Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Summer's nearly over before it even got started!

Phew! What a busy summer (somewhat questionable about the summer) we at Kworx have had this year in the UK. Certainly the changeable weather from heatwaves to flash flooding, brought a need for adaptability and flexibility at very short notice to cope with the changing environmental factors. Without these skills and abilities there clearly would have been even more disasterous consequences from the terrible flooding in Devon during August.

Reflecting upon this in a work context, the opportunity to self-manage change can often be denied to the many who are often faced with simply surviving the situations that are thrust upon them. In many cases all that is needed is ‘management permission’ to discuss issues locally and in a way that is relevant to each specific context as well as the opportunity to focus on the anticipated impact and freedom to use local knowledge to help steer through change.

Of course, things that are simple are very often quite difficult to achieve.

The skills needed to work collaboratively at individual and team level need to be refreshed from time to time. When collaboration amongst groups works well - either within known boundaries or across disciplines and sectors - then individuals feel better equipped to cope with change.

Feelings of safety and the willingness to adapt can be achieved by clarifying boundaries in changing situations and by creating space to allow effective networking. This feeling of safety and belonging can lead to better self-motivation, self-awareness and knowledge-sharing three important factors in managing change.

Now for the hard bit - doing it!

Some simple rules to guide collaborative working:

  • respect each others views, even if they differ from your own
  • allow honesty and openness to emerge at its own pace rather than enforce it
  • be non-judgemental about others’ contribution, the wildest ideas can have value and merit
  • give equal time to each team member and be inclusive rather than exclusive
  • confidentiality – and trust takes time to build, so let it
  • ensure you listen to one another, helps when you want to be listened to yourself
  • value the collaboration and use the synergy it produces to adapt to changing situations

Good luck from the KnowledgeWorx team!

Józefa and David

Use KnowledgeWorx to enable a knowledge-sharing environment in your organisation, just contact us at


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