects are asked to evaluate how likely it is that the statement is true:

1. By "independent security expert Chuck Norris"
2. By "Microsoft security expert Chuck Norris"
3. By "Microsoft"
4. By "independent security expert Chuck Norris who owns Cisco shares"
5. By "Microsoft security expert Chuck Norris who owns Cisco shares"
6. By "Microsoft, who owns Cisco shares"
I would bet a reasonable steak dinner that an unattributed "Microsoft" source would be trusted more than the independent security expert -- and would probably retain trust to a greater degree even when told about a shareholding that introduces a potential conflict of interest.
This doesn't align with trust being the sum total of the individuals who are part of the organisation. Nor is it as simple as looking at trust of the leader of the organisation. Steve Ballmer was seen as a buffoon by a significant number of people, and yet I doubt this would have materially impacted on the trust we would place in a Microsoft security assessment.
In large companies employees join and leave every day. We don't and cannot know everyone who is part of that organisation. So what can explain this trust except for some kind of institutional permanence?
Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================

Stephen Bounds

Executive, Information Management

Cordelta

E: stephen.bounds@cordelta.com<mailto:stephen.bounds@cordelta.com>

M: 0401 829 096

====================================
On 2/05/2018 10:02 PM, Robert Bogue rbogue@thorprojects.com<mailto:rbogue@thorprojects.com> [sikmleaders] wrote:

Stephen -

I see your point and I’ve got a different view. Let me walk around this scenario some... First, I believe that we have a great deal of neurology wrapped up in affinity groups – what we belong to – and this is what brands primarily leverage to get us to modify our behaviors. (My post “The Deep Water of Affinity Groups” is at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2016/11/02/the-deep-water-of-affinity-groups/)

I believe that we use credibility markers to help us decide whether to trust or not. With deep relationships – like our colleagues – we stop using these crutches / shortcuts / heuristics. I might be impressed by your degree until I’ve worked with you... Conversely if I’ve worked with you for a while and realize you’re a sharp person, I won’t think about the fact that you don’t have a degree. (Obviously, I’m using ‘you’ in the general sense here.)

So in your example, I use the credibility markers to assess whether I should take the risk or not. The person is in a “monkey suit” that matches my expectations. The building is well kept. The brand is one I know. We put these pieces together and say that the credibility exceeds our threshold for risk and therefore we’re willing to hand our keys over. (Besides, that’s what we have insurance for isn’t it.)

Ultimately, I think that even in this scenario we’re trusting the person. However, we’re trusting the person because of the sum-total of all of the markers we have. So if I saw an employee who was clearly intoxicated with all of the other credibility markers, I’d still refuse to give my keys to him despite my trust in the organization. Ultimately trust is in humans – not institutions. I’m a GenXer… I’ve been taught to distrust organizations. (See my review of America’s Generations at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2016/09/19/book-review-americas-generations-in-the-workplace-marketplace-and-living-room/ ) However, even beyond this I don’t believe we’re neurologically wired to understand organizations separate from people.

Though I’m not a sports fan, what happens when a new head coach is hired for the team? Do people expect the same performance from the team? What about a team changing owners? In truth changing an owner should have almost no impact on team performance – but it does and people know it. It’s crazy. The owner – in most cases – isn’t involved in the day-to-day training of the team’s players. So why would we expect different performance?

The problem – with any social science – is teasing out factors separate from one another. What Vanhala can be attributing to institutional factors can very easily be leader trust factors. The only way to know would be to pre and post measure organizations after a change of leadership. Which leads to the next problem which is change always reduces perceived safety because of our natural tendency to ask what is in it for me (WIII-FM) so a change in leadership means a necessary dip in trust irrespective of whether it’s the leader or the organization. So it’s hard to get to a real answer.

I tend to look at what mechanisms we have in our brains. I know we have many overlapping mechanisms which allow us to maintain social relationships. (See Mindreading at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2017/11/06/book-review-mindreading/ and “High Orbit - Respecting Grieving” at https://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2015/10/21/high-orbit-respecting-grieving/ for more.) I’ve not seen any compelling evidence that we can repurpose this mental machinery to develop real trust in organizations.

I need to think about the separation I’m making between the impact of a brand and an organization. I think brands are like a one-way mirror. On the outside you see the reflection that they want you to see but on the inside you have to see more of reality. You can’t un-see the sausage making process. I don’t believe you can see the perfectly crafted image and I don’t think the neurological biases towards consistency of behavior associated with humans can be used by organizations.

Rob
-------------------
Robert L. Bogue
O: (317) 844-5310 M: (317) 506-4977 Blog: http://www.thorprojects.com/blog<http://www..thorprojects.com/blog>

From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups..com> <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com><mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 8:39 AM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Creating a Cultural Capacity for Knowledge Management


Interesting Rob, and I appreciate the conversation too. I'm still exploring the space, so it is quite likely I will land somewhere new at the end of this.
Trust is, I believe, intrinsically bound to the system it relates to. The parking attendant is a good example. Yes, OK, we trust the parking attendant to park the car and bring it back. But why is that?
We wouldn't just hand the keys to a random stranger on the street, even if they had a badge that said "parking attendant". There has to be a structure, a recognisable and trusted norm, which makes the transaction acceptable.
First of all we need a physical delineation, an entrance and exit to a space. At the point of entry, if we see a known brand then that gives us confidence about the organisational structure which has led to the creation of the space. And if we're in a city, then there is an expectation that some degree of planning regulation has reviewed and validated the operation as belonging to that organisation.
So the simple act of handing of keys is made possible by:

* An implied employer / employee contract
* Organisation's brand, reputation, and history
* Legislative and regulatory powers of the government
* Justice system that enforces the agreed-upon rules
The 'intent' of the employee can only be treated as nearly irrelevant because of all these other stabilising and regulating factors. If the employee were in scruffy plain clothes, if the brand had a poor reputation for enforcing security or vetting staff, if the government was incompetent or corrupt -- then this apparently simple act would be done with far less trust and more caution.
So to be clear, what I'm arguing is that we don't actually trust the attendant very much at all. Rather, we trust the parking company that they are working for to only hire people who they trust to behave in a desired manner. An employee's uniform and manner are powerful indirect cues that the trusted relationship between the parking company and the employee exists.
(Aside: Trust doesn't transfer outside of a system's context. A parking attendant could be an excellent employee, and still not pay back their friends for drinks at the bar.)
Your thoughts?
Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================

Stephen Bounds

Executive, Information Management

Cordelta

E: stephen.bounds@cordelta.com<mailto:stephen.bounds@cordelta.com>

M: 0401 829 096

====================================
On 1/05/2018 9:56 PM, Robert Bogue rbogue@thorprojects.com<mailto:rbogue@thorprojects.com> [sikmleaders] wrote:

Stephen –

I didn’t see this message before replying to your other message, but I don’t know that this helps me to agree with Vanhala’s model for trust.

I’m still processing but I’m troubled by the context sensitivity for trust in Vanhala’s model. I can trust the parking attendant to park my car (behavior) without any consideration for his intent. I can appreciate the intent of someone else without trusting their behavior. I don’t think that in general intent is a factor of trust – though it’s certainly a component of how people blame others. I’ll continue to map the model to my observations of human behavior but it’s just not ringing true to me.

Regarding Trust, Vulnerability, and Intimacy being intensities in scale… I don’t see them this way. I see them as different. I don’t even see them as different states of matter (solid, liquid, gas). For me it’s a more permanent change of structure. It’s more like the process of chemically changing something. Trust creates perceived safety... Perceived safety creates the opportunity for vulnerability. That and courage create intimacy.

Thanks for the continued dialogue.

Rob
-------------------
Robert L. Bogue
O: (317) 844-5310 M: (317) 506-4977 Blog: http://www.thorprojects.com/blog

From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com> <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com><mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2018 9:11 PM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups..com>
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Creating a Cultural Capacity for Knowledge Management


G'day Rob & Murray,
One of the reasons I really like Vanhala's model is because it makes a clear distinction between interpersonal trust (person to person) and impersonal trust (organisation to person). This makes it possible to trust a person but believe that they will be stymied by the organisation, and vice versa.
I find it interesting to map the various trust concepts onto each other to see how they line up. Rob, in your linked articles you use a schema which I map to Vanhala as follows:

* contractual trust => reliability trust
* communications trust => benevolence trust (based on the idea that communications must be 'authentic')
* competence trust => competence trust
While Murray uses these indicators which can be subjectively evaluated in terms of trust:

* leadership => leadership trust
* impact on business => benevolence trust
* km strategy impact => structural trust
* knowledge content use/impact => competence / structural trust
In my view, the dichotomy holds up pretty well as a general framework. Note that each of you are focusing on one side of the divide more than the other.
I am still not convinced that it is correct to communications trust as a top-level construct though. Trust (Vanhala says) is formed out of two components: intent and behaviour. Poor communications affects our perception or either or both components as applied to any of the dimensions.
I may (for example) be good at communicating my benevolent intent, but poor at demonstrating competent behaviour if I go away into my workshop and don't show anything to my client for months.
PS. I think it's reasonable to see Trust, Vulnerability, and Intimacy as a continuum, but I interpret them as a intensities on a scale rather than as fundamentally different concepts. Do you agree or disagree with that idea?
Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================

Stephen Bounds

Executive, Information Management

Cordelta

E: stephen.bounds@cordelta.com<mailto:stephen.bounds@cordelta.com>

M: 0401 829 096

====================================
On 1/05/2018 5:53 AM, Murray Jennex murphjen@aol.com<mailto:murphjen@aol.com> [sikmleaders] wrote:

I don't mention trust in the list because trust is a fundamental requirement for knowledge sharing (as pointed out by many of you).

An interesting study I published two years ago (and working on a more complete article on this now) are statistically validated measures of KM success (done after KM has been implemented). This study found four major constructs: leadership, impact on business, km strategy impact, and knowledge content use/impact. While culture is not mentioned in an after the fact measurement of success it is a required precursor, plus I would argue that leadership incorporates org culture issues. I will also say that the four groups of measures I mention here did not constitute the full range of measures, i.e. they explained about 70% of the measures. This leaves a lot of room for additional measures and I can see trust as both a precursor for KM and a measure of KM success just as leadership is (perhaps trust is a part of the leadership measure, or is embedded in all four success measure groups). Thanks...murray jennex

-----Original Message-----
From: Murray Jennex murphjen@aol.com<mailto:murphjen@aol.com> [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com><mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>
To: sikmleaders <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com><mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Mon, Apr 30, 2018 12:39 pm
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Creating a Cultural Capacity for Knowledge Management


I published a list of 12 critical success factors for KM in the 2000's (and am currently doing research to re-verify them) they are:

A Knowledge Strategy that identifies users, sources, processes, storage strategy, knowl­edge and links to knowledge for the KMS;
Motivation and Commitment of users including incentives and training;
Integrated Technical Infrastructure in­cluding networks, databases/repositories, computers, software, KMS experts;
An organizational culture and structure that supports learning and the sharing and use of knowledge;
A common enterprise wide knowledge structure that is clearly articulated and easily understood;
Senior Management support including allocation of resources, leadership, and providing training;
A Learning Organization;
There is a clear goal and purpose for the KMS;
Measures are established to assess the im­pacts of the KMS and the use of knowledge as well as verifying that the right knowledge is being captured;
The search, retrieval, and visualization functions of the KMS support easy knowl­edge use;
Work processes are designed that incorporate knowledge capture and use;
Security/protection of knowledge.


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Bogue rbogue@thorprojects.com<mailto:rbogue@thorprojects.com> [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>>
To: sikmleaders <sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com>>
Sent: Fri, Apr 27, 2018 7:10 pm
Subject: [sikmleaders] Creating a Cultural Capacity for Knowledge Management

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?

Rob
-------------------
Robert L. Bogue
O: (317) 844-5310 M: (317) 506-4977 Blog: http://www.thorprojects..com/blog<http://www..thorprojects.com/blog>

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