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Forming a Community of Knowledge Leaders: Turning Knowledge into a Driving Force in the Organization

1 May 2024
Michal Gil- Peretz
A group of people putting their hands together

These days, we are engaged in establishing a community of knowledge leaders in a large organization. A community of knowledge leaders is a group of employees in the organization, holding a variety of roles, excelling in their professional knowledge, who have been chosen to be knowledge leaders, a role they will fulfill in addition to their main role in the organization.

The main goal of such a community is to promote knowledge management culture throughout the organization, by nurturing these knowledge leaders as ambassadors of the subject. Nurturing the knowledge leaders as a community helps encourage them to act in the spirit of this goal. The existence of a community of knowledge leaders can be a significant and important lever for knowledge management in the organization. The knowledge leaders themselves can serve as a model for knowledge sharing, and thus develop the entire organizational culture in this direction.

To establish the community, we have formulated a short and concise training course, to introduce the world of knowledge management to the participants, and to provide them with basic tools that will assist them in initiating knowledge management activities in their unit, to encourage their peers to share their accumulated knowledge for benefit of the organization, to deal with possible oppositions, and in general to instill the subject of knowledge management among their unit’s employees, in order to create an organizational culture that grows bottom-up. During the course, the participants were exposed to a variety of topics, including:

  • Basic concepts in knowledge management

  • Solutions for sharing, preserving, developing, and making knowledge accessible

  • Mapping and prioritizing knowledge needs in the organization

  • Digital platforms for knowledge management

  • AI and knowledge management

  • The role a Knowledge leader

  • Knowledge retention

  • Change management

  • Knowledge communities

  • Organizational culture

Following the course, the main challenge is to consolidate the knowledge leaders as an active community. This is undoubtedly a significant challenge. Here are a few examples of the topics we have to deal with:

  • Embedding knowledge sharing culture requires a conscious change. Usually, employees are used to hoarding information or acting as knowledge silos. Convincing them to adopt openness, collaboration, and knowledge sharing can be very challenging.

  • People tend to resist change, especially when it affects their daily habits or existing practices. Instilling new behaviors, for example, sharing insights, may encounter resistance.

  • The knowledge leaders themselves are busy with their daily tasks, and allocating time for community activities, participation in events or discussions on knowledge sharing may further burden their regular activity, and cause them to shy away or avoid community activities.

  • Without appropriate rewards, employees may not prioritize participation in the community. Recognition and appreciation for performing activities related to knowledge management in their unit as well as in the entire organization can motivate knowledge leaders to contribute to the community’s activities.

  • Unsuitable or outdated technology platforms, lack of user-friendly tools can interfere with communication flow and make it difficult to share knowledge among the knowledge leaders themselves.

  • Communities require frequent nurturing and maintenance. Maintaining interest, relevance, and engagement over time requires constant effort and adaptation to reality, on the one hand, and allocation of appropriate resources, on the other.

It is worth remembering that dealing with these challenges includes a combination of strategic planning, efficient communication, and continuous feedback. Overcoming these challenges can contribute to the success of the community itself, and thus also to the success of the organization.

Here are a few tips that can bring the knowledge leaders’ community to the forefront of knowledge management in the organization:

  • Regularly, at least once every quarter, it is recommended to organize events and activities that allow knowledge leaders to connect with one another and enhance their expertise in technical domains, soft skills, and management tools. These activities should include lectures and exercises aimed at developing professional competencies related to knowledge management. Occasionally, it is beneficial to hold such events outside the organization—perhaps through study tours or by collaborating with parallel communities in other organizations. These initiatives foster stronger relationships among knowledge leaders, encourage open communication, and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences gained both from their regular work and their roles as knowledge leaders.

  • In addition to collective efforts, it is advisable to provide personalized support to the knowledge leaders. This involves assisting them individually and privately in launching and promoting knowledge management initiatives within their respective work units.

  • Encouraging community members to collaborate on joint projects related to knowledge management can yield significant benefits for the entire organization. By working together on these projects, multiple knowledge leaders can have the opportunity to share insights, learn from one another, and foster positive relationships.

  • Ensure the availability of communication and knowledge-sharing platforms within the community. For instance, consider establishing discussion groups or online forums where knowledge leaders can freely exchange insights, seek answers to their queries, and engage with fellow community members. Additionally, encourage knowledge leaders to participate in professional groups on social networks. These groups provide exposure to the latest news and innovations in the field of knowledge management, which they can then share with both the community members and their colleagues within the organization.

In conclusion, with the help of the knowledge leaders’ community, we aspire to promote knowledge sharing culture within the entire organization, and to celebrate together shared achievements.

Each of us plays a vital role in driving change, and together, we are constructing a brighter future founded on knowledge and effective knowledge management.


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