Archive for the 'Learning' Category

The Persuasion Paradox

Keith June 24th, 2013

“One way of talking that inhibits the exchange of knowledge is speaking with conviction.  That may seem contrary to what we’ve all learned in communication and leadership workshops, where one of the lessons often taught is to speak with confidence – “sound like you mean it”. Yet, as I examine conversations in the work setting, stating an idea with conviction tends to send a signal to others that the speaker is closed to new ideas.  When speaking with conviction people sound as though no other idea is possible, as though the answer is, or should be, obvious. “

Preaching

This quote is from Nancy Dixon’s recent blog post Bringing the Flow of Knowledge to a Standstill by Speaking with Conviction, cited by David Gurteen in his post To improve learning – don’t speak or write with conviction.

David also ties this concept in with a related concept about learning by Ellen Langer, from her book The Power of Mindful Learning. Her point is that if we are taught to do something by repetitive practice to the point that we can do it without thinking then we are unable to discovery or deal with situations that may require a different approach.

I would also like to introduce a third concept here – the idea that listening to inspirational teachers may be more enjoyable than listening to boring speakers, but that we actually don’t retain learning any better  from the inspirational speaker. This idea comes from recent research by Shana Carpenter, discussed by Annie Murphy Paul in the post Do We Actually Learn Anything From TED Talks?.

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Information Awareness Month

Keith May 13th, 2011

Later today I’m speaking at Knowledge transfer in a digital age - a free Information Awareness Month event in Melbourne, jointly promoted by a number of organisations in the “records, archives, library and information management community”.

I am presenting an updated version of the Knowledge Transfer Toolkit presentation - read more about the background on this site, including this recently published article. The outline of the presentation is as follows:

Building and managing a knowledge transfer program:

How do you encourage technical experts to share their knowledge with others in the organisation that need it to do their jobs? How do you maintain currency and accuracy? This case study presentation will explain how to build a successful knowledge transfer toolkit.

Topics include:

  • Encouraging knowledge-sharing behaviours
  • Building a program-managed multimedia toolkit, comprising content, communication, learning and social media
  • Governance – keeping content up to date
  • Engaging the target audience in improving content
  • Using social media principles to build trust and engagement

View or download the slide pack on SlideShare here.

Info Management Conference

Keith February 28th, 2011

On Tue 15 Mar, I’ll be speaking at the Queensland Joint Information Management Conference for Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia. The topic is a familiar one – Building and managing a knowledge transfer program.

rimpa-logo

This will be similar to earlier versions of this presentation, but will have a little more stress on the use of Social Media principles in this work.  The outline is as follows:

How do you encourage technical experts to share their knowledge with others in the organisation that need it to do their jobs? How do you maintain currency and accuracy? This case study presentation will explain how to build a successful knowledge transfer toolkit, covering aspects such as:

  • Encouraging knowledge-sharing behaviours
  • Building a program-managed multimedia toolkit, comprising content, communication, learning and social media
  • Governance – keeping content up to date
  • Engaging the target audience in improving content
  • Using social media principles to build trust and engagement

See you there?

Building and Maintaining a Knowledge Transfer Toolkit

Keith February 23rd, 2011

Many large organisations have subject matter experts with a deep knowledge and understanding of business-critical information. This knowledge needs to be conveyed to a target audience in another area of the organisation, mostly comprised of staff with a lower level of technical expertise. In traditional organisational structures, content management, intranet, communications and training are often located in separate silos. Yet all of these areas provide tools that assist in knowledge transfer – the desired end result is an informed audience.

This splitting of functions can lead to inefficiency, duplication of effort, confused messages and errors. Other critical factors impacting effective knowledge transfer are maintenance of the currency and accuracy of content, as well as the problem of knowledge hoarding.

In this article, a strategy for building a complete knowledge transfer toolkit will be described. This toolkit includes a range of individual elements, comprising content management, communications, learning and multimedia elements, coordinated as a managed program. Approaches to maintaining the currency and accuracy of content, dealing with knowledge hoarding and the relevance of social media principles will also be addressed.

I have written here many times about the “toolkit” approach we used in my work at Telstra (2000-2008). This has been covered in a number of presentations that I have delivered, most recently at the 2010 CPA Congress. I wrote an article about it in 2009, and it was originally documented in a Case Study by Andrew Mitchell, also available on this site.

I have now published a more detailed article on the toolkit, chapter three in the book: TIMAF Information Management Best Practices – Volume 1, issued in November 2010. A copy of my article is now available for free download from this site here.

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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.

Capabilities

Keith April 7th, 2009

How do you define what you do? Particularly when the main thing you do is something as potentially nebulous as “Knowledge Management”?

In order to clarify the consultancy services that AcKnowledge Consulting is offering to the market, I have drafted a collection of Capability Statements. A Capability Statement is normally a fairly straightforward document, outlining a technical function that can be delivered by an organisation – particularly one operating in an area like IT outsourcing. This is fine where the technical capability is readily understood by all concerned.

The main area  of this consultancy service is Optimising organisational efficiency by effectively managing and delivering the knowledge required to meet business demands – with a particular focus on meeting the demands of a sales force. This could be summarised as “Knowledge Management for Sales”, but the term “Knowledge Management” can mean many different things. Accordingly, I have developed a slightly different format for my Capability Statements, as follows:

  • The Business Situation – an outline of the needs of a particular function or group within an organisation.
  • The Challenge – some specific issues in this area that require attention, or that are presenting a problem.
  • Where AcKnowledge Consulting can help – an outline of some of the specific ways that AcKnowledge Consulting can address these issues.
  • Why AcKnowledge Consulting? – some supporting information on relevant experience that can be brought to bear in this situation, including testimonials from clients as appropriate.

These documents are written on a single page for each capability.  For an example, see the Knowledge Transfer Capability Statement.  The current list of capabilities and statements is available on the About page on this site.

I welcome any feedback or comments on these statements, and how useful you may find them for understanding the services described.

KM Strategy Slide pack available

Keith March 11th, 2009

The slide pack I presented at the recent BrightStar conference – 7th Annual Information Management Summit, in Wellington, New Zealand – has now been loaded to SlideShare.

There is a brief synopsis of the presentation on a previous post.  Summary points as follows:

  • Developing a knowledge sharing toolkit
  • Keeping content up to date
  • Dealing with knowledge hoarding
  • Using multiple media and applying Social Media principles 

As I also chaired one day of the conference, there is also a bonus introductory slide pack, featuring photos of New Zealand!

Developing an Organisational KM Strategy

Keith February 17th, 2009

 After a long break (due to appearing to be very busy for some time), back to the blog.  Just a brief note to advise that I will be speaking in Wellington, New Zealand at BrightStar’s 7th Annual Information Management Summit on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 March. The title of my presentation is: Developing Organisation-Wide Knowledge Management Strategy and Incorporating Social Media in the Process.  A brief precis follows: 

This international case study presents the Knowledge Management and Transfer toolkit developed by the Telstra Corporation (Australia) Enterprise & Government KM team.
 
This toolkit was used to capture the product and service knowledge developed by the Product Management teams, and make it available to the business sales force, using an integrated program of content, communications and training initiatives.  This included developing a standard taxonomy, governance processes and templates, with all developed content made available via a single portal.
 
This presentation will focus on the processes used to maintain the currency of content, the use of an open policy and rewards and recognition to promote knowledge sharing, and the use of multiple media to ensure that the needs of the total audience were adequately catered for.

The lessons learned from this development are broadly applicable to knowledge capture and sharing in project teams, organisational changes, enterprise-wide knowledge programs and many other similar situations.

I will also be chairing day two of the conference. 

In other news, my son Scott is in the final stages of planning for a two-month trek on the National Bicentennial Trail with three friends (and six horses). We have set up a new blog for loading stories and photos once the trip commences.  They will be starting at Providence (near Canberra), and the plan is to finish at Knockwood, Victoria.  We will be travelling to meet them at least once during the trip.

So that’s two trips I’ll be doing in March, not counting a few days in Darwin for my mother’s 95th Birthday.  And then there’s the CPA Congress in Newcastle, as well…

Nostalgia – it ain’t what is used to be

Keith November 3rd, 2008

I have just been along to a reunion at my old school – Colac High School, in western Victoria.  I have only ever been to one of these before, and that was a long time ago.  All the more interesting this time, as this will be the last reunion at that campus, after something like 96 years of a school on that site.  A new, single campus is now taking over from the two original government schools – once the High and Tech schools.

It was an interesting experience.  Trying to recognise people after all these years was particularly interesting.  Some of the school-ground and buildings seemed almost identical to what I remember.  Some of the buildings do seem much smaller than I remember, too!  The old back-stage lighting control room in the hall was boarded up! I spent many happy hours there… Some of the locations brought back poignant memories, one of which I have written about here

I met a few of my classmates.  It was interesting comparing notes on the events of the intervening years.  I didn’t really ever engage with school much, or with many of the people there.  It was great to be able to effectively start off all over again with the people that I did meet. I may be in touch with some of them again.  I even met an old family friend, who had apparently once been a student there.

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The child inside

Keith October 31st, 2008

“We go on being children, regardless of age, because in life we are always encountering new things that challenge us to understand them, instances where a practiced imagination is actually more useful that all laboriously acquired knowledge.” – Milan Kundera.

This is quoted from an essay by Shaun TanPICTURE BOOKS: Who Are They For?

C S Lewis has also written (in the Narnia chronicles) on the importance of retaining a child’s view of the world.  (Not to mention the biblical injunctions.)

I have recently completed the StrengthsFinder assessment.  The accompanying book by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton provides a brief description of how the human brain develops.  We are born with “a hundred billion neurons”, and we keep “about that many up until late middle age.” More importantly, these neurons form connections – synapses – with each other.

By the age of three, “each of your hundred billion neurons has formed fifteen thousand synaptic connections with other neurons.”  But from this age, these connection start to fall into disrepair.  “… between the ages of three and fifteen you lose billions and billions of these carefully forged synaptic connections.  By the time you wake up on your sixteenth birthday, half your network is gone.”

This may not be final – there has been some recent work on brain plasticity (by Norman Doidge in The Brain That Changes Itself) – but it appears that in general the connections within our brain do not change appreciably after that age.

However, Buckingham and Clifton state that our effectiveness depends on how well we capitalise on our strongest connections; the point of the book and assessment.

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