April 25, 2010

Leadership impact on knowledge management

Leadership is what we have been taught and talked a lot in the course. We all know the importance of leadership to a company. Now what about it on knowledge management. 

Basically, knowledge should be necessarily managed by people in order to become helpful and applicable. Therefore, the effectiveness of applying knowledge management is in accordance with people's performance. Leadership is an essential part in business. Unless leaders like knowledge management, it wouldn't be recognised in a company. There are three ways which I think it should be done by leaders are: initiate, encourage and facilitate. 

Whatever employees do, they all require directions from company, leaders exactly. Work overtime, raise wages, cut benefits are all decided by leaders. People won't work overtime if not asked by leaders. Wages won't be raised if not being told. It doesn't mean that initiating KM could eventually make it work. But this is the first and compulsory thing leaders are supposed to do if they want to promote KM. Like investment, leaders need to do things first regardless of whether succeeding or not.They should create a communication environment first, build up a certain structure to form an understanding of how KM benefits both company and individual. Employees' fears of sharing won't disappear by having such environment. Then what else leaders could do.

Encourage, right! There are three kinds of sharing: full sharing, partial sharing and no sharing. As leaders, we need to analyse why these different types exists. Full sharing is coming from those who are really thinking themselves as a part of the company. These people are happy to see the improvement of the company. Obviously, they will benefit from what they are doing. In fact, These people are models and should be rewarded and supported. Secondly, partial sharing shows people want to share though have some fears and threats on after sharing. They select what to share and when. The contents they share could be useful, but much less than the precious one. Leaders should do more to remove these obstacles by offering more protective rewarding for employees to open their minds. In MBE, we are in a safe environment to share. NOT for our own purposes, but for the improvement of the whole course. We won't be kicked out if we share all of our knowledge. Our own interests won't be damaged but boosted by sharing knowledge. Finally, no sharing people could be shy or don't want to. We can't force people to share. But what we can do is coach them to find out a way that what stop them to share knowledge and that make them aware that the benefits of sharing knowledge to them as well. I don't agree with SACKing people because they don't share. That's not fair and not effective leadership.

Facilitating KM is about providing resources to make it happen. Physically, it could be things like database, software, documentation and so on. Also, It should involve leadership coaching in facilitating application of KM. It is difficult to make KM work when only relying on physical resources. leadership is essential in popularising KM culture.

KM could be a part of Learning Organisation. and it is a key factor to support OL.


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  • with my understanding and thinking, i absolutely agree with your points. Investment is a very much i… by on this entry
  • hey Zishang! Thank you for your blog. From your reflective, it seems to be difficult to bring knowle… by on this entry

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