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The Role of the KM Implementer in Ensuring Positive Change

Whether you are the change sponsor or a change agent/project manager tasked with driving the change effort, developing a clearly articulated business case for the change is key, according to Ann Marie DiNardo, user adoption & stakeholder engagement lead, REI Systems, who presented a session at KMWorld 2018 titled “Creating a Positive Change Culture.”

The 22nd KMWorld conference was co-located with Taxonomy Boot Camp 2018Enterprise Search & DiscoveryText Analytics Forum ’18, and Office 365 Symposium at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC.

While the scope and the visuals in DiNardo’s presentation covered the whole domain of systems implementation and change management, the session focused primarily on the role of the KM implementer as a change agent to ensure user adoption of change.  It particularly stressed the use of KM techniques to create the culture to facilitate such changes, and that KM perceptions and the KM mindset were an excellent basis for managing change—and creating a culture receptive to change.

To accomplish change, the base needed is to develop and understand the business case for what you are trying to accomplish. Without that focus, you are in danger of floundering.

Having established the business case, then it is important to determine who will be impacted and how.

The stakeholders need to see the vision and understand the business case, but they will be primarily concerned about their own needs, and whether those needs are being addressed.  The change agent needs to not only understand the stakeholders’ needs but also respond to them, and be seen as responding to them.

The process of managing change can be thought of as having four steps. First, the stakeholders need to be informed, informed with involvement, not merely passively informed.  The second step is preparing the stakeholders for change—elucidating what is in it for them, and how they will be affected.  Third comes empowering the stakeholders, creating involvement in the change process.  The fourth step is reinforcing openness and ultimately the commitment to change.

One needs to think of these four steps and how they will be implemented on at least three levels, management, staff stakeholders, and customers or partners.

The key takeaways from the session were:

• KM tools and technique are instruments for collaboration and creating and sustaining a shared understanding of the case for change.

• People make change happen but they need a vision they can believe in to get there and support to make the vision a reality.

• Educating stakeholders through knowledge sharing helps reinforce the business case and creates a culture to support stakeholders through the change.

Many speakers have made their presentations available at www.kmworld.com/Conference/2018/Presentations.aspx.

KMWorld 2019 will be held November 5-7, 2019 at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC, with pre-conference workshops on November 4.

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