Analysis of a strategic KM role description
This post is an analysis of a KM role description, taken from a recent job vacancy, identifying the core elements of a strategic KM leadership role.
The job vacancy appeared last week on LinkedIn, and is for a Knowledge Management Manager at Shell, in the Hague.
The full vacancy note appears at the end of this blog post, and I would like this as an example of a high level KM leadership role, driving KM in full support of business priorities. I point out a number of elements in this role description which combine to make this an excellent example of a strategic role KM. I have marked these elements *1* etc, and discuss them below.
Key elements (my analysis)
- The first point is that this role starts from a clear Vision for KM; to become a learning organisation where ideas insights, lessons and best practices are shared and applied for business benefit (“leveraged”). This is good – clarity of vision leads to clarity of role.
- This role builds on a solid foundation – Shell have been a leader in the KM field for decades; winners of the global MAKE awards from 2009 through 2016, and have all of the basics of KM in place. This role is not about introduction or implementation of KM, it is about application.
- For Shell, the focus of KM is on delivering value, measured in monetary savings through efficiency improvements. The Vision mentioned above translates into profit. There is absolute clarity on this.
- This role is part of a strategic plan, with defined strategic priorities. The strategic priorities are to strengthen and extend what already exists (with a main focus on communities of practice), to bring in new areas of technology where these may extend KM capability, and to strengthen existing internal linkages.
- Number one accountability is value delivery. The job holder will be measured against the value delivered, with a $1 billion target. This is not a support role where the role-holder can work in the shadows; this role is about serious enabling of the business through KM, with a big-money target at stake in the very short term.
- But there is a longer term aspect to the role – to shape KM for the future
- And to continue to evolve Shell’s KM Framework.
- The last three requirements really speak to the nature of this role in using KM to deliver value to the business. First the holder must be able to translate business needs into KM solutions. They need to be versed in Applied KM.
- Secondly they need change management experience. This is one of the main competencies of a KM leader.
- Thirdly they need excellent diplomacy, negotiation, communication and stakeholder management skills. This person will not deliver $1 billion in value on their own – they will do it in partnership with the business.
Role description follows; my notes above are indicated by the asterisk-bracketed numbers.
Knowledge Management Manager
The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition – Peter Senge. *1 * We want to make Shell a learning organization. Where people can leverage all the lessons and best practices learned in one asset or project and leverage those in another asset or project. Where we have vibrant communities that share ideas and insights across the world.
We have taken the first steps
*2*Over the past 6 years, we have built a comprehensive set of structures, processes and applications supported by Working Out Loud behaviors, and implemented this Solution across Shell’s Technical Functions and C&P. This program has touched approximately 43,000 Shell staff in Technical Functions. *3*A total value of over US$480 mln has been delivered through application of key practices in Shell’s business activities. Our ambition is to achieve US$ 1 bln by the end of 2020.
We need your help to take the next steps.
In Shell’s Projects & Technology (P&T) business, we are looking for a Knowledge Management manager to help us achieve our ambition, building on the foundations and taking the next step in the journey (4)which consists of 5 key priorities for 2019-2020
- Sustain KM in Technical Functions, Strengthen and continuously improve the completed KM implementations in the Technical Functions and C&P
- Leverage the communities to improve asset & project performance in close co-operation with the project excellence organization and the production excellence organization
- Support new and emerging communities including in digital, new energies, etc.
- Further develop KM solution accelerated application of new digital technologies that, by building on the established infrastructure, will make access to Shell’s knowledge even easier. This includes more focus on mobile technology, further integration and leveraging of data sources, and using advanced analytics and visualisation methods to support the creation of insights from knowledge, with the goal of pro-actively making critical knowledge available to those who need it at the time they need it
- Strengthen the KM foundation for RDS further integration of KM into Shell’s Organization Development & Learning (OD&L) portfolio, ensuring that a wide range of possible interventions is being considered when addressing business challenges.
The main purpose of this role is to lead Shell’s KM journey to deliver the priorities summarized above and to define and deliver what the journey should look like after 2020.
- *5*Deliver the KM plan for 2019-2020, with an aim of delivering US$ 1bln of success stories by the end of 2020.
- *6*Shape and drive Shell’s KM journey beyond 2020.
- Lead and coach a team of professionals.
- Manage several key cross-functional and cross-business communities in order to deliver the overall KM plan.
- Drive stronger collaboration with the OD& Learning Managers/Advisors to build integrated solutions leveraging the best of what OD&L has to offer (Knowledge Management, Learning, Change Management, Continuous Improvement, etc.).
- *7*Accountable for further defining and delivering the development of Shell’s broader KM solution (in terms of processes, behaviours, tools, ways of working, etc.).
- Deliver key metrics, champion success stories and use cases where KM has created and enhanced value for the company.
- Drive an RDS wide agenda experience in delivering a cross-functional / cross-business KM Agenda
- Team leadership Leading a virtual team experience of working within a global team in a virtual and high-ambiguity work environment.
- Business acumen and understanding of all Shell’s businesses, organizational issues, challenges and needs would be beneficial.
- *8*Performance consulting experience in diagnosing the root causes of business and functional challenges and translating those into possible relevant KM Solutions
- *9*Change management experience experience in driving change journeys.
- *10*Stakeholder management ability to build confidence and manage stakeholders across the organization and at all levels and build effective working relationships/networks.