January 11, 2009

Who Do You Incentivise?

The need to manage intellectual assets has long been recognised by companies but it is interesting to see that countries now see the need to do the same thing. The Scottish Government have sponsored the Intellectual Assets Centre and I note that Thai Government have expanded the mission of the Office of Knowledge Management and Development (OKMD), a state agency specialising in knowledge facilitation for Thai society to promote the creative economy through a revamped website and a training programme for executives. Knoco is a business partner of the Intellectual Asset Centre in Scotland and having done work for high profile clients in Thailand, perhaps the OKMD will invite us to partner with them to assist them to deliver their objectives?

“How do I incentivise the workforce to share their knowledge?” is a common question on discussion forums. After many years consulting and implementing knowledge management I tend to respond to this question when it is asked by saying “You don’t”. Now this normally gets a fairly puzzled look so I then go onto to explain that I think that a far more effective way is to incentivise the manager.

If the manager is incentivised to have knowledge sharing and re-use in their personal and departmental objectives, they will set the expectation for their staff that it will happen. They will also put in place a governance process to verify and measure that it is happening in the manner in which they wish it to.

So if you want to incentivise knowledge sharing and re-use, try incentivising the manager rather than the workforce. You might be pleased by the results.

Knoco Ltd