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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Knowledge Management & Knowledge Conscious Management

(Via Slacker Manager.)Martin at mopsos writes Eighteen Commandments Of Knowledge Conscious Managers. These ideas may be very difficult to introduce in 20th century organizations,or those thatdo not recognize mastery of knowledge flows as a source of competitive advantage. Excerpts with edits:
1. Don't always challenge. Welcome one another's thoughts and opinions.
2. Experiment constantly. Enlightened trial and error outperforms the planning of flawless intellects
3. Release the need to be right. It's OK to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. If you punish failure, you destroy entrepreneurship, stiffle innovation and in the end you harm the company.
4. Know by doing, so that there is no gap between what you know and what you do. The first responsibility of a manager is not to manage people and budgets but to have a hands-on practice of his/her mission. Position without competence results in disaster. Competence without position results in helplessness.
5. What you know does matters, but who you know and who knows you matter even more.. Acknowledge that it takes time, effort and travel money.
6. Don't refer to internal organizations. Talk about specific people. -Organizations cannot be trusted, because they are impersonal, complex, and change every 24 months anyway. People and communities however are far more resilient and trustworthy.
7. Consider internal client-supplier relationships as the worst possible form of internal collaboration- this is the epitome of bureaucracy. It damages the social capital of the company and paralyzes its ability to solve problems for the customer.
8. Before deciding on a plan, always ask with whom the plan was discussed. - Reject all proposals and action plans bearing only the signatures of your staff. The value-add of a corporate manager is not to come up with bright ideas, but with ideas shared with other stakeholders.
9. Involve people collectively in your thinking. Using managerial authority to deploy programs and plans from the top-down generates compliance at best, but never commitment. If you want people to adopt your views and act accordingly, you must engage into meaningful conversations with them, and not "cascade down" or "communicate messages".
10. Management is not so much about delegating to individuals than about organizing and empowering groups.Effective action ("execution") in a big organization is all about coordination and synchronization. Speed of execution is best achieved by self-synchronization of competent people who understand and trust each other.
11. It's not about giving objectives. It's about making sure they understand your intent.If they really understand your goals and if it makes sense to them, they will figure out what to do by themselves.: It is by far more difficult to articulate a clear intent than to give objectives.
12. Never give targets without negotiating them first.Giving quantitative targets without negotiating them with those responsible for making it happen is bad management.
13. Deliver high quality information and develop shared situation awarenessDon't hoard information from your staff.. Don't work on a "need to know" basis.
14. Balance planning for the future with learning from the past - Balance market studies, action plans, specifications etc. with case studies, lessons learned, good practices. Spend half of your time reflecting on past experiences. Commitment to the past reaffirms the company’s identity and culture.
15. Don't promote people that sound smart, but those who make sure that smart things happen. –"It is the promotion process, stupid!". Be convinced that the company's promotion process is the primary driver of employees' attitudes.
16. Don't expect dedication from someone who fears for his job -All efforts are stalled by the fear of job loss.
17. Never manipulate your staff. - Employees are hypersensitive to inconsistencies and incoherences across organizations. They immediately detect every single sign of manipulation when they hear conflicting messages. Establish trusted relations with your peers first. Trust is the bandwidth of communication
18. Get yourself a technology coach - Communication and collaboration technologies are dramatically changing. E-mail is dying. Those who oversee this will be left aside of the most important knowledge exchanges of the planet.

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