You don’t have to go it alone to sell KM to others in your organization. Take advantage of outside help by scheduling visits with others who are doing KM well, joining and participating in KM communities, using industry analyst reports, or using an outside consultant.
If you decide to seek outside help (and I believe you should), and you plan to schedule visits with other knowledge managers who are “doing KM well”, it’s important to prepare. First, identify people to visit by attending conferences, listening to webinars, participating in communities, and reading publications, blogs, and books. Good advisor candidates are people who make a major impression, are engaged in similar efforts, or are in the same industry. Of course, as you are seeking out these advisor candidates, you are continually learning!
Once you’ve identified and approached a group of potential advisors, prepare as you would for any informational interview. Below is a list of questions that should lead to a rich conversation about promoting knowledge management to leaders and end users. Be prepared to share your own experiences in these areas; peer mentoring is bidirectional.
- To whom have you had to sell KM within your organization?
- How did you go about it?
- What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?
- How do you educate stakeholders and users?
- How do you communicate with stakeholders and users?
- How do you motivate people to demonstrate the desired behaviors?
- How do you work with IT?
- What other functions do you work with, and how do you work with them?
- What are your top three tips for selling KM?
If you’d like to read more on this topic, please consider my latest book, published by Lucidea Press, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program, which offers a broad range of advice and insights drawn from my career as a KM practitioner.