The ‘glue and grease’ – what a horrible expression!!!
The first time I heard a former colleague of mine use that expression to refer to the role of communication I didn’t like it either.
But I’ve got to say that until I find a better expression for it, it’s a pretty accurate description of what our (then) comms team was supposed to be to others: the glue that brings everyone together, and the grease that lets knowledge flow easily.
But the ‘glue and grease’ only happens when the sharing (and learning) in KM comes together with communication.
Not many organisations have a KM unit that covers knowledge sharing. Not many companies have a comms team that looks into the learning and sharing that true agile KM offers… In a typical (research for) development organisation, one finds a ‘comms’ unit that typically takes care of media contacts, press releases, corporate communication and public relations, and generally publications. It’s the ‘big mouth’ of an organisation. And then one finds a ‘KM’ unit which essentially is an information management unit taking care of databases and portals and all kinds of information systems etc. That’s the ‘legs’. But where are the hands and arms that join forces and the brains that connect all actions with intentions?
The glue and grease is the sharing and learning (not in a literal, respective manner). And it’s time to bring comms and KM together, to power comms with KM inside, to pay a central attention to processes of sharing and learning. So: what are you doing in your organisation or environment, to ensure there is this glue and grease?
And add that to your process literacy kit, please😉
Related blog posts:
- Dotty dotted communication – can we avoid this please?
- Researching… good questions from wrong ideas
- Power your communication with ‘KM inside’
- Getting KM and comms accepted, valued and right – An interview for APQC
- Revisiting the links between communication and knowledge management
- Harvesting insights (6): A checklist of comms/KM functions in any development (research) organisation or initiative