Archive for April, 2007

Now Recruiting

Keith April 26th, 2007

I am currently hiring a Knowledge Management Specialist at Telstra.  The position is permanent, and will be based in Melbourne or Sydney, Australia.  For more details, refer to the advertisment on Seek or MyCareer.

You need to have the right to work in Australia to apply for this position.

You can read a little more about what my team does in this post.

The Art Of Motivation

Keith April 23rd, 2007

“Employees, even hourly clock-punchers, will make an extraordinary effort if you reward them richly, treat them with respect and give them real power.”  This insight is from F. Kenneth Iverson, the “legendary” former leader of US steelmaker Nucor.  Read more in the article at Business Week Online.

Tying down Knowledge

Keith April 23rd, 2007

A contributor at actKM has raised a question about the definition of the word ‘knowledge’ in Knowledge Management.  I agree that there is little agreement on this, but my first thought reading this is that we are wasting our time if we try to define the term.  Like many words in English, it is context-dependent, and its meaning is evolving. 

I use the term in my business with a particular definition that is understood by my stakeholders.  Some would claim that what my team does is not actually KM at all, yet I still find this to be a useful term.  My definition may not be suitable in other businesses, and maybe not even in other parts of my own company.  However, this team has been successful for just over seven years.

In the post, KM is compared to other disciplines, including Project Management, Document Management and Change Management.  I do agree that KM can be quite different to these disciplines.  I don’t see this as a problem.  KM operates at a different level to these process-oriented disciplines.  KM may be part of all of these, and can also be other things at a different level. 

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The do it yourself world

Keith April 17th, 2007

Just read an article from the UK Daily Telegraph (carried in The Age here) about the latest in film-making – audience participation. This ranges from studios paying attention to blog comments right through to “open source” projects, where anyone can take part in refining the script and even editing the movie.

Another variant is the completed movie you can download and re-edit to suit yourself. A possible future option is to write yourself into the movie. (This is not about the completely DIY music and video of MySpace and YouTube – this is about organisations allowing access into their factories.)

Just after reading this, I received my irregular email newsletter from the delightful Connie Person, publicist for Ross Ryan at Coathanger productions. They are putting together a new CD compilation of Ross’s music (dating back to the 70s). The newsletter is calling for members of the mailing list to vote for tracks to be included on the CD. (Although I wonder how much longer CDs will be sold before downloads take over completely.)

Of course, Wikipedia is a prime example of audience participation, and the software industry has been doing open source for years, so the media and entertainment industries may be late entrants into this field. But what are the future possibilities? How many other industries will allow their consumers access to production?

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The learning process

Keith April 12th, 2007

“History teaches us that man learns nothing from history”
     – Hegel

“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”
     – George Santayanna

Continual Learning

Keith April 5th, 2007

I spoke at CPA Australia’s National Public Sector Convention in Brisbane on 21 March.  Hard to believe that it was just over two weeks ago!

As I have written here before, I enjoy speaking at conferences.  Apart from learning lots from other speakers and the networking opportunities, it is a great chance to play tourist in between everything else.  I strongly believe in continual learning.  My personal development plan (agreed with my manager) is mostly based on attending conferences. 

I do sometimes think about going back to formal study again some day.  It is now 13 years since I graduated with an IT degree, and I have done no formal study since then.  I have dabbled though – First Aid, Teaching Migrants English, a little German language.  All very enjoyable.

However, it occurred to me a while ago that speaking at conferences fills a very similar niche.  In both roles, you need to do your research, and prepare your material for submission.  The conference is your final exam, and the session feedback provides your results.  (Perhaps a better indication of results is being invited back again…)

There was some discussion last year on actKM about conferences, and the best ways to run them.  An observation made about speaking (I think it was in the actKM discussion) that I have noticed myself is that about 50% of the response you get in your feedback comes from your expectations and how you feel about your session.

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Achievement

Keith April 5th, 2007

“It is often believed that we are all born with certain gifts, abilities and limitations.  Successful people learn to use their innate capability to the full, but the true triumph of the human spirit is when we rise above our limitations, strengthen our abilities and perform beyond that which we are given.”