welcome to AcKnowledge Consulting

This is the blog site of AcKnowledge Consulting and Keith De La Rue.

Main focus: Optimising Sales Force efficiency by effectively managing and delivering the knowledge required to meet customer demands.
How this is done: By building a managed knowledge transfer toolkit.

Mr. Conroy, you are Talking Cock!

Keith November 13th, 2008

Talking Cock (v.): A Singaporean term meaning either to talk nonsense or engage in idle banter.
 
- The Coxford Singlish Dictionary

Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of traveling to Singapore on a number of occasions to speak at conferences.  I have greatly enjoyed the experience - both the conferences, and wandering around Singapore as a tourist.  I have met some fantastic people there, and have greatly enjoyed the culture – and the food!

Singapore is a land of contrasts.  It is richly multicultural, with all public signage in four languages.  The population is predominantly Chinese, yet most of the public institutions are as British as they were before independence.  It has earned a reputation as a non-democratic nation, yet the country is alive with art and innovation, and not in the least like a totalitarian state.  I feel safer walking around the streets anywhere in Singapore than I do in some parts of Melbourne.

Some would like to portray Singapore as a place where freedom of speech is suppressed by the government, yet Singapore is now becoming increasingly open. One friend I have made in Singapore is Enrico Varella.  Enrico introduced me to a fantastic local web site – Talking Cock.

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We are the champions

Keith November 6th, 2008

I am apparently now a “Digital Ministry Champion“. I have just posted my first article: To tweet or not to tweet.

This article is a summary of several previous posts on this site:

You’ve read about Social Media. You may have dipped a toe in the water here or there – or you may be up to your armpits. But have you tweeted yet? What’s all the buzz (or should that be “chorus”) about Twitter? Scared about making the commitment? I was not long ago, too… View full article

Also new to this article:

I have also found [Twitter] to be an amazing way to engage in “open note taking”.  I like to record notes when I attend seminars.  For some time, I have been taking notes on a PDA rather than on paper, as the notes are then synchronised with my PC, and available for blogging or other reuse.  This is great for me.

But with Twitter, I can take notes in just the same way, and everyone “following” me on Twitter can choose to tune in if the topic is of interest.  The notes are necessarily brief, which helps to keep them focused.  Some of the feedback I have received from this has been overwhelmingly positive, with some stating that it is just like being there themselves.  (This is something I will blog about later in more detail.)

… watch this space!

Clancy on video

Keith November 5th, 2008

Well, as promised threatened, a video of “Clancy of the Knowledge Flow” is now available on YouTube. (If you want to skip the introduction, the music starts at 1:40 into the video.)

Read more about this on the previous post here, or go directly to the full list of the lyrics.

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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Effective organisational comms

Keith October 31st, 2008

I delivered a half-day workshop at the 2008 CPA Congress on Friday last week on Effective organisational comms – Blending traditional and Web 2.0 techniques.  The slide pack is now available on SlideShare.

This workshop was all about developing a toolkit approach to organisational comms, with an emphasis on social media. Includes engaging and collaborating, segmenting the audience and putting it all together.

You can also see other slide packs on my SlideShare, and a full list of published documents on the Docs page on this site. 

If you would like a presentation or workshop on any of these topics delivered to your organisation, please contact me to arrange.

Free advice for new Knowledge Managers

Keith October 29th, 2008

Several attendees at the actKM conference were interviewed about what advice they would give to people new to the field of KM. You can now listen to their advice on the actKM site!

Matt Moore interviewed several people: Mark Schenk, David Gurteen, Arthur Shelley, Graham Durant-Law, myself and Cory Banks.

My favourite comment in these interviews was from David Gurteen, paraphrasing: “There is no KM strategy; only business problems that we can use KM tools to solve.”

My advice (at 5:58 into the recording) is about the “middle-out” approach that we used for developing our KM strategy at Telstra.

Self-promotion in 140 characters

Keith October 25th, 2008

Problogger has asked for readers to write about their own blogs – in the character limit of a Twitter message.  This is running as an experiment over this weekend, and the messages are being posted as comments on the post.

Here’s mine:

Knowledge, communication, storytelling, language, learning, social media; with a dash of Zen. Oh, and consultancy and a big black cat.

If you are here because you read this, then you can read about the big black cat here.

You’ll find the Zen posts here.

Paycheck

Keith October 23rd, 2008

US researchers said they are able to selectively erase memories from mice in a laboratory, raising hopes human memory afflictions like post-traumatic stress syndrome can one day be cured. 

An initial step has now been taken towards the ability to erase memories.  This takes us one step towards the scenario in Philip K Dick’s story – now also John Woo movie, starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman – Paycheck.

In the movie, this capability is used for less altruistic purposes. 

Even though most science fiction writers deny that they predict the future, it is always interesting to see life imitating art…

Clancy of the Knowledge Flow

Keith October 21st, 2008

One of the highlights of this year’s actKM Conference was the Collaboration Cabaret. This is well documented on Serena Joyner’s site.

My contribution to this was a musical item.  It was introduced something like this:

Australia actually has a long history in Knowledge Management.  Over a hundred years ago, we had two key practitioners in the field – ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Henry Lawson.  They did some ground-breaking work in conveying knowledge of life in rural Australia to the emerging urban environment. 

They collected knowledge using Anecdote Circles (around the campfire) and delivered it as Springboard stories, often published in a major Knowledge Management publication of the day, The Bulletin magazine.

Tonight, we will look at one of Banjo’s key archetypical characters, Clancy of the Overflow.  Clancy works in an ideal environment as a drover.  The Narrator is contemplating his lot in his “dingy office”. 

We are updating the story: how would these knowledge workers fare in today’s collaborative environment?

To find out, read the full lyrics.  Breaking news: The video is now on YouTube here.

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