KM and OD – follow up

Piers looked at my earlier post on OD and KM and says:

But aren’t the insights KM bring to OD just as valuable? If you focus on the organisation and process too much, then don’t you squeeze the creativity out of your people, and with that, your ability to adapt?

I agree entirely. Good OD initiatives are focussed on unlocking the value that each of us as individuals gets into an organizational setting.

Jack Vinson and Terrence take the dialogue forward. In fact, the perfect sync between KM and OD will emerge if Knowledge Management systems emerge out of Organizational diagnosis.

The diagnosis must also go deeper into issues:

Why are people not sharing knowledge?
Is it an infrastructure issue or a will issue?
Are they engaged with the larger organizational ramifications? Do they care?
What drives groups in the organizations? Does a KM solution make sense?

Very often, the KM solution has to ‘make sense‘ to the organization. It should be the OD folks in the KM implementation team who need to bring their insight to the table. KM’s goal should not be tool implementation but final benefits of the intitiative – higher productivity and more creativity and innovation.

About Gautam

Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

Posted on October 27, 2005, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hello,
    you wrote…
    Why are people not sharing knowledge?
    Yes that’s the crucial question. I’d like to add another facet: “Why should they?” In these times of uncertainty knowledge and experience are the only things people can use to make themselves indispensable, exactly that what companies try to avoid. In former eras people sold their physical strength, today they sell their know-how. Why should they give it away? It’s the only ace they have in their sleeve.


  2. Gautam:
    Work done by Nick Bontis and Jac Fitz-enz points in the same direction.
    It essentially addresses how aligning good HR/OD policies with KM impact business performance?
    Quoting some interesting research implications from the paper:

    “employee sentiment, as defined by satisfaction,motivation and commitment, has far-reaching positive impacts on intellectual capital management, knowledge management and ultimately
    business performance.”

    “Employee commitment has a positive influence on knowledge
    generation (+ 0.491). Knowledge integration is preceded by process execution (+ 0.394) and is followed by knowledge sharing (+ 0.262). Finally, knowledge
    sharing will occur, if value alignment (+ 0.285) is evident, and this can lead to a reduction of human capital depletion.”

    Managing employee sentiment seems to be at the heart of a successful KM initiative.Perhaps this is the reason why organizations without a “formal” KM program still manage to flourish.(??)

  3. Very much agree! 🙂

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