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Seb Anthony

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Knowledge Management


How can HR facilitate the creation exchange and management of knowledge across the organisation?

5 Responses

  1. Cascading knowledge
    Your question covers a huge area! A lot will depend upon what you have identified as being suitable for sharing and what your ultimate aim is.

    Have you some areas of knowledge in mind with which to start the process?

    We have worked with a number of organisations who have set up an intranet system of knowledge management and some with a database system.

    The most successful have all started with a plan to build up user confidence first by use of a pilot study. We always recommend this but in some cases(generally because of the size of the organisation) this may not possible.

    The good aspects of the pilot are that you can control the amount of information and iron out glitches early on without much problem.

    Going ‘live’ across the whole organisation is risky, until you have a good flexible plan to achieve your objectives mapped out.

    Best of luck

    Training By Design Global Ltd

  2. Challenge what a ‘job’ is
    From a policy perspective, one of KM’s biggest hurdles are the timemotivationresponsibility objections. “I’m too busy doing my real job to help other people” sometimes occurs, but more often its actually management that discourages their staff from getting ‘distracted’ by helping others.
    I see the role of HR, then, as being about challenging manager’s concept of what their people’s ‘job’ should consist of, and championing the notion that it should be helping the company to solve problems, irrespective of nominal functions or responsibilities.
    Practically, this means introducing measures of how helpful people are as part of their appraisals, backed up with people-connecting processes and systems (yellow pages, online discussion forums like this one etc.)


    Sam Marshall
    KM Specialist

  3. and the answer is…
    …by creating the belief that such an exchange is in the interest of both the people and the company – in that order. This is quite a straight-forward process (when you know how !). Please feel free to give me a call on 07702 433284 and I can share that know-how with you.
    Kind regards

  4. .. very cautiously
    I’d agree with the other replies, and add that you can expect a really challenging project – so, if you are not an experienced project manager, the first step would be to find one of these to run your project. In order for a project to succeed, make sure that you have the scope, objectives, outcomes, resources and sponsorship all in place – doesn’t that sound simple !

    Finally, here are a few aspects that have worked in similar situations :

    Use a pilot group to address a sub-set of your firm’s knowledge, but also get the pilot group to produce a framework and the processes which will be used across the organisation.

    If HR define job roles and procedures then that is a natural area for you to take part in or to run.

    Choose a pilot group whose role is intrinsically knowledge-rich (e.g. it’s probably more relevant to involve an R&D function or an IT area than the cleaners).

    Look for a way to pigeon-hole the firm’s knowledge – anything that looks simple will probably be OK.

    Then, work out how each pigeon-hole of knowledge will be managed : do you need an overall editor (in HR?) or a team of editors.

    Look for ways to “reward” or at least recognise those people who do share their knowledge : HR can suggest what would work in your firm.

    Make it an objective for every employee to provide at least one contribution to the knowledge base, and for each manager / department to make as many contributions as they have staff – again, HR may be able to define the rules here.

  5. What Knowledge ? Buy-In
    I have recently researched and initiated knowledge management initiatives within a large organisation whilst in contact with a guy in the States who had attempted the same. Knowledge Management is a huge subject which should be well researched however I would recommend the following:-
    1/ Identify the knowledge to be managed (Is it tacit or explicit etc)
    2/ Before Managing the knowledge you have to address the culture and the environment (knowledge can be viewed as power and also a gift. Its either not given easily or there must be some return. This takes some time.
    3/ Take bite sized pieces where possible, so that it happens almost without people noticing. Big initiatives can be frightening for some.
    4/ It will not work without stakeholders and management support and buy in. Many are still not bought into the benefits to the company as they measure this with profit only.
    I wish to the best of luck. Knowledge Management is an ongoing project which once started never stops but I have to say is extremely rewarding and very interesting.


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