We seem to have spent so much time in the last 100+ years trying to drive efficiency and effectiveness into our processes. How to do things faster, with more quality, with better outcomes, reduce waste, reduce re-work. These are not bad things, but in our push to be effective and efficient many of our organizations have removed time for reflection, for questioning, for considering alternatives out of the process. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been a lot of innovation in the last 100+ years, there most definitely has been. Whole areas of study have been developed/discovered, new technology is being developed all the time, but what about the “smaller” things, everyday things. What happens when we take away the time to think and reflect? We do things by rote, not thinking about if that’s the right thing to do, we get tired and suffer burnout, we start to make mistakes and treat people badly because we have focused on efficiency and effectiveness to the detriment of the system as a whole (see United Airline’s complete failure to respect passengers (http://fortune.com/2017/04/11/united-airlines-video/ and http://innovationexcellence.com/blog/2017/04/17/innovating-for-a-worse-customer-experience-insights-from-united-airlines/ and http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/03/27/united-airlines-bars-teens-from-flight-for-failure-to-meet-dress-code-social-media-erupts/) How do we bring that space for reflection, for some humanity back into our … Continue reading
Innovation and creativity, powerful skills we need for differentiation purposes in business, and to which we are attracted as humans. Sadly, too often we let self criticism and anxiety hold us back from being creative. What can you do about it? Come to one of our workshops in London (June 8 and 9) or in Berlin on July 4-5. In London we are doing 2 1-day sessions, and if you sign-up early you will get a ticket for an evening event on June 8th. In Berlin we’ve decided to delve a little more deeply into the ideas and experiences that are possible in this domain, so the workshop is 2-days, with an evening event on the first day. Isn’t it time to do things differently?
I have posted a blog post about World Creativity and Innovation Week (April 15-21, 2017) on the GfWM site, you can check it out here.
Back before Christmas, I tweeted about the necessity of keeping an open mind in order to learn, it was part of the #PKMChat, but it got picked up by several people who weren’t part of the chat, which is nice, because it means that people were reading my tweets even though they weren’t part of the chat that I was participating in. It got me thinking about why I tweeted that, and how important it really is, to keep an open mind, and not pre-judge something or someone. I was delivering a series of training sessions for a client a couple of years ago, and I said to them, “imagine if that’s not true.” I was trying to get them to think outside of the box, to imagine that whatever they had assumed was the answer wasn’t. What assumptions were they making, why did they think that something was true when it might not have been? Some of them had a great deal of difficulty with this notion, that there wasn’t a right answer, that what they were sure was true wasn’t. No amount of challenges from me was going to change their minds. It got me thinking, there are … Continue reading
[Note: I originally wrote this article for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Knowledge Management wiki, which can be accessed here: http://wiki-nkm.iaea.org/wiki/index.php/The_IAEA_Wiki_on_Nuclear_Knowledge_Management] Creativity and Knowledge Management Introduction, definitions, background Knowledge management and creativity would seem to be two completely different ideas and disciplines, but in fact they can and do enable and enrich each other and in the process of doing that enhance innovation. Knowledge management is defined as: the process of capturing, developing, sharing, and effectively using organizational knowledge. It refers to a multi-disciplinary approach to achieving organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. Creativity is defined as: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts. Another definition says that creativity is the reorganization of experience into new configurations: a function of knowledge, imagination, and evaluation. Innovation is defined as: a new idea, more effective device or process, it can be viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs. The term innovation can be defined as something original and more … Continue reading
As a friend of mine pointed out, it’s not enough to just create a strategy, it’s about the execution of that strategy. And he’s right, strategies can sit on shelves, certainly I have had more than one client, that for various reasons did not implement the strategy we had developed together. So what does it take to successfully implement a KM strategy? A bunch of things, senior management buy-in and budget among them, but I would argue the most critical component, and the one that my friend posited, is Change Management. There are many good books on Change Management by authors such as Peter Senge and John P. Kotter, to name two of my favourites. But what it all boils down to for me, is communication. Not just some manager decreeing, “thou shalt do knowledge management,” but a real conversation between the KM team and the rest of the organization. What do they need to be able to be effective in their jobs? How can the KM team help them? What do the users of the KM activities need to know about how to use the technology and the processes? What will aid them in their decision making and other … Continue reading
I attended KM Legal Europe last week in Amsterdam; I enjoyed the conference very much. I got to talk with many of the speakers and attendees and learn more about what the law firms and corporate legal departments in Europe are doing in the KM space. I was impressed by their thoughtfulness and recognition of the fact that KM can bring them efficiencies and effectiveness as well as innovations and competitive advantage. They were a passionate group of practitioners. While KM in law tends to focus on documented knowledge because of the nature of the sector and the need to track matters and precedents, there were discussions of lessons learned and sharing tacit knowledge too. One of the things that (pleasantly) surprised me, was the discussion of automated document creation, when I have spoken with other organizations (not just law firms) about this technology they haven’t even known what it was, so to sit in a room where many were enthusiastic users was refreshing. Other things that I found refreshing were the discussion of continuous improvement, six sigma, and process re-engineering. Again, all things that utilize an organization’s knowledge and especially, at least in my mind, the use of lessons … Continue reading
My latest blog post is on Law Firm KM, a joint venture I’m doing with Connie Crosby. The post is called, Surrounded by Geniuses, I hope you’ll go check it out.
Talking about design and balance and creativity and knowledge management makes me happy, joyful even. Bring on the joy. In Part 1 I talked about how important TIME is knowledge creation and reuse, creativity practices that allow us to take knowledge and either transform or apply it in order to create something new. What does it mean to design time for this into our activities? Well… Design thinking is characterized by being purposive; human centered; 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. Here’s how these principles are 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 centered: 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 … Continue reading