Knowledge Management – Leadership Behaviours Which Encourage Knowledge-Sharing

The concept of knowledge management or knowledge sharing makes intellectual sense to the leadership teams in most organizations. Why will we not learn from our successes and mistakes and implement that learning into value?

However, there is often a gap between conceptual understanding and their own behaviors as leaders – and this can be a problem?
How do you engage leaders both intellectually and emotionally in ways that make aDifference to their day to day behavior? It requires more than a series of competency frameworks!

The following examples are learning from the best-selling Fieldbook "? Practical knowledge management from leading and learning organizations", made written by Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell Fly.

Example 1) In BP, known known for his knowledge-sharing culture has developed to strengthen the top management a habit to "learn from others' when they visitedoperational sites.
Imagine the scene: the director or senior VP comes, and given the usual tour of the site. Contact with the management team and review the performance of the company, as measured by the specified KPIs. One of these indicators is not met at present. What happens when they identify the problem?

"Have you thought about the approach X? Addressed performance issue Y? Changed widget Z?"

.. produces a set of behaviors.

"Who else do you have with spoken and on other sites that may have a similar problem? "
.. take an entirely different set of behaviors.

This is the route decided to take BP, too; management visits are opportunities for strengthening the value of learning from others, but as opportunities to their seniority by underscore "the answer".

Example 2) If the directors of energy and essential services company Centrica, met to discuss how to improve > Exchange of knowledge within the company, agreed to a series of practical "management challenges" for executives in the organization:
How can I show in person that "to ask for help is a sign of strength rather than weakness?
When meeting a business problem, how can I reinforce the importance of learning from others – rather than just one answer?
When inspecting a project or investment proposal, I have requested to ensure, that it brings to bear> Knowledge of other projects?
How do I respond when someone does not – it's only a loss to the economy, or is it an investment in education?
View my team failure than anything, learn anything or cover up?

These sorts of questions and challenges brought to life the concept of knowledge management in a tangible, practical ways.

What would work in your company?
If you could question five challenges to your leadership team, what would youchoose?


Chris Collison is a renowned expert in knowledge management and an experienced practitioner in the management and implementation of organizational change from a people perspective.

As a best-selling author, he has presented to the public on business schools and at conferences around the world and is a regular contributor to specialist knowledge management publications. Chris has in collaboration withHeads of State and Government at the highest levels of many public and private organizations, the exchange of practical experience he gained while working in BP's knowledge management team and created his deep understanding of human dynamics of major changes.

Visit the "learning to fly" website at


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