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Knowledge Works: The Handbook of Practical Ways to Identify and Solve Common Organizational Problems for Better Performance by Jane McKenzie, Christine van Winkelen

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Section VI

Make change stick

Chapter 15 – Developing knowledge-sharing behaviours and effective knowledge activists

Chapter 16 – Moving from hard sell to compelling buy

Chapter 17 – Improving the quality of conversations

Chapter 18 – Taking account of national culture in designing knowledge initiatives

What Makes Change So Difficult?

Evolution and change is a natural part of any ecology, but it always involves loss and learning. As human beings, our identity and mental view of the world is wrapped up in our past experience. In a work context, when what we have known has brought us success, it may seem hard to give up a track record of reward for the uncertainty of something new.

Simply telling people what to do is not enough for them to change. People may have to re-evaluate many deep seated personal assumptions, beliefs, values, as well as relinquish hard-won knowledge, expertise, and familiar behaviours to adapt to a new environment. Convincing people that the journey will be worthwhile and beneficial needs careful thought about how to approach them in terms that are meaningful for them. Managers need to communicate why and how change might happen in a way that people can easily absorb and which resonates with what matters to them. Conversations about change are either places where people can make the necessary mental adjustments, or where the fear of loss and learning are reinforced to the point of generating resistance. Language is the medium of conversation, and generally language ...

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