A couple of years ago I developed a simple approach to developing knowledge strategies. The premise was simple–that a strategy should incrememtally enhance the ‘knowledge environment’ and that this could be done by implementing a series of tangible initiatives. Each initiative should be coherent with how people view knowledge (the framework) and how they leverage the current infrastruture (knowledge environment)–while pushing forward both of these elements (see the above figure).
The strength of this approach lies in its focus on the tangible initiatives. But recently I have realised that this approach can be enhanced by applying Cynefin sense-making techniques to determine the nature of the initiative as part of the design process. For example, the project team might come together to decide the Cynefin domain for (say) the following initiatives: expertise location, document management, peer assist, communities of practice, and mentoring scheme. It is also possible to drill into a particular initiative and rerun the exercise using components of the initiative.
Then, based on the group’s agreed position for each initiative, design an appropriatre implementation approach is adopted. For example, if it is decided that a mentoring scheme falls in the ‘complex’ domain, multiple small interventions might be developed and monitored to see what happens. Adjustments can then be made–probe, sense, and respond.
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on: