Archive for July, 2008

Diversity, creativity and innovation

Keith July 31st, 2008

“Every really good creative person in advertising whom I have ever known has always had two noticeable characteristics. First there was no subject under the sun in which he [sic] could not easily get interested – from, say, Egyptian burial customs to modern art. Every facet of life had fascination for him. Second, he was an extensive browser in all fields of information.”
 - James Webb Young in A Technique for Producing Ideas (1965)

There have been a number of discussions on and off about what makes a good knowledge manager.  In various discussions, I have always been interested to note the amazing range of backgrounds people come from – and usually a somewhat chequered career path – to get to this point.  Personally, I have come via an IT degree, Project Management, Telecoms Consultancy, with a dash of adult learning and communications thrown in.

As “knowledge management” is such a broad church, there are a range of disciplines such as librarianship, information management, content management and IT that you would expect to see, but why are there so many zoologists now working in KM?  I must admit that I haven’t met too many in the field from an advertising background (as per the quote above – highlighted in actKM a while ago), but these fields may well share a preference for diversity – and creativity. 

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Danger, Will Robinson, danger…

Keith July 31st, 2008

Apologies if you have visited this site any time in the last 12 hours or so, and noticed that it didn’t look quite right.  Something caused complete chaos…

I realised that I hadn’t checked for dead links for ages, and ran LinkSleuth.  In fact, I may never have used it since setting up the WordPress blog.  This is a great little program that has always worked very nicely in the past, but this time it apparently caused complete chaos.  Half the posts on the site vanished, the theme changed back to the basic old WordPress look, and all the Categories vanished.

I am still not quite sure what happened.  I may have entered the URL into LinkSleuth in such a way that it behaved incorrectly; the way I have my site set up with redirects may have upset LinkSleuth; or LinkSleuth may just be a bit dangerous with WordPress for some reason.  I’m not sure about this, but I can’t find anyone else complaining about it on Google.

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Event afterwords

Keith July 29th, 2008

A number of other bloggers have been writing about the KM Australia conference.  I have posted links to a couple on the Melbourne KMLF blog, and Ark have now posted some more links – see the following:

  • Martin Dart has a few quite detailed posts on his blog.
  • Shawn has put up a post that includes the results of the dotmocracy exercise on “Trust creating behaviours”.
  • Cheryl Doig posted on “The Importance of Trust“.
  • Anthony Coles posted his thoughts: “There were more cliches and acronyms than a orthodontists convention…”
  • Che Tibby, vising from NZ, has posted this so far.
  • Gene Smith posted before the conference here and here – I expect that there may be more to come.
  • Jeff Kelly also posted before the conference here.

(For all posts on this topic here, see the KM Aus 08 category.)

Regarding the KMLF session – a bit hard to say more than Frank has already written at VPS-CIN!

Hit me again, dealer!

Keith July 25th, 2008

card.jpg 

Patrick Lambe has produced a fantastic little resource for KM practitioners – a pack of KM Method Cards.  This is a pack of quick reference cards covering 80 approaches, methods and tools that can be used in KM planning, assessments and implementations. You can get the cards from the Straits Knowledge online store.

The cards give neat, useful summaries of “KM approaches (eg CoPs, Information Literacy, KM Champions), methods (eg AARs, Pre-Mortems, Anecdote Circles) and tools (eg Wikis, Taxonomies, Competency Frameworks)”. Patrick’s team at Straits Knowledge has already been using them “in a variety of activities with our clients, often in helping them to visualise and plan how they are going to operationalise their KM strategies. Our clients have used them to provide quick reference guides to their KM activists and champions, and also to identify training and competency development needs.”

They are really neat, easy to carry around and use, and give a really good snapshot of all the topics in a form that can be very quickly read and digested!

A job worth doing

Keith July 23rd, 2008

“If something’s worth doing, it’s worth making someone else do it.”

I’m sitting in a small bar in Bourke St called “Spleen Central“, listening to a great three-piece jazz band (Heather Stewart jazz blues trio – featuring Heather on violin). Just come from this month’s KMLF meeting – more about that later. Ideal environment for a final post on KM Australia…

The quote above is in reference to another twist on social networking – Dabble Do. The idea is to use your online social network to get your friends to do your stuff for you.

The first session of the second day (which I sadly missed part of) was from Jeff Kelly. The following points are mostly from Jeff, so far as I remember.  (* Late addition – I expect some were also from John Girard and Ian Farmer of Bullseye – apologies to any other presenters I may be quoting here!)

  • Enterprise 2.0 is supported by three legs – technology, process and culture, and all three must be in balance. Unlike the old days of big IT installations, the technology is now the easy bit. Culture is now the challenge. We have to move from command and control to open and sharing.
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The power of openness

Keith July 23rd, 2008

How An Unknown Artist’s Work Became a Social Media Brand Thanks To the Power of Community – another story about the power of sharing, and social media: The Fail Whale.

This story shows the value of open content. By making an artwork freely available, an artist “is now going to profit in more ways than if she had simply made the art available for purchase.”  See more of the artist’s work here.

I just love these stories.  This again highlights the new direction for life and commerce made possible by social media.

Chicken chicken

Keith July 23rd, 2008

This is not one of the presentations from KM Australia…

(Thanks, Nerida!)

Zigging and tagging

Keith July 22nd, 2008

“It has always surprised me how little attention philosophers have paid to humour, since it is a more significant process of mind than reason. Reason can only sort out perceptions, but the humor process is involved in changing them.”
- Edward de Bono

The last presentation at KM Australia last night was from Gene Smith. This was one of my favourite types of presentation – wide-ranging, interesting, mind-expanding and minimal text on the slides.

The main topic was the future of information architecture. Among other things, Gene talked about the following:

  • Twitter search – compared to Google, this adds the power of mining conversations, as well as content.
  • Microformats – DOPPLR uses microformats to import your Twitter contacts. (Guess I’d better try this…)
  • Somebody during the afternoon – I think it was Gene – mentioned the Semantic Web in the same category as time machines: “not practical”.
  • Tagging – particularly social tagging (delicious, etc). He also mentioned ZigTag, which offers “tagging with semantic context.”

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Silver bullet?

Keith July 21st, 2008

The debate question: “Technology is the silver bullet for knowledge management.” The final vote result: overwhelmingly opposed.

Even the team arguing against freely admitted that technology is an important enabler – we aren’t Luddites – the argument is that it’s first and foremost about people.

Arthur asked another question – how many people changed their mind as a result of the debate? Only two.

Rumours of the death of KM exaggerated

Keith July 21st, 2008

This will be the first of a few posts directly from the floor of Ark Group’s KM Australia 2008.

(For all posts on this topic, see the KM Aus 08 category.)

The show started on a good note. Arthur Shelley asked for a show of hands from the audience to indicate all those from organisations that are increasing their investment in Knowledge Management. Over half of the audience of around 150 put up their hands.

This is definitely good news!

Sad news from Ark, though – Kylie is moving on! (Good news for Kylie, though – congratulations!)

Interesting keynote from Hideo Yamazaki. Japanese companies previously had very effective social networks, but the focus on efficiency in the 1990s destroyed this. This loss of “shared feelings” has destroyed trust, and thus reduced knowledge sharing.

The current awakening in the west to the importance of networks and trust means that we all now need to go back to where Japan already was for hundreds of years…

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