Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Knowledge Transfer

Knowledge transfer, information and change should be communicated in a way that will not trigger people's natural defense mechanism and resistance. Ideally, it should be demonstrated by practice and coaching and introduced gradually (however, that is not always possible). The process should also have a human, personal touch. Bombarding people with documents, links, articles, plans is a dangerous way to go. If too much information is presented at once, especially in an impersonal form (email, for instance), it never gets read or understood and, a priori, is considered a threat or something that is worth resisting to or, in most cases, a useless managerial caprice. Change is easier to implement if the team is prepared in time, by sending those documents way in advance and request comments on them, by talking about the advantages and issues, by asking questions to identify possible threats and bottlenecks (no, you don't know everything and everyone has a valid point of view), by fostering learning and identifying and naming issues with the present setup. Talk, be personal, ask, understand what others are saying and remember that knowledge transfer should always be bidirectional.

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