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KM Performance Management

There is no point in setting KM policies and standards and capturing KM metrics unless there is a way of rewarding KM performance. Parts of the business that perform well in Knowledge Management should be recognised and rewarded, and parts that choose to ignore their KM accountabilities should face some form of sanction.

If there is no sanction against opting out of the Knowledge Management system, then effectively the organization is sending the message that Knowledge Management is optional. In an increasingly busy world, optional activity does not get done. Any company that is serious about Knowledge Management, needs to be serious about managing KM performance.

The late Melissie Rumizen described the Knowledge Management culture in Buckman Laboratories as follows; "Our approach is far more Stick than Carrot. We say "Sharing knowledge is your job. Do it! As a reward, you may keep your job". People react differently to this attitude, and many consider it rather "hard-line", but you can imagine how embedded their KM culture has become. In the Buckman way of working, KM is no longer optional. A combination of clear expectations from the CEO, a significant investment in technology, communities and supporting roles, measurement, rewards for good KM performance and serious sanction for non-compliance, has contributed to a KM culture within Buckman laboratories that has lasted well over a decade.

Ultimately Knowledge Management should be rewarded just the same as any other management element - financial management, for example, or people management, or safety management. If people perform well, it is reflected in their pay and promotion. If they perform poorly, their pay and promotion may suffer. Knowledge Management should be treated in the same way.

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