MEE North Brabant - Internal and external knowledge network
2013 – MEE in the Dutch province North Brabant, provides information, advice and support to people with disabilities , autism or chronic illness. The target is to facilitate disabled people to participate in society as independently as possible. MEE North Brabant is active for eight municipalities in the area: Waalwijk , Oosterhout and the Land of Heusden and Altena. It employs 60 staff in two offices.
Knowledge network and teams responsible for results
For each municipality there are working 3 to 4 employees. It started with listing and allocation of areas to each employee. Thus these employees and their expertise are visible for the municipality as a customer and for the citizens with disabilities as well as possible. Employees, from their field of knowledge, are also known by the network in the municipality. Besides knowledge area’s are mutually known which allows for an easy reference. The aim is to be an open network where people from other organizations can make use of as well. The next step is to merge municipality teams and create teams that are responsible for results themselves. That also means organizing the division of clients and tasks among employees. Employees have a lot of knowledge of methods and content. On various subjects, internal trainers were trained. These give workshops to propagate the knowledge to MEE divisions and municipalities. An example are the workshops ‘social network strategy’ using the strengths of a family and their network.
MEE is at the start of the formation of the teams that are responsible for results. For the guidance of these teams there are selected three external agencies of which the employees themselves can choose one. In addition, MEE staff that have done the training for individual coach, may be involved in the counseling. In this transition to a different way of organizing the management is facilitating. Employees were invited to think about the transition to results-directed working. There is a central development team formed in which employees participate. Before the start it is determined which points are not negotiable; the development team may think about and advise on these points.
The ultimate aim of the team responsible for the results is that employees no longer work separately because knowledge area’s are bundled and employees can find each other. Employees know better how to exploit each other’s qualities. External organizations see the same people / faces every time they contact a team in a municipality. The offer for the client is clear: there are short lines, the care is provided faster and there is more flow of clients.
To share knowledge and expertise, employees should be proud of their work and convinced of the social importance of their work. Employees must convey that it is important to work for this organization. This awareness should be encouraged by management and employees themselves. Internal knowledge sharing requires a communication structure that supports employees to find each other. The management can appeal to the responsibility of employees by asking other questions, than they use to. Employees deserve support in dealing with bottlenecks in the process of organizational change. Indeed, it is a learning process. Celebrating success is important to hold the course set.
Themes: Dynamic management & Leadership; Team working