"During ancient times in Sri Lanka, Buddhist monks were responsible for education. The “pirivenas” or Buddhist temples were the place youngsters had to go to in order to access knowledge. However some monks were called “guru mushtiyas” and this meant that they hoarded their knowledge and only revealed certain things to the rest in order to not to lose power. They only shared all their knowledge before passing away and this was done to just one person of their choice.
This form of knowledge retention has existed for many years and still permeates many modern societies. The “guru mushtiya” effect is also a problem for organizations here in Sri Lanka, where people still believe that their knowledge is unique and by transferring it to the rest they are most likely to give up their personal competitive advantage."
"Motivating people to adopt social technology in the workplace isn't always easy. Even highly resourced efforts can take years before true adoption takes place and the promised value has been unlocked.
We need to dispense with dreams of effortless collaboration and fabulous emergent effects, and instead focus on understanding the needs of our ecosystem, so that we can design strategic use cases that catalyze value through better, social ways of working."
"Perhaps the most useful (and seemingly counter-intuitive) measure to get KM right is not to develop a strategy or an information system – or even better: a portal!!! oh no, pleasenot another one - but first and foremost to hire the right person for the job. Someone who really ‘gets it’ and can influence the rest of the organisation, little by little. Ditto for the other champions that get a KM strategy to fly (even under the radar)."
"The innovative work structures required for complex economies need to be supported by skilled workers with the right tools. We know that sharing complex knowledge requires strong interpersonal relationships, with shared values, concepts, and mutual trust.
But discovering innovative ideas usually comes via loose personal ties and diverse networks. Knowledge intensive organizations need to be structured for both. Effective knowledge-sharing drives business value in a complex economy and this requires a workforce that is adept at sense-making."
"It’s rather interesting to hear from the same company that 1) their situation is unique, and 2) they are looking for examples of best practices in their industry. If they are so darned unique, why aren’t they developing their own emergent practices?
The major problem with any best practice is that it was proven to work for someone else. All best practice case studies should have a warning label attached: Tacit Knowledge Not Included. Tacit knowledge is one of the few things that cannot be copied, and what makes creative, non-standardized work so valuable."
"It is clear that we need a new and better approach for boosting knowledge worker productivity, and that this approach must, by necessity, take a holistic grip on our digital work environment so that unnecessary complexity can be reduced or eliminated and knowledge workers can be empowered to be more productive, innovative and agile. The Digital Workplace is an emerging concept that provides a holistic view of the knowledge worker’s digital work environment, and in this post I will briefly outline what I see as the six pillars of the Digital Workplace.
"As knowledge workers we often find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. Workload and complexity at work is increasing, while we at the same time are expected to produce more, faster and faster. And adapt to new conditions. Not only that, we are expected to be creative and innovative as well. The problem is that our organizations haven’t been designed for knowledge work under these conditions. Most organizations have been designed for efficiency and economies of scale, not for enabling collaboration, creativity and autonomy. Too often, knowledge workers are just cogs in a big machinery. Organizations fail to get the full potential out of their knowledge workers.
Network-based collaboration is the only way to deal with the increasing complexity, speed of change and uncertainty that organizations are facing."
Name one Kmer that hasn´t heard the above question. Yes, it’s a cold look at the reality of what organizations face when it comes to developing KM. We tend to crown it as a cultural issue but it´s not entirely true. I´ve come to learn that as Kmers we need to stand back for awhile and understand the business environment. It´s not just about getting the jargon right. We need to situate ourselves right in the middle of business, live and share moments with the rest of the people. Learn and teach together. Define what really engages your organization."
"The knowledge sharing paradox is that while sharing our knowledge is good for the organization, each individual has to see a personal benefit as well. The more the enterprise directs knowledge-sharing, the less likely it will happen. Conversely, the less structured the process, the more difficult it is for the organization to benefit. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, or so it seems."
A tweet yesterday prompted me to remember sage advice from Dave Snowden which I took to heart in my work with social tools at the BBC. "You can't manage knowledge but you can create a knowledge ecology".
"These are my notes from the KMWorld 2013 Conference. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]
Session Description: Colorful and fun, our closing keynote speaker and futurist discusses lessons learned from various activities. He then uses scenario-based work and other research to discuss what the future of KM could be under different social, economic, political, and technological circumstances. Be prepared to hear why good ideas don’t become viral, and be inspired to think of KM in new and different ways."
"We are participating this week at the KMWorld 2013 conference and joined last weekConstellation’s Connected Enterprise summit. At both events, we discussed how organizations are seeking better access to knowledge to improve the decision-making process and speed innovation. While these events have different focuses, parallel discussions explored two interconnected trends:
The resurgence of knowledge management; and
The continued growth in the number of multi-channel consumers."
"Without a doubt, the importance and availability of social, mobile and cloud technologies will continue to increase. What will change is the focus; corporations will be shifting their focus from implementing tools to how they can make productive use of the tools and make change happen inside their organizations.
As we are soon moving into 2014, it can be a good idea to take a look at some recent research related to Enterprise Collaboration. Below, I have put together links to some of the research studies I have come across recently, highlighting some findings from each piece of research that I found interesting. I hope you will as well."
"So, no matter how we look at this, the growing importance of networks and networking as both a professional competency and as an organisational asset cannot be overlooked, and leaders need to start taking relationship building into account when considering the value an employee brings to the organisation, and therefore how he/she is rewarded.
Time and investment in PKM to develop these skills and competencies is a critical part of this reward mechanism."
"Do you know the actual theories of learning? A learning theory is an attempt to describe how people learn, helping us understand this inherently complex process. There’s sub-levels of each theory, behavior and other categories … it’s complex. But it’s worth understanding.
This helpful infographic does a solid job of breaking down the basics of learning theories in a visual and understandable format. I personally enjoy the part about connectivism in the digital age."
“The introduction of smarter ways of working together across the extended enterprise enabled by a new breed of innovative concepts and technologies.”
This is the definition of Enterprise Collaboration that I currently use when explaining it to other people, and here are three reasons why I find it useful:
If puts focus on ways of working together, and that we need to find better ways of working that make better use our individual and collective time and capacity. To do this we need to reflect more on why and how we use certains tool (a fool with a tool is still a fool).
‘Across the extended enterprise’ means that the scope is not limited to teams or organizations. A collaborative effort can potentially involve any stakeholder – even customers and consumers – as well as any number of stakeholders."
Besides obvious trends such as that the amount of knowledge work is increasing in developing countries, that knowledge work is becoming more critical to the performance of organizations, and that knowledge work is becoming more complex, collaborative and dependent on our ability to be creative as individuals, there are a few other trends that I have seen become stronger lately and that I would like to highlight in this post.
If there is any one option where it is easy to see how video supports knowledge sharing in the sales process, it is making it social. Maximize the potential for making shared knowledge a social experience.
"The so-called enterprise social networking revolution, determined to transform business collaboration, is in a bind these days.
Social continues to manifest itself as cloned Facebook functionality grafted on every enterprise tool from SAP to Windchill.
Key example: most of the social enterprise demos have an interesting point of commonality – it’s not 3 minutes into any of the presentations, that someone points out where the like button is at.
Now think about that for a moment… Just what is the purpose of a like button in a business context? When’s the last time your boss asked you if you liked something? Dude, the new draft of the export control policy, I so like that bro! It’s obvious there’s a fundamental problem here."
"Last week I wrote a post about Connected Learning and how it offers a semi-directed, semi-structured approach to workplace learning that fits between the directed, structured knowledge sharing (aka training or e-learning) that has been the way that L&D has traditionally operated, and the unstructured, self-directed knowledge sharing that happens in work teams and groups in the flow of work.
But in the age of the Social Web and now the Social Business this is only a part of a much bigger picture of how we learn at work, and which is offering new opportunities to forward-thinking L&D professionals (and departments) who want to break free from a mindset that only focuses on designing, delivering and managing learning."
"Knowledge Management is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end, and the end is a more efficient, effective and productive organisation.
The senior and middle managers in your organisation are not interested in Knowledge Management - only in what it can do for their part of the business.
Therefore when we talk with the business stakeholders, we need to talk in their terms, and address the things they are interested in.
Instead of talking to them about Knowledge Management, we talk to them about the following ;
Innovation - bringing together the knowledge of our people, as well as external knowledge, to build new ways of doing things, new products, and new lines of business. Here you use KM processes such as business driven action learning.
Collaboration - bringing together knowledge from different parts of the business to develop better ways of working - using the knowledge we already know, but which is scattered and siloed. Here you use KM processes such as communities of practice.
Knowledge to the front-line - arming our customer-facing staff with the knowledge they need to close the deal, or delight the customer. Again communities of practice are important here, and effective knowledge bases.
Harmonising the way we work - comparing and learning from the disparate practices across the organisation, to find the ones that work best in given circumstances. Here you use KM processes such as Knowledge Exchange.
Learning from Experience - ensuring our projects and business activities do not repeat the mistakes of the past, but build on the successes. This is the whole area of project-based learning.
Stemming the brain-drain - addressing the risk of loss of critical knowledge and capability as people retire. Here you use KM processes such as Knowledge Retention.
Speeding up the learning curve - either for new-hires coming into an expanding business, or for new areas of the business (new markets, new products, new geographies). This will require a combination of many of the KM approaches above.