Archive for the 'Management' Category

The Innovation Conversation

Keith May 26th, 2014

We all like to have a chat with friends from time to time. Recent research has shown that this is not only a good thing to do, but that conversation – particular types of conversation – can actually make us smarter. It has been shown that conversations can improve the performance of groups and help us to be more innovative, as well as make us individually more capable at problem-solving. This article describes how meaningful conversations can be used to improve knowledge sharing and business outcomes, and summarises five rules for more innovative meetings.

iKnow Cover

As posted here before, I wrote a version of The Innovation Conversation a while ago for the Ark Group report Innovation and Transformation Through Knowledge Management, edited by Evie Serventi. This article is now available for download from this site.

Since then, a slightly condensed version of the article has also been published in the May 2014 issue of iKnow – The Magazine for Innovative Knowledge Workers.  This magazine is issued twice a year by the Institute for Knowledge and Innovation – South-East Asia (IKI-SEA).

This time, my piece is presented as part of Conversation – An Overlooked Technology,  a collection of articles on organisational conversation, guest-edited by David Gurteen for this issue of iKNOW. David explains the background of this work on his site.

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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Two events with Matt Moore, 11 April – “Followership” and Information Governance

Keith April 1st, 2011

Matt Moore, the chair of the NSW KM Forum, and I will be facilitating two Knowledge Cafés on 11 April, one on each of these topics.

These events will be taking place at the Abbotsford Convent. Information Governance will run from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Followership from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Booking is required for these sessions – entry is only $20 for each.

Information Governance: How do we manage this flood of “stuff” that we have created as individuals and organisations? More information here; Book now.

Followership: We hear a lot about leaders, but what about followers? Some more background at the Followership Centre; Book now.

Matt Moore is Director of Innotecture. He has over a decade’s worth of experience working in knowledge management, learning and development, internal communications and community development with PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM, Oracle and the Australian government. See more info at http://innotecture.co….

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone else that may be interested in attending.

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.

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.

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!

How not to apply for a job

Keith September 20th, 2008

I was reading somewhere online the other day about mistakes people make when applying for jobs. It reminded me of one episode some years ago – back when I was working in IT, and leading a small team.

Most times when we recruited new staff the process was fairly uneventful. Where it got interesting was the time that we advertised a new vacancy only about six months after a previous one.

The job descriptions for the advertised roles were pretty much the same each time. I noted that one of the applicants for the second vacancy was a guy that we didn’t even short-list for the first one. Let’s call him Mike.

Mike just didn’t seem to have what we were looking for the first time. When he applied the second time, he called me and said that he wouldn’t send me a copy of his CV, because he had: “already sent me one six months ago”.

I’m not sure that I was able to say much for the rest of the phone call. I also never found out if Mike was surprised when he again failed to make the short list…

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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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