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Raising skills through knowledge sharing: route to a breakthrough?

December 19, 2012
At IACCM, we wrestle with the challenge of how best to encourage professional excellence. The contracting community – buy and sell – is often reluctant to share information, to mentor, to seek and use research to drive continuous improvement. And we know this is not specific to the experience we have at IACCM, because senior managers within companies make the same complaint, about how hard it is to get their teams to develop shared knowledge, to capture and record experiences.
Much of this appears to be due to a lack of confidence in the value of the function. Individuals see few role models in their leaders, most of whom appear to have reached their position because they were talented practitioners, not because they were necessarily commited team players. The perception is that security and success depend on individual know-how, so sharing seems a bad idea.
With this in mind, I found a news story about hospital consultants of particular relevance and interest.
About a year ago, the UK Government introduced ‘league tables’ for hospital consultants responsible for transplant operations based on their success rate. This is now to be extended to all medical consultants.
Such a move raises obvious questions over impact. Apparently the experience has been that consultants – far from avoiding risk – are seeking more complex cases to raise their reputation. Death rates have fallen. The benchmarking has also had the effect of increasing knowledge sharing as they seek to learn from each other. Commitment to continuous improvement – a fundamental of any professional status – has increased.
So should IACCM encourage similar behavior by publishing comparative skills data of its certified members? Obviously this could not be done without consent, but perhaps it would be the way to drive true professionalism and an on-going commitment to excellence.
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