Silos were built to prevent risk, but that risk may unintentionally target your company’s creativity in how it aggregates and spreads information. Don’t forfeit knowledge management because you view connectivity as an insurmountable technological challenge.
Change management is all about overcoming fears in order to achieve a greater good. Similarly, if businesses can overcome their fears, digital learning in industries that need it most will benefit. Hear how Kelly Titus from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center accomplished the seemingly impossible task of transferring tacit knowledge.
Kelly Titus: The silos that are built for hospitals to be great places also create a place where you can’t be risky and try things like digital learning. I literally spent so much time in rooms with people saying, “We can’t do this. This is insane.” You can’t let staff write whatever they want in a Wiki. And I had one executive sponsor that was a hire up person that was all in because he saw what a difference it could make and that we were losing money by not making a change like this.
The Wiki existed, and it was out there, but really the only people using it in my hospital were the IT groups and they were just talking about reporting and how to build reports. No one was really getting this really tacit knowledge out into the world and sharing it with everyone and making any connections with that.
If you don’t get everyone involved in knowledge management, the people have to be involved. So everyone always thinks we’re going to buy a million dollar blog and we’re going to hire all these consultants and they’re going to make all these maps and then we’ll have all the knowledge. But if you don’t get the people on board who actually have to share their knowledge and then keep it going after the consultants leave, it’s going to die.
When you try to do knowledge management, they take people out of the equation because they think it’s a technology thing. But it’s not about technology, it’s actually about how people share the knowledge. So you have to have that to make it keep working. You have to keep connecting. You connect people and pages. So the pages get connected, but we actually have amazing things happen where people actually met in real life after seeing each other’s pages and saying, “Oh my gosh. This process touches my process, but we’re never meeting.” So how can we better help the patient by having those two processes actually happen and talk about it in person and not just write about it on a page.
The reason I think change management works around this and people aren’t doing it enough is because change management is getting people to overcome their fears and to really be a part and put their heart into something, if you do it right. And the way you’re going to share knowledge is for people to care about it because they want to feel proud about, they know something and I want to share it. And they want to connect with other people and collaborate because that will be better patient experience, better money coming into the institution so we can help patients. So it helps that cycle keep going.
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