Archive for the 'Motivation' 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.

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.

The Business Adventure

Keith March 9th, 2010

Adventures are not adventures if there isn’t a degree of danger and uncertainty about them. – Ewan McGregor

Adventure

While in Blackwood this weekend, we drove into Trentham for a visit.

There was a group of motorcyclists in town, and I struck up a conversation with one (who was riding a very nice touring BMW). He was preparing to take part in the “2010 Long Ride”, an event to raise funds for prostate cancer research in Australia, in which he and others will be riding from Melbourne to Darwin via New South Wales and Queensland – a distance of over 4,000 km.

I talked about my 1980 trip across the Nullarbor from Melbourne to Karratha, WA. On this trip, I travelled 5,000 km in six days on a GSX 750 Suzuki (and home again at a slightly slower rate).

Crossing the Nullarbor

This put me in mind of “Long Way Round” – Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s epic 2004 motorcycle ride across Europe, Russia and North America. I have recently watched this on DVD, and have now just started reading the book. Inspiring stuff!

Thinking about this on the way home, I also thought about some of the other things I had heard about adventuring from Nick Farr at a recent CPX meeting.

Climbing Everest is pretty serious stuff. Here are some of the thoughts that I tweeted from Nick’s presentation:

  • The number of deaths on Everest is 8% of the number of summiteers.
  • A dream becomes a goal when you start actively planning it.
  • Success requires taking risks.
  • Failure teaches that taking risks is crucial.
  • Failure provides an experience you can’t buy.

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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!

Life Explained

Keith September 30th, 2009

OK, so it’s not original – but I rather like it. Received by email from my son:

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village. A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish, and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long.” they answered in unison.

“Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We have a full life.”

The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?”

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?”

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years.” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks, and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fishermen.

“After that, you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends…”

And the moral of this story is: know where you’re going in life – you may already be there!

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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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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What about the workers?

Keith August 28th, 2008

Now everybody wants one:

Mistake makes ‘iPhone girl’ a celebrity

“A Chinese factory worker has become a celebrity after her smiling face was accidentally loaded onto an Apple iPhone and shipped to the other side of the world, her employer has said.

“The unidentified worker flashed a smile and made a peace sign to a co-worker whose job was to test the device’s camera in the southern city of Shenzhen, said a spokesman for Foxconn, which assembles the phones for Apple.  The woman’s colleague apparently forgot to delete the photo from the phone, which was sold to a consumer in Britain, who posted it [to MacRumors.com] on the Internet, Foxconn spokesman Liu Kun told AFP on Wednesday.”

Apparently Apple have no plans to adopt this as standard practice, but this raises an interesting question:

“As one person wrote in an Internet post: ‘It would be great for every Chinese worker who makes your iPhones to take a snap of herself or her factory friends … a hello from a person you would never otherwise meet.  Globalisation in practise.’”

A new social networking technology?

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