Tag Archives: Continuous Improvement

Does Knowledge Management Really Make a Difference?

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?

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Learning and Keeping an Open Mind

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

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KM, Continuous Improvement, Process Re-engineering, and Six-Sigma

Last week (January 28-29, 2015) I was in Amsterdam for KM Legal Europe, I provided some thoughts on that in my previous blog. Also in that blog post I mentioned that the subject of where KM fits with Continuous Improvement, Process Re-engineering, and Six-Sigma came up. We had a discussion about it, but we ran out of time and I’m not sure that we really came to any conclusions. First lets start off with some general definitions/explanations. While Continuous Improvement, Process Re-engineering, and Six-Sigma are all different activities and initiatives, and there are books and courses on each of them separately for the purposes of this blog post I am going to group them all together because for the purposes of this discussion their touch-point with KM is the same. So what are they? They are activities that have the objective of aligning organizational processes with the needs and objectives of the organization. They seek to remove inefficiencies and streamline work processes; they aim for standardization and the reduction of variability. Knowledge Management, on the other hand, is about learning and sharing, and making sure people have the knowledge they need to do their jobs. On the face of it, … Continue reading

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Notes from KM Legal Europe January 2015

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

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