Finger Tapping and Knowledge Management?

Finger tapping and Knowledge Management?

I stumbled upon an interesting study a little while ago about finger tapping. What we can learn about finger tapping and how that applies to Knowledge Management.
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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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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.

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You know it’s bad when Jim Cantore is in your town….

Jim Cantore, The Weather Channel

So says a wall post on Jim Cantore’s Facebook page.  Makes sense to me as I can recall him showing up here in Virginia Beach a few times when we’ve had hurricane warnings and such.  Nothing like having your town show up on a Weather Channel featured story to let you know that you’re really having fun.

And so what does Jim Cantore have to do with KM you ask?  Good question!  Actually it’s all about what Jim Cantore has learned about people and severe weather and how that applies to knowledge management.

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Story Telling, Anecdotes and Conversations

The Boyhood of Raleigh by Sir John Everett Millais, oil on canvas, 1870. A seafarer tells the young Sir Walter Raleigh and his brother the story of what happened out at sea.

On my mind this morning are a couple of blog posts that seem to fit nicely together. Interesting reads, and there is even a test at the end! I’d encourage you to take a look at both of these, and then, if you’re feeling brave – take on the really nifty storytelling “test” that the folks at Anecdote have put together. (I’m pleased to say that I scored a 10 for 10!).

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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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KM a Fad? KM a Failure? News at 11PM!

So much for "fad" labels!

KM a Fad?  KM a Failure?  Well no, not even. But it’s going to take a little bit of “thread pulling” to fully explore this one. And it makes for an interesting topic of discussion today that goes rather neatly with another post of mine — Not Dead Yet (think Monty Python).

So buckle up, it’s going to get a bit bumpy.

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Blow Milk Out Your Nose Funny – KM Implementation!

Blow Milk Out Your Nose Funny KM Implementation

I seem to find some of my best “fodder” for posts either in email or phone discussions, and this post definitely falls into that category.

Got a phone call from someone who wanted to chat about life, the universe and everything…well, not really…but it just seemed that the conversation really rambled around a bit. It was someone calling to ask about membership in the KM society that I’m a volunteer in…and the phone rings in my office.

So I take the call, answer a few quick questions about membership and then we were moving into general chit-chat. Seems the individual on the other end of the phone was a Knowledge Manager working for a private sector firm and was fairly new to this whole KM schtuff. As the conversation turned toward what this KM’er was engaged in, what KM schtuff was ongoing in their organization, what directions they would take (always interesting to hear what folks are up to)….I heard it.

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