Creating a knowledge culture

Knowledge is key to ensuring that people are learning, growing and engaged in their professional careers. Often organisations leave it to individuals to undertaken training; this only benefits the person and their close group of colleagues. To build a knowledge culture within your landscape architecture firm or organisation, their needs to be opportunities for people to learn and to engage beyond the day to day problem solving and administration.

Knowledge sharing within a profession or organisation offers many benefits, including:

  • increases innovation
  • increased problem solving
  • quicker decision making
  • personal connection with others
  • allows for greater collaboration between small and large groups

Sharing knowledge within an organisation (design firm, school, community group) not only impacts on individuals but also in teams and the organisation with higher engagement and team building.

Investing in knowledge sharing does have a time cost for the team, individuals and organisation; however, the team building and increase in learning and efficiency will often significantly outweigh the time cost.

Knowledge sharing sessions can be hosted internally by a member of the team who is considered an expert or knowledgeable in an interest area (plants, soils, design, software, etc.). Alternatively, you can hire an external expert to present to the group or organisation when the topic is complex or is new to everyone.

There are numerous ways to share knowledge including

  • Group training Session (internal or external hosted) is a simple session with a slide deck and some interactive sessions.
  • Brainstorming session (idea jam, design jam) allows people to get together to discuss ideas freely
  • Bulletin board and chat – often having the ability to ask a question everyone in an organisation can stimulate an informal discussion providing learnings for everyone. However, these can become messy and need curation in a central location for future reference.
  • Hands-on/Prototyping – in the office or out into the field and either using simple materials (paper, card, foam – preferably repurposed waste or recycled) to strategise and develop a solution to a problem.
  • Analysis/P.O.E. – this can be either in the office or out in the field where you undertake a formal or informal post-occupancy evaluation (P.O.E.) of a project.

Tools for knowledge sharing

For a successful session, it is best to set guidelines for the presenter (facilitator) and provide objectives for the attendees. You made need some to moderate (facilitate) the session depending on the session’s objectives and exchange of ideas. Asking for feedback from those who attended the session can be beneficial when planning future courses.

Creating a knowledge culture in your organisation allows for higher growth for everyone and the organisation enabling everyone to gain new skills and share their expertise leading to greater satisfaction in their professional life.

Cover Image: John Ciccarelli, Bureau Land Management (c) Public Domain Mark 1.0

Creating a knowledge culture was written by Damian Holmes, Editor of World Landscape Architecture

DISCLAIMER: This article is for educational purposes only. Links provided in this article are not an endorsement. The content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest. It’s not intended to be comprehensive, nor to constitute advice. You should always obtain professional or legal advice, appropriate to your own circumstances, before acting or relying on any of the above content.

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