Henley Forum - Knowledge in action leaflets
Knowledge in Action leaflets
Download free leaflets of research output summarised for Knowledge in Action. Email the Henley Forum and we’ll let you know when we post a new Knowledge in Action summary.
Organisational change is difficult. And making those changes ‘stick’ is even more difficult, despite the existence of change management methodologies that purport to help with this.
Work can be stressful. And modern mobile technology – smartphones, laptops, and tablet computers – bring the workplace into the home, the weekend, or the holiday. Attention spans can fragment, work-life balance is affected, and users of mobile technology can – literally – find it difficult to ‘switch off’.
Collaboration is a vital competency – especially when it comes to effecting change within an organisation. And, although such collaboration can be challenging, individuals and teams can become better at it, as previous Henley Forum research has shown.
On their own, it’s difficult for individuals or even teams to effect organisational change. They need help – and help in the form of others, working to the same broad objective, albeit perhaps for different reasons and to further their own agendas. But how best to create those partnerships, and locate the right people to partner with?
Organisations’ middle managers perform two critical roles: delivering ‘business as usual’, and transforming strategic aspirations into operational change. So it’s vital that those managers are energised and engaged. But perversely, the very duality of the role that middle managers must play can have the opposite effect through the tensions that are created.
Based around real-life knowledge and organisational learning change initiatives within five real-life organisations, research undertaken by the Henley Forum ‘road tested’ three well-regarded change management methodologies. The result: practical insights into what worked, what didn’t – and why.
COPs are increasingly common within knowledge-based organisations. But how best to justify the investments made in supporting and fostering such communities of practice. Research by the Henley Forum into the practitical application of an approach known as developmental evaluation finds a number of advantages over traditional approaches.
Social media tools have been fabulously successful at enthusing and connecting consumers. So, not surprisingly, organisations are looking to harness those collaborative and knowledge-sharing technologies to reshape their business practices.
Capturing lessons learned during projects is a well-established practice. So too is the use of ‘lesson learned’ databases to store and disseminate these lessons. Yet many organisations remain dissatisfied with the return on their investments in such activities, seeing evidence of repeated failures to learn past lessons.
What is the value of knowledge management to those organisations that have invested in developing a knowledge management capability? Knowledge managers are always being asked this question, with mixed results.
For organisations to learn and adapt, their employees must also learn and adapt. Leaders in those organisations must develop the necessary relationships that encourage and facilitate individual learning. Leaders inspire learning – not just in respect of their own direct reports, but over a range of relationships with between peers – through interpersonal interactions that meet the learner needs.
Leaders exert a considerable influence on their organisations’ knowledge management characteristics. Leaders’ behaviour can determine the extent to which knowledge is sought for, learned, retained and shared. Positive leadership practices reinforce good knowledge management; negative leadership practices undermine it.
How organisations gather, value and share their knowledge differs widely. Barriers to knowledge sharing abound: one individual’s certain knowledge can be another’s hearsay and supposition.
At the heart of social media implementation there are tensions for organisations. On the one hand it provides a fast-moving space for connecting flocks of intelligent individuals to promote better business performance. On the other hand it is notoriously difficult to control.
In a difficult financial climate, it is essential that organisations grow and innovate. However, at the same time they need to be lean and efficient to survive. Balancing the two requires organisational ambidexterity. The question is how to build it.
Henley’s Knowledge Management Forum investigated how to improve decision making in organisations. The process generated real insights into how individuals can develop their personal capacity to become knowledgeable decision makers.
Research from Henley’s Knowledge Management Forum identified the five essential factors that must be worked on in an integrated way in order to improve the organisation’s ability to make good decisions.