Knowledge is the network

One of the themes at KM World in October 2012 was that the value of knowledge management is in the network, i.e. the value comes from the connections and the collective whole, rather than individual people, activities, processes, or technology. This was a shift from previous years where there was more focus on technology. That the value of knowledge is in the network, is something we have known for a long, long, time. There has long been acknowledgement that “it’s who you know,” in business and in life. What has changed in the last 10 years is the ability to stay connected to people and to connect with people in geographically diverse locations through the use of technology, but it’s still about, “who you know.” Our networks provide access to opportunities that we might not have been able to discover on our own. They pass along interesting articles, books, and other pieces of knowledge and information. Someone says something and that makes us think of something else or ask a question that’s not been asked before. Someone else builds on our ideas, it becomes an iterative process and suddenly we have created something new, some innovation that didn’t exist before. When … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Community of Practice, Creativity, Innovation, Knowledge Management, knowledge workers, Mentoring, Social Knowledge Management, Social Media, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Topics and Trends from KM World 2012

I attended KM World 2012 in Washington, DC last month, for the first time since 2006 (when it was still in San Jose, California). Let me first just say that I enjoyed the new location very much, not just because it’s a much shorter flight for me, but it seemed more intimate–easier to meet and talk to people and find my way around. I did miss being able to visit all my friends in the Bay Area, but I will get out there again. Okay, so on to what I learned and observed at KM World 2012… I think one of the big things I observed was a shift away from all the talk of technology, don’t get me wrong, people still talked tech, but I found less of an emphasis on it this year and much more emphasis on the value of the network, i.e. the people-to-people connections. Certainly any of us who have been doing KM for a while know that this is the case, that technology just enables and supports the activities of the network, but for most of the last 15-20 years we have had to fight against the idea that technology was the silver bullet … Continue reading

Posted in Change Management, Collaboration, Community of Practice, Innovation, Knowledge Management, knowledge workers, Mentoring, Social Knowledge Management, Social Media, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creativity and Knowledge Management, part 2

Okay, so back for part 2 of Creativity and Knowledge Management, picking up where we left off. We were talking about left-brain and right-brain and the different KM activities that fit in each area, and that’s fine, but what about right-brain activities that aren’t knowledge management activities that use knowledge management activities in their creation? For example, one of the experiential exercises we did at the conference was recreating  stylized watercolours of a frog and a spider. We each got a piece of the picture, which had been cut up into squares and we had to reproduce our square onto a bigger, rectangular piece of watercolour paper. Both the squares and the rectangles were numbered on the back, which made putting them together again easy. This was collaborative, it used meta-data (the numbers on the back) and we had the opportunity to go back and add additional detail to any of the pieces after we’d seen them all put together–all KM activities, but with art as the content matter. Are there other KM activities that could be demonstrated through art? Lessons Learned? Peer Assists? Content and Document Management? Communities of Practice? Innovation? So art becomes a metaphor for knowledge management. … Continue reading

Posted in Change Management, Collaboration, Community of Practice, Creativity, Decision making, Innovation, Knowledge Management, Mentoring, Social Knowledge Management, Social Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Creativity and Knowledge Management, part 1

I went to MindCamp last week (August 23-26, 2012). MindCamp is a creativity and innovation un-conference organized by a dedicated team of volunteers; this was its 10th incarnation and it was fabulous! I went to investigate the intersection of knowledge management and creativity/innovation and I was not disappointed. Certainly, innovation comes up in KM, and is an outcome of sharing knowledge, whether that knowledge is shared in a documented form or in a community of practice (I have even done presentations on KM and innovation), but where does creativity and art fit in? Creativity isn’t necessarily the same as innovation. As some of you know, I am an aspiring artist in my non-KM time so have been toying with how to incorporate my art into KM–The Art of Knowledge Management, and I came away from MindCamp with some ways I could do that. The starting point for me was how to reconcile the left-brain (logical, sequential, rational, analytical) with the right-brain (random, intuitive, holistic, synthesizing). It’s funny looking at these descriptions now, it doesn’t seem that hard to reconcile the two halves to make a whole. The left-brain of KM focuses on the processes, workflows, and information architecture of KM. The right-brain of … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Community of Practice, Creativity, Innovation, Knowledge Management, Mentoring | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

LawTech Camp, KM Technology discussion

A few weeks ago, I participated in LawTech Camp in Toronto. Connie Crosby and I were launching our beta-test for our Law Firm KM assessment tool, so we had an opportunity to do a demo presentation and talk about KM, I’ve posted the slides on SlideShare, click on the <demo presentation> or <about KM> links to see the slides. There was a lot of discussion both during and after the presentation about one of the slides, so Connie wrote a blog post about it, which you can see here: http://www.slaw.ca/2012/06/11/km-101-more-on-technology-complexity/#top.  

Posted in Business-IT Alignment, Collaboration, Community of Practice, Decision making, Information Management, Information Overload, Knowledge Management, Mentoring, Social Knowledge Management, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Knowledge Management Mentoring

Would you rather learn how to implement knowledge management rather than have a consultant come in and do it for you? I have just finished a project where I mentored/coached the main person on the client side through the creation of a Knowledge Management Strategy. She was knowledgeable and had, in fact started a strategy but got stuck. I have to say I enjoyed the experience, I wasn’t sure at first how it would go, and certainly it took longer than it would have if I had just done the work, but in the end she has a strategy that she can sell to management and she feels comfortable with how and why it was developed that way. A win for all, I’d say. I’m thinking I need to do more of these types of engagements, so watch for announcements.

Posted in Knowledge Management, Mentoring | Tagged , , | 1 Comment