Originally posted October 24, 2017 & June 21, 2018 and October 31, 2017 & July 5, 2018

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Part 1: Knowledge Management Networking Secrets Posted on 10/24/2017

You don’t have to go it alone to sell KM inside 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 retaining an outside consultant.

As a KM practitioner, you are, de facto, a member of a large network of active professionals. You all face the same challenges, ponder the same questions, share the same frustrations, devise clever and strategic solutions, and jointly celebrate KM successes. In order to stay motivated, keep abreast of proven practices — and even to learn about what doesn’t work — as well as to share your own insights and celebratory moments, you must work to stay connected. Here’s one way to do so:

Schedule visits with others who are doing KM well

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.

When you meet with them, ask these questions.

  • 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?
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Part 2: Knowledge Management Networking Secrets Posted on 10/31/2017

There are many avenues available that let you take advantage of outside help when you’ve run out of ideas (or steam!) and need to regroup or re-energize. These include joining and participating in KM communities, using industry analyst reports, and interviewing your peers in other organizations.

During my career as a KM practitioner, I’ve learned a few secrets of networking to support continuous improvement and promotion of a knowledge management strategy. In Part One of this two-part series, I addressed how best to interview other KM professionals who are “doing KM well.” Here’s some advice on another way to take advantage of extra help — by working with an outside consultant.

Three steps to retaining the right knowledge management consultant

When selecting a consultant, use the following approach.

Ask the consultant to tell you three stories describing:

  1. How they helped an organization in need of their expertise
  2. How they developed and continue to improve their expertise
  3. A lesson they learned along the way

Then ask them to provide you with three lists:

  1. The names of clients and colleagues who can provide testimonials
  2. The names of other experts they respect in their industry
  3. The top opportunities and challenges for their industry

Finally, read, listen to, and/or watch the following:

  1. Articles, blog posts, and books they have written or co-written
  2. Interviews, presentations, podcasts, and videos they have given
  3. Similar content from the other experts they respect in their industry

If the three stories the consultant tells are relevant to your initiative, talk to the references provided. If they offer glowing testimonials, then take a look at the content provided. If it is compelling, then you can proceed to hire the consultant.

Lucidea has published my book, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program, which includes additional information on networking methods that help you continuously improve and promote your KM strategy, and much more.

See also:

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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