Q23- Know-how (=Knowledge) without “Willing-to”

In 2006-2007 the Asian Productivity Organization put together a team of nine National KM Experts to produce case studies of good KM practices from nine Asian countries. As Chief Expert, I headed the team and also edited the resulting publication which came out in 2008. In the last chapter on Concluding Observations of that publication, I noted that almost all of the 22 good-practice organizations employed one or more ways of motivating knowledge workers. Read about these methods at the Change Management section of the CCLFI website (click the link labelled “Motivating Knowledge Workers” on the right side of the webpage).

Lesson from Asian KM case studies: Good KM practice is often accompanied by various approaches to motivate knowledge workers and/or organization-wide change management approaches.

This finding is consistent with our ten years of KM training, advising and consulting experiences at CCLFI. CCLFI is a leading KM service provider in the Philippines. We compiled 21 case studies of KM initiatives in, or supported by, multilateral and bilateral development organizations that CCLFI had assisted. We found two behavioral indicators that an organization is committed to KM: appointment of a KM officer and allocation of funds from its internal budget. We also found that the following approaches are effective for starting and sustaining a KM initiative —

  • Look for or encourage visible forms of support from top executives
  • Look for or nurture a KM champion from among top executives
  • Organize and train a cross-functional KM team, which will take the lead to —
  • Formulate a KM roadmap aligned with the organization’s goals, responding to current issues and problems, and suited to its organizational context.

Lesson from Philippine KM case studies: It works well to recognize and nurture various forms of commitment at various levels of the organization.

I wrote about the above lessons from Asian and Philippine KM case studies in an article that will be published next month by the Knowledge Management for Development Journal. In the article, entitled “Organisational energy and other meta-learning from case studies of knowledge management implementation in nine Asian countries”, I introduced a new concept, “organizational energy” and concluded that —

Know-how X Willing-to (or Wanting-to) = Effective Action
or
(Tangible assets + Knowledge assets) X Organisational energy = Effective Action

In short, a knowledge worker may know how to do a job well, but if he is unwilling to do it, no effective action will happen.

Do you agree?

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