Context Founded in 1971 Now...annual revenues +$100m (government / foundation funding) 10 – 12 projects (3-5 years) in 15-20 countries Specialists in a 6-8 “technical areas” – e.g., - HIV-AIDS - Malaria - Pharmaceutical Management
Need for Knowledge Management “MSH is not a learning organization, too often the approach is to re-invent the wheel... [ it ] must develop / institutionalize processes for capturing institution learning, making it accessible” -- Big Deal Consultant (fall 2005) “As an organization, we don’t know what we know..” -- CEO (most of 2005 and 2006) A major topic area for an organization-wide “Global Meeting” (November, 2006)
MSH FY07 Priorities Success in winning new business Excellence in project implementation Strong technical leadership – knowledge exchange in core MSH areas
Addressing the need for Knowledge Exchange “Office of Communications & Knowledge Exchange” - strategic communications (external) - billable project work, learning, communications - internal knowledge exchange Internal Communications Project – develops overall strategy for knowledge exchange
Knowledge Exchange Strategy People Channels Culture
People Strengthen the training for new technical staff. Establish a mentoring and peer-to-peer support programs. Establish strategic practice areas with designated leadership and funding for each. Strengthen the PSL role for country programs.
Channels Implement mechanisms for MSH staff to easily find internal and external expertise. Create more opportunities for face-to-face interactions across projects and technical areas. Use technology more effectively to create easily accessible channels for knowledge exchange.
Culture Implement mechanisms to recognize knowledge exchange activities / behavior. Make knowledge exchange a factor in assessing the performance of technical staff. Maintain an organization focus on knowledge exchange; monitor and evaluate the initiatives.
Darkening Clouds on the Horizon … Several large contracts end No significant new business – increased competition, changes in federal funding Realization that MSH needs a new operating model – greater “country presence”
Lay-offs and Tough Choices Warnings – “there will be significant lay-offs” Functional analysis – what functions can you do at 70%, 50% of your budget? 35 staff laid off at all levels of the organization... How did “knowledge exchange” fare....?
Knowledge Exchange is expendable “Office of Communications & Knowledge Exchange” – strategic communications (external) – billable project work using technology for learning, communications – “internal knowledge exchange” New Intranet development put on hold Everything now focused on business development
Moral(s) of the Story There are “priorities”... and then there are priorities – business development & billable work Knowledge exchange was weakened by its location within a Communications group (and not with business units) KE Group didn’t show results quickly enough – knowledge exchange wasn’t seen as absolutely essential by business units