Just in case you missed it in my social media activities, the World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development has published my article about Knoco’s Bird Island. The article is called, “Serious game: Knoco’s Bird Island, making the point for KM” and will be published this spring, but is already available online, http://linkis.com/emeraldinsight.com/ijdJ4 I am in the process of setting up a session to do with the KM Meetup Group here in Berlin and a virtual session with the KM group in Toronto that I used to co-facilitate with Connie Crosby and Martin Cleaver. Both sessions will happen in May 2017. If you have any questions about it, would like to participate in one of the upcoming sessions or have something specially set-up for your organization, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I just recently received an email about disaster preparedness, it contained a scan of a document that the person who sent it to me had received. What does this have to do with KM? Nothing and everything. The point the person who sent me the scanned document was making was that he had received this document in the middle of summer, while people were away on vacation, it was poorly produced, there didn’t seem to be an electronic version available, and he believed that if any of these floods, fires, earthquakes etc. ever happened (or maybe that should be when they happen), he wouldn’t be able to remember the information in the document (which was about 10 pages long), and if he remembered that he had received this document, he wouldn’t be able to find it again. Again, so what you say? What does this have to do with KM or learning or information or anything at all? Well, if we are doing knowledge management, or learning management or information management we need to be concerned about how knowledge/information gets transferred and shared. How do the users want to receive it? What is their environment like? What circumstances will they be … Continue reading
Yes, I still get this question or some variation on it, even though there are lots of case studies and examples of knowledge management activities having a significant impact on the results of an organization. The quickest and often the easiest way of winning over sceptics is by having the opportunity to do Knoco’s Bird Island workshop (http://www.knoco.com/bird-island.htm), I have seen more “light bulbs” come on for people in doing this 2-hour workshop than I ever would have believed. I don’t want to give away any of the surprise, but by using three different KM processes (After Action Reviews, Peer Assists, and Best Practice sharing) results of the activity go from abysmal to unbelievable, increasing an average of 260%. Even if you want to continue to be sceptical of the results that making better use of your organization’s knowledge can have and you think you can only attain a fraction of this, 10% of the result demonstrated in the workshop is still 26%. Isn’t that worth at least giving it a try?
Some of you, who know me, will know that I started out my career in accounting; I have an undergraduate degree in accounting and was going to be a Chartered Accountant. This is also how I got my start in KM, although it wasn’t called KM then, it was just how you worked—checklists and reusing last year’s files, talking to the staff who had worked on the audit/tax last year. If you had worked on the engagement the year before you were expected to be quicker in the subsequent year(s) because you were familiar with the client and the file. 15+ years into my knowledge management career, I still run into organizations that think that in order to help them better manage their knowledge that I have to be a specialist in whatever their content is, e.g. if it’s a law firm, I have to be a lawyer, if it’s a manufacturer I have to be an engineer, if it’s a hospital I have to be a doctor or a nurse or some other medical professional. This isn’t always true, there are lots of organizations that understand that KM is a series of processes and activities, largely independent of the … Continue reading
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
Why do I need a knowledge management strategy? Why can’t I just implement some technology and be done with it? Why can’t I just implement Communities of Practice or Lessons Learned and be done with it? I hear this sometimes from managers who want a quick fix, who are under a lot of pressure from time and resources (money and people). The answer is, you can. I have worked with many organizations that have done just that, jumped in with both feet and “just done something”. I am usually there to fix it. Fix the technology because no one understood what it really needed to do to support knowledge work within the organization; fix the process because no one understands it and it’s not aligned with the rest of the activities in the organization and it’s created extra work for already over-worked staff. Why do you need a strategy? Would you jump in the car and set out on a journey of 5000km/3000miles without having some idea of where you were going and how you going to get there? Making sure that you had selected the right vehicle to get you there in time and a map to help direct you … 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
KM is a lot of things to a lot of people. It seems everyone wants the silver bullet, the one “right” answer to the question of how to be successful in KM. Or they want the one “right” answer to the question of what is KM and what’s included in KM. Well let me save you a lot of time and heartache, there is no one right answer, the answer is, it depends. It depends on your organization’s strategy, objectives, culture, industry, regulations, size, budget, risk profile, staffing profile, technology strategy. Figure out what KM is to your organization and create a strategy that supports that definition, that’s the silver bullet.