In Chapter 5, Fullan asserts that knowledge sharing is the “wave of the future” and certainly convinces his audience of its importance and social benefit. However, just teaching people information or having them ingest new knowledge will not lead to change or growth, because new information needs to be implemented and used to become useful. Fullan argues that while many companies invest resources into training and technology, they do not do it from the perspective of knowledge creation and sharing.
Although knowledge creation and sharing is an ideal objective, it is hard to locate, determine what is essential to share and then how to disseminate it throughout an organization. It seems obvious that tacit and explicit knowledge sharing is vital to properly functioning and effective company systems and structure. Companies spend billions of dollars in training, professional development, and worker’s knowledge, therefore it is vital that businesses find the way to share knowledge, skills. Losing inestimable amounts of social capital in the form of knowledge is not in their best interest because it affects quality, efficiency and overall performance of operations that incur several departments.
One way that businesses succeed in knowledge sharing activities is to encourage an organizational culture that values “mutual trust, active empathy, access to help, lenience in judgment, and courage” (Fullan, 2011, p. 82). While these qualities are not considered conventionally businesslike, they help create an environment where knowledge sharing and creation naturally occur because they are promoted. Also, from an HR management and a bottom line perspective, these activities are the most logical way to maintain and preserve the institutional knowledge and expertise within the walls of any organization. For example, a person who has realized the value of their knowledge and the importance of sharing it is: “a caring expert” who “is an organizational member who reaches her level of personal mastery in tacit and explicit knowledge and understands that she is responsible for sharing the process” (as quoted in Fullan, p. 86).
Chapter 6 (“Coherence Making”)deals with change and understanding that it is a necessary dynamic for evolving and growing. Fullan argues that “disturbance” done consciously can elicit desired and calculated outcomes (p. 109). However, top down approaches to management or enforcing structure and organization where it goes against nature and creativity and that a certain level of chaos is necessary to spur new thinking and solutions. This chapter also emphasizes qualities such as listening, slow learning/knowledge, patience, and points out that effective leaders do not have all of the answers and should not.
In Chapter 7, “The Hare and the Tortoise”, Fullan presents three lessons regarding how leaders need to take on the qualities of the hare from the classic fable and embody patience, listening and slow learning in order to win. These qualities contribute to building deeper coherence and committed members within an organization. The lessons in this chapter are meant to encourage traditional leaders to become leaders for cultures of change. Some of the leadership lessons that I found important in this chapter were: letting go of control, changing the approach to strategy to become a “context setter”, and developing and maintaining a vision as a leader and change agent (p. 112).