Re: Request for Sharing KM practices benchmarks #vision #KM101

Guillermo A. Galdamez

Hi Sahar,

I would like to add my congratulations as well. You have an exciting challenge ahead of you!

There is a lot to unpack in your message, but I'll share some thoughts:

KM Benchmarks
I whole-heartedly agree with Arthur when he says that "The KM journey is unique for every organisation as they start at different places and are looking for different ways to leverage their knowledge to optimise decisions and create value." When it comes to KM, often there is a limited application of a benchmark when comparing your organization to others because it can like comparing apples to oranges. This being said, it can help you and your stakeholders create a shared understanding of where you are, and where you want to go in terms of knowledge management.

KM Vision
I consider this critical if you want to elevate the KM function to a more strategic role. It needs to be closely aligned with the organization's own vision and objectives. Even if it sounds a bit obvious, a common pitfall is to end up doing KM for the sake of KM. In other words, having no clear link between KM activities and value. What is the value that matters? That is for the business to decide ;)  Which brings me to the next point.

Stakeholder Buy-in
Getting people on board becomes easier if you can demonstrate what value you are delivering to them. My company's bread-and-butter is KM strategy, and we work with a lot of organizations around the globe, in a lot of different industries. One of the best approaches we have found is inspired in the agile methodology: run focused KM pilots. Choose an issue faced by your stakeholder, and run a KM-based solution for 3-6 months. You want to go for the low-hanging fruit: Something that may pose a low risk to the organization but can deliver quick wins. Involve your stakeholders throughout, and build on your successes: Adapt, expand, and iterate on each initiative.  I feel like this fits in nicely with your desire to be perceived as a business enabler.
A final thought on this: Think of the value created by KM at the organizational level, the team level (i.e. middle management), and individual level.

Cultural/mindset change
This is usually one of the most difficult challenges. KM means a lot of things to different people (if it means anything at all!). Worse of all, for many of the staff in your organization, KM is one more burden piled on top of their day-to-day responsibilities. The way you incentivize your colleagues will be very different from one organization to the next. Some organizations may respond really well to initiatives like gamification, some colleagues may respond well to monetary incentives, while others may respond well to recognition. Often you will need strong support to overcome bad incentives that encourage people to hoard their knowledge.

Hope you find this helpful!
I know I didn't address the entirety of your questions, but I will follow up later when I gather more of my thoughts.

Best of luck!


On Wed, Jul 31, 2019 at 8:21 AM sahar.khanloo@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:

Dear KM experts & leaders, 


My name is Sahar. I am the Global KM Lead for Operations Systems at one of Danone's biggest business unit. 


Having been in this role for the past one year I have achieved some successes but also had my fair share of struggles (and learnings!) anchoring KM in our day-to-day business. I am at a point where I would like to exchange some notes about what I have done to date and also look for input and inspiration on how to a) institutionalize but also b) operationalize our KM activities further. 


To provide some context: Danone is rolling out different software systems (SAP being one of them) in all their factories worldwide. The software is critical for ensuring the highest quality of our products and for manufacturing them in a sustainable way. 

We have put in place local expert network that are meant to support end-users and to help us further develop the processes reflected in the software and the ways of working around them. We are currently using two platforms - Facebook Workplace for knowledge networking and communities and Alfresco for storing structured and formal information in the form of documents. There are more things in place than described here, which I can deep-dive into in a 1:1 exchange. 


In September I am planning a 3-day workshop with about 50 of our global experts. I would like to present them also with some input into how other companies (ideally also operating in the food-industry) are tackling their challenges around capturing existing knowledge, connecting experts, providing the right organizational requirements to live knowledge management and continuous learning.

In particular I would be interested in: communities of practice, incentivization, good practice documentation, KM vision and ROI, being perceived as a business enabler, technical platforms, collaborative mindset on all hierarchy levels. If you are interested in comparing notes and learning from each other about the successes and failures and the challenges still ahead  becoming a learning company (in which KM plays a strong role), I would love for you to get in touch. We can set up a call or meet face-to-face. I am located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 


Thank you all. Have a great day. 




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