Re: Return on engagement #value #engagement

Stephen Bounds

Hi Martin,

Two points:

  1. There's decent evidence that measuring psychosocial safety would be a decent proxy measurement on what you're looking for. Check out this recent RealKM article discussing a nice study on the relationship.

  2. I don't really agree that it is impossible to measure errors avoided, as long as there's a definable, repeatable event and a way to determine whether outcomes were positive or negative. Even if the knowledge failure leading to an error happened some way upstream of the event itself, you can still assess the events and the results of various systemic interventions on them (I like the RROI approach but there are others).

If psychosocial safety resonates, I can point you to some people well-placed to talk about it...


Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
On 30/07/2021 2:58 am, Martin Dugage wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Dear sikm-ers

I am trying to set up a non-paying conference in Paris on the topic of KM and time management. I have often been sad to witness that our top managers understand only one side of KM, the one that has to do with efficiency: not reinventing the wheel, reusing what we know and blah blah. The other side of the coin, which is often far more relevant has to do with risk management and long term survival: avoiding mistakes already made in the past. You only build schools in places where you want to settle for a very long time.

The problem is that efficiency is easy to measure and manage. There are tons of KPIs for this. But measuring the errors you did NOT commit is impossible. So KM programs tend to become subsets of operational effectiveness programs, with a lot of processes, methods and tools, and few communities of practice. 

The way learning institutions go around this problem is examinations, when every student faces the same problem to solve and errors get measured by comparison. But we don’t have these kinds of “moments of truth” inside organizations, with the possible exception of winning or loosing a deal, if your client tels you the truth about the reasons why you won or lost. So you go around the issue with telling stories about how a given success of the organization can be partly attributed to KM, or statistics showing that since the KM program was implemented, sales have increased and clients are happy. But most of the time you just stick to KPIs measuring efficiency, as if the number of math book pages turned by minute was a good indicator of you chances of passing the math test.

My personal feeling is that employee engagement is a good indicator of the effectiveness of a KM policy, because engagement is based on a feeling of autonomy, personal mastery and confidence in the future, which is precisely what KM is supposed to deliver. However, I don’t see many organizations out there who are really inspired by the idea of measuring employee engagement - except maybe the armed forces - and use the somewhat fuzzy concept of “return on engagement”. And I do not know of any organization who makes a direct connection between KM deployment and employee engagement.

So here is my question to you: do you know any expert on the topic of “return on engagement” (RoE) who could talk about his/her real life experience on measuring engagement and RoE in relation with a KM policy for about 30 minutes max, questions included ? This would happen towards the end of November 2021 in Paris, France…

Sorry for the long message ;)



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