Archive for the 'Collaboration' Category

The AcKnowledge Urban Challenge

Keith January 7th, 2014

Are you leading an organisation in Melbourne? Looking for a good, fun team-building event? How well do you know Melbourne? Try the AcKnowledge Urban Challenge!

melbourne

What is it?

The AcKnowledge Urban Challenge is part race, part scavenger hunt and part puzzle. Armed with a clue sheet, map and a list of questions, your people will attempt to find locations and solve challenges across the Melbourne CBD, in teams of four to six, over two hours.

This event is a game of strategy that involves walking, teamwork and using collective brainpower to plan a route around the city. At the locations, they will solve puzzles – including trivia, history, mathematics, geography and observation – and perform a few light physical endeavours.

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Art of Conversation – article edition

Keith May 9th, 2011

Further to previous posts here on the transformative power of conversation – the Ignite presentation at KMLF, and the trampoline presentation - I have now also written an article on the topic, which was published by Thomson-Reuters’ Online Currents last month.

This article has documented in a little more detail the recent research that highlights how conversation can actually make us smarter and more innovative – this research is from:

  • Anita Williams Woolley et al, who found that “small groups demonstrate distinctive ‘collective intelligence’ when facing difficult tasks”.
  • Steven Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From, on cultural progress and how innovation really works.
  • Oscar Ybarra et al, showing that even brief, friendly conversations can improve individual mental function.

This research is summarised and drawn together in the article, along with other thoughts on conversation, change and social media.

Download a copy of the article here.

The Art of Conversation – trampoline edition

Keith April 16th, 2011

So today I presented this topic at trampoline.  Trampoline is a “self-organising event for those who find the world interesting, have something to offer and share, and have an inquisitive mind”. I’ve been at some of the earlier trampoline days, and it’s great to get back and get energised again!

@kdelarue on conversation #trampoline

photo: thesquigglyline

This morning, I presented on the same topic as my last KMLF presentation – see this post for the details.  This time, I have tweaked the presentation a little, and had the luxury of enough time to get the audience engaged in the conversation. Since the KMLF presentation, I have also  written an article on this topic for Online Currents, which is being published this month. A copy of the article will be posted here a little while after the magazine is out.

The new slide pack is now up on SlideShare.  One thing that has emerged from this work that is added to this version of the presentation is my proposed Innovative Meeting Test:

  • Have we all been introduced?
  • Is everyone open and willing to change?
  • Are we all taking equal turns?
  • Is the talk friendly and constructive?
  • Do we have sufficiently diverse viewpoints?

Communities and collaboration

Keith February 20th, 2011

We know all about explicit knowledge – it is visible and tactile, and has been recorded in libraries since Sumerian times. Tacit knowledge, however, is somewhat harder to tie down. This is the knowledge inside peoples’ heads. We often attempt – with varying degrees of success – to convert it into an explicit form so we can better measure and account for it. However, one of the best ways to handle tacit knowledge is for people to simply work together with it, and talk about it. This article investigates one of the most effective ways of dealing with tacit knowledge in organisations – Communities of Practice – and why helping them to grow and flourish requires a better understanding of the words “community” and “practice”, as well as an understanding of the place of technology.

So begins the latest version of my thoughts on Communities of Practice – this time, in an article in the Thomson Reuters publication Online Currents. A full copy of this article is now available on this site.

This extends the ideas in my earlier article The theory and practice of communities.

The Art of Conversation

Keith January 20th, 2011

Some recent research has highlighted the transformative power of conversation. I presented on this topic at the Melbourne KMLF last night. This was one of three “Ignite” format presentations done on the night. This format requires twenty slides, timed at 15 seconds each. Total time per presentation – 5 minutes, plus discussion.

The slide pack, including speaker notes, is available at SlideShare. A list of references is also included on the Notes page of the last slide.

The main ideas drawn on for this presentation are as follows:

We also discussed the pros and cons of the format, with mixed results. I think that it is a great format, provided that it can lead into further discussion as required. We have just started using MeetUp for managing Melbourne KMLF events, so expect further discussion on the MeetUp post.

Making Collaboration Happen

Keith November 16th, 2010

I presented on this topic at Ark Group’s Collaboration Site Visits event in Sydney on 8 September.  The Slide Pack is now available on SlideShare here.  This was a half-day workshop, and it was delivered in three parts.  The title was, of course, intentionally misleading – the whole point is that you can’t really make collaboration happen – you need to set up the right environment to support it.

The first part  addressed the dynamics of collaboration and CoPs – a discussion about community.  This is built on articles I have written previously, one of which is discussed on this site.  This also refers to Stan Garfield’s Communities Manifesto.

The second part provided some of the outcomes of the work Matt Moore and I did in our survey and report OzCollab – Collaboration Software in Australia. We then broke into a collaborative exercise, using another card game involving Patrick Lambe’s KM Method Cards.

The final part of the session then addressed the approach to participative change that has also been discussed here before – The Idea Monopoly.  This highlights the need for creativity, trust and openness in today’s complex organisations, and draws on the Cynefin model and other recent research.

CPA Congress – Navigate the New

Keith October 6th, 2010

I will be presenting two sessions at the CPA Congress in Melbourne next Monday. 

Congress

The Slide Packs are now available on SlideShare – they are:

Knowledge Transfer Toolkit Program

This case study outlines how to capture knowledge from a team of experts and make it available to a non-expert target audience.

A managed program approach is used to bring together all of the (traditionally separate) threads of content management, communications and learning to form a coherent, flexible knowledge transfer toolkit. A key element in putting this program into place is to encourage the required behaviours of all participants, including promoting knowledge sharing.

Using social media as a business tool

Topics covered are:

  • Trust and openness –the new paradigm for engagement
  • The importance of people and personality
  • Evaluating the benefits, risks and challenges
  • Existing channels and new strategies
  • Practical examples of social media

Tool Time

Keith June 18th, 2010

I wrote here some time ago (almost two years!) about Patrick Lambe’s KM Method Cards.  This is a pack of quick reference cards covering 80 approaches, methods and tools that can be used in Knowledge Management planning, assessments and implementations. You can get the cards from the Straits Knowledge online store.

I finally had a chance to use them in a guest lecture I delivered recently at Victoria University (where my son was doing a KM unit as part of his business Master’s degree).

The game is described in full on the methodcards.net wiki site. 

In essence, it was used to support a presentation on KM technology, tools and techniques.  The full slide pack for the lecture is on SlideShare.

The first part of the lecture gave a general overview of KM tools and a case study scenario – an outline of the environment and cultures of a business where a KM program was introduced.  The students were then split into four groups, and cards were distributed to the groups.  Each group was then asked to select the approaches, methods or tools that they considered would be the most appropriate to address the case study scenario. 

After the selections were made and presented, the choices were then discussed.  The remainder of the lecture covered the tools actually used in the case study, with further discussion of how the students’ choices matched the real-world example.

Of course, there are no absolute “right” or “wrong” answers in this exercise – it’s the conversation that is most important! The main point is for the students to become more familiar with KM approaches, methods and tools, and to think through which would be most helpful in a given scenario.

For the full details, see the description on the wiki.

Culture, knowledge sharing and the Ocker

Keith May 7th, 2010

As part of some training material I have been writing for a client, I have revisited some related work I was engaged in some years ago.  One of the other authors I was working with then wrote a chapter on culture.  This work quoted a piece called Cultural variations in the cross-border transfer of organisational knowledge: an integrative framework, by R S Bhagat and others, from a 2002 edition of the Academy of Management Review.

This work describes national cultural patterns, and how they affect knowledge sharing.  Here is a simple summary diagram I have put together of the four basic types they described:

Culture & Knowledge Sharing

Both types of culture in the left column are independent and individualist, and predominantly Western. 

The top left quadrant is the domain of the rugged individualists.  They are mostly found in France, Germany, the UK and USA.  These people see each other as unique, and accept inequalities.  Thus they can naturally accept a social class structure.  They tend to hoard knowledge, and see this knowledge hoarding as power.  They like theoretical analysis.

The horizontal individualists in the bottom left domain see themselves as equal in status with each other.  Bhagat et al state that they also have “a relatively high tolerance for ambiguity and complexity”.   They are mostly found in Denmark, Sweden and Australia.  This is of particular interest, and will be discussed further.

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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!

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