Monthly Archives: May 2013

Is Knowledge an Asset at your Organization?

I used to be an accountant, we know all about financial/monetary assets and keeping track of them, but what about knowledge? A lot of which walks out the door at the end of the day in the heads of your staff. A lot of organizations don’t think of knowledge as an asset, so don’t manage it appropriately. Here are some things to consider to help you figure out if knowledge is an asset at your organization. (Thanks to Nick Milton for the list and the idea.) If your organization requires good knowledge based decisions, then knowledge is one of your key assets. If you are a consulting firm, a contractor, or an educational or professional body that creates and deploys knowledge on behalf of customers and clients, then again knowledge is one of your key assets. Knowledge will also be a key business issue for you if your staff turnover is high, and you need to transfer knowledge to new employees. Knowledge is a key business issue for you, if much of your core operational knowledge is held by people approaching retirement age. Knowledge is a key business issue for you, if you are involved in repeat activity, where knowledge … Continue reading

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ColaLife Documentary

I will write more about this later, but I wanted to get some initial thoughts down tonight, while it’s fresh in my memory. I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend to attend a University of Waterloo Alumni event this evening. At the event they were screening the Canadian premiere of ColaLife a documentary about an organization that is “is working in developing countries to bring Coca-Cola, its bottlers and others together to save children’s lives by opening the distribution channels which Coca-Cola uses, to enable ‘social products’ such as oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements to use similar routes. We began with the concept of using space in Coca-Cola crates – but have extended into a range of innovations, some based on Coca-Cola’s expertise and networks – but many based on questioning the status quo.” (This comes from their webpage, here http://www.colalife.org/about/colalife-about/) It was a fantastic story about trying to save the lives of children, but for me it was also a story of creativity, innovation, and knowledge management and design thinking. Why? Because ColaLife wasn’t afraid to think outside of the box, to say who is getting their products into remote regions in Zambia and how … Continue reading

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Knowledge Management by Design, part 2

Design thinking seems to be everywhere lately, but it seems to me that KM has always been “by design,” at least it was if it was done successfully. Design thinking is characterized by being purposive; human centred;  a balance of analytical and creative; uses abductive reasoning, i.e. inference from best available explanation; and iterative, it uses prototyping and play testing to achieve success. How are these principles applied in knowledge management? Purposive: we look at the organization’s strategy, goals, and objectives and assess how knowledge management best supports those activities. The knowledge management strategy outlines how the organization’s goals and objectives are furthered through the application of knowledge management activities. Human centred: the best knowledge management implementations consider the people of the organization, e.g. how they work, what makes their work-lives easier, what the culture of the organization is like and works with those requirements to make the organization more efficient and effective in its knowledge processes and activities. A balance of analytical and creative: KM should be a balance of analytical and creative. It should capture knowledge and make it reusable, but it also needs to leave space, ba, to allow for knowledge creation. This space can look like lots of … Continue reading

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