Archive for the 'Knowledge Mgt' Category

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.

Info Mgt Clinic & ECM Survey

Keith December 16th, 2010

In late March 2011, Matt Moore of Innotecture and I will be running an Information Management Clinic in Melbourne. This is a session focused on information “pain relief” and practical problem solving.

In conjunction with this event, we are running an Enterprise Content Management maturity assessment survey based on the open source ECM3 methodology. It should take you 10 minutes and you will be in the running for some nifty Apple technology. Summarised results will be available under a Creative Commons license. So please take the survey and let us know what’s going on!

More information on the clinic will be posted here and on the Innotecture site as it is developed.

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).

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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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.

Who are you?

Keith February 23rd, 2010

There was some recent discussion at actKM about automated online profiling systems.  These systems trawl the net collecting information on people by name, and put together a “profile” of the person.  This can have interesting results.  A single person can end up with multiple disconnected profiles; or many people with similar names may find themselves merged into a single profile.

Some of these systems allow you to take control of your profile, and edit and update it.  The business models used by these sites can also be interesting.  Some are free, and offer premium services for a fee.  Some only allow you to take control of your profile for a certain fee. The information collated on the site may include details that are correct or incorrect; and the information may be current or out of date.

One that I have registered with is ZoomInfo, which allows me to log in and take control of my profile free of charge. I have been able to clean up the information there – although since my first clean-up, a heap more out-of-date info has been added, and a second profile created based on a mere mention of my name on another site with a link to a blog post here.  I have been able to easily merge this in to my existing profile. (Although some of the changes I made today may still take some time to appear on the site!) The site also keeps cached copy of the content that they found my name in – some of which is now up to four years old, and no longer exists at the original site. It seems that although I can edit my profile, I have no control over what out-of-date info they store about me in their cache. 

This has mostly been a positive experience, although I don’t remember seeing a lot of security to stop anyone else (whether of the same name or not) taking control of a profile.

I did once have a similar experience with a site called “Spock”, which seems to now have been subsumed into “Intelius“, purporting to be “The world’s largest and most accurate public record source.”  Although this does still provide links to some relevant sites on the search results, it no longer gives me any control over a profile, and all of the  “more detail” links refer to a name only vaguely like mine, and all results are within the USA. This seems to me to be a rather limited view of “the world” – as I understand it, the USA only accounts for 4.5% of the world’s population (according to the US Census Bureau).  However, for those in the USA, the sort of information stored here can supposedly include criminal records and “background checks”, which you have no apparent control over. 

This trend highlights the great benefit of occasionally searching for your own name on the net – that’s how I found out about ZoomInfo. It’s worth occasionally finding out what others are saying about you online. However, this is easy for someone with a name like mine – a Scottish first name and a French surname. So far as I know, I am still the only “Keith De La Rue” on the net. I pity all the “John Smiths” out there, and those with names of similar popularity of other ethnicities. (The secret is to choose your parents wisely – or change your name!) 

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Realising Our BroadBand Future

Keith December 7th, 2009

Can’t believe I forgot to post to the blog for all of November!  At least I have something new to post now…

The Government is hosting the “Realising Our BroadBand Future” forum on 10 and 11 Dec, to map the applications and business models that will thrive in Australia’s high speed broadband future.

Thanks to John Wells and co at CivicTEC, I am facilitating a parallel session in Melbourne that will generate some contributions to the discussion.  The session is at 8:30 to 12:00 next Thursday 10 Dec. Deloitte are very kindly hosting us at 550 Bourke St. This is a free session, but you must register. See the details, and click through to register here.

We’re talking about our connected future. This isn’t about technology, it’s about how we can all use it – to connect communities, build businesses, improve our education and health systems, create and innovate, improve our quality of life for all.  For those of you wishing to come along, please register as quickly as you can, as there are limited places available!  Read more in the Press Release.

I have circulated this to various networks in Melbourne – social media people, creative people, trampoline attendees, geeks, telecoms consultants and knowledge managers.  There should be some diverse points of view.  If you can’t make it, follow us on Twitter at #bbfmel.

Going to KM World?

Keith October 6th, 2009

The nice people at KM World offered me a free invitation to attend this year’s conference (17 to 19 November, in San Jose, California) in return for posting here about a discount offer for readers of this blog.  They have very kindly told me that this site is one of : “the top blogs covering knowledge management and knowledge workers”.

Unfortunately, I can’t really take them up on the offer to attend – not unless someone is willing to sponsor me for the travel and accommodation costs, etc – but you, dear reader, can still take advantage of the discount offer.  You get a $200 discount on each full-conference pass, and you can also sign up for a free expo pass, all by clicking through to the discount offer.

They did send me this some time ago, and I am not sure if there is a cut-off date for the discount, so you may need to be quick.

So now you can’t say that I never do anything for you…

:-)

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