Geert Willems

Geert Willems

vrijdag 31 januari 2014

Unleash trust in KM

Trust can be described as existing out of the willingness to increase vulnerability with persons you can't control, in a situation where the possible disadvantage is smaller than then possible loss, when those other people decide to abuse this vulnerability".

This willingness is key in knowledge management.
Since you only have a good knowledge sharing when this willingness is available.


There is something unique about knowledge management and knowledge sharing. Knowledge sharing MUST happen volunteereliy. You can do many things to force employees to share knowledge, but in the end these methods will not be effective.

Without trust, there is no fun in work.
Where there is trust, there is no fear - fear for colleagues, fear for management.
Without trust, persons and the company can not grow in knowledge maturity and knowledge sharing.

Everything what existis in a company which decreases trusts decreases knowledge sharing.

Without trust values and motives of others are easily interpreted.
The communication is distorted in a company where there is no trust.
If there is no trust, good ideas are not that easily recognised and accepted.
Without trust, it is difficult to get the needed information leading to frustration.
A lack of trust leads to multple control mechanisms, again preventing knowledge sharing.
When there is no trust, there is no self control, but control from above only - decreasing motivation, and knowledge sharing.
Without trust implementations are slowed down.
In an atmosphere without trust there is more defensiveness, hostile reactions and refusals.

Trust on the other hand, stimulates innovation, leads to a higher emotional stability, facilitates acceptance and openness and supports the taking of justified risks. 

Forcing employees can work up-to a certain level, but if the actions do not enforce trust, they will be counterproductive.
A huge responsibility is for the management, not only building the trust, but monitoring trust in their company networks. Scans are available for this.
Building up trust, good examples can be rewarded, but in the end the culture will be changed so that not trusting is just not accepted within the company.

Without trust there is no feeling of safety, there is no motivated staff. There is no knowledge sharing.

I know companies who don't accept this philosophy and still keep 'represive' control. They say it works good enough for them. They would think different if they would unleash trust in their company.

Without trust, you're blocked.

Next to mapping this the management needs to get behind the idea that trust is so important. As for the whole knowledge management strategy, the management needs to be behind it. And for some it is not easy, or just not done to change their management style.

But when the responsible believe, and acts,
the results will be beyond expectation.

This is easily said, the traject can be complex - since you're working with people of which all of them are different. I'm not having it for teambuilding activities, although a few selected of them can really increase trust - if the team is open for it!

Note: trust must be accompanied by professionalism

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Trust is one of the items I'm really passionate for - book us for a workshop on this topic!

------------------------------Twitter - @GSWconsulting




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