Through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and knowledge reuse it is important to leverage different points of view, different experiences and different cultural backgrounds to stimulate diversity of thought. This diversity of thought leads to innovation. This innovation will enable organizations to deliver unique and or improved products and services to its customers as well as improve the way the organization does business.
Diversity of thought is encouraged and utilized today in the push by corporations to support Board Diversity in expanding the makeup of their corporate boards, through Affirmative Action programs to promote a diverse workforce and through a myriad of organizations that understand that diversity of thought will improve everything from our educational system, healthcare system, create new jobs, and improve how our politicians work together!
Communities of Practice (CoP) is a tool utilized within KM which provide environments where people can collaborate, catalog, and reuse knowledge centered around a certain topic, practice area, or profession, to name a few. This community will bring “like minded” people together regardless of their race, gender and/or religion to stimulate thought, exchange ideas and learn for each other. All focused on innovation, and improving performance. The need for diversity of thought will continue to be a catalyst for our culture to improve the way we live, work and play. I welcome everyone to share their stories where this diversity is happening, where it should be happening and where it has been successful or not!
An important aspect of any knowledge management strategy is to establish an environment of continuous sharing, collaboration and knowledge reuse. During the democratic primary and the presidential campaign the Obama team leveraged email list gathered partly through their internet site and their push for campaign donations through the mail, including list harvested during Obama’s run for the United States Senate. The emails were leveraged (and are still being leveraged) to push out information and knowledge to supporters, solicit donations and to solicit additional email list of people that want to get involved, partly enticed by the possiblility of winning certain promotional items identified by the Obama email (see example – http://www.pic2009.org/page/invite/tickettohistory).
The Obama team would utilized these email list, determine where in the country these supporters live and dispatch teams to these locations to mobilize these and other supporters to get out the vote for Barack. This process was repeated (reused) all over the country. This created a “grass roots” effort to gain support and votes for Barack Obama. The emails served as a vehicle to build organic Communities of Practice (CoP) for Obama, to disseminate knowledge and build support for the Obama campaign and subsequent presidency. This strategy empowered supporters to hold their own functions (lunches, dinner parties, other special events) to showcase Barack Obama’s message and to talk about the issues.
Through targeted email marketing, development of communities as vehicles to share knowledge, and creating and executing a repeatable process, established a foundation to a knowledge management strategy that was able to expand. I will post more about this iterative expansion of the Obama Knowledge Management Strategy as we continue this dialog. I look forward to all thoughts and comments.
Happy New Year!