Carol Read RN/MSc

This short 10 minute read covers knowledge management in networks and supports the next Source4Networks webinar July 2018.  Relevent references are highlighted to aid network leaders in their practice. 

Why do people join a health or social care network?  There are many reasons, but I would argue that most people join a network to find out more information and contribute to a shared body of knowledge.  Networks are able to position themselves uniquely, as they bridge existing gaps in services or care.  Constable (2017) highlights the value in taking time to define the purpose of the network as this will motivate existing members and attract new members who will identify with the network. 

Malby and Anderson-Wallace (2016) cover in depth the historical background of Learning and Knowledge networks and it is worth exploring the key thinking and academic models which underpin knowledge management in the public sector.  The value of networks is they provide access to explicit knowledge which is easily codified in paper or electronic form and more importantly they access tacit knowledge (ingrained, analytical and conceptual understanding) found in the practical skills and experience of individuals. 

The next webinar in our 2018 series with Chris Collison focuses on Knowledge management in networks how you can address barriers and ultimately share best practice.  The webinar will show approaches that can be used for virtual or face to face networks. 

As a quick definition of knowledge management the following quote puts it in context for most networks.

"It's not about creating an encyclopedia that captures everything that anybody ever knew.  Rather it's about keeping track of those who know the recipe and nurturing the culture and the technology that will get them talking."

Collison and Parcell (2004, in Malby and Anderson-Wallace 2016)  

To explore the energy of transformational change in networks, with constant sharing of knowledge it's worth reviewing certain hashtags such as #EndPJParalysis or key learning points from Tracy Broom on building a network with momentum.  

Finally, we are putting together a MOOC for network leaders which will capture additional content from leaders across UK and International networks.  Filming of the first videos took place in June and many of the leaders interviewed had a wealth of extra knowledge that we aim to share with you.  The videos dig deep into explicit and tacit knowledge from leaders who have run virtual and face to face networks covering styles of leadership - to when you stop a network.  Look out for these vlogs coming soon.