Organization Therapy: group directing skills as an effective Knowledge Management consultancy tool
By: Noga Chipman-Steinwartz

Knowledge Management consultants can serve as a meaningful asset to any organizational project. They do everything from Identifying needs, analyzing needs, and developing new knowledge to knowledge retrieval processes or lessons learned. The consultant serves as an external professional consultant, evaluating the plan and its execution, offering advice, and making meaningful complementary knowledge accessible. Furthermore, consultants may also serve as a meaningful and professionally advancing figure due to acting as a director regarding interpersonal aspects. I therefore recommend adapting some elements from the world of dynamic group direction to optimally handle this process.

The discipline of group dynamics usually appoints the group’s director with the responsibility not for supplying the group with content but for creating setting that enable group members to express themselves, including all feelings, thoughts, and skills.

The group director is therefore responsible for the four following areas:

  • Emotional stimulation: a directing strategy which highlights and encourages the frequent expression of opinions, emotions, values, beliefs, and overall sharing by group members. The director conducts dialogue with group members and challenges the presuppositions they presuppose regarding themselves since disbalance is considered an essential component of learning and development.
  • Caring and compassion: a direction style that offers protection, compassion, and an invitation for all group members to search and provide insight, feedback, support, and encouragement. These are all key for developing trust and are the basis for providing meaningful, relevant content.
  • Assigning meaning: direction which highlights knowledge-enhancing conduct. Discussing the interpretation of the content provided by both director and group members thus attaining a better understanding an individual worker or group’s behavior.
  • Managerial-executive functions: suggesting rules and norms and adhering to them, setting goals, time management.

A Knowledge Management consultant interested in promoting meaningful work, leading their group to attaining organizational goals, growing, and developing as a unit must be acquainted with these four roles and execute them.

Emotional stimulation may be very relevant to processes in which the director senses that the organizational unit and the consultees are wasting time repeating the same themes already handled and wishes to encourage creative thinking to promote new unexpressed content and needs. Sometimes, shattering the familiar conversation paradigm may be a catalyst for emotional stimulation and discuss new opinions, thoughts, and ideas. For example, ordering the unit to chart their work process and its challenges or great advantages. You can suggest they create a collage from newspaper clippings describing the worlds of content they focus on or request them to write a recipe for a dish that is the desired product.

Caring and Compassion must be manifested in KM consultancy processes. At the end of the day, the workers feeling that voicing their opinions and experiences would not risk their future but actually be commended will determine whether they will active contributors or complacent participators that will assist in identifying real needs and required solutions.

 

Assigning meaning is the heart of the consulting process and advancing Knowledge Management in the organization. The consultant’s contribution will occasionally be lauded not for the solutions they import to the organization but the processes, dynamics and relationships that are played out in the organizations day to day routine’ that are seldom discussed and usually not apparent to most, that they identify.  For example, an organization in which not all workers feel comfortable to share lessons learned and insights based on past experiences, fearing this will lead to anger or accusation. Exposing this dynamic is the first step in enabling and promoting a learning organization.

Managerial-executive Functions are also critical for a good Knowledge Management consultant. For example, maintaining a schedule and the project’s boundaries ensures the budget and objectives are kept in mind and ensures that perfectionism does not lead us to not completing the project and producing an actual project.

 

In conclusion, you can see that there is much to be adapted from the field of dynamic or therapeutic group direction to be implemented in the world of KM consultancy and organizational consultancy at large. Mutual learning by both worlds of content will enable professional excellency and support the effectiveness of KM projects in the different organizations.

References:

 

Lieberman, M. A., Yalom, I. d., and Miles, M. B. (1973), Encounter Groups: First Facts, New York, Basic Books

 
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