KM – Wild Animals!

Unleash your socialization wild animals!

Unleashing “wild animals” usually doesn’t sound like such a great idea. But with a bit of rethinking what those are and where they live, we can address issues that all the Web 2.0 technology never seems to address.
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Knowledge Sharing: Jack Bauer & Pushing String

Sharing Knowledge - © Cedefop, 1996-2010

Does your organization spend a lot of time trying to “push string” rather than nurture an environment that supports social interaction? Does “Jack Bauer” roam your hallways, eager to “interrogate” an employee rather than encourage spontaneous knowledge sharing?
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What Knowledge Workers Really Need

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” George Bernard Shaw

You know, there are times when you read a blog posting or online article and find yourself left simply shaking your head. Such is the case with an article that I just ran across (“Trends in Knowledge Work”) referencing a McKinsey & Company 2010 article (“The Productivity Imperative”). And that McKinsey article supposedly stated that, “while demand for knowledge workers is continuing to grow, the supply isn’t.” Really? Seriously? Give me a break.
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Knowledge Hiding – Organizational “Prison Rules”

Three children playing hide and seek in a forest.

I read an interesting and recently released study the other day which talks about a relatively new term in the Knowledge Management game – “Knowledge Hiding.” I think though that the concept isn’t necessarily new, and it has similarities to another KM “boogie-man” — the knowledge “hoarder.” But it is in this new study that a label is applied to specific bad behavior that I’d say could be easily described as “Prison Rules” as applied to knowledge sharing.

“Prison Rules” is one of those “urban slang” terms – referring to those situations when someone will do something (driving, sports, holiday shopping, etc.) while cheating, being overly aggressive or intimidating, and otherwise trying to “win” at all costs.

And it seems to me that knowledge hiding then is all about prison rules as they would apply to organizational knowledge sharing.

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Knowledge Management & Organizational Change

Organizational Change...and Resistance...Happens.

Whoa. That was my first thought when I read a blog post this morning. It started with receiving a comment from someone about one of my own posts, which lead me to that person’s blog, which in turn lead me to another blog. And that’s where I got the whoa. I’m not even going to point out which blog it was, just don’t think that it is really that worth it. But it does give me enough of a whoa feeling that I’m moved to post a bit about how organizational change impacts knowledge management (or is it how knowledge management impacts organizational change?). But the whoa statement was: “Resistance to change is a myth. There is no such thing.” And that was followed by “Organizations are not machines. Organizations are systems. And there is no resistance in a system.”

Again. Whoa. The bad news is that the author of that blog post is a management consultant. The good news is that at least the author isn’t involved in knowledge management. But clearly the author has a very limited understanding of systems theory, systems thinking, and organizational change.

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Ants?…KM! Ants?…KM! KM?…Yes, KM!

Meat eating ant feeding on honey.

Ants when scouting for new nesting sites or food sources have no leader giving orders. Instead as they travel they leave a trail of scent for other ants, called “scouts”, to follow. Scouts that find a good nesting site or food source in turn leave more scent along the same trail. Eventually, one site is selected from many potential sites in a sort of “chemical democracy” based on the strongest combined chemical strength left by more and more scouts. This organizing process is both simple and powerful. And so without any need for bosses they efficiently find new places to live and new food sources.

So what do ants have to do with Knowledge Management? Glad you asked!

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Knowledge Management and Tornadoes

A tornado near Anadarko, Oklahoma.

I’ll say it again: Knowledge Management is about people and their knowledge, and not about software or other IT.

A topical example of how important the knowledge that is held by people really is can be seen in the investigations now starting in the aftermath of the recent outbreak of killer tornadoes that ravaged Alabama and other states.

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Are You NIH? Or Perhaps IHBLRIA? Well,You Should be PFE or Maybe PFEAAWP!

Going in Circles, or Taking the "Road Ahead?"

I stumbled upon a blog post by Richard Stuebi the other day (“On Innovation”)  in which he discussed a meeting that he’d recently attended on the topic of innovation.  During that meeting Dr. Chris Thoen from P&G spoke of an interesting twist that P&G has applied to the NIH problem.

The “what” problem, you ask?

That would be the “Not Invented Here” (NIH) syndrome.

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Snooping Bosses? Get Real.

And the corporate award for “Still Doesn’t Get It” (SDGI) goes to….maybe your organization? (self-nominations accepted and encouraged, applications in multiple categories are allowed)

An interesting article titled, “Snooping Bosses” in Time magazine discussed how it is every increasingly likely that your boss, anyone’s boss, was checking your email, and monitoring your web searching and voice mail. For example, according to a study conducted by American Management Association and ePolicy Institute found that:

76% of employers watch you surf the web and 36% track content” and “38% hire staff to sift through your email.

Wait, before you comment, there’s more! They also suggested that those bosses then “act on that knowledge.”

Now I don’t know about you, but frankly I am amazed. No wait, I’m stunned. Amazed doesn’t do it justice, but stunned fits rather nicely. Read More of Snooping Bosses? Get Real.