Going the Way of the Organizational Dodo Bird

Frederick William Frohawk's restoration from Rothschild's 1907 book Extinct Birds

Frederick William Frohawk’s restoration from Rothschild’s 1907 book Extinct Birds

Dodo Bird. Its name is synonymous with and immediately suggestive of extinction. Dutch and Portuguese explorers discovered Dodo birds living in relative isolation on the island Mauritius in 1598. Dodos were extinct about 80 years earlier.

Read More on Going the Way of the Organizational Dodo Bird

Shocking KM News! Users Reject Lessons Learned Database!

So close....

I know that this will no doubt come as a shock to some, and I urge you to not read this alone — you will need close support to get you through the moment. But I’m saddened to report that according to an audit conducted by the Australian Department of Defence….(here it comes, prepare yourself!) the Department of Defence lessons learned database was “abandoned” by users who found it too difficult to use.
Read More on Shocking KM News! Users Reject Lessons Learned Database!

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.
Read More on KM – Wild Animals

Knowledge Management Yoga

Knowledge Management Yoga for Knowledge Sharing

This is a short little follow-up to my recent post about knowledge sharing, Jack Bauer and the whole pushing string thing.  I think that it could be called Knowledge Management Yoga.

Read More on Knowledge Management Yoga

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?
Read More on Knowledge Sharing: Jack Bauer & Pushing String

Knowledge Management Metrics – Focusing on What’s Important

Do you measure what's important or do you just measure?

When considering what to measure related to Knowledge Management, it is important to ensure that we measure the right things. The biggest challenge is, of course, to know exactly what are those “right things.” But it’s easier than you may think to find those right things to measure.
Read More on Knowledge Management Metrics – Focusing on What’s Important

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.
Read More on What Knowledge Workers Really Need

Taming the Wild West: KM and Innovation

Samuel Colt (19th century engraving).

The first settlers coming to the Western United States carried guns that were capable of firing only a single-shot per minute without reloading. This put them at a distinct disadvantage to those who using bow and arrows were capable of firing as many as 5-10 arrows per minute.

In 1836 that changed with the introduction of the Colt Paterson which could fire five shots from a rotating cylinder without reloading. Others had previously experimented with revolvers but Colt’s was the first design that would upon cocking automatically rotate a cylinder with multiple chambers so as to place a round in proper position aligned with a single stationary barrel. And that changed everything.

“How” that happened is all about the role that new knowledge plays in innovation.

Read More on Taming the Wild West: KM and Innovation

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!

Read More on Ants?…KM! Ants?…KM! KM?…Yes, KM!

Socialization and the Need to Take Time to Think

The Thinker, sculpture at the Musée Rodin in Paris

On May 2nd, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry was speaking at a KM conference and told the audience that he felt that managers needed to “engage” their people. He offered up an example of failing to engage by describing managers who were walking around or riding elevators while using their smart phones instead of talking with their employees. He described that as a missed opportunity to show employees that they cared and that they actually wanted employees to speak up and share their views.

While saying that I agree completely with what John Berry said and agree that this is certainly one of those cultural issues that impact organizations all the time, I’d like to take his thought a step or two further. Sort of run with it to discuss what I think is an additional issue altogether. I’m talking about the need to take time to think.

Read More on Socialization and the Need to Take Time to Think