Trust & Openness in Organisations LO21977
Thu, 24 Jun 1999 08:57:25 -0400

Trust & Openness in Organisations

Colleagues, I have a real life issue organisational Issue that I would
appreciate your insights on.

My own observations suggest that trust is a critical component of
successful knowledge management and essential to nurture knowledge
communities. It takes time and consistency, often scarce items in today?s
corporate world.

To offer a current and real life illustration from my own organisation; we
are currently designing a peer to peer system to help people identify who
has expertise, knowledge, experience to help them. Quite literally, who
has done this before, how, where, what were the lessons learned, etc. In
other words how do I learn from best practice and avoid re-inventing the

Part of this system involves encouraging people to have personal homepages
where they describe themselves. The big issues becomes, do we trust people
to describe themselves accurately, or must their input be validated by
management or HR? Remembering that this is a peer to peer system to help
and provide advice to each other, one would think that there would be
little incentive to boast or exaggerate as your peers would quickly see
though you and the market would 'self-adjust' accordingly.

This question perhaps seems even stranger when you consider that these
people are trusted with multi-million dollar investment projects and the
economic future of entire countries.

So I am left to consider how emotional an issue this is, But with the
fundamental belief that the ONLY way to proceed is through openness.

How do other peoples experiences/opinions inform this?

Regards, Laurence Smith.


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