Molly Fubel, Director of Knowledge Systems, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) spoke about my work with IHI: "Nancy has been a great sounding board as our global nonprofit worked through ways to share and effectively use knowledge. While building our knowledge processes, if we struggled with an approach, she was able to remind us of the latest research on knowledge management and provide concrete examples of how others have dealt with similar issues."
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), an independent not-for-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. I have had the pleasure of consulting to IHI, particularly in the area of “spread” for over 10 years. But until recently IHI has not had a knowledge management program or staff.
Like many organizations that recognize the need for making better use of their knowledge, IHI started by building a portal and implementing SharePoint. Molly Fubel, the KM Director, was given that task, but recognized that KM was much broader than the technology. She asked Common Knowledge Associates to conduct two assessments for her in order to gather information to show upper management the possibilities that could be put into place to truly leverage IHI’s knowledge.
The first task was to research what KM activities other non-profits had put into place. I conducted a detailed study of 13 non-profits to determine:
I found that, like IHI, many non-profits were just at the beginning of thinking about KM. I saw that even with minimal resources, some were effectively sharing knowledge. I wrote a blog post about some of the findings of that study.
The second task was an internal assessment of the knowledge sharing processes currently in place at IHI and what knowledge was needed but unavailable. One of the most interesting findings from the internal assessment was the recognition that as an organization with a well deserved reputation for innovation, staff prided themselves in coming up with new ideas, an value that worked against the reuse of existing solutions.
The two reports taken together provided sufficient data for IHI management to make a decision about the resources to allocate to KM