Hear a CEO’s view of the Knowledge Sharing culture change
Very few CEOs have written about KM, and even fewer have spoken about in on video. Here is one example, which helps us to understand the CEOs view of the topic.
This video of Bob Buckman, CEO of Buckman Labs, was recorded in Greenwich University in 2006, and in the video Bob describes the approach to KM used by Buckman labs, and the reasons behind the choices they made. He makes some very interesting points, and I include some of them below the video window.
“Knowledge can take many forms, but the principal ones we are concerned with are either written down, or between the ears and behind the eyeballs. Our experience indicates that about 90% of the Knowledge in your organisation is here (taps head) not written down. And what is typically written is frequently out of date as soon as you write it down. Therefore if we want to be dynamic as an organisation we need to focus on this stuff (taps head again) not what’s written down”.
“If you have 5 people sharing knowledge around almost anything, you will get a very high quality response out of the process. It’s almost an automatic quality control mechanism”.
“(In KM) we have to provide benefits to each individual as they try to define their personal time equation of work. People will use those systems that provide them benefits in doing whatever they are trying to do, and I will be very honest – if it doesn’t provide those individuals with enough benefits, they won’t use it, no matter how good your IT people think it is”
“We want to leverage Knowledge through networks of people who collaborate, not networks of technology. Connectivity begins with groups of people who want to accomplish something for the organisation beyond the face to face world. Technology is the tool that makes the connections.”
“People networks leverage Knowledge through organisational pull rather than centralised information push. I don’t know of any individual in any organisation today who can deal with the amount of stuff which is pushed out to them… So focus on satisfying the need for help in solving real problems in real day to day operations, not at pushing information at your people”.
“As we expand an individual’s span of communication through technology, you automatically begin to expand their sphere of influence. And as that span of influence expands, your individual expands and their value increases, both to the organisation, and the individual becomes more valuable to themselves. Think in terms of giving your associates the same opportunity to expend their own span of influence as if they were all promoted to CEO of the organisation. That’s scary I know, but that’s what we have done, and it works”.
“We have got to move from hoarding Knowledge to gain power, to sharing Knowledge to gain power. If I hired a PhD tomorrow and they didn’t share anything they knew with anyone else, their value would be zero. So if you have people who do not want to share, their value is nowhere near as high as those who do want to share”.
“Now you are not going to get there from the direction of the IT department, though I hate to say it. When we talk about culture change it’s got to be led by those who are in command, not the IT department. If you are throwing the monkey on the IT department’s back, you are doing everyone a disservice”.
“Reduce the number of transmissions of knowledge to 1, to reduce the level of distortion of that knowledge”.
“The greatest Knowledge base in the company is in the heads of the individuals associated in the company, so we have to give everyone access to everyone else in the company across the organisational barriers to communication. We have to go across the organisational silos of the organisation, and that scares most people right there”.
“Sharing of Tacit Knowledge by the users will generate the content to update the Explicit Knowledge of the company”.
“Individually we are all vulnerable to being beaten, but by collaborating together we can win in any situation, We need to focus on the importance of harnessing the minds that are in our organisation, to meet our needs anytime, anywhere. It’s the most powerful weapon you have available in the competitive arena today”.