Nancy Dixon is a university professor turned consultant. Her work is focused on increasing collaboration and knowledge sharing in the workplace. It involves cultural transformation, using dialogue as the agent of change.
She has found that the capability to get on top of the unexpected more quickly does not lie inside the head of any one person. Instead, the mind is located between people, in the quality of their relating.
Nancy’s interests include hybrid teams (the best of virtual and face-to-face teams), knowledge management, and conversation. Her books include Common Knowledge: How Companies Thrive by Sharing What They Know, CompanyCommand: Unleashing the Power of the Army Profession (with Burgess, Allen, Kilner and Schweitzer), The Organizational Learning Cycle: How We Can Learn Collectively, and Perspectives on Dialogue: Making Talk Developmental for Individuals and Organizations.
Nancy and I have spent time together at many KMWorld, APQC, Midwest KM Symposium, SIKM Leaders Community, and Columbia University events. She is an active participant in SIKM Leaders Community discussions.
SIKM Leaders Community
- October 2007 Presentation — Knowledge Harvest Facilitation with Kate Pugh
- December 2013 Presentation — 3 Eras of KM: Where Has it Been and Where is it Going?
- April 2018 Presentation — The Art of Creating a Trusted Space
- November 2023 Presentation — Hallways of Learning
- Amazon Author Page
- Company Command: Unleashing the Power of the Army Profession
- Knowledge Management Matters: Words of Wisdom from Leading Practitioners
- Common Knowledge: How Companies Thrive by Sharing What They Know
Table of Contents
- Common Knowledge
- Serial Transfer
- Near Transfer
- Far Transfer
- Strategic Transfer
- Expert Transfer
- Changing How We Think about Knowledge
- Building an Integrated System for Knowledge Transfer
Knowledge sharing begins with a request, not with a solution. No matter how much knowledge is presented at conferences, held in databases, or emailed to colleagues, knowledge won’t be reused unless a team has a need, something they are struggling with.
Managers sometimes tell me that people in their organization have a problem with sharing knowledge; but more often than not, people aren’t “asking.” The organization has an asking problem, not a sharing problem. When people ask, the sharing problem becomes moot.
How organizations talk about “asking” is critical. When company officials say to professionals, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” their words actually work against asking. Asking for “help” denotes helplessness. No competent professional wants that image attached to his or her performance. What professionals do need is to be able to tap into organizational knowledge that is growing and changing — to tap into what others are learning from their ongoing experience. I have labeled this step “scanning,” which connotes an active seeking for something of value.