knowledge+management category archives
“He who receives ideas from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine receives light without darkening me” -Thomas Jefferson
I've known for a long time that the questions one asks - or the way those questions are framed - elicit very different responses. I learned more about this in "The Art of Powerful Questions (catalyzing insight, innovation, and action) by Eric E Vogt, Juanita Brown and David Isaacs (published 2003).
I picked up Steve Tendon and Wolfram Muller's Tame the Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Management shortly after the TOCICO conference in June, and every time I pick it up I glean a different take on the embedded ideas. I enjoyed the thinking here, particularly since I am seeing more and more project management that is all about managing the flow of knowledge work.
How can we take advantage of what Theory of Constraints teaches as well as bring in thinking from other disciplines to learn? Specifically, how do we learn from a single occurrence - an occurrence of something going awry? This was the question that Eli Schragenheim tried to answer in his talk this morning on "Learning from ONE event: A structured organizational learning process to inquire and learn the right lessons from a single event."
"We've just killed the buzzword of collaboration" is how Manager Tools close their recent podcast on the topic.
The Boston Globe, David Allen and Farhad Manjoo all have me thinking about personal productivity, and how to go about creating the necessary focus.
"Problem Solving Knowledge Transfer: An Expert's Perspective" by DeAnna Myers is a Capstone research report from Northwestern's Master in Learning and Organizational Change (where I was on faculty for a few years).
PEX Network has some useful thoughts on best practices and benchmarking. Best practices are only indicators of what you really want - results. Don't confuse the two.
Project management and knowledge management are about getting things done. I attended and spoke at the Center for Business Information (CBI) 6th Annual Forum on Knowledge Management this week in Philadelphia. Rather than talk about knowledge management directly, I opted to speak about managing projects - whether they are KM or other types.
We need to do a better job of helping our colleagues - and helping ourselves - see the whole picture when a change is at hand. What are people really trying to DO?
Thomas Friedman has noticed some differences in the way people think about collaboration and pulls on the dictionary for some assistance.
Some interesting quotes today: Metadata is the stuff you know. Data is the stuff you are looking for. -Weinberger Information is the answer to the question asked. -Goldratt
"The High-Velocity Edge" was given to the attendees at the Lean Software & Systems Conference this year, as Steven J. Spear was one of the keynote speakers. I enjoyed the book and have dog-eared pages and underlined throughout.
I just finished reading David Byrne's somewhat autobiographical research, How Music Works. I found Talking Heads and some of his other projects playing on the stereo much more frequently than usual.
Collaboration is all around us. But so too is active disengagement of people we might expect would want to collaborate. Tom Graves provides some thoughts about this through the metaphor of a kids' train set.
Thoughts inspired by a Clay Shirky keynote talk from 2003.
The 2012 World's MAKE has been announced with Apple as the overall winner.
Are there different types of communities? And does that suggest that we have to approach them differently in terms of community management?
Sometimes we focus a little too much on just getting stuff done or starting the exciting new projects. We forget to stand back and think about how it worked last time, how we could do things better, or how our understanding has changed.
John Hagel has a great piece on "The Paradox of Preparing for Change" that talks about the importance of planning for what DOESN'T change, along with the stuff that does.
JP Rangaswami's "Continuing to muse lazily about sharing at work" blog post from last week had a useful differentiation between the tools and behavior that I liked.
The monthly SIKM Boston meeting is usually an eclectic mix of member-focused discussion, and today was no different. There was a range of topics from personal knowledge management to KM technology rollouts to "how to" to social business and more. Here are some thoughts and links inspired by the conversation.
A nice white paper from The Future of Collaborative Enterprise on "What Is Social Business Really About" describes the idea of social business and a number of the aspects through interviews with many thought leaders.
In the Personal Knowledge Management workshop hosted by the Social Learning Center, the latest question is to write an elevator pitch for PKM. The quick take: It's about getting things done.
Garret Keizer's article about Privacy has me realizing something important about the Seek-Sense-Share model Harold Jarche uses to describe PKM: it is iterative and works at multiple levels.
The Boston Globe had an article on "How to make time expand" this weekend. Interesting research suggests that giving away time creates the perception of having more time.
Nathan Zeldes has discovered the "dark side of information overload" - that people can't stop because that is what their environment forces them into.
Interested in personal effectiveness? What about how people work together? One seemingly simple aspect of this is the design of the workplace itself - the space, the technology, the tools. Sometimes these simple things get in the way of our being more effective. A Dan Morris article has me thinking, "Most overlooked place for efficiency improvement? It's right in front of you!"
Apply some critical thinking when people tell you that a change is needed - any change. If they tell you that collaboration needs to improve, ask what will be the expected effect.
The idea of standard work applies to the management of knowledge work, rather than to the specifics of the work.
The New Social Learning by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner is a great primer for thinking about using social media within organizations, with a focus around how these tools enhance organizational learning capacity.
Collaboration is "working together." So, what does that look like? If collaboration is working in your organization, what do you see? What is your evidence that collaboration is happening?
A recent HBR Blog Network article by Susan David asks "Is Busyness Bad for Business?" and the answer isn't completely as expected. Be smart. And I suggest we need to do a better job of SEEING what is going on.
All but the most basic tools require experimenting and learning how they work in your environment. Very few things work as advertised immediately. Good reminder for anyone involved in knowledge work.
One "purpose of management" is to help people get their work done. And in today's environment, that is all about working together. And working together requires that we know one another. Here are some of my thoughts inspired by an article proposing tips to create a collaborative culture.
What kind of status message seeder questions might be helpful for knowledge management? Nick Milton gets me thinking of some ideas.
Can tacit be made explicit? Yes, but not completely. I'll miss the KM Australia Congress debate on this topic, but here are some incomplete thoughts.
A new group has emerged that is thinking about setting itself up to provide standards and accreditation of Knowledge Management.
Good stuff from Harold Jarche on learning organizations and how the idea of net work relates to the topic.
Nick Milton has created an Interesting list of "supply-side" knowledge rules in response to Dave Snowden's classic list of rules for knowledge rendering.
Another find on my personal effectiveness journey points to Dan Markovitz and his book, A Factory of One.
What is your span of control? How can companies change narrow roles into wider roles? These questions bedevil social business projects, just as they do with continuous improvement efforts. Thanks to Rawn Shaw for inspiring some thinking for me.
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."
Interesting post by James Lawther on benchmarking (best practices) and the two options on doing the work. I love that he pokes all sorts of holes in the "easy way" of benchmarking.
A couple of articles have me thinking and wondering why we still convert "collaboration" or "social business" into things they are not. The problem - as always - is that people are confusing the tools for the behavior. The behavior we want to see is people working together to get things done ("collaboration").
"The greatest crisis facing us is ... a crisis in the *organization* and *accessibility* of human knowledge." Robert Heinlein
How often do initiatives get bogged down with the introduction of shiny, new tools instead of the meat of the change?
Overall, David Weinberger's new book, Too Big to Know, is an interesting study of knowledge and where the networked world is taking us.
This is exactly the reason that high-level support for collaboration and collaboration technologies is still so critical. I hear these comments almost every time I bring up the idea of social media within the organization.
James Robertson has put together a great picture of the workplace of the future in "A week in the digital workplace."
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