Tag Archives: Collaboration

What we can learn from Van Gogh for KM and Innovation

On November 11, 2015 I participated in a #PKMChat called, “Van Gogh on Learning” http://kneaver.com/blog/2015/11/pkmchat-van-gogh-on-learning/ it intrigued me as both a knowledge management professional and an artist and definitely gave me something to reflect on over the last week. (Note: the #PKMChat was based on work that Ger Driesen is doing, he facilitated the #PKMChat along with Bruno Winck, more about Ger’s work can be found by clicking on the link in #2 in the references listed below) I have been investigating the linkages between/among creativity, innovation, and knowledge management for more than three years, picking up ideas along the way, and experimenting and talking to people. Informally, there seems to be an agreement that there is a connection among the three things, but it’s in the background, below the surface, not immediately obvious to a lot of people. The #PKMChat helped shed some light on these linkages for me, so I am sharing them with you. There are three main ideas that we discussed in the #PKMChat, Thinking inside the box Practice Reflection As well as some secondary topics, like qualities of an artist, and how to balance social vs. solo learning. One of the first things I noticed about … Continue reading

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Published: Designing a Successful KM Strategy

Advance copies of our book, Designing a Successful KM Strategy are now available from our publisher, Information Today, Inc. It will officially be published in mid-January, so if you buy it before that, you get 40% of the regular price. I did a workshop based on the book at KM World, on Nov 4th, that was well received, as well as a couple of book signings–it was great to talk to everyone about the book and how it can help them regardless of whether they are just starting with KM or at a point where they are re-evaluating their strategy after implementing KM for a few years. Information Today has also made a chapter available for preview, you can access it here http://books.infotoday.com/books/Designing-a-Successful-KM-Strategy/Making-the-Case-for-a-Knowledge-Management-Strategy.pdf Nick (my co-author) also has some helpful links up over on his blog at http://www.nickmilton.com/p/blog-page.html I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to get in touch if you have any comments or questions.  

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Webinars–Aligning People, Process and Technology in Knowledge Management

The following is a list of webinars that I presented over the last couple of months, with a link (click on the name of the webinar) to the recording. The webinars are based on my Ark Group Report, from May 2011, Aligning People, Process and Technology in Knowledge Management. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Date Title Abstract June 4, 2013 KM Technologies There are many types of technologies that can be used to support a KM program; many of them overlap which makes it difficult to pick the right one. Case studies of organizations that picked both the right and wrong technology will be discussed. June 18, 2013 Knowledge Management Risks The common risks encountered in implementing a knowledge management program and what can be done to mitigate them are discussed. Case studies of organizations that both ignored and paid attention to the risks will be examined. July 2, 2013 Aligning KM with Business The key to success with technology is taking a balanced approach, considering people, process, and technology. By understanding people, and processes, the appropriate supporting technology can be selected and implemented. Case studies of organizations that both ignored and paid attention to … Continue reading

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KM in Law Firms: compare and contrast

(this is a slightly longer version of an article that I published in the Knoco March 2013 newsletter, one of 5 flavours of KM that were discussed) In many law firms knowledge management starts in the IT department, and in a few cases, the library and like in many other organizations is focused on document management and technology. Also in common with other organizations law firms are dealing with pressure to reduce costs, be more efficient and effective for their clients, address issues of an aging workforce, and the technology demands of freshly minted lawyers who expect near instant access to knowledge. There are also differences in KM inside a law firm. While in many organizations KM focuses on not just access to information/knowledge but on learning from mistakes, e.g. after action reviews and lessons learned processes and databases, this seems almost totally absent in law firms. As I prepared to write this article, I wondered if I had just been missing something because of my limited exposure to KM in law firms. Maybe there really was a learning focus that I was missing out on; but in the research scan I did to supplement my experience, I didn’t find … Continue reading

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Agile and Knowledge Management, part 1

At our Knowledge Worker Toronto event on January 23, 2013 our speaker, Gil Broza, spoke about the human side of Agile. Now, Agile, for those of you who don’t regularly interact with software developers, which I imagine are many of you who read this blog, is about iterative and incremental design and development of software applications. Gil was speaking about lessons that could be learned from the experience of software developers in this area and transferred to other areas of the organization. That activity in itself is a knowledge management activity: knowledge transfer of lessons learned, but I digress. Gil spoke about 10 lessons that the rest of the organization could learn and apply: People are not resources Focus Nurture the joy of delivering value Take small, safe feedback-rich steps Mind the physical environment The social environment matters too Want high-performance teams? Be ready to invest Manage less, lead more Collaboration rocks Human conduct trumps “best practices” There was a discussion after the presentation and Q&A ended about how this talk fit in with Knowledge Workers/Knowledge Management, this is what I contributed to the discussion: these 10 lessons are about how knowledge workers like to work. In the KM consulting that I do, I … Continue reading

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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

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Collaboration versus Command and Control

This post is about differing management styles and approaches to not just knowledge management but to business and ultimately life. Do we believe there is a limited “pie” and so we need to compete and create hierarchies to control it (whatever “it” is in our own particular case) or do we believe in working together to make the pie bigger and be content with our own slice of pie, however big or small that may be? As a small business person, I am not particularly interested in growing my business to be bigger than it is. I like doing consulting and giving focused, specialized service to my clients, I don’t need, nor do I want to grow my business to 25, 50, 100 or more people, I wouldn’t be able to do what I like to do in those scenarios. If a client or potential client wants services that I don’t offer, say development work for a particular software platform, I am perfectly willing to refer them to someone I know who specializes in that work rather than do it myself, or hire someone to work for me to do it for the client. In my KM practice I often … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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