The role of corporate management in KM

Everyone has a role to play in KM, but what’s the role of corporate management?

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I pointed out last week that corporate management is one of the stakeholders for KM, and that they have certain needs from the KM program, but with these come responsibilities. Senior management support can make or break KM success, but what role exactly do they play?

Here are the highlights.

  • Managers need to endorse the knowledge management program, and be seen to be giving it their support, perhaps by drafting, endorsing and promoting a KM Policy
  • The endorsement extends to providing resources within their part of the business – the knowledge managers, the subject matter experts, the KM team. 
  • Managers need to help steer the KM program in their part of the business – to work with the knowledge management implementation team in order to help them understand which knowledge is strategic for the specific business unit or business group, in order that knowledge management activities can fully support the strategic business agenda. 
  • Managers need to lead by example. Knowledge management is not something which will only be done by the junior grades – the managers need to be involved as well. 
  • Managers at all levels need to take the lead in their part of the business in setting an expectation for managing knowledge. They need to make it clear what they expect to see 
  • Assuming managers have set expectations as described above, they need to follow up on these expectations. The organisation will be watching closely how senior managers deal with people who shirk their KM responsibilities.
  • Managers need to recognise and reward wisely, if knowledge management is to survive. It will send a very negative message if senior management reward and recognise the wrong behaviours, such as internal competition or knowledge hoarding. 
  • Managers need to provide challenge to the business; to continuously improve in what they do through applying knowledge from others, and to share their knowledge in order to help others to improve. 
  • Managers need to provide challenge to KM; to audit what they are doing, and continuously improve the KM Framework in support of the business.

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Shared by: Nick Milton

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