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IFAD awarded for advancing practice in knowledge and organizational learning

07 February 2020

The Henley Forum has recognized IFAD with an award for Advancing Knowledge & Organizational Learning Practice during its 20th annual conference on 5 and 6 February 2020.

An academic research centre within Henley Business School, University of Reading in the UK, the Forum helps its members develop dynamic organisations that survive and thrive in challenging and rapidly changing conditions. It brings together business practitioners, industry thought-leaders and world-class academics to develop new insights to these challenges. Its programme of workshops, seminars, discussion groups and highly focused research projects tackles current, real-world knowledge, learning and change issues affecting organisations.

The highly commended award is for the work by IFAD’s KM team to design and conduct a people-centred, highly consultative process to develop a new Knowledge Management Strategy in the midst of organizational change. The strategy, which is widely supported by managers and staff, places people at the centre, and focuses on how individual knowledge can benefit both the organization and its staff.

Some of the features of our comprehensive formulation process that Henley Business School found worthy of the award are:

  • We conducted a detailed situation analysis, including numerous interviews, a knowledge resource inventory, an organizational network analysis, a knowledge architecture review, a scan of comparative experiences in other organizations, and a KM maturity model developed with staff;
  • We incorporated lessons from IFAD’s 10 years of experience in KM since its first strategy was approved in 2008;
  • We were opportunistic, presenting the strategy as a response to a genuine concern about how the staff were going to adjust to IFAD’s more decentralised delivery model;
  • We were not overly ambitious  and we made the strategy user friendly – favouring an adaptive learning approach;
  • We kept the action plan relatively budget neutral.

So, in the end we have a strategy that is realistic, integrated and do-able, and a good fit for our organization right now.

Going forward, the strategy will be closely monitored according to its Results Measurement Framework, and new and adaptive approaches will be piloted and assessed.