Organizations, like people, are often at their best when facing an urgent challenge: grasping a new business opportunity before others can, defending against a threat, or reacting to a surprise external event. People work together, build on each other’s special expertise, and find a solution – in fact, they become very effective knowledge managers.
After it’s over, people often ask: “why can’t we collaborate like this all the time?” Why can’t this free flow of knowledge between individuals and groups be a permanent part of the organization’s culture? Unfortunately, given the chance, people often lapse into hoarding behavior, intentionally or unintentionally, and the old siloes re-establish themselves. What can be done to avoid this?
One idea is to look at what effective crisis management project teams do well and then aim to replicate those behaviors and systems at enterprise level. Members of effective teams perform their individual roles at a high level but they also work together to solve problems and generate solutions – by contributing their individual insights and experience and by asking the right questions of each other.