Your KCS program manager should be Jacinda Ardern

Aprill Enright
3 min readApr 8, 2020


Jacinda Ardern photo credit NZ Herald

Your KCS program manager should be Jacinda Ardern

Like many people around the world, I’ve been following the leadership of New Zealand through the COVID crisis. Jacinda Ardern’s style is direct and firm, but empathetic to the range of responses that can be expected from the public. The way their Prime Minister is leading New Zealanders, right now, is exactly the kind of leadership we need from KCS Program Managers for a successful adoption of Knowledge Centered Service. As the KCS Adoption Guide states, The KCS Program Manager is the chief evangelist for KCS. They must be a great communicator and be modelling the desired behaviours. Given Ms Ardern’s Bachelor in Communication Studies, it’s no wonder she’d be an ideal leader for my KCS Dream Team.

Elements you can take from New Zealand’s COVID leadership

1. The tagline “Unite against COVID-19” is in every form of communication-in print, in person and in social media. It succinctly communicates the expectation and purpose in a few memorable words. This is used over and over again to remind New Zealanders they are in this together. In a KCS adoption program you will be doing the same thing- reminding people why.

2. The yellow card describing the COVID alert levels is akin to a strategic framework and phased KCS adoption plan. From this it’s very clear what to expect when, the obligations and the likely variations to the plan.

3. Ms Ardern has demonstrated empathy in a time of upheaval and made herself available through social media channels for the public to ask her questions about how these plans affect their personal circumstances. It’s just good change management to understand individual responses and allay fears.

4. New Zealanders have already been shown how the sacrifices they are making are contributing to desired outcomes. This motivates the public to stay on track, because they are seeing the evidence, and the feedback reinforces why they’re being asked to keep going. When the impact of our behaviour change is recognised, it becomes a powerful motivator to stay the course.

Nearly two weeks into Alert Level 4, modelling shows that by staying home, we’re limiting the spread of the virus. And limiting the spread means we’re saving lives. Together, let’s keep going — stay home, save lives.

- New Zealand Labour (@nzlabour) April 6, 2020

KCS is a different way of working. It requires commitment to significant behaviour change and ongoing reinforcement, so take a leaf from Jacinda Ardern’s playbook.

More reading:

Identifying and Communicating Impact

10 things we can learn from the way Jacinda Ardern communicates

Interested in KCS training?

Originally published at on April 8, 2020.



Aprill Enright

Knowledge management is your platform for growth | KCS adoption, training & certification | Early-stage investor & advisor |