The Knowledge Management Culture Shift

Great blog post from Nick Milton , all about the Knowledge Management culture shift. I’d seen this before, but worth repeating since I think it encapsulates the key elements of collaboration in successful communities of practice, a key area of work I’ve been involved in for the past 4 years.  It’s a useful exercise to consider these points as both an individual and as part of a group/community exercise to gain a perspective of where you , your organisation or your community are on your KM journey:

  • From “I know” to “We know”
  • From “Knowledge is mine” to “Knowledge is ours”
  • From “Knowledge is owned” to “Knowledge is shared”
  • From “Knowledge is personal property” to “Knowledge is collective/community property”
  • From “Knowledge is personal advantage” to “Knowledge is company advantage”
  • From “Knowledge is personal” to “Knowledge is inter-personal”
  • From “I defend what I know” to “I am open to better knowledge”
  • From “not invented here (i.e. by me)” to “invented in my community”
  • From “New knowledge competes with my personal knowledge” to “new knowledge improves my personal knowledge”
  • From “other people’s knowledge is a threat to me” to “our shared knowledge helps me”
  • From “Admitting I don’t know is weakness” to “Admitting I don’t know is the first step to learning”

Nick goes on to comment:

That shift from “I know” to “we know” – from “Knowledge is mine” to “Knowledge is ours” is a huge one, and counter-cultural to many of us. People can find it scary, but once it has been achieved, it is like living in a different, and far better, world.

Agree with that, and have never underestimated how difficult it is to achieve this cultural shift.Within the context of communities of practice it reflects a view of knowledge as the property of human communities and places the emphasis on connections between people and cultivating, recognising and supporting a shared learning experience.

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