Archive for the 'Change Mgt' Category

A Tale of Two Cafés

Keith June 11th, 2011

David Gurteen has recently posted an article comparing his Knowledge Café concept and World Café, which are similar processes, but with “some subtle but significant differences”.

As I have been doing a fair bit of both work and writing on collaboration recently, I have been attempting to sharpen up my own ideas about these techniques and the differences. In practice, I tend to modify the techniques to match the context, rather than necessarily follow a strict format, but it is useful to understand the origins and strengths of the different approaches.

David has spelt out the differences quite thoroughly in his article, but I thought that it may be helpful to put together a bit of a summary here, also drawing on my own experience and observations.

 World Café Knowledge Café 
Started in 1995. Started in 2002.
Community focussed. Business focussed. 
Described in community language. Described in business language.
Used to address social issues and build community. Used to address business issues and build business communities.
Defined structure and process. Structure and process can be adapted to meet business needs.
Uses Table Hosts. Does not use Table Hosts.
The results of conversations are “harvested”. The conversations themselves are important – results are not normally harvested.

 

As David is at some pains to point out, he is not saying that there is anything wrong with the World Café approach – it is just different. Each approach has its place and purpose.

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Presentation – The Idea Monopoly?

Keith June 25th, 2010

“Nearly 60 percent of projects aimed at achieving business change do not fully meet their objectives.” – IBM, 2008.

Why does this happen? As many working in Knowledge Management and related fields understand, it’s all about people and complexity. Organisations are increasingly dependent on people and what they know in order to operate successfully in today’s environment. It is no longer sufficient for organisational change to be driven by a small handful of people – there is no monopoly on ideas.

This is the topic of the presentation I delivered last Wednesday night at the Melbourne KMLF.  The slide pack is now available on SlideShare.

I have posted on this topic here before, and delivered an earlier version of the presentation at trampoline.  

Key points in this presentation are:

  • Recent insights into effective organisational change.
  • The impact of complexity and the importance of engaging people. 
  • Creativity and the wisdom of crowds. 
  • Social Media – the power of trust and openness.

For more background on the topics covered, here are some links to the material referenced:
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Picture the Future: Australia

Keith March 23rd, 2010

Yesterday, on World Water Day, Siemens delivered a presentation outlining their technology blueprint for a cleaner, greener Australia.  Using Siemens technologies in the fields of water and energy, they have put together a “technology blueprint for energy and water sustainability in Australia by 2030.” Impressive stuff.  Most impressively, they claim that even: “current available technology, with some fuel switching, could reduce the emissions from the electricity sector by up to 30 percent”.  Over the period 2000 to 2050, Australia’s population is expected to grow by 75%. The challenge is to reduce emissions over the same time period by 60%. Siemens claim that this can be done with the right mix of technologies, and without purchasing CO2 certificates from offshore.

Now if we could only get governments to pay some real attention to this…

Footprints

The issues

There are four Mega-trends in the world at the moment: Climate change, Demographic change, Urbanisation and Globalisation.  Energy is linked to all four, and water plays a role in two of the four.

Although we definitely have a number of crises on our hands in Australia, we sometimes forget that we are amazingly well-off compared to many parts of the world – for now.  We have plenty of water in Australia; it’s just not all in the right places.  We have excellent access to all known forms of energy; we are currently relying too much on coal & oil, the sources with the highest per capita emissions.  Our immediate survival is not under threat.  However, the time to act is now – before things get worse.  The “do nothing” option means that we can expect an increase in emissions of 50% over the same 50 year period.

We also often tend to see only the costs of the solutions. We need to remember that new technologies also create more jobs. There are sound economic reasons for changing the game. However, “changing our view of the future can be unsettling”. It would be much better for our economy to invest in technology rather than buying in offshore CO2 certificates!

What kind of future do you want?

Siemens have applied their “Picture the Future” innovation approach to these issues; this approach is:

Concept > Research > Scenario >Validation >Picture

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Engage, Energise, Empower

Keith March 15th, 2010

For some time I have been working with a team of highly-skilled consultants in a business consultancy group called “The 3e Factor”.  A new website for the group has just gone live. 

The 3e Factor is an innovative management consultancy specialising in business transformation, leadership development, and recruitment services, with its head office in Melbourne, Australia. Our focus is: Transforming Strategic Thinking into Reality by Developing Corporate Capability.

Have a look at the site, and browse the capabilities of the consultants working with the group.

Please feel free to contact me or The 3e Factor  if you would like to know more.

Trampoline presentation

Keith October 24th, 2009

I’ll be off to trampoline in just a few hours, with the intention of doing a presentation on “The Idea Monopoly?” I have blogged on this topic before, and you can see the slide pack on SlideShare here.

The topic of organisational change – and getting people more involved in it – is something I have been becoming quite passionate about for a while now.  This presentation at trampoline will be the first time I have presented on the topic. I intend to develop this work, and its linking themes, in time to come.  I am currently playing with a new term for this – “orgsourcing”. You heard it first here!

The Art of Business

Keith March 24th, 2009

I delivered a presentation yesterday that I really enjoyed putting together, and it was great fun to deliver!

The brief was a keynote presentation for Panviva’s annual SupportPoint User Conference.  SupportPoint is a “Business Process Guidance” system.

The brief was to deliver a Keynote presentation, and to set the theme for the conference: “Communication and Collaboration”.  The underlying theme that I used to couch this on was Creativity, and the importance of creativity in both leadership and knowledge work.  The slide pack is available on SlideShare.

I have used this as a good opportunity to shake off (at least some of) the shackles of PowerPoint – by using lots of pictures, and a lot less words.  Some of the photos are mine, and most of the rest are Flickr “Creative Commons – Attributions” licensed photos, all with links on the relevant slides.

As there are lots of pictures, some of the slides may not be clear without the voice over (which maybe I’ll add to SlideShare later).  The initial point is explaining my initial perceptions of creativity – influenced by the paintings of both my mother and my sister.  (See the post “Moving mountains” on this site for more of this story.)

The next section refers to the material in this post on creativity in leadership, and briefly touches on my thoughts on Change Management. I then go over some of my past experiences with a Knowledge Management Toolkit, and how we went about developing it.  The final part of the presentation picks up on a recent post on story at Anecdote, which includes a link to the story of “the one-armed boy”.

With that explanation, I hope it all makes sense, and that you enjoy this as much as I did!

Meta-surveys

Keith September 19th, 2008

A bit of breathing space on my current project…

Just reading about yet another organisational survey-like tool – you know, “rate your organisation’s ability at (xyz) on a scale of 1 to 10″.  It reminded me of one I was asked to respond to some time ago.  Working for a multi-siloed behemoth of an organisation, my response to each question was “it depends”.  There was no way to answer this sort of thing on an organisation-wide basis, because the answer would be different in different silos – or even different areas within each silo.

… which in turn made me think about other surveys that never seem to offer choices that make sense, and the general low opinion of surveys that many people have (particularly the odd one or two on actKM). :-)

So, I thought, why not make a survey a two-part approach. 

First, you send out an outline of the information you wish to collect and the set of questions that you think will be useful to collect the information (maybe to a sub-group of the full survey population).  Ask your correspondents to fill in the sort of answers that they would like to choose from, and to also suggest better questions to collect the information.

Then, use what you have collected to construct the actual survey.

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Monkeys – a reflection on how we do things

Keith August 7th, 2008

Start with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it.  Also, set up a system of cold water sprinklers over the whole cage.

Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs to climb towards the banana.  As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. The monkey will leave the banana alone and try to get away from the water.  Turn off the spray.

After a while, another monkey will make an attempt with the same result. Pretty soon the monkeys will get sick of getting wet, and will stop any of the monkeys from attempting to climb the stairs, even though no water sprays them.

Keep this up for several days.

Now, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.

The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. Even the previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.

Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.

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Testosterone

Keith June 26th, 2008

As a counterpoint to the earlier post on my opinion of how to do Change Management, this is an unedited extract of an article about Telstra that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 30 May last year. 

Mr Winn earlier updated business leaders on Telstra’s five-year transformation program…  As well, Mr Winn, who began his career as a linesman in the US, delivered a testosterone-charged description of the new management style at the telco.

“We’re not running a democracy. We don’t manage by consensus,” he said.  We’re criticised for it. The fact of the matter is we run an absolute dictatorship,” he said.

A cultural shift was needed at the former government-owned enterprise, along with changes in business processes, he said.  “If you can’t get the people to go there and you try once and you try twice … then you just shoot them and get them out of the way.”

I offer this without further comment.  Please compare this with the earlier post and tell me which view you think offers the best business result…

Problem solving

Keith June 26th, 2008

“It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problem just with potatoes.”
 - Douglas Adams

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