A recent reference to Adam Bryant’s 3 C’s for managers struck a chord.
Bryant – then Accenture’s CEO – commented last year that three things matter for managers:
Competence, Confidence, and Caring.
As knowledge thought leaders in our organizations, strategic knowledge professionals are already there, and the challenge (another “C”!) becomes how to apply those criteria for strategic knowledge management for the organizations where we are employed.
Here’s a story:
Jerry Thomas is at the mid-point of a very successful career in strategic knowledge management. His KM/knowledge services competence is evidenced by his experience as a specialist librarian for a large manufacturing company. In that role, Jerry learned not only how to use his formal education for providing his KM/knowledge services customers with the strategic knowledge they require for their work. He also was able to build on each of his customer interactions to share his own knowledge gathering and knowledge transfer expertise. He had the competence to do what needed to be done.
Jerry’s confidence grew with his growing competence. With all his interactions with his customers, Jerry’s role seemed to expand, to the point that he was soon – early in his career – being asked to advise or serve as a sort of internal consultant in KM/knowledge services matters. Indeed, his confidence in his ability to provide excellence in KM/knowledge services grew so much that not only was his expertise being recognized in his own organization, he was pursued for jobs in other companies. Jerry’s confidence was attached to and resulted from his competence in what he was able to do for his customers (and others in his organization).
Jerry’s caring expanded along with is confidence, for he learned early on that just “providing the information” was not really what his customers wanted. Regardless of the customer’s professional level, Jerry made it his business to make sure he understood – and positioned himself to respond to – his clients’ expectations. Of course different people had different expectations but that didn’t stop Jerry. He became particularly skilled at identifying what each client is looking for. His approach to strategic knowledge management and delivery was simple: he made sure the customer knew he cared about what that person was seeking. Then he arranged for his customers to know, first off, that caring is the key characteristic in dealing with Jerry and his team, as the customers work with them in pursuing strategic knowledge.
Management competence – Management confidence – Management caring: Thanks, Alan Bryant.