Building relationship communication skills for transformational leadership

building relationship communication skills for transformational leadership

Transformational leadership – growing beyond transactional leadership vision that are set by leaders and their ability to clearly communicate them to their step towards building a stronger personal relationship — internally and eternally. Transformational leadership—“a relationship of mutual stimulation and . most important of all communication skills (Hunt & Cusella, , p. ) .. while being visible; however it is a leader's behavior that earns respect and trust by building. Communication is a top leadership skills. The bottom line with this is Building relationship is good leadership and builds good communication. The message skills. Hugh Ballou The Transformational Leadership Strategist.

Such a discussion could have a transforming effect on both staff and management as knowledge was shared. A leadership approach that aims to achieve a collective goal rather than a multitude of individual goals and aims to transform all workers—both managers and staff—in pursuit of the higher collective purpose can be the most efficient and effective means of achieving widespread and fundamental organizational change.

In practicing transformational leadership, leaders need to engage managers and staff in an ongoing relationship based on the commonly held goal of patient safety, and communicate with and teach managers and staff about this higher collective purpose. When teaching managers about the actions they can take to minimize threats to patient safety, HCO leaders should underscore the five management practices enumerated earlier that have been found to be consistently associated with successful implementation of change initiatives and with the achievement of safety in organizations with high risk for errors.

These management practices also underlie all of the worker deployment, work design, and safety culture practices that are addressed in the remaining chapters of this report. As discussed in Chapters 1 and 2latent work conditions have been documented as posing the greatest risk of errors. Therefore, it should not be surprising that errors often have their primary origins in decisions made by fallible system designers and high-level managerial decision makers Reason, The corollary to this statement is that these high-level managerial decision makers have a substantial role to play in error prevention—a role that deserves more attention and support.

The concept of evidence-based practice first emerged in clinical medicine and now suffuses the language, decision making, and standards of care of health care clinicians, managers, policy makers, and researchers throughout the world. Evidence-based clinical practice is defined as the conscientious, explicit, and judicious integration of current best evidence—obtained from systematic research—in making decisions about the care of individual patients Sackett et al.

The use of systematic research findings for evidence-based practice is also supported and applied in the fields of education, criminal justice, and social welfare through the efforts of the international Campbell Collaboration—a sibling of the Cochrane Collaboration that prepares and maintains evidence-based systemic reviews of the effects of health care interventions The Campbell Collaboration, undated. Evidence-based management, however, is a newer concept—not yet as widely embraced, but just as important Axelsson, ; Hewison, ; Kovner et al.

Evidence-based management means that managers, like their clinical practitioner counterparts, should search for, appraise, and apply empirical evidence from management research in their practice. Managers also must be prepared to have their own decisions and actions systematically recorded and evaluated in a way that will further add to the evidence base for effective management practices Axelsson, While health care practitioners have been encouraged and supported in the adoption of evidence-based practice, the same support and encouragement has not been widely available to health care managers for multiple reasons: Organizational research is sometimes esoteric and does not consistently address practical management questions Axelsson, Further, research conducted on health care management is limited compared with management research in other industries.

The main funders of research in health care government agencies and private foundations have historically not funded management research. When large health systems have funded such research, its findings have often been considered proprietary and the results not widely published. As a result, little empirical evidence has been generated about best health care management practices Kovner et al.

The empirical evidence on effective management practices that does exist is difficult to locate. Management literature is poorly indexed for practical applications and is not easily reviewed and synthesized Walshe and Rundall, Many managers are not trained or experienced in the use of such evidence in making management decisions Kovner et al.

While physicians are trained in a strongly professional model with fairly uniform educational preparation, managers come from a variety of very different professional backgrounds and training. Some management training comes more from long-term practical experience in the workplace, as opposed to formal professional education Axelsson, ; Walshe and Rundall, Although many health systems spend millions of dollars on consultants for strategic recommendations based on data, they typically underfund their own data systems designed to support decision making and internal management research Kovner et al.

A study of 14 U. Some HCOs lack sufficient size and resources to conduct and evaluate applied research Kovner et al. Managers' decision-making practices are often quite different from those of health care practitioners. While practitioners' decisions are many in number and made independently, management decisions are often few, large, and made by groups, involving negotiation or compromise and many organizational constraints Walshe and Rundall, Civil War Ward et al.

In the case of American health care, the sophisticated medical technology the weaponry outclasses the tactics management used to organize work and implement change. Despite the limitations discussed above in the supply of and access to empirical information to guide managerial decision making, there is strong evidence that the management practices enumerated at the beginning of this chapter play a critical role in achieving organizational goals and successfully implementing change within an organization.

These five practices are discussed in turn below. Balancing the Tension Between Efficiency and Reliability The health care cost-containment pressures of the last two decades see Chapter 1 have forced HCOs to examine their work processes and undertake work redesign initiatives to deliver care more efficiently. Efficiency frequently calls for conducting production activities in as cost-effective and time-efficient a manner as possible. Organizations in many industries often try to accomplish efficiency by downsizing, outsourcing, and cutting costs.

Such efficiency measures can be at odds with safety Carnino, undated; Cooper, ; Spath, For example, when system failures associated with four large-scale disasters Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, the Challenger space shuttle, and the Bhopal chemical plant were compared, subordination of safety to other performance goals was one of 11 common attributes found Petersen, HCOs are not immune to these pressures. For example, one of the practices used by high-reliability organizations to increase safety is to consciously incorporate personnel and equipment redundancy into some aspects of work design.

This redundancy creates some slack in the system such that if one component in the work production process fails, a replacement will be available to perform the function.

  • Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses.

Air traffic controllers, for example, are assigned to radar screening in groups of two. While their job functions are somewhat different, each controller acts as a check on the other Roberts, In high-reliability organizations, however, performance reliability safety rivals productivity as a dominant organizational goal, and such work components are viewed as essentials rather than frills Roberts, Organizations can achieve balance between production efficiency and reliability by balancing and aligning their organizational goals; accountability mechanisms; and reward, incentive, and compensation mechanisms Roberts and Bea, a.

Creating and Sustaining Trust Creating and sustaining trust is the second of the five management practices essential to patient safety. Trust has been defined as the willingness to be vulnerable to the intentions of another Mayer et al. When trust links people and groups to organizations, it generally makes workers willing to contribute their efforts without expecting an immediate payoff, and increases the extent to which leaders can rely on workers to have the organization's interests at heart and vice versa.

Workers' trust in organizational leaders has been found to be directly related to positive business outcomes, such as increased sales and profitability, and inversely related to employee turnover Mayer et al. Trust has the added advantage of increasing workers' capacity for change by reducing the uncertainty and discomfort with change that otherwise impair individual and group adaptability Coff and Rousseau, ; Rousseau, and increasing workers' willingness to take risks associated with change Mayer et al.

Honest and open communication, necessary for successful organizational change, depends on the development of trust throughout the organization Carnino, undated; DeLong and Fahey,in part because the level of trust that exists between the organization and its employees greatly influences the amount of knowledge that flows among individuals and from individuals into organization databases, archives, and other records DeLong and Fahey, Further, when trust is lacking, participants are less likely to believe what leaders say and to contribute the extra effort, engagement, and knowledge needed to make change successful.

It is easier to share information, downplay differences, and cooperate when those involved in a change trust each other. Trust flows two ways—up and down the hierarchies of organizations. Top-down trust is based largely on competence Rousseau et al. Leaders are more willing to entrust subordinates with complete information and with the authority to make decisions when they believe those subordinates to be competent and capable of making and carrying out appropriate decisions.

The Key to Powerful Leadership Communication

It is well established that leaders manage subordinates differently depending on the employees' perceived competence Graen et al. This is because when hiring, employers put themselves at risk, depending on those they hire to act in ways that help rather than hinder the organization.

Employees are hired to act for their employers by making decisions and carrying out responsibilities on the employers' behalf Pearce, Employers cope with this vulnerability by attempting to hire employees they can trust and by managing those they hire in ways that sustain that trust.

Top-down trust is reinforced whenever leaders have positive exchanges with their employees. Such exchanges are more likely to occur in long-standing relationships in which both parties have made investments in each other, for example, when leaders have developed subordinates who in turn have worked to understand the leader's goals and preferred ways of managing and adjusted their behavior accordingly Huselid, ; Miles and Snow, Bottom-up trust, on the other hand, is based in part on workers' perceptions of a manager's or organization's ability, benevolence, and integrity Mayer et al.

An organization's ability comprises its collective skills, competencies, and expertise. Conversely, trust can be damaged by disclosure of failures in competence or by workers' direct observation of instances in which competence falls short of prior expectations.

Bottom-up trust is also based on benevolence, that is, the extent to which managers and organizations are understood by workers to want to do good aside from a self-concerned or profit motive for the person who trusts the entity the trustor.

Benevolence gives rise to an attachment between the entity being trusted the trustee and the trustor. Benevolence also has been associated with a trustee's motivation to speak truthfully Mayer et al. The relationship between integrity and trust involves the trustor's perception that the trustee adheres to a set of principles that the trustor finds acceptable Mayer et al. In health care organizations, where many workers have strong professional identifications, trust of leadership by subordinates often reflects the extent to which leadership is committed to the values inherent in the professions of medicine and nursing Bunderson, ; Thompson and Bunderson, in press.

Conversely, evidence indicates that change initiatives targeting quality improvement are far less likely to generate support when clinical caregivers believe those changes are motivated by either economic or political considerations Rousseau and Tijoriwala, Integrity is assessed by the consistency of a party's past actions, credible communication about the trustee from other parties, the belief that the party has a strong sense of justice, and the extent to which the party's actions are consistent with his or her word.

Trust between workers and the organizations in which they work therefore results from the workers' perceptions of the interplay among the organization's ability, benevolence, and integrity.

Each of these factors exists to a varying degree along a continuum. Although in the best case, high degrees of trust result from high levels of all three factors, meaningful trust can exist with lesser levels of a combination of the three. The degree of trust between parties also is dynamic and evolves over time as the parties interact. The outcomes that result when a trustor takes a risk and places his or her trust in the trustee affect the degree of trust that exists for subsequent potential interactions Mayer et al.

Mutual trust is enhanced by positive exchanges that have occurred in the past and are expected to continue in the future Zucker, Therefore, trust in organizations also depends to a certain extent on the extent of stability in the relationships that make up the organization e. In organizations with high turnover, mutual trust is difficult to achieve Bryman et al.

In firms in which promotions tend to be internal and the employee development system builds organization-specific capabilities, both workers and managers are more likely to possess common knowledge and similar points of view, and managers are more likely to trust workers Miles and Snow, Such bases for trust are less common in many contemporary firms, where external mobility and reduced opportunities for within-firm development mean that organization members, leaders, and workers have fewer shared experiences and frames of reference Leana and Rousseau, It is widely evident that over the course of the twentieth century, senior managers in many industries have come to place greater trust in workers Miles and Creed, Employees increasingly have experienced greater discretion and reduced standardization in the way they accomplish their work, coordinated more of their interactions with coworkers and other departments, and reduced their dependence on supervisors for problem solving.

At the same time that modern organizational practices presume a higher degree of trustworthiness among workers, however, workers' trust in management remains highly variable Freeman and Rogers, In a large-scale survey of the American workforce, Freeman and Rogers found that workers generally reported levels of loyalty to their employer greater than the degree of trust they placed in their employer to keep its promises to them or other workers. This low level of trust is connected to a widespread sense on the part of American workers that they have little influence over workplace decisions.

Where workers exercise greater influence over workplace decisions, they are more likely to trust their managers and act in ways that ease implementation of those decisions. With respect to nursing, higher levels of nurse autonomy and control over nursing practice have been associated with greater trust in management among nurses and greater commitment to their employing HCO Laschinger et al.

Actively Managing the Process of Change Actively managing the process of change is essential to patient safety because all organizations have difficulty in navigating major organizational change Kimberly and Quinn, HCOs are no exception.

building relationship communication skills for transformational leadership

Despite their vast experience with introducing new medical technologies, HCOs have a history of ineffective attempts at organizational change and remain prone to poor change implementation Mintzberg, A large body of research and other published work offers frameworks, models, and guidance for undertaking change Baer and Frese, ; Goodman, ; Parker, ; Rousseau and Tijoriwala, ; Walston et al.

This work consistently calls attention to five predominantly human resource management practices 1 as particularly important for successful change implementation: Ongoing Communication Frequent, ongoing communication through multiple media is a key ingredient of successful organizational change initiatives Ingersoll et al. Such communication is a powerful facilitator of change, whereas poor communication creates significant problems Rousseau and Tijoriwala, In the present context, it is essential to have ongoing communication with employees about the goals and mission of the HCO, the reasons for change including contributing economic and policy factorsand the nature of the change including changes in employee roles and responsibilities.

Soliciting feedback about the change throughout its planning, implementation, and continuance is also necessary Heifetz and Laurie, ; Ingersoll et al. Studies of HCO redesign, reengineering, and reorganization initiatives identify role conflict and ambiguity as consistent issues in change initiatives; nurses who view their roles as ambiguous have lower job commitment Ingersoll et al. Clear communication about changes in employee roles and responsibilities can reduce such ambiguity.

Even discussions about how the HCO is financed are recommended. In one study, nurses expressed concern about money being available for construction of new buildings even as staff was being admonished to conserve resources. This is a sentiment commonly expressed by those unfamiliar with the multiple sources and allocations of revenue that can exist within an institution Ingersoll et al.

When nurse managers in one plus bed hospital undergoing organizational change were asked to rank the behaviors of health care executives in terms of how supportive those behaviors were to the change management process, respondents ranked frequent communication about the goals and progress of organizational change as the most important behavior Knox and Irving, Communication between nurses and nurse managers also has been shown to increase nurses' commitment to the organization McNeese-Smith,which is essential to weathering the stresses of organizational change.

Training Because change often requires employees to adopt new roles and responsibilities, training is essential to successful change. This need is not always appreciated, however. Training is especially needed in such specialized topics as work redesign, knowledge management, error prevention and detection Spear and Bowen,and change management itself Strebel, In a survey of nurse leaders in VHA Inc.

HCOs and nurse executives and managers belonging to the American Organization of Nurse Executives AONEexpertise in change management was one of five learning needs reported by the nurse leaders Gelinas and Manthey, Mechanisms for Feedback, Measurement, and Redesign Few changes in complex organizations work perfectly when first introduced. Virtually all changes require modification over time to achieve optimum results. It is not unusual for organizations, departments, or plants that have implemented innovations most recently to perform worse than those that implemented comparable innovations a year or two before Macduffie and Pil, New practices often initially undermine existing routines and competencies and require ongoing learning adjustment, redesign of the change, and supportive efforts to capture the intended benefits of the innovation.

Ongoing monitoring, feedback, and redesign are needed to create and sustain effective change Goodman, ; Walston and Kimberly, Sustained Attention Effective organizational transformations require long periods of time and constant effort.

Macduffie and Pil point out that in the auto industry, plants in the first year following adoption of a new work system struggle with the right mix of incentives, managerial supports, and training needs, and experience coordination difficulties with other units. Those that sustain the change into the second year begin to see cost and quality improvements.

The above-cited study of 14 U. Although difficulties arose during the long implementations, the transition from implementation to a sustained, institutionalized process was even more problematic. While most study participants perceived reengineering to be an ongoing change process, and managers realized that continual effort was needed to move reengineering forward, many ended their efforts or decreased them after initial implementation. Without continued attention, the change was not sustained.

The hospitals that were able to sustain a change were those that embedded the new initiative within ongoing operations, such as a continuous quality improvement or total quality management process, or established specific, measurable goals and mechanisms to track their progress. Codifying a change to ensure consistency of application and direction through implementation manuals, guidelines for decision making, and provision of budgetary support has been identified as a critical ingredient in successful and sustained implementation Walston et al.

Credible commitment to stay with the change over time in the face of personnel changes or economic factors is especially important in organizations with a history of dysfunctional labor—management relations and ineffective change management Heller, Such commitment can take the form of public statements and written documents articulating the agreement.

Worker Involvement Evidence from multiple studies indicates that change is typically turbulent and difficult for staff members Ingersoll et al. Changes often affect worker roles and responsibilities, work group relationships, and resource availability and use. Consequently, a natural human response is to react negatively to the challenges created by change.

This negativity can be overcome by actively involving workers in the planning and design of a change and providing them with information about the progress being made in achieving the goals of the redesign Walston and Kimberly, The importance of such worker involvement is discussed in greater detail below. Involving Workers in Work Design and Work Flow Decision Making Evidence indicates that a highly bureaucratic structure, so useful in organizations into the early twentieth century, is inappropriate to many organizations today Ciborra, ; Ilinitch et al.

Organizational structures that are strongly hierarchical in design with resultant hierarchical decision making are hampered in their ability to respond to situations with high variability Moorman and Miner, ; Quinn, and are associated with reduced safety Roberts and Bea, b. Since the s, a worldwide evolution has taken place in the organizing principals of manufacturing, as the mass production system which itself replaced the old craft system in the early twentieth century was transformed at the end of the s into the flexible production system Macduffie and Pil, This flexible production system was enabled and reinforced by two related forces: The relationship between greater reliance on workers and organizational success is being documented across a variety of industries and types of research.

Studies of high-reliability organizations show that effective decision making is flexible decision making, pushed to the lowest level commensurate with available knowledge Bigley and Roberts, ; Roberts et al. For example, any level of military personnel on an aircraft carrier can call a halt to a flight operation if he or she sees what looks like a dangerous situation Roberts, Health services research supports these findings.

Nurses working in organizations whose work culture emphasized decentralized decision making reported significantly higher commitment to the organization, empowerment, and job satisfaction and significantly lower intent to leave Gifford et al.

Such high-involvement work systems have been described across a number of industries. They are characterized by shifting more decisions down the organization's hierarchy to the level of individual workers or teams of workers, increasing worker responsibility for quality control monitoring safety and taking action to prevent risks to safety or qualityand broadening the knowledge workers possess about the activities of other work groups e.

Such work systems promote greater contributions on the part of workers to the value of the organization by releasing underutilized worker competence Edmondson, ; Frese et al. Preconditions for implementing such systems include a relationship of trust between senior leadership and workers Rousseau and Tijoriwala, and credible commitment on the part of leadership to persist with implementing high-involvement work systems over time.

In nursing research, this involvement in decision making has been studied under a number of constructs, including shared governance, nursing empowerment, control over nursing practice, and clinical autonomy.

These constructs have certain common elements. The results of these efforts are uncertain because of the lack of a uniform definitional construct, wide variation in implementation models, infrequent evaluations, and poorly designed evaluation methodologies. Nursing research on empowerment similarly has not generally included a uniform operational definition of this construct, but has described empowerment in terms of its goal i.

Conger and Kanungo Additional studies in this series found higher levels of organizational trust among nurses reporting greater workplace empowerment Laschinger et al. Evidence also indicates that organizational structures that foster nurses' empowerment combined with strong managers may be important factors in increasing the organizational commitment of nurses working in nursing facilities Beaulieu et al. Studies of shared governance and empowerment highlight nurses' control over their practice as a key element.

A distinction is made in these studies between control over nursing practice and clinical autonomy. Clinical autonomy refers to nurses' ability to assess individual patient needs and practice nursing care appropriate to those needs, that is, their ability to make independent clinical decisions and define the scope of practice in relationship to patients in their care Kramer and Schmalenberg, ; McClure et al.

Autonomy is a characteristic commonly identified by staff nurses, nurse managers, and chief nurse executives CNEs as important to a magnet hospital Aiken, ; McClure et al.

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Control over nursing practice is defined as nurses' ability to shape not just the care of an individual, but also the organizational policies and practices to be followed within nursing units and the HCO overall that affect nursing care, as well as to control the resources need to provide that care Hinshaw, Control over nursing practice represents an organization-level as opposed to patient-level autonomy, in which staff nurses, nurse managers, and CNEs take part in hospital policy and decision making about professional practice and patient care Scott et al.

A review of studies conducted on magnet hospitals reveals that both autonomy and control over nursing practice are consistently identified as magnet characteristics Scott et al.

Other research suggests that nurses' autonomy and control over their practice environment are positively associated with their trust in management Laschinger et al. Creating a Learning Organization The final evidence-based management practice calls for all HCOs to become learning organizations. The ongoing acquisition and management of knowledge has been identified as one of the intrinsic characteristics of high-performing organizations in postindustrial societies Quinn, Economists and business strategists point to how an organization manages its knowledge assets as more important to its competitive advantage in today's economy than how it manages bureaucratic control of its capital resources Blackler, ; DeLong and Fahey, Continuous organizational learning also has been documented as playing a central role in the development and maintenance of safety in organizations Carnino, undated.

This point is particularly salient to a high-tech industry such as health care, which is characterized by rapidly accelerating scientific and technologic advances. A New Health System for the 21st Century IOM,cites this growth in health care knowledge, drugs, medical devices, and technologies as one of the four defining attributes of the U. Learning organizations do not passively wait for knowledge to present itself, but actively manage the learning process by taking advantage of all sources of knowledge, using systematic experimentation to generate new knowledge internally, and transferring knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the organization Garvin, These processes are used to create better work tools, processes, systems, and structures in order to improve the organization's production processes DeLong and Fahey, Actively Managing the Learning Process Taking advantage of all sources of knowledge Learning organizations know that knowledge can come from many sources, including internal flashes of creativity or insight, knowledgeable experts within the organization, external experts, the best practices of other organizations, and other sources.

They learn from their own and others' experiences by reviewing past organizational successes and failures, assessing them systematically, and recording them in a format that employees can easily access Garvin, Learning from the experiences and best practices of others is a major factor in the success and sizable cost savings of a number of organizations' reengineering initiatives Stewart,although knowledge gained from failures can often be the most helpful DeLong and Fahey, However, knowledge from these sources serves as a starting point only; organizations are expected to test and improve upon it through continual experimentation DeLong and Fahey, Using systematic experimentation to generate new knowledge internally Experimentation is widely recognized as a cornerstone of a learning organization.

building relationship communication skills for transformational leadership

Experimentation involves the systematic searching for and testing of new knowledge using the scientific method through an ongoing series of small experiments, designed to produce incremental gains in knowledge access Garvin, It can be undertaken on existing programs or on planned new demonstration projects. This application of the scientific method in a continuing series of controlled experiments has been identified as the hallmark of the Toyota Production System, which has been widely hailed as a benchmark work system see Box The Toyota Production System TPS has long been hailed as the reason for the Toyota Company's outstanding performance and has been used as a model by many other organizations around the world.

In essence, the TPS creates more Other knowledge management organizations, while perhaps not using the scientific method as rigorously as the Toyota System, employ similar methods associated with continuous quality improvement or total quality management.

7 Must Have Transformational Leadership Qualities | Bill Hogg

These methods help the organization and its employees become more disciplined in their thinking and more attentive to details of work processes and production Garvin, Transferring knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the organization Learning organizations spread knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the organization.

They know that ideas have the greatest impact when they are shared broadly rather than tightly held by a few individuals, and that knowledge must be transferred through multiple, reinforcing channels to create synergy and enhance its absorption and application.

A variety of knowledge dissemination mechanisms can promote this transfer, including written, oral, and visual reports; site visits and tours; personnel rotations; and education and training programs.

Each of these mechanisms, however, can be a cumbersome way to transfer knowledge. Active experience in performing a new activity is much more effective Garvin, ; some research indicates that knowledge is exchanged in direct proportion to the level of face-to-face contact Davenport et al.

For this reason, personnel rotations have been identified as one of the most powerful methods of transferring knowledge Garvin, It is important to note that such face-to-face knowledge transfers depend on a stable organizational workforce. A relatively stable workforce permits members to hold common understandings of important organizational priorities and processes and adequate information regarding the people and places in the organization where specific knowledge resides Coff and Rousseau, Knowledge management and organizational learning also are found to be more successful when they are supported by information technology Davenport et al.

However, the type and extent of information technology needed vary according to the predominant knowledge management strategy in use.

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In a study of knowledge management practices at management consulting firms, HCOs, and computer manufacturers, researchers found that organizations that produced relatively standardized products to meet fairly standard needs relied heavily on codified knowledge stored in databases where it could easily be used by anyone in the company Stewart, This capability required a heavy investment in information technology.

Alternatively, organizations that provided more customized services to address unique problems tended to rely more on person-to-person sharing of knowledge and used information technology primarily to help people communicate Hansen et al.

HCOs are likely to provide both standardized and customized services, and must adapt their knowledge management strategies to their settings and particular needs. In all cases, it can be important to avoid overreliance on information technology at the expense of shared personal knowledge through face-to-face contact Goodman and Darr, Time Required to Create a Learning Organization The creation of a learning organization first requires an organizational commitment to learning through the establishment of a culture conducive to knowledge creation, sharing, and use—a knowledge-friendly culture DeLong and Fahey, ; Garvin, Yet research on more than 50 companies pursuing knowledge management projects revealed that organizational culture was the major barrier to creating a learning organization DeLong and Fahey, This situation will not be remedied overnight; most successful organizational learning and knowledge initiatives are the product of carefully cultivated attitudes, commitments, and management processes that have been built up slowly and steadily over time.

The Toyota Production System, discussed earlier see Boxis the product of decades of work Spear and Bowen, On the other hand, some changes can be made immediately to foster an environment conducive to learning. These include assessing the existing knowledge culture within an organization; freeing up employee time for thinking, learning, and training; and aligning incentives to reinforce and facilitate uptake of knowledge management practices. Assessing the existing knowledge culture within the organization Companies whose cultures are most effective at creating new knowledge and integrating it into the organization have norms and practices that demand broad participation in knowledge gathering and distribution DeLong and Fahey, Some organizations, however, favor individual knowledge over group or organizational knowledge.

In these organizations, individual knowledge is associated with power, control, and security of one's position in the organization. When employees believe that sharing what they know poses personal risk and decreases power, the free exchange of knowledge is impeded Davenport et al.

Before undertaking a knowledge management initiative, therefore, management should assess the culture of its organization to determine existing attitudes toward ownership of knowledge and how those attitudes would be altered by the initiative. Depending on the results of that assessment, management might also need to adopt new behaviors to communicate a shift from valuing individual over collective knowledge.

It is necessary as well to make explicit what practices need to change to promote more collaborative use of knowledge DeLong and Fahey, Is your vision clear? Does it need to be refined? An effective leader needs courage; a willingness to take on new challenges, take calculated risks, make tough decisions, and be willing to go out on a limb for something they believe in. Leaders need to fuel their passion from within. Transformational leaders have passion and motivation that people can sense and feed off of it.

Transformational leaders, based on their personal passion, have the ability to inspire others and get them to buy into their vision and execute it on all levels of the company. Are you effective at motivating and inspiring your team? Personal interaction is important. You have the ability to impact each of your team on a personal level. When was the last time you took the time to listen to your team and get to know them as individuals?

Set a company standard: