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Knowledge Champions: What are they?

Knowledge Champions

Knowledge champions are Knowledge Management (KM) leadership roles appointed to one person from each department. They report to the central knowledge manager. These people promote, support and communicate knowledge management initiatives within their departments. By combining these activities they help ensure your new KM strategy can have the best possible starting point.

KMChamp

Your typical activities will be a part of the following categories:
Advocacy: Spreading the message and importance of KM.
Support: Acting as representatives for the initiatives and as a source of contact for feedback.
Knowledge Brokering: Here they help link their departmental colleagues to resources normally outside their immediate context.

Advocacy
Advocates, supporters, campaigners, activists and movers for KM in their department. These people are the first points of contact for KM in the company and should be the loudest. Activities that they participate in include:
– Encourage knowledge sharing and learning behaviours in the company.
– Lead by example in the company.
– First point of contact. They are a reference point for anyone in the company.
– Gather and communicate feedback from colleagues to the central KM team. Determine the impact of KM strategies.
– Lead awareness sessions. This include briefings at department inductions and KM orientations.

Support
They support and bolster new initiatives and help the main KM team with new strategies. Activities include:
– Represent their department in KM briefings and strategy meetings.
– Provide new insights and suggestions for the main KM team.
– Play a role in the department level projects to be support, coordinate and delegate KM resources.
– More feedback to the main KM team.

Knowledge Broker
They have the resources, the support and the right attitude to show people where they can find the knowledge they need. This is all about networking and resources.
– Network with other knowledge champions.
– Be aware of the news strategies and resources available to the company, inside and out.
– Give feedback and suggestions to new areas of knowledge that might have been missed by the main KM team.
– Share best practices with other champions.
– Identify major knowledge needs of the department.

Going a step further
Here are some more points to get the best out of your Knowledge Champions:
– Give them ownership of the departments KM.
– Create a competitive atmosphere but comparing their effectiveness between champions.
– You could also compare the satisfaction rates of KM and their champions.
– Align special personal and departmental rewards.
– Make the champion position enviable so that competition is fierce just to get elected to the position.

Summary of a knowledge champion:
This people are picked for their influences and motivation to see the knowledge management initiatives succeed. They can be used in a variety of ways but their core mission is to be a guiding and supportive influence on each department. These are lieutenants to see a KM strategy succeed. Use them however you want but they are one of your best resources!

Tim Jackson

The author Tim Jackson