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?