Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Incentives in KM

Should incentives be used to encourage people to contribute Know How? This post is a summary of feedback received by the Knowledge Thoughts Blog. For more on incentives in Knowledge Management have a look at previous posts from this blog.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Support for KM

In another great post the Above and Beyond KM blog looks at how support for Knowledge Management initiatives/projects is crucial to their success.

From the blog post:

"..within a lot of enterprises the members of senior management are sometimes those least likely to understand or use a KM system. Therefore, their support can be theoretical and that gets communicated to the rank and file as a lukewarm endorsement. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess how the rank and file react to a mandate from above that doesn't seem to have any teeth"

In Law Firms the situation is even worse:

"With respect to law firm knowledge management the problem is widespread. The senior partners or administrative partners will certainly understand on paper the potential benefits of a knowledge management program. They may even remember back to the days when they were junior associates facing a new assignment without models or practice guides. However, they've come a long way since then and have platoons of associates under them who deal with those issues firsthand. And, with that distance comes a loss of urgency to pursue knowledge management"

So the question is, how can we encourage or gather support for Knowledge Management? Well there isn't an easy way to do it but the blog post highlights several examples of projects that have received the support of "Management" and flourished as a result, have a look at the Blog post and these links for a good introduction to this issue.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Do you have what it takes...

...to collaborate?

Two posts here which caught my eye. The first from the always excellent Above and Beyond KM Blog called "Do you have what it takes to Collaborate?" in this post the author discusses the skills it takes to collaborate effectively. These are listed as:

  1. How to apologise
  2. How to advocate your point of view without harming your collaborator's feelings
  3. How to spot when a conversation gets emotional and then make it safe again to continue meaningful dialogue
  4. How to listen and get into the shoes of your collaborator
  5. How to define a mutual intent that will inspire action
  6. How to tell and elicit stories
  7. How to get things done so you have something to show for your collaboration

So based on this, do you have what it takes? The second post from the KM Librarians Blog, discusses how much information individuals are actually willing to share. Called "Putting my collaboration attitude to the test" the author relates how they were asked to share materials for a recent seminar they delivered, which begs the question...

"When do you share everything, and with whom? As a civil servant, I have already arguably been paid to create the presentation, and my colleagues in other ministries and departments should have access to the text of my presentation. How does this argument work in firms? Where are the boundaries - do you share with co-workers, but not with clients? How about presentations to professional groups?"

Some interesting discussions here...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Ambient awareness

What does it really mean when you start using Social Networking tools like Facebook or Twitter? Well, there is an interesting take on the impact of these Social Networking tools in this article from the International Herald Tribune.

In it and this blog post the authors discuss how using these types of tools can give you a good sense of what people (even people you haven't met) like and dislike, this they call "ambient awareness"

This could theoretically then be applied to an organisation so individuals would be aware of what other people are doing in other countries and can connect and collaborate with them.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Knowledge sharing in 140 characters or less!

This is a great post from the Library Clips Blog in it the author describes how a micro-blogging solution could work well as Knowledge Sharing tool for a support team or a customer facing team.

From the blog post...

"There are many times when colleagues at work discover something in our office, but are too busy to blog about it, this is when micro-blogs comes into the picture. People may find blog posting takes up too much time because they treat it as formal publishing, and fair enough (I covered this in my KM 2.0 Culture post). We have tried to overcome this with posting to a blog by email, making it feel very informal, now you can “flick a blog post”, just like you “flick an email”.

I definitely agree with this point, creating a blog post can be quite time consuming especially if you are using an Internet based application and the site either crashes or is slow.

"I feel that people will indeed post to a micro-blog as the content is the length of an SMS, ie. a max of 140 characters. This is not hard at all, and the format encourages a type of informalness."

What a brilliant idea, most people know how to send text messages and micro-blogging sites like Twitter are so similar to text messaging or instant messaging I sometimes find it hard to tell the difference. The great thing about these sites is that any knowledge "shared" remains on the site making it a much more useful and crucially searchable resource.

Interesting posts this week

I've been playing catch-up recently so I thought I would consolidate several blog posts into one by listing some interesting posts I have read this week.

In Why worry about Law Firm KM ROI Mary Abraham questions whether Knowledge Workers within Law Firms should stop worrying about demonstrating ROI for Knowledge Management.

Another post on the Above and Beyond KM blog that caught my eye was KM 2.0 Working Smarter this is actually a review of another post by Dave Pollard, which looks at the skills that Knowledge Workers are going to require in the 21st Century, thought provoking.

Things start to get even more personal with this post from the Anecdote blog on the Seven Personal Skills you need for effective collaboration. More next week.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Dancing and Knowledge Management

You wouldn't usually associate Dancing with Knowledge Management but Mary Abraham over at the Above and Beyond KM blog has done exactly that!

In this post Mary describes how the process of "learning to do KM"or in fact anything new is reliant not just on reading from an instruction book (in her post she refers to this book) but other more "human influences"

"A personal sense of rhythm and physical gracefulness for one, vision and organizational culture for the other. So as you learn to "do KM" or dance, keep in mind that the books don't know your individual circumstances and can't dictate a single best course of action. All they can do is suggest approaches that have been helpful for others"

I'm still trying to guess what type of dance KM would be, the Tango maybe?