Serious KM Game article published

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, 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.

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Importance of a KM Strategy

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

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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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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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Benefits of Knowledge Management Consulting

Someone just asked me what the benefits of my consulting are, I liked my answer so much I had to put it someplace where other people would see it (okay, I’m patting myself on the back). The benefits of the consulting that I do is the improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of knowledge workers through the alignment of supporting technology to their business processes.

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A Howard Rheingold Workshop, Part 2

The second part of the workshop was brainstorming the questions that need to/should be asked in working with each aspect of the model. What follows is the output of that session. Attention How to get/keep attention Is it required? Does it form new behaviour? How does discipline fit in How to increase Distractions Have we always been distracted Is there an organizational tool that can be leveraged? Have brains developed differently because of changes in technology and activities Are there patterns that should be recognized/accommodated? Collaboration Have to be willing/allowing for failure How to collaborate, what that means? Different ways to collaborate Is there an occupational hazard in collaborating? Culturally determined? Best when there’s a lack of ego Needs to be reciprocity How to address conflict in styles between command and control vs. open source How to address competition: for an end, vs. for a purpose/value Danger in consensus Checks and balances, accountability, how are these determined/used? Participation Respect (presence) What’s in it for me Motivation Types of participation: Active/passive, Named/anonymous, Public/private and when should they be allowed/used/permitted Does an individual’s participation make a difference? Are there monetary issues? Inclusive/exclusive Critical Consumption What is the assessment of the platform the … Continue reading

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A Howard Rheingold Workshop

This is a little different blog post for me, I usually talk about some aspect of Knowledge Management, and while this is related to the work that I do, it may not be immediately obvious that it is KM-related. I had a request to post a blog about a workshop I attended on the weekend, so here are my thoughts and notes, let me know what you think. “A Howard Rheingold Workshop, Harnessing Social Media and Smart Mob Thinking for the Enterprise” (September 25, 2010) I attended the workshop named above, and enjoyed and learned from it, but the title doesn’t do it justice, what we learned was so much more valuable than the title might lead one to expect. The session was in fact about digital literacy or literacy in the 21st century. Howard spoke to us about a model he has created, a model that describes what we need to survive in this digital, connected age we live in. In previous centuries we needed to know how to read and write, but in current times we also need to know how to pay attention, participate, collaborate, consume critically, and be aware of our network. During the workshop we … Continue reading

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Succeeding at Change in a Knowledge Worker World

The only thing that is certain is death and taxes…and change. Many organizations spend thousands of dollars on knowledge management technology solutions, focusing on the technology, because the technology is easy to focus on, it’s visible: buying the servers, installing the software, testing it, releasing it, those are activities that are very visible. Involving stakeholders in the software selection process, understanding what helps versus what hinders them in their performance, providing training, communicating, these are invisible, “soft” activities. Soft-skills/activities are often ignored, or down-played in organizations, sometimes it’s because of cost, sometimes it’s a lack of understanding of their importance, sometimes because there’s “no time.” Projects fail because of this lack of attention to soft-skills, especially Knowledge Management projects. With Knowledge Management projects knowledge workers have already found a way to get their jobs done, it may not be the most efficient and effective way to get it done, but they get it done, that’s who they are. They may miss opportunities to share and leverage other people’s experience or create something new because they didn’t know there was a possibility to share/leverage/create, but they get their job done. In implementing a Knowledge Management project knowledge workers are being asked … Continue reading

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Who buys Knowledge Management?

I was going to write about Knowledge Management models, at least that’s what I thought earlier in the week when I started to write this, but I have discarded that notion, at least for now. As some of you will know, I have been out on my own doing Knowledge Management consulting for almost 6 years, after spending 4 years implementing it in a business unit at a large technology company, who will remain nameless. During this time as a consultant I have often pondered who to target with my sales pitch and marketing strategy, business or IT? Certainly the projects that I have done seem to turn out better when the business brings me in, and we work with IT as a stakeholder, since technology is inevitably part of the KM strategy implementation. But people are often trying to connect me to IT people as they perceive that my services are IT, not business-related. It all became clear to me the other night at the Knowledge Worker Toronto event, thanks goes to Graham Westwood for pointing out what probably should have been obvious to me, except that it wasn’t. What did Graham point out? That it is usually, … Continue reading

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