A few months ago I wrote about the same topic but from a different point a few Do you work in a sticky organisation? after seeing Victor Newman at the Henly KM Conference. I really like Nick’s views on this and I will see if I can use it in my work.
Nick says “I had a nasty virus a couple of weeks ago. I caught it from my wife, who had brought it back from New York. For about a week I hd no voice, and was awake all night coughing. But with the help of Lemsip and Strepsils, I fought it off after a while, and am now back to normal.
The problem with the viral introduction of knowledge management, is that most organisations have very good immune systems. They are very good at overcoming and rejecting new ideas, and generally fight them off after a while. As a body overcomes and destroys an infection, so the habits, routines, dogmas, and “not invented here”s can overcome and destroy even the best innovation. This explains why so many KM initiatives start well, flare up like a fever, then 6 months later have disappeared completely, and the company is “back to normal”. (see also Victor Newman’s post about Sticky organisations where by Sticky he means Resistant to change.)
We need a way of reducing the barriers, of reducing the rejection rate, of making KM more like a transplant to be incorporated, than an infection to be fought. That’s where management need to be involved. They need to welcome the initiative, and to dampen down the resistance. The immune system needs to be suppressed long enough for KM to become embedded into the fabric of an organisation like a transplant is assimilated into the body.
Think Transplant, not Virus.”
I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. This little presentation looks at
- Communities of Practice What’s it all about
- Organisation Benefits
- Ingredients for Success
Hope you like it.
Originally uploaded by laverrue
I picked this up via John Tropea at Content Management Connections based on Matt Simpsons post and I agree with Matt, as this constantly happens to me.
“I had a meeting today with a manager who thought he could create a community. He was troubled that the community didn’t really work well. It really made him angry.”
“Now, you might ask yourself, how in the world can a man create a community? Aren’t communities made of people? Aren’t they voluntary? Don’t they form when people gather together and interact with one another voluntarily based on something they have in common and actually recognize themselves as members of a persistent group? Yes, of course.
So, I asked the man, how did he do it? He showed me.”
The Manager progressed to create an online space and filled it with member ID’s and appointed someone to facilitate it.
“His major frustration was that the assigned community manager hadn’t taken his role seriously.”
“…we talked a bit about the concept of communities… about voluntary membership and participation… about the self-selecting nature of the membership itself… about the need for leaders to self-select from within the membership and identify their own topics. This is a typical flow of discussion, which, when given enough time and insight, eventually changes a person’s entire outlook… from manager to gardener. Communities form and emerge naturally. They can be encouraged and facilitated; But they can’t be engineered and determined.”
And a magical summary if I’ve ever heard one:
“A man can no more create a community by filling out a form on a webpage than he can make a fruit tree by taping fruit to twigs and twigs to a stump.”
For those of you that can watch Youtube at work this video from Jose Vazquez talks about how the Homeland Security in the US are using Communities of Practice as a First Responder.
Jose talks quickly about how these communties are being used to deal with the oil spill and solving crime. But then goes on the look and feel of the online resource.
Which has a lot of similarities to our CoP Platform at the IDeA