Monday, March 23, 2009

Hiring into the KM-Culture...

KMers never tire of talking about a 'KM culture' being the backbone of a KM initiative. A KM culture being one that believes in and celebrates sharing, collaboration, reuse, learning, mentoring etc. I've, personally, had the opportunity to realize the importance of creating and enabling such a culture since my initial days as a KMer. One of the things that occurred to me was, however, the need for - to the extent possible - identifying and hiring people who are - in the first place - known for their collaborative beliefs and capacities (the famous willingness and ability test). In this context, I guess a great way to discover the potential employee's willingness and talent for collaborative and community-based endeavors is to dig into her past and find out whether she was, for example...

- a part of a group of children in her neighborhood who worked together in order to accomplish something/have their demands satisfied
- a part of a group of children who attempted to solve or solved a social problem or, perhaps, helped the neighbourhood adult society in their own small way
- a part of a school/college community that was associated either with its administration, or recreational activities, or representation in other external forums etc
- a part of a small group of students who believed in group discussions and study in order to understand something or invent something
- a part of a similar interest group dealing with either academic topics or extra curricular activities like music, literature, team games etc

If the potential employee happens to have been party to one or more of the above-mentioned activities, I think it would be an excellent sign of the person fitting into the KM culture in the corporate world. It would undoubtedly indicate their understanding of the wisdom of crowds and the power of collective thinking/work. While on the topic, I think there is also a clear difference between a candidate's regular participation versus a leadership position. Someone hungry for leadership positions in such groups may not necessarily be a great fit into a KM culture in case her hunger was associated more with the gaining of power and fame rather than a genuine desire for excellence through collective thinking and collaboration! But this is not to be mistaken with candidates who emerge as natural leaders while in a community.

Is your organization serious enough about KM to assign significant value to such characteristics and experience?


HS SANDESH said...

Hi. Awesome blog with great content. I'm seriously in love with the way you write articles. I mean i can imagine the way your mind things when you sit in from of your computer and start pouring your heart. Anyways I'm HS Sandesh from Bangalore and it would be my privilege to have your link on my site. Can we exchange Links..?? Have Fun..CHEERS

Nimmy said...

Hello Sandesh! Thanks a million for the kind words! :-) Don't know what to say except that I hope to be able to continue writing and of course get better at it. I looked up your blog and loved one of your posts where you muse about life and fate! Hope to be able to join some of the discussions on your blog very soon! Cheers!

sukumar said...

very interesting insights Nimmy.i worry about judging people based on what they did when they were a kid.

In the modern context, one can see if they have a thriving blog or a twitter account or a social network on facebook or orkut or elsewhere.

Nimmy said...

Thank you for the response, Sukumar! Your idea of looking at whether the candidate has a thriving blog/twitter/social network is spot on! Agree that it will go a long way to prove the candidate's interest in sharing/collaborative endeavours. I guess the activities I speak of may very well lead to the candidate adopting a virtual avataar as order to leverage on the power of collective thinking and collaboration in today's global village!