Section 1: Leaders need to communicate authentically

  • Using corporate-speak, buzzwords, cliches, and other tired and familiar expressions
  • Having a ghost writer create a memo, speech, or script
  • Appearing in person or on video and coming across as stiff, formal, and impersonal
  • Talking or writing in a one-way direction, without listening
  • Using boring forms of presentation such as slides filled with bullet points and text
  • Use a very personal voice, not corporate-speak, to tell real stories.
  • Talk about what you and your team are working on in a practical way so that others will better understand the work and how it relates to the rest of the team.
  • Ask questions, request comments, and then reply to them.
  • Ask for suggestions, and then follow up to communicate implementation plans or why suggestions will not be implemented.
  • Answer questions.
  • Share ideas, links, and tips.
  • Regularly visit local offices and place phone calls to members of the organization.
  • Speak at internal and external events and training sessions.
  • Post, reply, and praise in internal and external communities.

Section 2: Act boldly, learn by doing, and share your point of view

  • Create or adopt an idea, brainstorm with trusted colleagues to refine it, and then pilot your innovation as soon as possible.
  • Demonstrate your implementation to other leaders and other interested parties, get users to adopt it, and prove that your concept works.
  • If you meet resistance within your organization, position your implementation as a prototype. Ask for forgiveness, not permission, from formal authorities, and work with them to transition your new process or tool from pilot to production.
  • Read articles, blog posts, and books about your industry, areas of responsibility, and fields of interest.
  • Actively participate in relevant training, industry conferences, and communities of practice.
  • Gain practical experience by adopting new technologies, trying out processes and tools, and volunteering for roles that will take you out of your comfort zone.
  • Publish articles, blog posts, and books about your experiences, philosophies, and insights.
  • Post your ideas in communities of practice, solicit feedback and ask questions, and reply to the questions and comments of others.
  • Present regularly within your organization, to other firms, and at industry conferences, and invite others to do the same. Learn from others, incorporate their good ideas, and evolve your thinking.

Section 3: Lead by example, practice what you preach, and model desired behaviors




Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager

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Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager

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