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How Can Top Management Play a More Active Role in KM?



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[Transcript of video interview with Nancy Dickson, President, Common Knowledge Associates, at the KMWorld 2015 conference.]

Q: How can top management play a more active role in KM?

A: Knowledge management has been, for the most part, a front-line effort. It's been peers talking to peers across the whole organization. It's been a lateral movement, but it has not been a vertical movement at all. What we've wanted is the support of top management to provide the resources, to encourage people to share their knowledge and so forth. We've never asked the top of the organization themselves to do knowledge management.

But they also are involved in projects. They're trying new ideas and they need to be learning all the time from those ideas, so they need to be doing after-action reviews, retrospectives on big projects that they've been involved in. How are we, as top management, doing? That's a knowledge management area as well.

Managers have been taught that they're the problem-solvers of the organization. In many ways, they are. But as we move to more complex issues, these issues that no one seems to know how to solve, their role needs to be added to so that they're not just problem-solvers. Around those difficult issues they need to be convening people to solve the problem rather than trying to invent every solution themselves. That's a very different role for managers now in knowledge management, but it's one we now are turning to because of the complexity and the speed with which we now have to work.

 


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