Tag Archives: Knowledge Sharing

The Seven Deadly Sins of Knowledge Sharing in Networks

On 16th July, I was fortunate enough to take part in this webinar organised by NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement Team and Source4Networks, which posed the  following questions:

  • What are the barriers to sharing knowledge across your networks?
  • How can we learn from others to apply this knowledge to the NHS?

Chris Collison, author and expert in networks and knowledge management, was on hand to guide us through some of these critical barriers, namely the seven deadly sins – or syndromes – that can affect networks and stifle the supply or demand for knowledge sharing.

1) Tall Poppy Syndrome – Based on the idea that the tallest poppy in a field is the first to get cut down to size, this syndrome illustrates a reluctance to put your head above the parapet and a tendency to keep a low profile and not get involved.

2) Shrinking Violet Syndrome – Another “sin” that stifles the supply of shared knowledge in a network, based on a feeling of false humility, and that you have nothing useful to share.

3) Not-Invented-Here Syndrome – This syndrome impacts the demand for knowledge
sharing; the view that your organisation or team has a unique set of problems that can’t be
fixed by adopting other people’s solutions. Besides (the thinking goes) why use someone
else’s solutions when you can gain kudos for inventing your own?

4) Tom Tom Syndrome – Also known as Real-Men-Don’t-Ask-For-Directions Syndrome. A
reluctance to ask for help when you’re lost, due to a fear of being seen to be incompetent.
This “muddling along” approach is another barrier that stifles knowledge sharing by reducing demand.

5) Lacknowledgement Syndrome – The perception that by sharing good practice there is
somehow a “lack of acknowledgement”, and a suspicion that someone else will take the
credit for your hard work.

6) Lock-it-Away Syndrome – Here, a potential solution, idea or example of good practice is
not shared, either because it is never quite finished, or because everything produced by the organisation or team is locked down by default due to security policies.

7) Hamster-on-the-Wheel Syndrome – This “sin” comes down to time – or lack of it. A feeling that you’re just too busy going round in circles to stop and share what you’re doing.

A quick webinar poll indicated that this last “sin” was particularly prevalent, and something that most of the attendees were familiar with, but we all recognised the various other syndromes as well. Chris went on to suggest some antidotes, such as:

  • Make it safe to share
  • Think about use of language – e.g. looking for “answers” can place an unintended
    burden on people
  • Establish what “good” looks like, so the network has a frame of reference – e.g. using
    a maturity model for an agreed scale of good practice
  • Make it easier for people to ask for help – e.g. awards for things like:
    o Transferring good practice
    o Re-using a solution
    o Embedding a good practice
  • Share failures as well as successes
  • Acknowledge everything – where it came from etc.
  • Check what security policies actually say about sharing information outside the
    organisation
  • Legitimise the time spent sharing knowledge, e.g.
    o Establish a network sponsor
    o Find and share stories of things that worked

From my experience, we already have many of these antidotes in place in our LKS network in the South, but we all interact with networks at an organisational or directorate level, and personally I recognised quite a few of these deadly syndromes. I found the webinar
extremely illuminating,engaging and motivating.

For anyone interested in viewing the recorded webinar, you can find it here. For those of you who would like to dig a bit deeper, both Chris Collison’s and Source4Networks’ websites and twitter details are below:

Chris Collison: www.chriscollison.com / @chris_collison
Source4Networks: https://www.source4networks.org.uk/ / @source4networks

Andrew Brown
Library Services Manager
Wexham Park Hospital (WXM)

This article was first published in Swimming Pool, Issue 109, August 2018, p.7-10

Current Awareness/ Alerting Services Directory Launched

Today we are launching the Current Awareness/Alerting Services Directory which builds on the work of the Knowledge for Healthcare Current Awareness Services Task and Finish Group.

The Directory is designed as a finding tool with a built in way of sharing what you create for your current awareness and alerting services.  We have added some examples with one entry per organisation or person. We have also provided some best practice guidelines on creating current awarenes/alerting products.

In the Directory you can find:

  1. bulletins on a range of topics (but not new acquisitions bulletins)
  2.  CAS and alerting schemes
  3.  who has experience in using certain tools to create CAS and alerting bulletins or expertise in a topic (e.g. commissioning)

Most importantly you can share with pride both your knowledge and information on the bulletins that you create or schemes that you take part in.

We encourage you to explore the directory by going to the Current Awareness section on the menu.

We want you to help develop the directory so it becomes indispensable to us all.

Let us show what we are best at – collaboration (and maybe a little bit of borrowing and repurposing) and ensure that as many library and knowledge services as possible have an entry in the directory.

We are waiting to hear from you…

Kieran Lamb
Knowledge and Library Service Manager, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
kieran.lamb@stockport.nhs.uk

Linda Ferguson
Health Education England North
linda.ferguson@nhs.net

Part of Something Bigger – What it is to be an information professional

After many years as a public librarian, I moved into a new role at CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) working between the institute and employers in our profession. Having been public library focussed, I am now discovering our broad and beautiful profession as a whole. Much of my time and attention has been on Information and Knowledge Management, particularly in Government and Health.

When looking at the broader library and information profession, it is natural to look for the cross-sector similarities and differences. Whilst I recognise the differences, as my knowledge increases, I see more and more similarities. What unites us as a profession applies as much in health as it does in Government or public libraries. In my opinion, the following four common themes apply across the profession.

Information to our end user: Organisations rely on having the best available information accessible in an efficient way to inform decision making. This clearly applies in clinical decision making and in providing public patient information; however that end user could also be the financial director of a corporation or a public library customer or a commanding officer in the army. They rely on information professionals to provide accurate information in a timely way. Our ability to deliver that has great impact on the success of that organisation’s or individual’s outcomes.

Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB): CILIP’s PKSB is a framework that maps the essential skills and abilities across the profession. Whilst some sections apply more in certain sectors than others, the PKSB provides a comprehensive document to aid professional development and help information professionals to articulate both the broad and the deeply technical skills they hold. These skills are valuable and transferable. They will help us to adapt and evolve.

Professional ethics: Our professional ethics unite us across sectors. We endeavour to deliver the best possible services within our resources whilst balancing the needs of our employers and our users. We defend and advance access to information and demand the equitable treatment of information users. As a profession we understand the importance of impartiality, confidentiality and the integrity of information. All information professionals should be proud of these wide ranging and noble ethics.

Vulnerability to financial impact: This is certainly not limited to our profession, but we are all working in challenging financial times. The ability to advocate for the value of trained information professionals is essential across sectors. Being able to influence stakeholders about the importance of our roles and departments is clearly vital for us individually, but also for the benefit of the organisations as a whole. We add value and improve outcomes; we must equip ourselves to articulate this clearly. CILIP members will have access to the Impact Toolkit for this purpose, plus workforce mapping and commissioned research into the Value of Trained Library and Information Professionals has just been released.

Our skills are vital for an economy based on knowledge sharing. Change is inevitable and service development is essential. In response, we have to become increasingly adaptable and able to demonstrate our transferable skills. Continuing professional development and reflective practice are essential as we adapt to new roles in our sectors or even move into new ones. In this shifting environment, CILIP, as a professional body can act as a constant. It offers a core of professional ethics that apply across the board, a place to anchor your skills and abilities in the PKSB as a common framework, a way to have your professional development recognised in Professional Registration. It also offers the chance to be part of something bigger; a channel for central advocacy. I believe that raising the awareness of the value of information professionals in one sector acts to raise awareness for all. It provides a community and opportunities to help us be the fully-rounded professionals we all need to be as our services evolve.

Jo Cornish Development Officer (Employers) at CILIP