Archive for July, 2007

The vendor conundrum

Keith July 31st, 2007

There are some more good comments on KM Australia from Serena Joyner on the NSW KM Forum blog. 

Serena raises the perennial question of how to cope with vendor presentations at such major events.  KM is about people, but I think that most of us agree that many (although certainly not all) KM initiatives require some technology to support them.  Events like this need funding from vendors to make them possible (or they will come with much higher fees).  The vendors need to see some return on this investment, so they need a speaking spot.

The result is two entirely different types of presentation.  One from the viewpoint of people (and these may be either actual case studies or may be more about possibilities and research) and the other from the viewpoint of IT systems. 

Ark did concentrate on having the vendors present much more from a Case Study point of view this year, which did help.  But one vendor case study presentation that stuck in my mind still tended to focus much more on the actual system implementation and rollout than on the business situation that the technology solution was intended to address.

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The digital tribe

Keith July 27th, 2007

Some more thoughts from KM Australia

  • One of the speakers (I didn’t note which one!) gave a brief case study of the new employee using instant messaging to contact her friends outside the company for help with IT and other issues, because she knew that she would get an easier and quicker response than using internal support services.  Cheryle Walker from NAB talked about the learning team that uses a wiki set up outside the firewall, as they couldn’t get what they needed internally.  After having worked in a pure IT role for about five years some time ago, I am coming to have some sympathy for the Dilbert view of the “Preventer of Information Systems”.
  • The personalisation of value creation is happening.  Apparently over 13,000 people in Deloitte are now using Facebook.  Is this yet another example of people working outside organisations to get things done?  I would be interested to know more about what they are actually doing with it, and what the benefits are…
  • David Snowden took great delight in stirring us all up with his opening keynote.  As mind expanding as ever!  It was interesting watching how other speakers coped with some of David’s thoughts.  Another variation on “I only know what I know when I need to know it”:  the problem with building a knowledge-sharing culture is that critical knowledge can only be shared at the time that it is needed.  To me, this highlights more than ever the need to facilitate connections between people.

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The two things wrong with the world

Keith July 23rd, 2007

A highlight from KM Aus – Michel Bauwens on “Peer to Peer – the new paridigm for social innovation” (my paraphrase):

“There are only two things wrong with the world today. We treat nature as if it was infinite; and we limit the immaterial world by imposing artificial scarcities (such as copyrights). Let’s swap this around. Let’s swap material accumulation for intellectual and artistic accumulation.”

See more on Michel’s site.

KM Australia

Keith July 23rd, 2007

Well, here I am. It seems to have come up all of a sudden! If you’re visiting Ark Group’s  KM Australia in Sydney today or tomorrow, track me down and say hi! I’m not speaking this year, just listening and learning.

Nothing new under the sun

Keith July 22nd, 2007

“An immense and ever-increasing wealth of knowledge is scattered about the world today; knowledge that would probably suffice to solve all the mighty difficulties of our age, but it is dispersed and unorganised. We need a sort of mental clearing house: a depot where knowledge and ideas are received, sorted, summarized, digested, clarified and compared.”

 - H.G. Wells in The Brain: Organization of the Modern World, 1940.

Thanks to KK Aw for this gem, via an AOK post.

Blog of the Week

Keith July 19th, 2007

Stan Garfield at HP has just awarded me with “Blog of the week” for the KnowHow Toolkit article!

Knowing your Environment

Keith July 18th, 2007

The current discussion on the AOK Star Series is on the topic: Can KM Rise to the Challenge of Solving the Climate Crisis?  Bruce Karney, the “star” moderator of this discussion, asks the excellent question – if we are all so smart, why don’t we do something about some of the important things? 

Most of us would rather work on important interesting projects than trivial boring ones.  If you are like me, you find the evidence regarding global warming to be compelling.  During the past year I have come to the realization that there is simply nothing more important for me to be working on than helping to alleviate climate change and the myriad disasters it will likely unleash on our descendants.

Is it possible that we, as a species, KNOW what is coming, KNOW how to prevent the worst of it, and yet will fail to take action in time to do so?  If so, it will be the worst failure of knowledge management since humans obtained the ability to distinguish between good and evil.

One aspect of the climate change “debate” is the pros and cons of alternative energy sources, and whether they can provide “baseload” energy production.

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Keith July 16th, 2007

Dogmamoron – when an authority’s inflexible principles work against their intent – the dogmatic equivalent of an oxymoron. E.g the ‘war’ on terror.”

 - Han van Loon, from actKM.

Bailey the Wonder Cat

Keith July 15th, 2007

See why I fear for the survival of my PC and printer over at YouTube.  (Video filming and editing by Renée. Warning – strong language.)

Uncommon Knowledge

Keith July 13th, 2007

Another list of interesting KM sites, and an interesting blog in itself.  Check out Lucas McDonnell’s list of 46 essential knowledge management sites and blogs.

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