This chapter will look at how to introduce KIM in organizations and how it works. We will examine how organizations are designed and how knowledge and information flows within them, what barriers can appear and how a know - ledge and information manager can tackle them. We will look at the challenges of introducing KIM, how different types of organizations respond to KIM initiatives and how you can work with organizational culture to achieve your aims. We will consider a range of approaches, from large-scale, top-down pro - grammes to small-problem-solving initiatives and strategies for success in different contexts.
Organizational culture and knowledge and information Management
Any area of work that uses learning, skills and know-how can benefit from KIM. In her book The Outrun (Liptrot, 2016), Amy Liptrot describes how her parents developed an operative sheep farm in Orkney. Her mother was brought up on a farm, so carried with her considerable internalised knowledge. Her father attended agricultural college and obtained formal skills. Once they had started their sheep farm, the family kept in touch with other members of the community and shared with them new techniques, ideas and problem-solving approaches. But there were specifics to the particular piece of land they were farming. Over a decade, they tried out different approaches until they found a set of practices which worked for their location. Finally, once established, the sheep themselves learned the best means of adapting to the land, habits which, as Liptrot described it, became inbred over generations. In this example, a combination of ingrained knowledge, acquired skills, knowledge-sharing, legacy learning and adaptation produced an organization which worked for its specific circumstances. Other factors which contributed were buying new technology and hiring staff with particular skills. KIM works in similar ways in organizations. The challenge for the KIM professional is to find the best ways of optimising all types of knowledge for organizational circumstances.
There is no ideal culture for KIM. The authors have worked in a range of organizational cultures, from the very liberal to the very conservative, and there are barriers to adoption in both areas. Liberal organizations with a relaxed working lifestyle and a mature approach to communication may embrace internal social media and be great informal knowledge-sharers.