By Jade Thompson: "Our new Top 100 Directors research has been released, with the focus on knowledge management. This year we have added knowledge leaders to our Top 100 Directors research range. It’s an area of legal in which there’s a very broad range of views and little agreement on its definition, where it fits and where it’s going – but there’s also a big commonality: in what’s becoming a very competitive sector, every law firm must exploit knowledge. The study, carried out by Legal Support Network alongside sponsor Thomson Reuters Solcara, showed interesting results in this fairly new sector. A few key factors were; The legal sector can’t decide where knowledge sits, or if it’s an area that needs leadership. Only just over half of the top 100 have someone in charge of knowledge, either specifically or as a key part of their job. If you want a job in knowledge management, look to the top 50 firms. Nine in 10 of the top 25 and three-quarters of the top 50 have a knowledge leader position. Compare that to the next 50 – just 36% of those firms have someone in post. Knowledge leaders are increasingly coming from outside legal or professional services. As law firms cast their nets wider to fill knowledge roles, they’re pulling in capability from outside the sector. Knowledge is a well-balanced role in terms of gender equality. However, this may merely stem from the historical link with the PSL element of a firm being a popular choice for women reluctant to devote their whole lives to a firm. But it’s a stat to keep your eyes on. To read the full report, download your free copy here. http://bit.ly/lsntop100km2013 And click here to view the top 100 UK law firm knowledge management directors. http://bit.ly/top100kmdirectors
"I was recently asked to give a talk to a breakfast meeting of the Managing Partners’ Forum (MPF). The focus of the talk was around the possible dichotomy (or misalignment) of the development needs of the individual and the demands of the organisation they work for. At times these needs align, sometimes they need to be reconciled and at other times they diverge. Nothing radical in that statement, but does the organisation believe there is an asset value in the personal networks that the employee develops, maintains, cultivates and nurtures whilst on the payroll, and if so, does it exploit it at the expense or detriment to the employee?
"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time, and
it annoys the pig." (Robert Heinlein)
Many an enthusiastic KM'er has frittered away the hours, days, and weeks trying to do just that. It is rather unlikely that you'll be able to simply turn senior organizational leadership into "senior leadership with a deep understanding of all things that are KM." We can hope, but that's not exactly realistic.
Confucius is the next in my series of famous leaders on knowledge management, although he spoke much more about learning and wisdom than knowledge itself.Confucius introduced three key virtues: Ré
Rén, Li and Yi.
Rén relates to humanity, and the relationships between two people. It causes people to remember that they is never alone, and that everyone has these relationships to fall back on, being a member of a family, the state, and the world.
(Or a network, I’m sure we could add today)
Li consists of the norms of proper social behaviour as taught to others by fathers, village elders and government officials. The teachings of li promoted ideals such as brotherliness, righteousness, good faith and loyalty. The influence of li guided public expectations, such as the loyalty to superiors and respect for elders. Li is sometimes describes as “the way things society expects things to be”.
Finally. Yi is an internal controller which gives the person the ability to make right judgments about the people and situations and to react accordingly. Confucius stated that truth can be hidden sometimes and most common reaction to the situation is not always the best one and the possession of Yi principle helps to define the true nature of things.
"Peter Williams, Deloitte’s Chief Edge Officer, said even though the average Australian spends around 22 hours using social media each week, many organisations are unaware how the smart use of these skills can improve productivity and engagement.
The recently released report, Rethinking social media: Building the social organisation through HR, produced by the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) and Deloitte’s Centre for the Edge, examines social media usage by HR practitioners.
“Social media is becoming increasingly important as a way of building an organisation’s social capital” (refer definition below), said Mr Williams. “Social tools help organisations connect networks of people, promote idea sharing among their employees and drives innovation. Tapping into the collective wisdom of an employee base can help an organisation ‘know what it knows’ more quickly than relying on more traditional knowledge management systems.”
Karen du Toit's insight:
Social media to be harnessed in organisations. Even better than traditional knowledge management systems!
"The future of knowledge management is about letting employees curate their own information consumption, empowering them to be in charge of their own learning and professional development.
Conversations need to be indexed, but so do updates from processes, customer interactions, and news about related projects. External data needs to be brought in to enhance internal data, and people need to be able to act in real-time–not ask 5 different people for a file or wait until tomorrow because their manager is half-way across the world.
Information today needs to be searchable, and it needs to be accessible anytime, anywhere. Relevance is subjective, but 21st century knowledge management provides different experiences for everyone, adding the right conversations in context. This is the power private social networks can provide.
You can categorize content all you want trying to make it more contextual to different groups of people, but at the end of the day, I know what I need to do my job well. With private social networking, I can follow the people I need to follow, search for subject matter experts that can help, get updates from the business applications I use, and tap into the on-going conversations happening around me, so I can spend less time in meetings, searching for files, or waiting for the answers I need to do my job more effectively."
To continue reading, download the related resource When Collaboration Meets Community: How Enterprise Social Networking is Transforming Business
"...top ten favourite “Einstein on KM” quotes, which have been roughly curated into a journey from information to knowledge, through to learning and simplicity, experimentation, failure, curiosity and imagination…
Information is not knowledge.The only source of knowledge is experience.Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be.Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."
"Knowledge management is a fragmented and ambiguous management practice. This is evident from the plethora of definitions available for this field. The premise of this study is that different discourse patterns in knowledge management also contribute to the ambiguity. Four theoretical lenses describe the typical discourses that are associated with the formation of management practices, namely management innovation, umbrella construction, management fashion cycles and institutionalisation of management practice.
The following propositions are indicative of the types of discourses involved – the rationale, business outcome, management niche, solution definitions and the means provided for the enactment of the practice. The discourses of seven proponents were analysed according to the above, viz. Verna Allee, Nancy Dixon, Leif Edvinsson, Ikujiro Nonaka, Laurence Prusak, David Snowden and Mathieu Weggeman. Three main patterns were identified based on the manner in which the discourses associated with the four theoretical lenses manifest in the analysed discourses. These patterns represent three different conceptualisations of knowledge management, namely -
(i) Knowledge management as a meta-practice framework
(ii) Knowledge management as a platform and catalyst for systemic management innovation
(iii) Knowledge management as a master idea or master narrative
"Do you know what your company’s workforce is going to look like in 5 years? Do you know what skills you need to maintain your business today and guarantee sustainability in the future?
Never before in our history have we seen the workforce in the United States change as rapidly as it is changing today and it will continue to change over the next several years. As employees retire, companies are struggling to capture the knowledge and experience of long time employees. Failing to take advantage of this experience will have the direct effect on future organizational productivity. Knowledge management includes strategies and practices used by an organization to identify, generate, collect, organize, preserve, disseminate, share, and apply critical knowledge in pursuit of the organization’s goals. Leveraging a variety of practices and tools to help organizations capture and facilitate the sharing of knowledge before it is lost."
An enterprise wide (when its complete) discipline focused on aligning and so governing the semantics that underpin all the important information spanning all the important business processes of our originationFocused on metadata (but don’t use that term)For better business value
That is the key to the kingdom.
Karen du Toit's insight:
What to do with enterprise class metadata management programs!
Knowledge Management (KM) vs. Business Process Management (BPM) ~ Future of CIO http://t.co/3k5FozWsY3 new skills, innovation and understanding which in turn improves business output or business requirement. Is KM type of BPM, and how should you understand the relationship between KM & BPM? There are two facets: KM as a process on top of BPM, and KM as a process under BPM. They are not mutually exclusive and both can be at play.
"It seems that regardless of the strategic direction a specific organization might take, and regardless of how KM might relate to their organizational goals, there are a number of principles that ring true to KM practitioners all around. I am listing them here, looking forward to hear whether others can relate"
"1. KM always needs to be people-centered rather than document-centered
2. Knowledge is most effectively assimilated when shared within a specific context,
3. knowledge is most effectively shared when an experience can be attributed to the person who made the experience
4. Knowledge is most effectively shared when there is an audience that is listening
5. The Cynefin framework provides a typology of four different contexts in which different knowledge solutions might apply
6. an activity that is the core value proposition for the organization
Abstract: Analysis by knowledge management consultancy Knoco shows that the majority of projects under-resource KM compared to the value it delivers. Sarah Dillingham examines how knowledge managers could use such analysis to better allocate staff hours, how they can ensure that projects realise their full knowledge potential, and why the number of man hours applied doesn't necessarily correlate to value realised.
Too many knowledge management programs in the past have failed because of a mix of a faulty approach and the quirks of human nature. Large manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe are rethinking the model for managing knowledge from the ground up — with measurable success. These new systems are being built around these key ideas:
Active and agile knowledge. The old knowledge library paradigm is too static. Knowledge is active, alive and has greatest value when used. It must be accessible, useful and relevant. Engineers don’t have time to stop what they are doing to dig for a manual — assuming they know where to look in the first place. Knowledge must push to workers in context.Accessible, complete and current knowledge. Knowledge is stored in a variety of disconnected documents that quickly fall out of date. An engineer may not have time to search for specification documents, best practices presentations and various spreadsheets of data. And if he grabs old parameters without realizing they are outdate, he may invest hours in a solution that is totally out of specification. Systems must make it easy for users to access a complete and current knowledge.Make knowledge capture part of the process. If people don’t have time to go search through documents, they surely don’t have time to create them. Efforts can vary in quality, depending on who creates them. Capturing knowledge, evaluating it, refining it and updating it has to be an organic part of the workflow — or it simply will not happen.Structured flexibility. Knowledge takes many forms and is used in many ways. An engineer might need materials specifications, dimension measurements, picture maps, work instructions and interdependency schedules to design a part. The system must be flexible and able to completely capture and structure that content for access and reuse.Reward knowledge contributions. Some people fear sharing their knowledge will make it easier to ship their job to China. Others take genuine pride in being the go-to person when someone has a question. A well-managed knowledge system uses such cultural issues to motivate, recognize and reward people for contributing. They create a virtuous circle of engagement, trust and use, with practical rewards that encourage more engagement and more use.
The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management (EJKM) publishes research on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management and intellectual capital and other related fields of study.
The journal contributes to the development of both theory and practice in the field of knowledge management. The journal accepts academically robust papers, topical articles, communications, book reviews and case studies that contribute to the area of research in, and practice of knowledge management. All papers a double blind reviewed.
"My post on “What did Einstein know about KM” last week seemed to go down well, so I have continued my search for KM musings from great figures.
This week, we’ll hear from the Leonardo Da Vinci. It wasn’t until I read Gelb’s ambitiously titled book “How to think like Leonardo do Vinci” that I appreciated just how multi-talented he was. Painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, writer and no mean athlete - you name it, he could do it. Curious then that one of his quotations (one of the few which I disagree with) states “As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.“. I guess you can make yourself an exception when you’re the archetypal Renaissance Man Polymath. I wonder what he would have made of the ubiquitous availability of information and possibilities which we enjoy today?
So my curated top-ten quotes from Da Vinci will take us on a journey through different facets of KM: from knowledge acquisition, the way our perceptions filter knowledge, the superiority of expertise over opinions, the power of learning, seeing and making connections, the challenge and value of expressing knowledge simply and the criticality of seeing knowledge applied."
By David Gurteen Here are what I consider some of my more interesting Tweets for August to September 2013. Take a look, if you are not a Tweeter, you will get a good idea of how I use it by browsing the list of micro-posts.
Karen du Toit's insight:
Good resource of links for the month of October by the KM guru!
"If you're serious about knowledge management (or if you just want to add a little variety to your Twitter feed), you're in luck! We've compiled a list of 11 knowledge management influencers to follow on Twitter. -
JASIST, the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, has published a wealth of scholarly papers on knowledge development, knowledge sharing, communities of practice and other knowledge management (KM) relevant topics over the years. We reproduce here the second part of a recent Virtual Issue covering in particular the theme of knowledge management systems and processes.
Karen du Toit's insight:
11 articles and 6 book reviews on Knowledge Management!
"In response to my post on relevance, my long-time friend Ralph Mercer asked, “Why do I need KM at an institutional level when information is ambient at a global level and personal at a hyper local level?” This illuminates an observation made by Thierry deBaillon, which I have often quoted, “The basic unit of social business technology is personal knowledge management, not collaborative workspaces.” We are surrounded by information and have many ways to collaborate, but unless each person has effective sense-making processes, social business networks are mostly noise amplification.
Collaborative knowledge work must be coupled with cooperative knowledge sharing. Cooperation, or sharing without any quid pro quo, is the foundation of personal knowledge management. PKM is based on playfully seeking knowledge, not task-driven searching. It is also about sharing to inspire, not because you have to. The results of PKM can then be used in collaborative work."
"We’ve all seen business stakeholders on their smart phones in meetings or sponsors who whip out their iPads in project board meetings. But is this really productive? And do project managers need to be in on it too?
In a new book released in September, The Handbook of People in Project Management, I explore what social communications are and how project managers can tap into social communications to improve the collaboration on their projects. Here’s a brief introduction to social communications in a project environment.
Introducing social communications
Humans are sociable creatures, and we’ve been finding ways to interact with each other for thousands of years. In that respect, social communication is not new. However, the tools in use this century make a big difference to the way in which we can communicate and collaborate with others.
Social communications are exactly that – communicating and collaborating with purpose. In a work environment it’s not about sharing funny pictures of cats or telling the world what you had for lunch. It’s about using web-enabled technology to get things done more effectively, tapping into the way people are running their lives outside of your project team.
Ultimately, for project management professionals, it’s about doing things the way that other people are doing them and being easy to do business with. A project manager who insists on monthly status updates on a complicated slide template is not going to be popular with stakeholders who can get real-time information that displays clearly on their smart phone screens on any other topic except your project."
(This is an edited excerpt, reprinted by permission of the publishers from ‘Managing Social Communications’ in The Gower Handbook of People in Project Management, edited by Dennis Lock and Lindsay Scott (Farnham, Gower, 2013)."
Karen du Toit's insight:
Social communication in Project and Knowledge Management
Paul Gebel This is the second of a three part series on Knowledge Management in organizations. [...] by Nancy M. Dixon. In this post, I’ll take a look at a high-level survey of eight attributes of the state of KM within an organization. As a snapshot poll, this survey could be structured as a simple 1-10, or more likely a 1-5 performance scale. Or if an organization were to sample a set of knowledge superusers, this audit could also solicit unstructured, free-form responses for more qualitative feedback. Any way it is administered, the feedback gained from this audit is foundational to developing action items for KM improvement based on the goals of the organization.
RT @ReesMorrison: Things that do not work to promote knowledge management in legal departments http://t.co/Mh6PZKA0 Reid G. Smith, who is currently Enterprise Content Management Director and IT Upstream Services Manager, Marathon Oil, published several years ago a list of non-starters for knowledge management initiatives in law departments. I quote the four.