Monday, June 8, 2009

Pollination-a way to spread Knowledge!

Global organizations always find it extremely difficult to manage a natural way to spread Knowledge-or connecting knowledge as it is more popularly known.
Older people in developed economies know a lot by experience, by being part of evolution or by being the concept originators. They are an asset to the organization and there is no question about the value they bring in. How willing are they wanting to spread this knowledge to newer economies, how much they want to hand hold is another topic-usually it is very little willingness to part with knowledge. There can be several reasons-insecurity, let them learn the hard way or the standard reason used is "there is no willingness to learn and adapt to our standards". This last one is true to some extent as most new economies have young people who are faced with aggressive managers with a zeal to deliver quick results-make it work somehow is the mandate they have. This makes them focus on day to day more than trying to extract knowledge lying elsewhere-primarily driving out standardization.
The byproduct of this when there are initiatives like training or competence building there is not many people from these emerging economies representing as they see little value. This is a real challenge as it proves the theory of the experts for not dissipating knowledge. An approach leaders can take is what I call as "Pollination" approach. When I walk in the roads last 2 months in Sweden-there is so much of pollens in air. Some land inside noses making us sneeze or even worse creates allergies. Bottomline is a lot go waste but some land in right places and germinate to sustain next generation of their life. If a plant thinks that 98% of its pollens are a waste so stop this activity then the next generation is gone. Similarly a leader should accept that a lot of knowledge connecting activities will be not well received by most but will impact a few in a very positive way. These positive spirals will re-inforce more positive spirals creating a good knowledge base for future generations. This will break the myth that people do not want to learn as they are comfortable with local ways of working. This will create a platform which everyone will colloborate. Not easy but I see no other way. If we worry about the waste we stop pollinating knowledge which will make us worser.

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Gothenburg, Sweden
Still finding introspecting to find who am I? Waiting for a Guru!