Q&A: Managing a new knowledge management strategy when your team won’t buy in

In our recent webinar, Creating Institutional KM Change that Sticks, our expert panel shared lessons learned in implementing new knowledge programs.

In this series of posts, Jennifer Crippen, Senior Consultant at DB Kay & Associates, and Dave Cutler, VP of Customer Success at Venafi, are joined by Irrevo’s Knowledge Strategists, Melissa Burch and Laurel Poertner to respond in detail to the questions our audience shared during our Q&A session.

How do you deal with individuals or teams who don’t want to use the “single source of truth” and maintain their own sources of info? Do you push them into your KM flow, or meet them halfway and encourage them to share what they have developed?

Melissa Burch:

Luckily, within organizations there are always more who are eager to participate than those who actively resist. Acknowledge those who are participating in knowledge sharing as you have visualized. Put the spotlight on those individuals and teams by publicly acknowledging their contributions toward the strategic objectives. Leave those who are not cooperating out of these conversations. Take advantage of the natural tendency of people to want to be accepted and acknowledged. Keep messages coming with consistent messages that articulate the vision and strategic direction. Soon you will see fewer and fewer team members who resist the changes you are visualizing.

I would add a caution though. If there continues to be individuals and teams who are actively resist, then you need to step back and evaluate the organization with a critical eye. Evaulate as objectively possible and look for the common mistakes made by leaders. Are they guilty of losing focus too quickly? Have communication and messaging been consistent and frequent enough to be effective? Does everyone understand their role in meeting the strategic objectives of the organization? Do the measures used by the organization align to these new strategic direction? It is never too late to adapt. Persistence is the most important leadership characteristic in times of change.

Laurel Poertner: 

It may be more about timing than anything. If the KM program is relatively new and the single source is still ramping up, you may want to give them more time to see the value. Ask yourself what outcome you are trying to achieve. Is it to bring new employees up to speed faster? Is it giving customers more resources and information before they call support? Focus on the outcome and how the team or individuals can impact that. Find the “What’s in it for me” answer to help them see the value for themselves. Once they do, they will freely share and move knowledge into the single source.

Learn More

If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch a recording of this webinar. Stay tuned to the Irrevo blog for more Q&A from this session, and follow us on Twitter to be the first to know when we share new answers.