The purpose of an organization is to enable common men to do uncommon things.1
—Peter F. Drucker, American educator and writer, 1909-2005
For a successful launch or relaunch of a knowledge flow management initiative, you will need to involve multiple parties. Some will sponsor activities, some will drive the initiatives forward, and last but not least you will want a large number of participants.
The role of a sponsor seems pretty clear at first. Those are the people who sign for infrastructure, project expenses, and support resources, right? I have found that there can be additional sponsors, and they are just as important for ongoing success. I am talking about the type of sponsorship provided by managers at all levels or even the participating individuals themselves.
One of the strongest barriers for being involved in knowledge- sharing activities is not lack of funding but lack of time. So any manager who allows or maybe even encourages team members to get involved in knowledge-sharing activities is a major sponsor. The time team members spend on those activities represents cost but often no immediate payback. In some rare cases, you might be able to embed the activity in a way that it produces quick returns, but that is prob ably more the exception than the rule. Of course, a strong executive sponsor can have special influence down the management chain.
If managers see the benefit of having their team members attend international community events with potentially ...