How can an organisational culture be created that enables knowledge sharing?

Organisational cultures that enable knowledge sharing tend to evolve, rather than change overnight. It is rarely a logical linear process. It is often messy and takes a long time. The key is creating space, i.e. mechanisms and incentives, encouraging people to share, rather then hoard knowledge. The process should be demand driven – responding to an internal or external need for improved knowledge sharing – rather than just a “good idea” dreamed up by someone in the organisation. External pressure from clients, donors or partners can be a critical factor - internal and external alliances are essential to drive the process. It is important early on to create the space for informal exchange, and encourage internal champions to try out some new ideas. Living examples of improved KS within an oganisation are often the most effective way of convincing senior managers of its value. Establishing a holistic approach to KS throughout an organisation may require a major change process, which will require the support and active involvement of senior management. This may include:

Reviewing the Organisation’s Vision, Mission, Objectives and Current Programmes;
Intensive internal and external consultation, possibly including external consultants, and continuous communication to all staff (management included) through various routes, in meetings, workshops, seminars, publications, and on the web.
Reorganisation - KS seems to work better in Matrix organisations.
New personnel procedures which recognise and provide incentives for KS.

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