I’ve always hated the idea that you need ‘management buy-in’ for any knowledge management initiative to succeed, it feels like a bit of a cop out. However, I saw a presentation at the recent Henley KM forum from someone about how she was embedding KM in her organisation. It was an update on a previous presentation she had done so it would have been difficult to hide lack of progress. What really struck me about the presentation – and which engendered waves of jealousy throughout the room was:
– she had a generous budget to work with
– if she had any major problems with resistance at management level, she passed them to her executive sponsor, and he ‘dealt with them’

From my experience, this high level commitment is unusual in the KM field and has obviously contributed to the progress that has been made. It seems that management buy in does make a difference. However – I still think those that moan about not getting this buy in could be guilty of making excuses. It was obvious that the speaker was highly competent and had worked hard to gain the trust of the higher echelons of the company. She had convinced them that this was important and they trust her to deliver. When we talk about lack of management buy in, I wonder whether what we might really mean is our lack of success in making a persuasive case and developing a real level of trust with our management teams.