The digital tribe

Some more thoughts from KM Australia

  • One of the speakers (I didn’t note which one!) gave a brief case study of the new employee using instant messaging to contact her friends outside the company for help with IT and other issues, because she knew that she would get an easier and quicker response than using internal support services.  Cheryle Walker from NAB talked about the learning team that uses a wiki set up outside the firewall, as they couldn’t get what they needed internally.  After having worked in a pure IT role for about five years some time ago, I am coming to have some sympathy for the Dilbert view of the “Preventer of Information Systems”.
  • The personalisation of value creation is happening.  Apparently over 13,000 people in Deloitte are now using Facebook.  Is this yet another example of people working outside organisations to get things done?  I would be interested to know more about what they are actually doing with it, and what the benefits are…
  • David Snowden took great delight in stirring us all up with his opening keynote.  As mind expanding as ever!  It was interesting watching how other speakers coped with some of David’s thoughts.  Another variation on “I only know what I know when I need to know it”:  the problem with building a knowledge-sharing culture is that critical knowledge can only be shared at the time that it is needed.  To me, this highlights more than ever the need to facilitate connections between people.

  • Another speaker highlighted the “what’s in it for me?” factor.  Knowledge initiatives need to actually provide solutions to problems.  The same speaker again highlighted the benefits of getting people together face-to-face.
  • Did you know?  A very thought-provoking presentation from Karl Fisch.  This is a great way to focus on the world we are living in today.  I do feel that anything that is based on exponential growth rates is not necessarily always going to continue in the same way – some things do eventually plateau or diminish – but I wouldn’t want this to take away from the underlying importance of the message.  Shift happens!
  • Michel Bauwens’ presentation certainly highlighted the changes in learning.  We need to think much more about learning as a peer-to-peer process, and less as a hierarchical process.  We are moving away from the industrial mode of learning, where you leave your identity at the door.  Learning-based communities provide more meaning than traditional structures.  We are moving away from content and collection, and moving to context and connection.  How can we further enhance learning capability?

Are we already seeing the breakdown of authority structures?  Will the revolution still be televised?  Or will it be on YouTube?


  1. Brad –
    Thanks for the feedback! It was good to catch up. I like some of your comments – particularly glad to see you picked up on the stonecutter story. I ran out of room to include it in this post…

  2. Keith,

    The KM Australia conference had some real gems of information. Thanks for putting down some of them here. I looked over my own notes from the conference and see that I had asterisked the “outside the firewall” example from the NAB presentation too. It was also good to catch up with you at the conference.

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