* After Action Review
Knowledge Management Behaviours and Culture
How do we characterize the behaviours and culture of an organisation that has truly embraced Knowledge Management?
We see this as a profound shift from the individual to the collective
The culture shift from “I know” to “we know” – from “Knowledge is mine” to “Knowledge is ours” - can be a big culture change for many organisations. There can be very many cultural barriers to knowledge management, and the the wrong culture can delay or derail your KM initiative. However we say that you should not wait for the culture to change,before you start to implement Knowledge Management.
The most powerful agents of KM culture change, are the processes of Knowledge Management themselves. After Action Reviews, Retrospects, Knowledge Exchanges, Communities of Practice, Peer Assists (in particular, Peer Assists), are all agents ofculturechange(see links to the left for more details).
The second driver and supporter of culture change are the elements we refer to as Governance.
Culture is not a thing that emerges spontaneously - culture is created, and co-created, in organisations. Culture is an output, not an input. Culture is an effect, not a cause. There are input factors that cause culture, and the three most powerful are listed below.
1.Expectation. People do what they believe is expected of them. People are generally good workers, they want to do a good job, and if something is expected of them as part of the job, they generally do it. Expectation can be explicit or implicit - written or unwritten. Expectation comes from leadership and from peers, and these two sources of expectation need to be aligned to be effective (there is no point in the boss saying "I expect you to have a work life balance" if all your peers are working to 10pm and expect you to be part of the team). So knowledge management needs to become an expectation, from management and from peers. It needs to be a written andunwrittenexpectationthatyou will seek, share and re-use knowledge.
2. Feedback and reinforcement (or, if you prefer, "performance management") People do what they are recognised and rewarded for, and don't do what they are not rewarded for. We don't just mean money; we mean other more subtle rewards such as praise and acknowledgement, "fitting in" and not being teased, and so on. This feedback and reinforcement comes from leadership, and from peers, and these two sources of feedback and reinforcement need to be aligned to be effective (if the community of practice is saying "well done for helping out with that problem" while your manager is saying "I want you to spend less time on that community stuff", that just sets up unhealthy tension). Knowledge management activities need to be recognised, there needs to be positive feedback on them, and this needs to be linked to job rewards. And if people ignore or shirk their knowledge management expectations, there needs to be feedback and reinforcement here also - negative feedback from management and peers, and negative impact to your salary or job prospects.
3.Support . KM at first is new, and people will need support. This support will come from leadership, and from peers. Support from leadership may take the form of training courses, support materials, and just allowing the time for people to do their KM activities. Support from peers will alsoceom from allowing the time and space for KM, as well as helping each other with the tools and processes. With clear expectation, feedback and reinforcement, and support, the culture will change. These three are the inputs, culture is the output.These three are the causes, culture change is the result.