Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Information and Knowledge

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. They are encouraged to think together to decide what the information means. As Jan Carlson, former head of Scandinavian Airlines, said

"...an individual without information cannot take responsibility, but an individual who is given information cannot help to take responsibility..."

as quoted by MargaretWheatley, 1999

Furthermore, Margaret Wheatley states

"...Need to change the mindset from "information is power"to "information is nourishment"..."

MargaretWheatley 1999

. Open access to information contributes to self-organised effectiveness. Organisational innovation, creativity and knowledge management practices support this. Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections, by journeys into other disciplines or places, from active networks and fluid open boundaries. Knowledge grows inside relationships, from ongoing circles of exchange where information is not just accumulated by individuals but willingly shared. With information, it is not the volume that matters; it is the meaning of the information and how it is used that is important. The strong focus on the thing-ness, such as capacity, IT, etc, of information, has restricted our understanding of the other dimensions, ie content, character and behaviour of information.

. Why do some organisations act so smart, while others fail to survive for long, and others get stuck in repeating the same mistakes? Organisational intelligence does not just reside in a few experts, specialists or leaders. It is a system-wide capacity directly related to how the organisation handles new and challenging information, and how effectively that information can be interpreted by anyone in the organisation. When rumours proliferate and gossip gets out of hand, it is an indication that people lack the genuine article - honest, meaningful information.

. Impact of the knowledge worker

The assumption has been that capital was the organisation's most critical and scarce resource and that labour's role was simply to leverage the organisation's investment in equipment and machinery. Management's role was to ensure the organisation's short-term profitability and long-term competitiveness by making sound investment decisions, and staff were to support those investments by following instructions. In exchange for their loyalty and sacrifice of autonomy, staff received wages and job security. Those assumptions provided the foundations for the modern organisation's authority-based structure and the logic for the systems and processes that were required to pull plans, proposals and performance data up the hierarchical structure for management's input and control.

. In the Information Age, the critical, scarce resource is knowledge ‐ composed of information, intelligence and expertise. Knowledge is most readily available when it is controlled and used by those on the front lines of the organisation. In a fast-changing, competitive, global environment, the ability to exploit knowledge is what gives organisations their competitive advantage. This highlights the need for connectedness and empowerment, with management and staff working more closely and the reallocation of managerial-type roles and responsibilities deeper into the organisation

In fact, the impact of the knowledge worker has changed the concept of management from "organisational man"(devoid of individuality and initiative)to "individualised corporation"(encourages diversity of views and empowers staff to develop their own ideas)

 

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