About Me

My photo
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Chief Knowledge Officer, The Knowledge Management Institute of Canada; Senior Advisor, Knowledge Management, Organizational Effectiveness, Husky Energy

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Building Cultural Capacity for Innovation and Excellence

It has long been acknowledged that one of the chief aims of Knowledge Management is to encourage innovation through a concerted, focused effort to continually advance beyond current best practices. As well, the field of study has advanced to the point where it has become generally accepted that sustaining innovation requires the creation of an organizational cultural and a prevailing mindset amongst employees and leaders committed to this goal” (B. Melnick 2013)

The June CKM will explore strategies and methodologies for designing a “culture of innovation” while demonstrating an immediate, measurable return on investment necessary to solidify the commitment to change.

What do we mean by organizational culture?

“Organizational culture is a set of rules, standards norms [insert: “values”] shared by members of an organization, transmitted by learning and responsible for governing [Insert: “actions”] behaviors of its’ members” (Nelson & Jermaine, 1987)
In essence it’s  “How we do things around here”

Changing a culture is time consuming, challenging and at times, seemingly impossible. So why do organizations do it?

Cultural change typically occurs under four conditions:

  1.  The launch of a new organization or a new division within the existing organization
  2.  When organizations merge or are acquired
  3.  When an organization is open to cultural evolution
  4.  The “burning platform” - when a crisis situation emerges which requires the organizations to examine and change how they do things

A strong organizational culture fosters effectiveness, productivity and creativity, through improved collegiality, communication and collaboration amongst employees. It ultimately increases the likelihood that change and improvement efforts will be successful.

Knowledge Centric Cultures

Knowledge centric cultures are ones where the pursuit of “new knowledge” is the shared goal of everyone in the organization.

At all levels of the organization, knowledge creation is valued, recognized and rewarded  Every task, activity, and project is approached with a mindset of “continual improvement”

Knowledge centric cultures build commitment, create a shared responsibility for successful outcomes; foster motivation and amplify energy in their commitment to innovation.

They do this by increasing the focus of daily behaviors on what’s important - Ideas, rather than tasks and activities; Continual improvement, rather that completion; New knowledge instead of old - All in pursuit of a shared commitment to innovation and excellence.



“The first large scale challenge (before developing the culture) is to identify the desired culture and be able to articulate & communicate the compelling need for it” [N. Halpern, 2002]


No comments:

Blog Archive