Disseminating insights and know-how across any organization is critical to improving performance, but nonprofits struggle to implement organizational learning and make it a priority. A recent study found three common barriers to knowledge sharing across nonprofits and their networks, as well as ways and means to overcome them.
I continue to question the reliance of knowledge sharing efforts on the increasing rationalization of knowledge management. Are management systems necessary but not sufficient? Where and when do they in themselves become obstacles - or rather our building of them become obstacles to the central task of sharing?
And so it is with the wonk — he needs to appear to be deeply knowledgeable about a wide range of obscure and technical subjects. But this entails concealing both one’s ideological biases and one’s substantive lack of knowledge, and relying on the borrowed prestige of academics and experts. In doing so, the wonk becomes the conduit for the experts, or more exactly a crucial means by which their authority is reproduced.