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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management
Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management viewpoints and curations by a world-wide recognized Knowledge Management Expert and Consultant: President/CEO of Knowledge Management Professional Society (KMPro) - the world's largest KM professional society; Creator of the first KM certification program and remains today after 21 years as the world's longest serving provider of Knowledge Management training and certification with more than 6,500 individuals certified and more than 3,000 in other KM training.
Curated by Dr. Dan Kirsch
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Keep Calm - KM Series

Keep Calm - KM Series | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
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Applying a Band Aid Approach: Older workers' knowledge is walking out the door

Applying a Band Aid Approach:  Older workers' knowledge is walking out the door | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Doesn't seem like much of a "solution" at all to me.


Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Okay.  I truly "get" the problem and to be blunt about it, it's certainly not a new problem by any means.  Workers get older, and eventually they retire and leave the workforce.  The mass exodus of baby boomers is upon many an organization and its impact will be felt for some time to come.  Yada, yada.


Having said that, while I applaud the efforts of the company in question to recognize the enormity of the problem I don't believe that the best "solution" is to simply stagger hiring (so that not all workers hit retirement at the same time) or to offer opportunities to extend employment (or return from retirement).


That's pretty much akin to trying to slap a band aid onto a major injury -- the ole "band aid approach" which is nothing more than a hasty solution that does nothing to mitigate the underlying problem.  Slap a band aid on it and "boo boo all gone!"  Or not.


The problem is that the company in question clearly has done little to capture its critical employee knowledge over time.  And so now faced with the looming loss of knowledge and the realization of the negative consequences that it will bring, they slap the "band aid" over the problem and call it a day.


There seems to be a lack of any knowledge management strategy within the company.  While they recognize that they haven't been "transferring the institutional knowledge base" their "solution" is based upon simply delaying the loss.  No KM strategy, no identification of knowledge gaps, no determinations on exactly which critical knowledge must be retained or captured now.  And even when they bring the retired employees back, the criteria for selection has much to do with simply meeting eligibility requirements rather than being based on critical knowledge to be captured. 


Yes, there is some discussion of a "mentoring" attempt, but it seems to be mostly based upon the retired employee's desires rather than upon any actual decision regarding whether or not that employee's knowledge is in fact critical or most critical, or whether it can be reasonably be expected to be captured.  And even assuming that they "accidentially" get past all of that, their intention is to only have these returning retired employees be on the job from two to six months on average -- which is by FAR TOO SHORT of a time period for any effective mentoring to take place.


All in all I see this as too little too late.  The horse has long since left the barn and they are eagerly exploring cheaply made locks.  And in the end, I anticipate that they will accomplish very little.  But it will feel good.  It will seem as if they have done something (anything).  Boo boo all gone!


It would be by far better to have realized the enormity of the problem many years ago, and with that begun the development of a KM strategy to address what critical knowledge must be captured and retained.  But it's not too late - they could take that step now.  But apparently they're more caught up in the band aid approach and the opportunity to feel good today.  Boo boo all gone! ("Hang In there Kitty" posters are optional.)



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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Dr. Dan:  The cost of failing to implement Knowledge Management.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"Employees spend over six hours a day duplicating knowledge work or searching for information."


(Nick Bontis)

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) Tips

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) Tips | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Quick tips for improving your Knowledge Management implementation.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Social Recognition:  Create a social recognition program based upon peer-to-peer recognition that places value on knowledge sharing and collaboration. There are numerous solutions available, ranging from very low cost to high end (Google: Social Recognition Programs and Social Recognition Software ). 


One approach growing in popularity is to create an organizational "Wall of Fame" using a social sharing tool that allows for real-time posting by employees and the ability for anyone in the organization to be able to "like" or comment on individual or group contributions and successes.  Another approach utilized is to create a system which allows for employees to directly send congrats to another employee (cards, fun videos, animations, etc.) or even to directly award points to another employee based on their contributions or successes, points that could be utilized within a larger employee reward system.  The key to the program's success though is to ensure that it is driven by employees, but supported by management.


Supports: Socialization, Collaboration, Networking, Organizational Culture, KM Awareness, Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Transfer, and Knowledge Capture.

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  The only thing that makes any organization unique is the knowledge held by its workers.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"The only irreplaceable capital an organization possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that capital depends on how effectively people share their competence with those who can use it."


(Andrew Carnegie)

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) "Rules"

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) "Rules" | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Rule #27: KM is About Cost Avoidances

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Given the choice it is to your advantage to be on the side of cost avoidances rather than cost savings.


KM may be "many things" to many people but it is important to understand that when it comes to reducing costs, KM is "all about" cost avoidance rather than cost savings.  Not to suggest that KM cannot result in cost savings, but KM is more about intangibles and utilizing knowledge as a value-added to reduce future costs and costs over the long-run rather than short term.


Cost avoidances do not necessarily reduce costs but instead do for example, provide benefits through improved process efficiency, productivity, improved customer satisfaction, improved competitiveness, etc.  Over time, cost avoidances often then become cost savings.


Rule #27 is all about recognizing that KM is all about adding value to what the organization does on a daily and long-term basis.  Cost savings are "easy" to achieve (a simple delete of a budget line item will accomplish that) and so it's best to always setup camp on the side of cost avoidances that drive or produce those future cost savings.


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What Is It? game 301

What Is It? game 301 | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
It's once again time for our collaboration with the wonderfully entertaining What Is It? Blog. Do you know what the pictured item is? Can you make up something wonderfully wacky?
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Interesting idea!  I always suggest that organizations conduct innovation exercises during which you suspend some hard and fast rule or such, and then make up a new way of conducting business.  The premise being that it's easier to learn to be innovative and creative PRIOR to that urgent need (such as an "end of your world" deadline that drops from the sky).  And I think that this is a great additional way to play the same sort of developing creativity game!

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Knowledge Sharing Tools and Methods Toolkit - Social Network Analysis

Knowledge Sharing Tools and Methods Toolkit - Social Network Analysis | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

"Social network analysis is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, organisations, computers or other information/knowledge processing entities." (Valdis Krebs, 2002). Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a method for visualizing our people and connection power, leading us to identify how we can best interact to share knowledge. ...


Via João Greno Brogueira
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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management Quotes | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Dr. Dan:  Food for thought on the "why" of KM implementation.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"KM is not compulsory, but neither is survival."


(Amrit Tiwana)

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Knowledge Is Power: Social and the Productivity-Based Business Case

Knowledge Is Power: Social and the Productivity-Based Business Case | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

We've all heard the claim that social business approaches increase worker productivity....Productivity is About People, Not Technology."

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Nice summary of Peter Drucker's six factors that determine knowledge worker productivity:

1.  Measuring knowledge worker productivity is difficult.
2.  Knowledge workers must have autonomy
3 and 4.  Innovation and Learning must be part of the work and the responsibility of the knowledge worker.

5.  Knowledge worker productivity must be measured in both quantity and quality.

6.  Knowledge worker productivity is an asset, not a cost.

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"Business Must Address Big Data Knowledge Gaps" (well, not really)

"Business Must Address Big Data Knowledge Gaps" (well, not really) | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  "Big Data" isn't knowledge and really has not that much to do with organizational knowledge gaps.  Yet another IT driven article that gets it wrong.


Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Okay....frankly this one is more confusing than it is helpful.  Apparently there is BIG DATA (you know, that is really BIG) and of course everyone is now like so many clowns with lightening rods held above their heads running around in their clouds trying to figure out where it is and what the heck to do with it.  And now along comes "Big Data Knowledge Gaps."


The problem that I have with this is that by definition and application data is not knowledge.  And accordingly knowledge is not data.  And if you have at least half a clue you probably "get" that knowledge management is a lot about ensuring that the right knowledge is available for decision making.  So where then does data come into play?  I ask because data is something that you can then analyze and otherwise examine, and from that you gain information.  And that eventually becomes factors incorporated within the decision process.  But data and having it or not has very little to do with an organizational knowledge gap.


And that's because there's no direct connection between that data and organizational knowledge gaps.  Yet this article references a report that discusses how "knowledge gaps exist within all levels of today's organizations - gaps that must be addressed."  And someone from the American Management Association then states that "Professionals at all levels have to know what questions to ask and how to make wise choices based on data."


If you have "professionals" at any level in your organization sitting around making decisions based soley on data....be afraid, very afraid.  On the other hand, that could actually explain some of the problems that we do see in many organizations.


So, let's just back the truck up for a moment and start with a discussion of what data is. 


Wikipedia:  "Data as an abstract concept can be viewed as the lowest level of abstraction from which information and then knowledge are derived."


For our purposes let's cut to the chase and come out and say that knowledge comes from the understanding of something, based on for example, association and reasoning and cognitive thought.  And so on.  Data, not so much.  In fact on its own data actually doesn't help us much. 


It's sort of like knowing that your intended destination is 300 miles ahead of you, but you lack any knowledge of how to get there and so simply knowing the 300 miles isn't all that useful until you begin to reason out means of travel, capabilities, costs, time constraints, that pesky mountain range in between, and so on.


The point that I'm hoping to make is that there is no such thing as a "Big Data Knowledge Gap."  Nope.  No such thing in knowledge management.  And knowledge management "owns" knowledge gaps.


That's not to say that Big Data doesn't have an implication upon an organization's knowledge management efforts.  But "big data" (or any data) does not for a knowledge gap make.  Nor does "big data" produce "actionable decision-making data" as this article would suggest (whatever the heck that would be anyway).  Big data can lead you towards that direction, when you understand what that data means.  What that 300 miles means.  And from that you can then consider how what you learn from the data and informaton might be applied to the organizational knowledge gaps from, for example, and decision making perspective.


What we have here is yet another technology driven article, discussing the buzzword du jour "big data" and trying to somehow associate that with "knowledge gaps" in which (as the article states), "the IT department, of course, will play a major role."

Professionals at all levels have to know what questions to ask and how to make wise choices based on data. - See more at: http://www.baselinemag.com/analytics-big-data/slideshows/business-must-address-big-data-knowledge-gaps.html/#sthash.j4UslvU9.dpuf
Professionals at all levels have to know what questions to ask and how to make wise choices based on data. - See more at: http://www.baselinemag.com/analytics-big-data/slideshows/business-must-address-big-data-knowledge-gaps.html/#sthash.j4UslvU9.dpuf
Professionals at all levels have to know what questions to ask and how to make wise choices based on data. - See more at: http://www.baselinemag.com/analytics-big-data/slideshows/business-must-address-big-data-knowledge-gaps.html/#sthash.j4UslvU9.dpuf
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mixmaxmin's curator insight, November 13, 2013 2:44 PM

Agree with these comments. 

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management "Rules"

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management "Rules" | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Rule #4: Understanding Pig Theory

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"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.


"Understanding Pig Theory" is all about recognizing that It is by far easier and much more effective to instead have KM'ers learn how to develop organizational strategy, and then to push forward that strategy.  Identify the organizational performance gaps and then determine what knowledge gaps impact those.  Examine known knowledge gaps and determine what organizational gaps those in turn open or close.  Develop the right outcome-based performance metrics to validate the success of closing those gaps.  Tie all of this to the organizational strategy.  This is much less annoying than trying to teach the pig to sing, and the pig will appreciate it a whole lot more.


Rule #4 is all about showing how KM fits with the organizational strategy, and recognizing that this approach is much more likely to succeed than trying to teach the pig to sing.

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Karen du Toit's curator insight, November 14, 2013 5:12 AM

Interesting analogy!

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Keep Calm - KM Series

Keep Calm - KM Series | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Keep Calm and Try Story Telling

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Sharing knowledge, driving change – the 8th International Lessons Learned Conference (Ironic - how not to share lessons learned!)

Sharing knowledge, driving change – the 8th International Lessons Learned Conference (Ironic - how not to share lessons learned!) | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Dr. Dan:  Clearly an ironic example of what is often so wrong about organizational lesson learned efforts.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Isn't it ironic....that the conference report from an international conference on Lessons Learned held in December 2012 was just made available on 11/4/2013?  Don't cha think? (sure hope that none of those lessons learned were urgent, time-bound, critical, needed now)

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) Tips

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) Tips | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Quick tips for improving your Knowledge Management implementation.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Speed Innovation:  Set aside some scheduled time during the month where employees are encouraged to make mini-pitches to management.  These are short (maximum of 2-3 minutes each) pitches to provide an opportunity to someone who would perhaps never be in a position to be able to pitch an idea to management to be able to do just that.


Supports: Collaboration, Organizational Culture, Knowledge Sharing, Innovation.

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Keep Calm - KM Series: Implement KM

Keep Calm - KM Series: Implement KM | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) "Rules"

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) "Rules" | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Rule #9: Don't Treat People Like Other Important Assets

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

It's common to claim that people are the organization's "most important asset."  And the way that they then act, it's easy to see that this is meant to be applied the same way that you'd state that office furniture is an asset.  In many organizations there is seemingly little understanding of what it means to truly appreciate the people as an important organizational asset.  Downsizings and reshufflings occur with little thought given to the overall impact upon the organization's effectiveness.


The only thing that makes any organization unique is its people.  And that's because that's where the knowledge is -- in the people and in the processes created by and performed by the people.  Several years ago a change was made to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to allow for consideration and inclusion of the valuation of organizational knowledge as an asset which materially affects financial performance.


Yet few organizations make that effort.  For that matter, few organizations even attempt to inventory intellectual assets much less make efforts to understand their value.  To which I would suggest, you don't know what you have until it's gone.


Does your own organization place specific financial values on its organizational knowledge, its intellectual assets?


Rule #9 is all about recognizing that organizational knowledge -- the intellectual capital held within the organization and by its people -- has measurable financial value that produces true competitive advantage.  It's easy to claim that an organization values its people but it is another thing altogether to demonstrate that understanding by putting the "organizational money where that mouth is."

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Keep Calm - KM Series: Strategy

Keep Calm - KM Series: Strategy | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
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Rapid Equipping Force launches website for innovations - United States Army (press release)

Rapid Equipping Force launches website for innovations - United States Army (press release) | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Rapid Equipping Force launches website for innovations
United States Army (press release)
They explained that the website was created to capture ideas of Soldiers with recent combat experience. "Right now, the Army is filled with ...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Interesting approach to collaboration and innovation.

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) Tips

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) Tips | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Quick tips for improving your Knowledge Management implementation.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

KM Blog:  Start a blog or wiki that focuses on the KM activities within the overall organization, or alternately setup individual blogs for smaller or geographic centered parts of the organization.  Invite multiple individuals or perhaps anyone involved in KM to use the blog as sort of a daily journal of KM activities, issues, challenges, etc.  This can be used as a very effective way to increase KM Awareness as the blog/wiki is used to point out just how much "KM" is actually taking place within the organization.


Supports: Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Transfer, Knowledge Capture, Collaboration, Networking, Organizational Culture, KM Awareness.

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Associate Provost for Knowledge Transfer with The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | 5667

Associate Provost for Knowledge Transfer with The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | 5667 | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Associate Provost for Knowledge Transfer (Associate Provost for Knowledge Transfer - Hong Kong - The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology http://t.co/UVdlJ8wCi3)...
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Keep Calm - KM Series: Collaboration

Keep Calm - KM Series: Collaboration | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
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Big Data Cloud Storage Protection System

Big Data Cloud Storage Protection System | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Essential protection for cloud storage of Big Data now available!

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Yes, although previously only available for commercial applications, this is now available for residential applications -- the Big Data Cloud Storage Protection System is ready to safely isolate your home system within The Cone of Protection from data surges within the cloud.


Sold by Cloud Storage providers near you.  Some assembly may be required.  Results are not necessarily typical of all participants and your mileage may vary considerably.  Void where probited by anti-humor ordinances. 

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The Paradoxical Traits Of Resilient People

The Paradoxical Traits Of Resilient People | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Resilient people develop a mental capacity that allows them to adapt with ease during adversity. Like bamboo they bend but rarely break. How resilient...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

I think that there are some useful insights here that can easily be applied to anything like KM implementation, organizational change, and so on!

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VisionKnowledge's curator insight, November 13, 2013 10:17 AM

In order to effect change one must be willing to move with the flow and redirect, reframe and rethink,  if necessary. 

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Dr. Dan's KM Tips

Dr. Dan's KM Tips | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Quick tips for improving your Knowledge Management implementation.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Elephant in the Room:  Hold a monthly meeting with KM'ers throughout the organization to discuss those issues and challenges that tend to be the "elephant in the room" -- those things that are known by all but seldom actually discussed.  The goal of these discussions is to consider from a KM perspective how those issues and challenges might be best addressed.


Supports: Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Transfer, Knowledge Capture, Collaboration, Networking, Organizational Culture, Critical Thinking, Organizational Change.

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