Collaborative software usage LO27071

From: Verschoor Emma 6174 EVERSCHO (
Date: 07/27/01

Replying to LO27003 --


At the organisation I used to work for, which is now world-renowned for
its knowledge sharing culture, we encountered a similar problem.
Initially when we were setting out to build our knowledge repositories we
had a difficult time encouraging employees to contribute their "best
practice" work to be shared with the rest of the firm.

Eventually, and this took several years, we put in place the following
initiatives which helped to drive the sharing of information throughout
the organisation:
 - as part of the annual review process, each person in the organisation
had to identify what they were doing to "build best people" - we had to
specify the unique knowledge which we had contributed as part of the
projects we worked on to the firm's knowledge bases - our performance (in
part) was assessed on this
 - as we became more senior within the organisation, we were expected to
develop an area of "thought leadership" and provide discussion papers on
this which were circulated throughout the knowledge bases
 - on each project we conducted, we identified a person or group of people
to be the "project historians" - they would collect the best practice
information generated, sanitise this if required, and ensure that it was
populated into our knowledge bases
 - obviously all of the above initiatives had to be driven from the
top-most levels of the organisation to be successful - the key being to
measure in part people's performance based upon what they contributed and
whether they were sought out by others to provide advice on certain topics

Part of the reticence to share information often comes because people are
either modest or lacking in confidence that what they are doing is in some
way of value to others. Pretty quickly though, if people are given the
responsibility for doing a piece of work that they have never done before,
they will seek out the advice of the knowledge databases to conduct this
work. The benefits are slow to materialise, but they become very obvious
when the knowledge base is sufficiently established with good quality
material. The challenge then becomes one of being able to search for what
you want, and archiving the old material which has been superseded!

Good luck!


Verschoor Emma 6174 EVERSCHO <>

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