Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Don't Rock the Boat

At a previous firm, I was hired mostly based on my expertise and reputation in the field of knowledge management, with the idea that I would help change the existing KM organization based on my experience. What I found when I got there was a lack of other KM expertise in the organization, a strong resistance to change, and a reluctance to implement new approaches based on my suggestions. It was a large organziation with political infighting, an over-inflated self-assessment, and a very conservative and risk-averse approach. When I suggested an improvement to how communities collaborated, I was told that this was inconsistent with the culture, and that a less-efficient method should be used instead. I learned that new expertise is not always appreciated or valued, especially if it threatens the status quo or power structure of the incumbents who lack that expertise.

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