Could this one-word change Learning Organisations and Knowledge Management for the better?
What is the driver for your Knowledge Management or Learning Organisation (system) project – is it obsessed with failure or is it obsessed with avoiding failure?
Those of you that read my blog will know of my frustration with an obsession with rear-facing Knowledge Management and Learning Organisation (systems) – for example, purely reactive Lessons Learned programmes that fail to consider the impact of the lesson and anticipate the probability of reoccurrence in the Lessons Learned cycle times/process, structure, behavioural response.
The problem with many Knowledge Management and Learning Organisation (systems) programmes are driven by a focus on the past. For example, I often hear these wonderful words (I have even been guilty of using them myself):
We are obsessed with failure
Such comments are rife amongst advice given for improving/attaining high commitment, high performance, high reliability in the systems and project management world. The problem is that the approach (language) drives a focus on reactive structures, processes and behaviours (e.g. traditional Lessons Learned – Post Action reviews – when something happens we will get to the root-cause and we will limit the risk of this happening again).
Being this “reactive” is actually low-level maturity when considered on the following scale:
Reactive - Proactive - Strategic - Anticipatory
I accept that an optimised Knowledge Management or Learning Organisation (system) will be working across such a continuum. However, the default language used, in being obsessed with failure, does an organisation few favours of it nudges functions to reactive processes, structures and behaviours.
Now, what happens if we change the default setting (starting conditions) through the addition of a single word?
We are obsessed with avoiding failure
- What improvements could you make on behalf of your organisation by focusing on avoidance?
- What impact and results could you create by making avoidance the driver (language) for your Knowledge Management and Learning Organisation (system) structures, processes and behaviours?