22 November 2009

Leverage the knowledge in your company by first transforming it into a process based organization

I am increasingly a supporter of the principle that it is more efficient and increases the chances of success to leverage organisational knowledge with a stealth approach, meaning not in a direct open way, but indirectly and without advertising it as THE objective. The less a company’s culture is conducive to knowledge sharing (see my list of corporate culture traits not conducive to knowledge sharing) the more this principle should apply.

In the majority of organizations today, performance is measured and rewarded functionally usually at department levels. This generates departmental silos where knowledge is at best hoarded for internal consumption.

But when performance is measured only through formally defined intra-departmental processes, managers and staff will naturally focus on supporting the processes as efficiently and effectively as possible. For each cross-company process, this will mean sharing all the relevant knowledge between all the individuals/teams/departments directly involved in the process and therefore responsible for part(s) of it. A process-based organization naturally breaks down departmental silos: if a process fails, all participants fail.

So, in other words, reingeneering an Organization’s operations and structure around clearly defined cross-company business processes is an effective indirect way to foster value adding knowledge sharing.

I will not doubt write more on this subject soon.