A place to share ideas, thoughts,
best practices, and questions about KM in
a government environment
BACKLASH OF CHANGE
July 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm #105397
I have a theory that Knowledge Management involves change management and, because most people dislike change, this leads toward a dislike of the person initiating or suggesting those changes (ie, the Knowledge Management section). What do you think of this? If true, how can it be countered?
July 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm #105407
People may dislike chanegs as they are proposed or as they are being implemented. If the change results in a real and substantial improvement for them, most people will not end up disliking the change in the end.
So what you want to do is to ensure that the changes that you initiate or suggest end up resulting in real and substantial improvements. Make sure that they keep associating you with the change at the end phase, when they are reaping the benefits, not just at the beginning phase, when they are worrying about the effect.
Then they start to associate you with positive experiences and like you.
Of course, this only works if you can establish a good track record for bringing in real improvements.
July 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm #105405
Thanks. Thinking about it more (and answering my own question) I realize that a lot of it is a leadership issue. The answer to the backlash against knowledge workers by those who hate change is leadership clearly, publicly being an advocate of both the change agent (knowledge worker) and change. Without that support, change cannot happen, especially in closed systems such as the government. And there is a limit to how much the knowledge worker can try. Some leaders will never “get it”, while others will. In the former case the knowledge worker can rest assured knowing the seed was planted in the organization and in the latter the knowledge worker can help the savvy leaders reap the benefits by offering resources leaders need to make decisions.
July 20, 2010 at 9:33 am #105403
All of the above is right on the button. Change requires leadership and drive and vision and you need to communicate all that to the people who have to live with and work with the end result. One thing on top of this is the need to involve staff in the change process. From the initial conception right through to the sign off. If you keep people involved, then it’s THEIR change too.
July 20, 2010 at 11:39 am #105401
If by Knowledge Managment section you mean the IT shop, I am afraid you have a very steep hill to climb. Federal IT across all departments and agencies has a 40 year track record of overbloated, over budget, behind schedule and under performing projects. It is very difficult to take them seriously when they propose anything new. Although lately they have reversed their role from initiating change to stiffling it. End users proposals are commonly dismissed with “Good idea but it is incompatible with our systems.”
I think there is considerably less backlash to change if it originates somewhere other than the IT departments. But then you have to get the new idea past the CIO.
November 19, 2010 at 3:13 am #105399
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