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.

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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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Overcoming Organizational Barriers to Knowledge Sharing

Barriers to Effective KM ImplementationAre “individual knowledge sharing barriers” really about the individuals? Or should the blame more properly be placed on the organization itself? Knowing the answer — and what to do about it — is quite important to successful KM implementation.

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Measuring Knowledge Management ROI

Mounted skeletons of Tyrannosaurus (left) and Apatosaurus (right) at the American Museum of Natural History

I was having a conversation the other day which reminded me about a similar conversation that I’d had a couple of years ago — regarding organizational insistence upon measuring the Return-on-Investment (ROI) of knowledge management. Back then I’d said that continuing to fixate on a supposed need to determine ROI was a little like asking for the same regarding having a telephone or email — where at this stage of the game if the organization is still unsure if they receive a “pay back” on having a phone or email…well, I’d kind of think of them as a bit of a ‘dinosaur brain’ anyway. It seems that not much has changed in that regard – organizations are still trying to determine the ROI of…sharing knowledge.
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Tire Slashing 101 – Defining Knowledge Management

Tire Slashing 101: Knowing who didn't do it helps.

You can learn a lot about the need for an effective vision to support your KM implementation by learning a bit about “tire slashing.” And here’s what you need to understand about both.
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Why KM “Maturity Models” Don’t Work

Do "Maturity Models" Leave You....

Knowledge Management “maturity models” simply don’t work in KM. Now let’s talk about why.

In yesterday’s blog post I’d briefly mentioned something I referred to as the “Knowledge Management Strategy Maturity Levels” and someone asked in an email whether or not that was the same as applying the “maturity model” concept to KM. I replied that it wasn’t, and then thought that this might be a great opportunity to discuss the whole premise of being able to somehow apply a “maturity model” approach or concept to KM and why that doesn’t work.

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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.
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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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KM Bamboo Tools! Plant Yours Today!

The taller the bamboo grows, the lower it bends. (Chinese Proverb)

Okay, I’m just going to lay it out there. Bamboo is not really native to North America. It just seems like it is. Mostly because it has fairly quickly worked its way to just about everywhere. Bamboo certainly has many uses – from culinary to medicine to construction to furniture to textiles to paper to….well, you get the idea. Lots of uses. And how does this fit in with KM? Well, it’s an invasive species and so it can also cause a lot of trouble if it goes where you don’t want it to go. You try to get rid of it…but it just keeps on popping up everywhere. Which is a lot like what can happen when organizations allow knowledge management tools to go untended.

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Successful Knowledge Management Implementation

Does your organization "get" KM?

I was having some off-line discussions related to KM metrics, as well as how to determine which KM initiatives make for the “best” for initial implementation, etc. And somewhere in those discussions we wandered smack into the middle of discussing why it seems that so many initial KM efforts have “problems.” And then at about the same time I received this absolute gem from Hubert Saint-Onge:

“When I was Senior Vice President of Strategic Capability at Clarica, I had to present my business plan on a quarterly basis to the CEO. In addition to knowledge management and learning, my portfolio included strategic planning, internal and external communication, human resources, and corporate branding. In other words, the full basket of intangibles.

The CFO attended these meetings and kept bringing up the measurement question. I was always able to side step the issue. One day, he became more vociferous than usual on the need to measure all this crap — in his words. Luckily, I had many opportunities to practice an answer. I said that I admired his passion for measuring and that I would like to take his lead on this matter. I promised right there that if he would share with me how he was measuring his organization’s finance and actuarial work was adding value to the company, I would right away adopt and apply this framework to the activities I was responsible for.

He looked at me dumb-founded. It had never occurred to him that he should measure what was considered conventional activities in the company: it’s that new so-called ‘crap’ we needed to measure. Isn’t it interesting that we put the onus of measurement on what is new when we have pile upon pile we don’t measure because it is just so. As all of us who have worked on this for decades, measuring the impact of growing intangible assets on the bottom line is no easy feat. It certainly cannot be trivialized because sometimes having wrong answers is worse than having no answer.”

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