I was scanning the job board of a client that I serve and found this embedded in the description for an employment position:

Image:So much for starting a job productively (or sanely)

I would expect this in a job listing for a juggler at a circus, not for a desk job. This is a position for a knowledge worker—someone who "thinks" for a living.

Thinking to create value requires concentration. Concentration requires focus. Both require minimizing distraction both from internal sources (e.g. multitasking) and external (interruptions, distractions). That's just how the mind works most effectively.

In my personal knowledge and information management (PKIM) seminars and workshops, I teach that focus is what you shut in and concentration is what you shut out. These are essentials skills and powerful tools for any worker.

So why would you set up a work environment that makes these things more difficult?

I realize that the HR person who wrote (and misspelled) that description was probably only trying to cover themselves, but I see this all too often.  It still makes me wonder: when will leadership and management get the fact that it takes concentration to create value?

IBM Verse is a new-fashioned email/social/collaboration/analytics tool that's being touted as the answer to the world's problems with information overwhelm. Although their marketing is slick, I've seen little that suggests that Verse is built to enable personal productivity and knowledge work.

Read more on my business blog, Notes on Productivity.

20150520 - How IBM Verse works.jpg
Robot hand I.eP.jpgI really enjoy consulting and coaching executives and other professionals, because it allows me to make a difference in the lives of others. There's nothing like that moment when their eyes widen and they say "I get it!" or "That's cool!"

I also get to experience this same thing with students in my Intro to Robotics course. This course isn't just a bunch of computer science geeks doing geeky things: I use it to prepare my students to work well, both in their personal and professional lives, by teaching them essential life skills.

I know teaching life skills through robotics sounds far-fetched, so I'm going to prove it below.

Robotics life lessons thumbnail.jpgIn this course, one of the exercises I teach is the After-Action Review. This consists of five questions:
1.        What was supposed to happen?
2.        What actually happened?
3.        Why did it happen?
4.        What did we learn?
5.        How can we do better next time?

On Monday, as I lead them through an After-Action Review, I wrote the answers to the final question on the board (as you can see on the left). The action under review was the students' preparation for their final in-class competition (which involved designing and building a robot in teams), but the answers they came up with also translate to work and life in general.

Note that these are not in order of importance or priority. They're all lessons learned. Here's what my students had to sayplus applies to best practices for life:

Continue Reading "Best Practices for Robotics Competitions, Work, and Life in General" »

My first paid consulting job convinced me that technology would solve all our problems. Over 30 years ago, I was writing flight-planning programs with a 1-kilobyte* programmable calculator, and it was incredible: calculations that took hours by hand were done in a few minutes.

What I didn't see then was the whole picture. Technology is (and always has been) only part of the equation. My client and I had to put our knowledge together: his knowledge of the math needed for flight-planning, and my knowledge of how to write that into a program.

What I've discovered is that machines can never do our thinking for us – even though advertisers have been claiming they can for decades. Exhibit A:

Want to buy a brain - old computer ad cropped, smaller.jpg

"Its vacuum tubes will make up your mind for you far faster than your gray matter can." Somehow I'm reminded of modern ads claiming that technology can decide what's important to you.

What I found out
During my graduate research on how people work. I saw that even people with the best technology could work very ineffectively. At the same time, some people could use outdated equipment – even as simple as pen and paper – and create great value for their organization. Obviously, technology alone didn't make people better workers.

It became clear that technology is useless if people don't know how to work with it – and more importantly, use it to work together.

Based on my experience and research, I came up with this equation as a model for the effectiveness of individuals and teams:

Value (V) = Knowledge (K) x Methodology (M) x Technology (T)

Technology is literally only part of the equation. There are two other factors:

  • Methodology: the habits, rules, and practices that people follow to get work done. In other words, how people work.
  • Knowledge: what you know, who you know, and what they know

Let me go back to the flight-planning example:

  • K = my client's knowledge of the mathematics needed for flight-planning
  • M = my process for translating that math into programs
  • T = the 1-kilobyte programmable calculator

Without all three, our operation wouldn't have worked and I would've been out of a job.

A kindred spiritMark Mortensen headshot.jpg
I was delighted to come across a very insightful article that Mark Mortensen of INSEAD recently wrote for the Harvard Business Review: "Technology Alone Won't Solve Our Collaboration Problems." He emphasizes "a simple truth: it’s not what technology you’ve got, but how you use it" and includes three specific examples of how to work more effectively with today's technology.

I'm glad to find someone who recognizes "it’s less important which technology you choose and more important that you align it with how people do work." Mortensen acknowledges the importance of method and knowledge as well as technology. See here for his article.

Technology Alone Wont Solve Our Collaboration Problems.jpg

Three factors to success
The interaction of knowledge, methodology, and technology is critical to any organization's success and the value of any individual's work. This is what I've brought to my consulting clients over my decades in the field, and I've clearly seen the results: it works.

To share your thoughts on this topic, connect with me on social media (below). When you're ready discuss how I can help you and your organization manage the balance of KMT, click "Contact" in the upper-right. I'd love to chat!



LI: Eric Mack

*For the younger crowd: 1 kilobyte is about 1/16,000,000 of the memory of a standard iPhone 6.

Image credit:
"Buy a Brain" image by DigiBarn [CC BY-NC 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/)]. Changes made: image rotated clockwise 1 degree; article text cropped out; additional border coloring added. Scanned by DigiBarn from Popular Science, May 1949. Link to original image: http://www.digibarn.com/collections/mags/popsci-may-1949/brain1.jpg

Do you ever find yourself unable to make a decision about whether or not to move forward on something?

Have you ever asked yourself, "self, why did I waste my time in that way?"

I've done both. Many times.

As I continue to do research in high performance knowledge work and personal knowledge management, I've collected a number of tools and methods to help me make smarter decisions about what to do or not do.

Today, I'd like to share one of those tools with you. I call it my opportunity decision matrix,

When I was in graduate school and trying to run my consulting business and launch a software company and be a loving husband and father to my four daughters, I hit a wall. Something had to give. But what?

My good friend, Michael, gave me some sage advice that helped a lot. He told me to ask myself two simple questions to ask whenever I needed to evaluate options.

Here's how this works:

First define the "opportunity". Perhaps it's "Attend ABC conference". Next, evaluate that opportunity through the lens of two filters: opportunity and timing, like this:

Question #1. Is this the right opportunity?

If it isn't,  stop. Don't waste your time. Done. Decision made. If it is the right opportunity, then, I continue to question #2

Question #2. Is this the right timing?

Many times, I have a right opportunity but bad timing. It makes no sense to proceed unless both the opportunity and timing are right.

I have since expanded into an this 2x2 opportunity decision matrix:

This matrix has proven extremely valuable to me when I have a lot of hard choices to make and a new one shows up (like, "hey, do you want to fill in the blank.... ?")

For example, at a particularly busy point in my life, I got invited to speak at a conference. It was a great opportunity and I really wanted to go. However, it was not the right timing, so I declined. Having this simple two question matrix really helped me make a hard decision easy.  

The following year I was invited to speak at a different event. I concluded that it was both the right opportunity and  the right timing, so I accepted the invitation and the "Beyond Planning Conference" was born.

Sometimes, when it seems like I have many large or complex decisions to make, It helps me to pull out a sheet of paper and make a 4x4 matrix, like the one above. Then, I list of all of the options on my plate and one by one, and I write them into the appropriate quadrant.

It's usually quite a sobering experience.

Next, I cross off everything in quadrants 3 & 4 and move quadrant 2 items to my "someday/Maybe" list. This leaves me with only my quadrant 1 items, which I do.

By being ruthless in evaluating all of my choices against these two criteria, I can get unstuck quickly and feel good about the choices I make.

How do you make choices? What tools have you found helpful to make decisions?
Nick Milton does a great job answering this question:
How to build a KM strategy, in less than 50 words
Decide what knowledge is vital for the organization (A)
Find out who needs that knowledge (B)
Find out where that knowledge is now (and if it doesn’t exist, where it will come from) (C)
Work out how to get A to B from C
· Routinely
· Systematically
· Effectively
· Efficiently

As one commenter mentioned, it's important, when determining the knowledge vital to the organization, that consideration be given to where the organization wants to be.

Source: Nick Milton
I recently had an interesting discussion on the topic of ethics in business and how they apply to Knowledge Management. My view is that ethics are the foundation of effective knowledge management.

Here's how I currently define the argument for Ethics in KM
  1. Knowledge Management is about sharing of knowledge, information, and experiences - an exchange of information and ideas . (We often call this learning.)
  2. This exchange cannot occur without effective communication.
  3. For communication to be truly effective, transparency must exist. Transparent communication is built on trust
  4. Any unethical behavior undermines trust which ultimately impairs communication which leads to the loss of sharing and the loss (or distortion) of information and knowledge .

The bottom line is that ethics is important to KM because of trust.
KMWORLD2010LOGO.gifNext week, I'll be attending KMWorld, the annual conference on knowledge management. I look forward to participating in a number of workshops and sessions by leading thinkers in the field of value creation and innovation.

On Thursday November 18, I'll be moderating/presenting on a panel with Art Murray, CEO of Applied Knowledge Sciences, Inc., and Box.net's VP of Business Development, Karen Appleton. Here's the program description:  
Future Focused Formulas for Enterprise KM Success
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Session C304  3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Eric Mack, Founder & CEO, ICA.COM, Inc.
Art Murray, CEO - Applied Knowledge Sciences, Inc.
Karen Appleton, VP Business Development - Box.net

This panel of experienced KM practitioners shares their secrets for successful enterprises that harness organizational knowledge, streamline knowledge and information flows around the globe, are innovative and profitable, and attract the best and the brightest to populate their organizations. Find out what you should be focusing on in the next few years as you build a high-achieving enterprise KM world.

That's a pretty all encompassing description. The marketing folks at KMWORLD wrote that description. (Can you tell?). You'd think we are going to offer you the secrets to life, the universe, and everything - at least related to KM. We won't. What we will offer are some formulas to get you thinking about KM success at the individual and enterprise level followed by a lively discussion.

I hope you can join us. We look forward to meeting you!

Update: I will also be presenting at the DC Lotus User's Group on Wednesday 11/17. Details here.

As I mentioned over on the Notes on Productivity blog, this last weekend I talked with David Allen on a variety of subjects around productivity and Lotus Notes.

David allowed me to record a portion of our conversation, and he has this great riff on Outlook and Lotus Notes that I want to share with you.
20091117-KMWorldStanGarfield.JPGI've followed Stan's writing on KM for years, so it's a treat to finally meet Stan in person.(Stan will be on our PKM Panel this afternoon, as well.). Today, Stan reflects on his 13 years on KM with a fast-moving presentation on his lessons learned about effective KM. Like all of his writing, Stan shared many insights. I have listed a few below.

Started in KM in 1996 at DEC. KM was something on the side.

Reflecting on his 13 years in KM: (I'll try to come back an fill in details later)

1. Collect content: Connect People
        Key influencer: Patrick Lambe

2. Try things out; improve and iterate
        Key influencer: Tom Davenport

3. Lead by example; model behaviors
        Key influencer: Carla O'Dell

4. Set goals; recognize and reward
        Key influencer: Nancy Dixon

5. Tell your stories; get others to tell theirs
        Key influencer: Steve Denning

6. Use the right tool for the job; build good examples
        Key influencer: Tom Stewart

7. Enable innovation; support integration
        Key influencer: Verna Allee

8. Include openly; span boundaries
        Key influencer: Larry Prusak

9. Prime the pump; ask and answer questions        
        Key influencer: Etienne Wenger

10. Network; pay it forward
        Key influencer: Hubert Saint-Onge

11. Let go of control; encourage and monitor
        Key influencer: Clay Shirkey

12. Just say yes; be responsive
        Key influencer: Chris SollisonC

13. Meet less; deliver more
        Key influencer: Seth Godin
20091117-KMWorldAndyMcAfee.JPGMy workshop on high performance knowledge workwork went well. Today we are on schedule fo the KMWORLD conference and our keynote presenter is none other than Andy McAfee. (Let me explain the photo. I wore my Michael Sampson mask as I entered the room where the keynote was and Andy saw me right away and waived. So, there you are, Michael. Andy says hi.)

Here are some of my notes from his presentation on resetting the enterprise with Enterprise 2.0 technologies.

Why does Enterprise 2.0 work?

     People want to help

     - Stop obsessing about risks
             Lower barriers to altruism

     Beware of the 'one best way' and slotting people into a predefined workflow
     Emergent tools allow altruism and innovation

     Ask "How much workflow, this process, this structure, is necessary to be successful at this time?"

     make it easier to corect mistakes instead of hard to create them
     use tools that let structue appear


     Strategy may be dead
     Time for a Chief innovation Officer instead of Chief Strategist
     Don't nail it down up front. Set the direction and the outcome.
     Innocentive - open source problem solving for problems that stump the home organization
             Question credentialism. Innocentive lets anyone, regardless of credentials look at this.
     Build communities that people want to join

     Example: Verizon Customer support open source
             Createed method of identity and the ability to acquire status reputation and identity

     With a little bit of technology facilitation, crowds can be very wise
             Enable peer review
             Experiment with collective intelligence (wisdom of crowd)

     Better collaboration is not the only goal
             "Narrate your work" (Dave Weiner) Do this over time and let people link to it and talk about it.
     Increated awareness, not of solutions, but of people behind the solutions
     Real results
     Sitting this one out is a bad idea
     Look at technology with fresh eyes
     We're not going back to business as usual

How to succeed with Enterprise 2.0
     How to snatch defeat from the laws of vistory
             - Declare war on the existing enterprise
             - Allow waled gardens to flourish
             - Accentuating the negative
             - Try to replace email
     New entrant needs to be 10x better than incumbent (e-mail is not going away)
             Where you can succeed is where there is a blank space in technology landscape (no incumbent)
     Fall in love with features
             Think iPod - all it does is play music.
     Overuse the word "social"

Shift Happens (Did You Know 4.0) Fall, 2009

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

The media landscape continues to change as a result of convergence of devices, communication, and technology. This updated video was prepared in partnershp with "The Economizt" in preparation for the Third Annual Media Convergence Forum.
Eric Mack, MKM. Master of Information and Knowledge Management.I've just completed all of the requirements to earn my Master of Information and Knowledge Management Degree, with honors. Just over three years ago I closed the first chapter of this journey.  Today, I close the second chapter. Before I begin the next chapter, I want to pause and reflect on my experience and thank the many people that helped me get to this point.

After working for two decades as a consultant in the areas of technology, information management, collaboration, and productivity, I realized that while these were all good things to do, the next opportunity was in the area of how we manage what we know and what we do with what we know. That realization led me to pursue the field of knowledge management and the management of intellectual capital. Unlike many people in the 1990's and early 2000's, I decided not to focus on the organizational level but rather to direct my attention to the individual or personal aspect of knowledge management. My work as an eProductivity specialist  taught me that it's much easier to bring about a lasting impact working with individuals - from the bottom-up - than to try and create a system to be imposed on the organization top-down. Thus, my interest in knowledge management, and specifically my interest in what is frequently referred to as personal knowledge management, began.

Continue Reading "Completion. What a wonderful feeling! Chapter 2" »
I took off the last few weeks to complete my graduate research and writing for my final project for my Master of Information and Knowledge Management degree. It feels great to mark that item as "Complete." Other than a few blog posts about the National KM Conference, I've been off-line. No email, No Internet. No Twitter.

A few people have asked how what my office setup looked like as I worked to complete this assignment:
This is my workstation. I use 3 monitors and optionally, two projectors to work.Here's my workstation set up for studying: 24" 1200x1900 Portrait monitor on the left, Hi Res 1680x1050 Laptop in the middle and a 30" 2560x1600 display for MindManager on the right. From time to time, I will also use the two projection screens in the background. All are controlled by my laptop.

Continue Reading "Graduate paper done, thanks to Notes/MindManager/Brain" »

KM in NASA’s Exploration Directorate

Thursday, August 6th, 2009
Steve Newman, ARES Corporation is sharing his experience with KM in NASA’s Exploration Directorate.

Steve works for NASA Exploration directorate as a contractor in KM area. ARES is responsible for developing NASA’s Process Based Mission Assurance (PBMA) site – which is one of the knowledge repositories that I have seen. http://pbma.nasa.gov/

Steve’s current work is with the Exploration directorate, which is responsible for the Orion Program, which is designed to take men back to the moon and ultimately to Mars.

Steve’s Lessons learned from NASA regarding KM

  • At NASA never say “I’m here to help you with KM” instead – it’s “I’m here to accomplish work” Work is the central theme – technology is just an enabler.
  • KM initiatives that have succeeded are those that have been sponsored by a business leader
  • There has to be a personal return on investment. It has to help me do my work more effectively.

Continue Reading "KM in NASA’s Exploration Directorate" »
Notes from National KM Conference at Pepperdine University
Dr. Jay Leibowitz
Next up is Dr. Jay Leibowitz, presenting research Cross-Generational Knowledge Flows In Edge Organizations.

Notes in progress....

...get it right and everything flows smoothly.

Perhaps I should change my business card:

Eric Mack, MKM

"Knowledge Plumber"

Some potential tag lines:
Knowledge not flowing?
Have a knowledge sharing problem?
Plagued by knowledge silos?
Call the knowledge plumber!
Next up is Vijay Koduri, Google Sr Project Manager

Been at Google for two years….works in the Google Enterprise organization, which focuses on use of Google Apps within an enterprise. Products include Search, Maps and Earth, Applications…

Key customers – Universities + small and mid size businesses.

One of the most interesting things at Google is the culture of openness and transparency.

Google is over 20,000 employees world wide.


  • Resource allocation. Google has the 70-20-10 rule. 70% of the time spend working on core apps, 20% on something that has strong potential and 10% on wild and crazy.
  • Challenge – how to leverage people across the entire organization – to get help on the 20% and 10% projects. Developed Google intranet tools to help find the right people. The idea bulletin board lets you send out an e-mail with an embedded survey that allows people to vote on the idea. Scale ranges from 1 to 7. 7 – would incredible if implemented to 1 – would be harmful if implemented.
  • When a document is created by someone in Google it is automatically available to everyone in the company – unless you restrict access.
Approach to collaboration

Google docs allows people to share and collaborate on a single document. This eliminates the needs to have multiple versions of a document – or to merge comments on a document.

Value of keeping data in “the cloud.” From a security perspective – loss of laptop is not a big deal. 10% of laptops will be lost in the 1st 12 months of ownership. The biggest risk of data loss is at the point of the end user… Note—as several people have noted there is a lot of debate about this topic. This is the Google perspective.

[Eric's Note: I refrained from raising my hand. I felt that he did not defend his position. He kept saying trust me… I don’t. He said that no end-user data is collected and then 10 min later said that they collect end user data in order to deliver user-specific ads… Hmmm]

Succeeding with knowledge Management

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
Next up, Dr. Steven Newman, Vice President, Technology Application at ARES Corporation is sharing his experience about "Succeeding with knowledge Management." Dr. Newman manages programs related to the Space Exploration Mission Directorate, integrated knowledge management, and risk management.

Notes from: Succeeding with Knowledge Management

First rule: don't call it a Knowledge Management System; we call it the Knowledge Management Program.

Don't walk into the room and say "I'm here to talk about knowledge management."

Instead, say, "I'm here to talk about helping you do work, efficiently and effectively."

For KM to succeed, it has to have a personal return on investment. Then there has to be ROI for the team, and then for the organization.

Continue Reading "Succeeding with knowledge Management" »

What the Air Force is doing in KM

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
Notes from National KM Conference.

What the Air Force is doing in KM
Presenter: Doug Brook – Senior Partner, Triune Group

“Technology is not the answer…. It is the easy thing to set up…and the easy thing to talk about. It’s also were many of the failures have been.”

New Imperatives for the Air Force where KM plays a major role

  • Need to capture aging expertise, amidst expandin sue of web 2.0 tech
  • Need to connect for knowledge sharing with minimal investment
  • Gov 2.0=transparency, accessibility, accountability
  • Need to work within secure confines for privacy and OPSEC
Air Force Knowledge Now – this is the AF’s management center of excellence. Started as a lessons learned system, has morphed to more of a Community of Practice center. Have 16,000 virtual communities,12 million page hits per month.

Continue Reading "What the Air Force is doing in KM" »

Doug Brook, President and CEO of Triune Group is up now, talking about knowledge retention and transfer in the Air Force.

New imperatives of KM
Need to capture aging expertise, amidst expanding use of Web 2.0 tech.

Need to connect for knowledge sharing with minimal investment

Gov 2.0 = transparency, accessibility, and accountability.

Challenge with Air Force is to work within secure confines for privacy and Opsec.

Technology is not the answer. Tech is the easy part. It's the knowledge side that is difficult.

Air Force Knowledge Now
(See last year's note from Randy Atkins presentation)
16,000 Virtual communities, 225K registered users
12 Million page hits a month
2 Million documents
325,000 registered uses and 100K non-registered cruisers.

(Note we are talking about the business side of KM in the Air Force, not Battlefield. That's why we can be more open about certain elements.)

Talking about collecting KM success stories - typically something that is hard to do - by acknowledging these submissions with CoP of the quarter or CoP of the year. Getting 30-50 submissions each quarter. Very little cost to provide recognition.

What does it take to make KM successful for the Air Force?
  • Leadership: Focus, Resources, Commitment
  • Process: What, When, How
  • Community: Culture of sharing, openness, service

Continue Reading "Knowledge Retention & Transfer: Air Force Knowledge Now" »

KM challenges in the DoD

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
Notes from the National KM Conference
Rick Brennen, who works extensively with the DoD on KM talked about the changing nature of warfare and the resulting changing nature of the military. Key to his discussion was what this has meant for sharing knowledge – and in particular sharing knowledge on the battlefield.

Rick has an interesting background in that he was a navy fighter pilot, worked for Sun in the 80’s, worked for Jack Welch in acquisitions – and now consults for the DoD and works as a Venture Capitalist. He is someone that has great insights…..

Notes from Rick’s talk.

We are struggling with how to effectively share knowledge real time on the battle field. And these are related to several of the same issues that corporations face

  • culture
  • business model
  • organizational structure
  • security policy
  • systems inertia
The cultural divide Our war fighters are digital natives – our leaders are immigrants. Today’s leaders don’t recognize that these technologies are built into the fabric of today’s lives. May leaders still say “we don’t trust this technology—we need to go back to the basics.” Thus it is difficult to get our leaders to say “we need to study this to understand how to effectively get more info to the warfighter – that they can quickly understand and act on.

Business model DoD is struggling with the open systems concept. Systems are built by large contractors – and their products frequently don’t talk to each other. This makes communication, coordination and knowledge sharing between military personal very difficult.

Organizational Structure and tie to KM: Organizational structures are not good or bad – but they need to be designed to meet what you are trying to do. In an organization where you are looking for repeatable performance a hierarchical org with strong rule-based structure works. But they are very poor when things are changing rapidly. Here you need flexibility & innovation. This is where flat structure and strong influence works… Organizations flatten to adapt to rapid rates of change… The knowledge management structures in these organizations are horizontal… In the past military organizations were hierarchical – missions were pre planned at least a day in advance. Today – when an airplane is launched the mission is designed after the aircraft in the air. In this case – knowledge flow has to be horizontal. Need to communicate with the army guys, the marines, the tanks and the civilians.

Security policy: How do you build a KM system that can tap into multiple secure systems and release it to people that need it. People don’t have the time to decide who can see what data when. In particular when dealing with things that need to happen within minutes to be successful. We don’t know how to do this yet.

Systems inertia: Most DoD systems are designed – not to be refreshed. Moore’s law says processing capability will double every 18 months – but military systems are not designed to be refreshed. Thus – they don’t take advantage of rapidly evolving technology

Summary / Recommendations

KM is critical to the future of the military – on the battle field. It is a critical component of the DoD’s ability to respond appropriately to a rapidly changing world

Adopt open systems: Break the ppopreietatry strangle hold of large prime contractors have on key systems.

Org structure: deign systems to support flattened, COCOM structure crossing serviced, agency and nation state boundaries

Systems inertial: take open systems and scalability concepts seriously and design them in approximate at the platform and Enterprise level

Security policy: build multi-level security infrastructure for real battlefield KM systems

Knowledge Management on the Battlefield

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
Rick Brennan, Senior Managing Partner, Brennan and Associates, is up next, sharing considerations for the expanding role of KM in the Department of Defense.

Many challenges and opportunities for KM in an organization that looks ahead a few years, say 5, but has a typical cycle-time of 10 years to deploy systems. This requires a change in thinking. KM is the lever that is helping.

General trends:
Conflicts are smaller and of shorter duration
Resources are more constrained
Effects are global, and felt more rapidly
Stability is the goal

What happens when the bad guys, using social networks, etc., know stuff that happens on the battlefield before the good guys do?

War is different. It's no longer about killing people and blowing things up, but about bringing about change in a nation.

Katrina was a disaster.

So, how can we be  better prepared?

Continue Reading "Knowledge Management on the Battlefield" »

The Case for Open Government

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
First speaker is Melodie Mayberry-Stewart. Melodie is the CIO of New York talking about the case for Open Government.

The case for Open Government

Government should be:
  • Transparent
  • Participatory
  • Collaborative

Continue Reading "The Case for Open Government" »
I'm attending the National Knowledge Management Conference at Pepperdine University, California. This year's theme is "The Intersection of Ethics and Knowledge Management." I don't plan to blog as intensely as usual, but I'll post my thoughts from time to time. Perhaps I'll tweet a little, too.
This evening in one of my Knowledge Management (KM) meetings, we were asked to introduce ourselves and share what most excites us about Knowledge Management. Here's what I shared:
I am an eProductivity specialist - I show people how to use information, communication, and action tools to get things done. I've spent most of my career working on helping people apply tools and methodologies to become more productive, efficient and effective at what they do.

I believe the next great opportunity in individual and team performance and innovation is in the area of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM): how we use what we know and what others know to get things done.  

I believe that PKM skills can help people bring about the greatest transformation in individual and organizational productivity and innovation. It is this aspect/opportunity of KM that excites me the most.

Continue Reading "What most excites me about Knowledge Management" »

With almost 400,000 employees, many of them working from home offices, IBM faces significant challenges knowing and sharing what it knows.

This video tells an interesting story and offers insight into the WHY of knowledge management and social networkingat IBM.

Source: APQC Media on YouTube

Teach me to think. Engage Me...

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

It seems that the students have changed and adapted from the industrial age to the information age, but has the educational system kept up?
This video highlights some of the challenges of knowledge transfer in K-12 education.

What do you think?
I read Peter Bregman’s post in Harvard Business Publishing on why be believes that small businesses will win in this economy. Several things he said have me thinking about the opportunities in this up economy. At a time when many large organizations are downsizing to try and become more productive, I believe there are significant opportunities for small businesses to leverage KM and PKM principles for competitive advantage.

The author explains why small businesses are poised for significant advantage over large companies.

Some key points that I took away:

  • People in senior positions don’t trust the decisions being handed to them.

  • Customers value the personal relationship.

  • Small businesses give their employees a sense of security, which they in turn pass along to their customers/clients.

  • The gap of confidence between small businesses and big ones is growing.

  • We don’t trust companies any more; we trust people.

  • Small companies with low overhead, reliable owners, a small number of committed employees, personal client relationships, and sustainable business models that drive a reasonable profit are the great opportunity of our time.

Clearly, there’s an opportunity to model leadership and ethics here. There’s also an opportunity for KM and PKM to support these growing small businesses. One of the commenter’s, Dan Collins, had this to say:
“There’s so much the little guy can do that large corporates can’t – communicate internally, react quickly to client demands and make priorities to name just three.”
I may be looking at this through KM-colored glasses, but I think that KM can be a powerful tool to support a) communicating internally, b) react quickly to client demands, and c) making [informed] priorities.

With so many businesses going out of business, I believe now is the time for ethically-led and well- informed knowledge-driven, customer-focused businesses to flourish.

What do you think? Do you agree with the author? …with my takeaways? …with the opportunity for KM/PKM to support small business service and competition?

SOURCE: Why Small Companies Will Win in This Economy

Twitter and the need for brevity

Monday, March 9th, 2009
This Tweet from my friend and KM specialist, Rick Ladd, says it all:


How much information can YOU convey in 140 characters?

Is TweetDeck Twittering over the Twop?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
I signed up for a Twitter account over a year ago but seldom used it, mostly because I had plenty going on and I was concerned about it becoming a distraction. One of my knowledge management professors  asked the class to sign up and use Twitter for the term so that we can evaluate it as a tool for sharing information and knowledge. I took the challenge, although I have only seen a few folks in my cohort using it.

So far, the experiment has been a good one and I am finding new and innovative ways to embed Twitter into my PKM systems. It will definitely be a part of my PKM tool kit.

While Twitter is great, I quickly outgrew the Twitter web interface  - too inefficient for me. My first thought was to find or create something in Lotus Notes, perhaps even to add to eProductivity. I decided to see what was out there  first. I decided to try TweetDeck. I've posted a screen shot and a few comments on the Notes On Productivity Blog:

Is TweetDeck Twittering over the Twop?
I had a nice conversation with my friend David Allen last night and we talked about the impact of Twitter.

I shared that, from a Personal KM perspective, I see three key benefits of using Twitter:

It lowers resistance to sharing information. (The 140 character limitation is now a strength.)
It makes it easy to tap into a global mindset
And it provides quick recognition and feedback for what you think and know

I believe that we will find that Twitter and the form of communication it represents will impact our worlds in ways that exceed what we have seen with blogs or the web itself.

It is already transforming the way a small number of people work.

Within 18 months it will change our world.

This is only the beginning.
This evening, David Allen and I presented our best practices session at Lotusphere. It was a lot of fun to copresent with David as our presentation styles are so different. It reminded me of the "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" ads. (Can you guess who would be the PC?)

Last-minute slide review at the Swan hotel before our presentation
Last-minute slide review at the Swan hotel before our presentation

Continue Reading "Our Lotusphere best practices session is over!" »
I recently received the assigned reading list for my next graduate course in Knowledge Management. I went ahead and ordered two of the books in advance, thinking I might bring them on the plane with me.

Um. I don't think so...

Two knowledge management books I won't be carrying on my next plane trip...

I think my studies will just have to wait until after Lotusphere.
It seems that someone did not take a course in how to secure sensitive data. That, or they did not care to protect sensitive data now that the presidential election is past. At what amounted to a campaign headquarters post-election garage sale, someone sold BlackBerries, laptops and more. The problem, at least in the case of the two BlackBerries, was that the data had not been wipe - something that would have been easy to do.

Via Fox News:
McCain Team Sells Info-Rich BlackBerrys to TV Station

I share this not to get into a political discussion -- I'm sure we can find ample examples of stupidity in both parties -- but rather to consider once again the cost of lost information. From a competitive intelligence perspective, I cannot think of a better bargain on the part of those shopping. I wonder who else was buying?

As for me, instead of selling hard drives and PDA's on eBay or even giving them away, I physically destroy them, either with a sledge hammer or a drill press. But I'm paranoid about my information.

Value Network Clusters, with Verna Allee

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
This Thursday, Verna Allee will present a workshop on Value Network Analysis, putting people at the heart of value creation. I have Verna's book and I have had the opportunity to hear her speak at KMWORLD and I learned a lot from both.

Some of the topics for the workshop will be:
  • Leadership skills in value networks
  • VNA visualization
  • Social, organizational and value network analysis
  • How to plan and apply VNA for business improvement
As a bonus the workshop includes 90 days of access to the VNA software.
I'm on the fence about going or not, as I have a busy schedule with Lotusphere and my own upcoming presentations, but I recommend the workshop for anyone interested in getting more from their KM initiative.

More information

Should the Federal Government Bailout Google?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
The automobile industry is an essential part of our national economy in so many ways. The loss of the big three, as economists tell us, would have a devastating impact on our production economy.

But what about our information economy?

I'm just thinking here but as I went to Google for the umpteenth time today in support of my work, the thought occurred to me: "what would I do without Google?"  I realized that in many ways, Google has be come as indispensable to me as Windows my computer or the Internet.

I used to tease my late friend, Marc Orchant, that "Search is the new UI" but that may be a truer statement than I thought. If Google were to suddenly tumble, I wonder what the impact would be on our information economy?

I'm just thinking out loud [because it's more fun than studying or processing my email].

Disruptive KM: Sneaking Through the Backdoor

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
Jeff Widman, a new blogger over on TechCrunchIT, recently posted a thought-provoking piece on an interesting shift he sees in social networking and the implications for KM.

He begins by pointing out that disruptive KM tools are originating with consumers and less from the enterprise. OK, nothing new there; we have seen how social networking tools are breaking down the walls of knowledge silos and connecting people leading to high levels of knowledge sharing and innovation. This openness and transparency -- the very lack of walls -- has created all kinds challenges for enterprise IT and knowledge managers that are tasked to consider issues such a compliance, governance, security, and control over IP.

Here's Jeff's point though: yesterday's Facebook announcement about creating private groups (e.g silos) may change the paradigm for knowledge management:
...However, [with] the privacy feature, you can decide which friends view the videos, allows users to build walls in their consumer applications.  This shift - putting up walls in consumer apps rather than removing them in enterprise apps - may be the major source of KM innovation in the next few years.
Social networks are now making it possible to relocate silos by allowing users to define the walls and players -- without control or supervision from management. Will this be the major source of KM innovation, as Jeff suggests?

Jeff Widman: Disruptive Knowledge Management
Here's an interesting bit of news that creates an opportunity for competitive intelligence (CI) acquisition.

The Federal WARN law requires companies with more than 75 employees to provide 60 days advance notice of a plant closing or mass layoff involving 50 or more employees. OK, if you have any connection to HR, you know that. But get this: you can search the database to see if your employer has filed a notice and to see how many layoffs are planned in 2008 in each California city where it has a facility.

You can beg that CI practitioners are checking out their competitors daily.

Via Mercury news

An interesting KM challenge: "Brain Waste"

Monday, November 10th, 2008
In my graduate studies in knowledge management, I have been using the lens of KM to consider various issues that I hear about. Here's an article from today's L.A. Times, which I found interesting:  "About 300,000 college-educated legal immigrants in the state, and 1.3 million nationwide, are unemployed or working in low-level jobs because their credentials aren't recognized here, a study finds."

When I moved to California from Belgium at age 14, the Los Angeles Unified School district refused to recognize much of my education because there were no U.S. equivalents for the subjects I learned within my grade level. In other words, I was "too young" to learn those subjects and would simply have to learn them again. This put me in basic-level courses, even though I had successfully completed advanced courses in physics, zoology, mathematics and two foreign languages. I was willing to take exams to prove what I knew but the LAUSD system did not have provision for this at the time. It's as if my knowledge (recognized by grades, awards, and international scholarships) simply did not exist - at least as far as the Los Angeles educational system was concerned. (Fortunately I got out, and I've never allowed education to get in the way of my learning since.)

I can sympathize with what the people in this article are dealing with. They have the brains, filled with knowledge, but without the recognition, their opportunities are limited.  Here, we have a problem of knowledge resources at a time when we need all the brain power we can get. This is not a discussion of legal vs illegal immigration. This is, however, in my opinion, a very interesting KM challenge. Clearly the current situation (for all of its causes) does not maximize the knowledge worker contribution that these people can contribute to society.

I wonder what a KM centric approach would be to maximizing the value of the knowledge these people have and are willing to share?

Article: Skilled immigrants a 'brain waste' in California's workforce
I'd like to publicly thank Jane Dysart and her team for another outstanding KMWORLD conference. This was my third opportunity to attend in person and my second as a speaker/presenter.


It was another year of stimulating conversation; this year, several bloggers shared their perspective of the conference as well:

Continue Reading "Thank you Jane Dysart for a successful KMWORLD 2008" »

IBM Innovation Jam 2008

Monday, October 6th, 2008
This is my first year to participate in the IBM innovation jam and I'm thankful to have been invited. A Jam is a massive gathering of thousands of people around the world to discuss and innovate around key themes. This year's theme deals with the enterprise of the future. It's the ultimate application of social media to thinking about specific outcomes.

As part of my graduate work in KM, I've been aware of these legendary events for years. Personally,  I'm interested not only in the outcome, but in the process and the tools (in this case, IBM's Innovation Jam web site itself) to see how people from all over the world can come together and innovate around key themes.


This year's areas of inquiry are:
  • Built for Change
  • Customers as Partners
  • Globally Integrated
  • The Planet and its People
From a productivity perspective, thing are on a roll at this year's Innovation Jam. As part of the 12,000 page NDA that I had to review and sign (just kidding) I'm not permitted to blog very much about specifics. But, I am permitted to generically blog, so I may make a post or two as time permits.

Continue Reading "IBM Innovation Jam 2008" »
All week, I've been blogging about knowledge management, social networking, and innovation.  With so many sessions at this week's KMWORLD conference dealing with innovation and social networking, I couldn't help but think about how we use IdeaJam as a tool to support innovation and collective thought. Several months ago, I set up an IdeaJam to learn from our customers about the features they most want to see in eProductivity . Recently, several of our new features are ones that came directly from our customers - that's innovation!

I see many other practical uses for IdeaJam: Yesterday, I was talking with David Allen about how we might handle questions at our proposed Lotusphere session. I decided to use IdeaJam to allow people to post questions in advance of the session and then vote on them. This is just another clever way to use the power of social software to innovate.

As a tool to support innovation and social consensus, IdeaJam should be in every organization's innovation toolkit.

My name is Eric Mack and I approve this message.

Dave Snowden, in his typical fashion posted this slide in advance of his keynote today:
"Knowledge management was a theory or rather a Weltanschauung supported by dysfunctional technology, while social computing represents and increasingly functional technology utilizing dysfunctional & outmoded theory."

I'm sure his wrap-up keynote will be quite interesting.

 OK, I give up. If I try to live blog this I know I'll miss the key message. Dave's not a superficial speaker. Every sentence or story challenges our current perceptions. Dave's on a roll. So much so that I do not want to miss anything by blogging it. (If you've had the privilege of hearing David Snowden speak before, you know what I mean.)  I'm deleting my current posts; perhaps I'll come back after I've listened to the recording and thought about what Dave had to say.

Update 2:
Dave's posted the podcast from his keynote, here and my colleague, Michael Sampson's blogged his thoughts, here.

Intranet 2.0 in 10 not-so-easy steps

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

We have a thought farmer speaking to us -- Darren Gibbons, on the topic of Intranet 2.0 and how to set one up.

Darren begins with a series of screen shots on the evolution of intranets. My goodness, I forgot how ugly intranet sites were in the early 90's. (Even Notes was prettier.)

Characteristics of Intranet 2.0, include blogs, Wikis, taxonomy, folksonomies, mashups, etc. and the list goes on. The point is that this is about users and their wants and needs.

It's easy to get caught up in the features and functionalities of what an Intranet is supposed to be, but then we risk missing the real benefit.

When discussion Intranet 2.0, begin with the key concepts of Intranet 2.0:
- Top Down vs Bottom Up: Planed vs emergent. (e.g. desire paths - see Flickr for examples)
- Silos vs Transparency: Intranet 2.0 is about transparency and breaking down the barriers between groups and knowledge.
- Broadcast vs Conversation: People want to converse. Intranet 2.0 makes it easy to flatten the organization and reach the people you want to reach. (Remember ClueTrain? Intranets have ability to subvert preexisting structures)
- Friction vs Flow: Friction as barriers to publishing. Cognitive friction happens when my forces to work in a way inconsistent with how I think it should work. Flow as mental state when you are immersed in what you are doing. little resistance to the process.

Continue Reading "Intranet 2.0 in 10 not-so-easy steps" »

Don’t turn around, Tom (BSOD)

Thursday, September 25th, 2008
It was bound to happen to someone at the conference...
Tom Beckman takes a break from his presentation. Windows has other plans.

Lessons Learned about Lessons Learned

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Tom Beckman and Art Murray, of Applied Knowledge Sciences, are presenting on the topic of the development and implementation of lessons learned systems at the U.S. Air Force.

Why Lessons-learned systems are so important to the U.S. Air Force.

Why implement a Lessons-Learned system?
Too much time, money and resources are wasted by repeated errors and duplication of effort.
Organizations are facing unrelenting pressure to do more with less...

I can tell these slides will fly by...

Problems with mainstream Lessons Learned systems

Continue Reading "Lessons Learned about Lessons Learned" »

Presenters for this session are Darcy Lemons, Senior Project Manager, APQC and Gerry Swift, Project Manager, APQC.
Darcy presented two weeks ago at the KM conference I attended at Pepperdine University. See earlier blog posts)

APQC: Mission to conduct research and identify best practices and share the results, connect people to people, and connect people to information.

Presenting findings on APQC study

Study participants:

Sponsors and best practice partners - 30 organizations who paid to join the study because they had a common interest in learning about the topic.
Study scope:

1. Align IM strategy, Architecture, and components to support Knowledge transfer
2, Integrate IM & KM initiatives
3. Address organizational and cultural issues
4. Evaluate current and future trends in technology

Continue Reading "Web 2.0 for KM: Accelerating Collaboration and Knowledge Transfer" »

Congrats Michael, KMWORLD Blogger Award

Thursday, September 25th, 2008
Michael has been blogging the conference all week  and has done an outstanding job. Nice to see that recognized.
Steve Trautman, author of Teach What You Know, is speaking on knowledge transfer.

In any organization, there are two kinds of people:
- People who know
- People who need to know

78% of the knowledge needed to do a job comes from people who are nearby... people learn from people.

Continue Reading "Transferring Knowledge Isn't Just for Nice People" »

David’s got his head in the clouds!

Thursday, September 25th, 2008
While I'm here at the KMWORLD conference at the San Jose Marriott, my friend David Allen is across the street at the Fairmont delivering the keynote at the Innovations in Learning Conference, hosted by Brandon Hall. Perhaps I'll sneak over for a few minutes...
Anyway, if you're in the area...
"Information is gushing toward your brain like a fire hose aimed at a teacup." - Dilbert.

Think about it. After e-mail (or perhaps before), search is one of our most important tools for information retrieval.  

Peter Morville, author of Ambient Findability, and pioneer in the field of information architecture, highlights best practices and technologies that he thinks will transform enterprise social search into a vital tool for collaboration, knowledge management, and discovery. He's talking about connecting knowledge management and discovery - Search 3.0.

To do search well, we need the ability to:

- have a willingness to dive down into the details of search
- need ability to step back and see how search fits in the broader context and fits in the big picture.

Continue Reading "Notes on Connecting Knowledge Management and Discovery - Search 3.0" »
20080922KMWORLDHubertSaintOnge.jpgHubert SaintOnge is talking about applying Knowledge and intangible assets to achieve breakthrough performance with a new acquisition. Looking at the role of knowledge management principles to the acquisition process.

Why do we need to applying knowledge and intangible assets the acquisition process?

1. 80% of most acquisitions fail to meet the objective for which the deal was done.
2. A failure to see "intangible" assets - The leaders of the acquisition may not "see" the nonfinancial aspects of the knowledge merger.
He shared a story about a failed acquisition and the lessons learned from the process.

3. Many great organizations are wasted
4. Painful for the people involved
5. Good intention often thwarted by the 'conquistador' syndrome
6. Mistakes are often repeated

Continue Reading "Applying Knowledge and intangible assets to achieve breakthrough performance" »

NASAsphere: Innovative Solutions & KM Practices

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
20080922KMWORLDCelesteMerryman.jpgCeleste Merryman, whom I had the pleasure to meet at the NASA Aerospace KM conference two years ago, is presenting along with Tim Young, CEO of Socialcast (a microblogging tool).

First up, Tim Young.

Millenials - grew up in P2P world. Anyone can be a peer to anyone. They also pinpoint information in a significantly different way than other generations. How does this impact those people entering the workforce today? How must we as the current generation of knowledge workers deal with this? How can we respond? What do we need to know?

Many org charts are broken: The organization structure is no longer in alignment with the communication structure.

Asynchronous communications - well versed. Breaks down knowledge silos.

For many Gen Y, E-Mail is bad. Very bad. Moved to low friction small payload messages. e.g. microblogging. It allows them to build their own workplace peripheral vision based on what matters to them.

Silos are evil.

Continue Reading "NASAsphere: Innovative Solutions & KM Practices" »
Michael Sampson is presenting is research on SharePoint - his evaluation of the product against his framework for collaboration.

Three questions:

Technology selection
Post Implementation

This session will focus on the choice of technology. (Disclaimer, if you have already purchased SharePoint, you may leave this room angry.)

Michael is an analyst and consultant in collaboration. He's vendor independent/neutral.

What is team collaboration and what kind of behaviors does it entail?
- making a decision
- authoring a document
- new product development

What technology do we need to support collaboration, so it improves work practices and make work better than current approaches.

7 Pillars reference framework for evaluating collaborative tools. (The full report is available free, on his web site)
   Shared access to team data
   Location independence
   Real-time joint viewing
   Team-aware calendaring
   Social Engagement Tools
   Enterprise Action Management
   Collaboration auto-discovery

How does SharePoint stack up against the 7-Pillars framework?

On its own merit, SharePoint does really well in one area (pillar one) and "FAIL"s the remaining six.

Continue Reading "SharePoint as a Collaboration Tool: An Independent Evaluation" »

KM 2.0 in Action

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Os Benamram, of Morrison & Forrester, LLP, presenting on how their firm has implemented KM to support their legal staff and teams as they serve clients. I walked in a few minutes late, sorry.

Update: My key take away is that the design philosophy is that the system should provide information that is immediately actionable. -- Supports my case for personal KM.

Web 2.0 - What works well:

Content - user generated "many-to-many" blogs (YouTube)
Context  - User defined "social tagging" & folksonomies (del.icio.us)



User Focused



Actionable Information
Improving work quality and efficiency        
Creating Community

Continue Reading "KM 2.0 in Action" »

Where in the world is KM going?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
Looks like a great panel on the topic with three presenters, prepared to discuss the future of KM - this on the heals of Snowden's comments about KM being dead.

First up: Tom Reamy, Chief Knowledge Architect, KAPS Group.

Reamy: Two Futures of Knowledge Management:
A crisis in KM?
- Death of KM (Snowden, et al)
- CIO reporting to CFO, not CEO
- CIOs seen as a tactical rather than strategic resource.
- Second or third identify crisis - lurch not build

Stage One - all about information
Stage two - repudiated stage one - about social

Web 2.0 is not the answer, whatever the question may be...

Continue Reading "Where in the world is KM going?" »

People Driven Web 2.: Participation Reconsidered

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
Peter Andrews, Innovation Strategist & Senior Consulting Faculty Member, IBM Executive Business Institute, is talking about how people drive the process of knowledge creation and transfer and the role that Web 2.0 plays in that.

New context:
Many jobs secure >> few jobs secure
Companies persist and create value -->> companies morph
Jobs have structure --> limited structure

Major tools and techniques you can use on the web:
- Blogs and podcasts
- Social networks
- Mashups and Wikis
- Tags and syndication (RSS)

Wonderful capabilities of Web 2.0
- Enabling experts
- Better search
- Establishing reputations & trust
- Keeping up to date
- Customized tools

Continue Reading "People Driven Web 2.: Participation Reconsidered" »
I always look forward to meeting with Dave Pollard and listening to him present. He's a passionate presenter. What are current trends in KM and how have we made our want from early days in 1994 to KM 2.0....  
Dave Pollard, former CKO at E&Y, currently VP Knowledge Development at Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants

History of KM from its beginning in 1994

What KM 1.0 was supposed to solve (1994-2003)
Information flowed through MIS
Information at the front lines was not a great concerns
Information sucked up into the system and presented to management who sent orders back down.

Key ideas of KM 1.0:
"Let's centralized to reduce wasted conversations"
"Let's bring all of the important stuff inside the firewall - intranets/groupware"
"Let's put the marketing stuff on our web  site"

Continue Reading "KM 2.0 From Content & Collection to Connect & Connection" »

Managing knowledge-based initiatives

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
Stacy Land, director of Performance Enhancement, Senior Medical Management, talking about how to get executive buy-in for your KM project.

Enlisting Executive Support for KM
No cookbook exists

More than an idea, please.
To find a sponsor, you need to have a project that is a) actionable, and b) relative to the executive's pain point.

Starters are good

Branching , not linear
Who you know is important to success

Know your company

Shop in a new neighborhood.
Don't limit yourself by only looking in places that you know.

1. Know your work

2. Know what's going on with the company

3. Develop a value proposition
        Don't make them guess how your solution will work
        Keep it relevant (to that individual executive)
        Try ideas on for size
Find your Alignment
(Great diagram for identifying a match in alignment between your work + corporate Goals and pain points)
        Your Value Prop & Alignment
        Can you put numbers around your work?
        Can you envision your work's future

3. Find the wight executive
        Forming your approach strategy
        Use a channel approach to get your message out
        - Find connections to the executive
        - Look for contacts across executive activities
        - Locate other forums
        - Match each channel with a message
        (Excellent slide on how to get idea in front of your superiors)

Be prepared for the opening dialog

Know your targets resources & influence

Clarify Everything
        Clarifying the relationship up front is key
        What does your boss consider to be a success?
        Who should I pursue as early strategic partners?
        What can I do to ensure continued funding
        How will expansion happen?

6.Become a Salesperson/Publicist
        Your comm skills matter

Master the details

Enlist support everywhere

Stacy land has written a book on this topic, Managing Knowledge Based Services
Note to self: Self, ask Stacey for her slides.

Resource: http://www.managekm.com


Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
Dave Snowden, founder and CSO of Cognitive Edge, is in the hot seat and will be asked a number of questions relative to the current state of KM.


What's your reaction to John's comments about Singapore being a center of innovation?
"See my blog, I juts responded. Singapore is well known for execution but less for innovation." Gave example of the need to translate ideas into action . Our linear based research, common in the U.S. and the U.K. does not lead to action. yet, in Asia, we see continued funding that leads to action.

Is KM alive?
If you look at history of management cycle and ideas, you need a cycle of new ideas - novelty is important. You need to look at things a fresh every 4-5 years. Look at quality management. While a strategic objective, quality is now embedded into the major life of organizations. The positive is that it is now mainstream. The negative is that KM has moved on, it's been subsumed into many IT functions. Other aspects of KM have returned, e.g. decision support. (My take is that the opportunity remains, but the objective and name needs to be moved forward.)

Role of technology in KM
Believes that the role of technology on cognition is very important but limited. The problem is that a lot of IT people believe we can simply throw more computing power at a problem, when the real need is for cognition that the human brain is best at.

Google is going the way of IBM & Microsoft.

Continue Reading "Snowden-on-KM-A--Hot-Seat-Interview" »

Innovation & Knowledge Management

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
(I'm live blogging at KMWORLD 2008.) John Kao, serial innovator, author of Innovation Nation, acknowledged by many as a leading authority on the future of business, explores the intersection of innovation and transformation to help define the landscape of enterprise (and knowledge workers) in the years ahead.
Toiling in the vineyards of innovation, John works with teams, in govt & private sector to help them improve or increase their innovation.

Three questions about innovation:

Continue Reading "Innovation & Knowledge Management" »

KMWORLD 2008 Has Begun!

Monday, September 22nd, 2008
The annual KMWORLD conference has begun, well sort of. Today is the day for pre-conference workshops and my colleague, Paul Heisig, and I will be presenting a workshop on the topic of Personal Knowledge Management and Productivity. If you are at the conference we're in meeting room B3. Stop by and say hello!  
Tomorrow, the conference kicks off in full gear. I'll try to live-blog some of the sessions. Otherwise, I'll import Michael's RSS feed and let him do all the work.
This year's KMWorld conference promises to be the biggest show in years. I will be presenting a 3-hour workshop on the topic of Personal Knowledge Management & Productivity with my colleague, Paul Heisig.  


So far, over 100 speakers are signed on, including keynotes from Peter Morville, John Kao, Peter Skarzynski, and Dave Snowden. (Current speaker's list.)

The conference will be held in San Jose, September 23-25.  

I hope to see you there!

Welcome Mary Shippy to the KM blogosphere!

Friday, September 12th, 2008
This week, at the Southern California KM Exchange, the topic of social networking and its value knowledge management was mentioned often. At one of the lunches several of us discussed the use of social networking tools, like FaceBook, LinkedIn, and blogs. It turns out that only a few of us at the table were actively using social networking tools. Mary asked the question, "how do I get started?" A few of us offered advice and shared how easy it was to get started. I was impressed by Mary's curiosity about these tools and her willingness to explore a topic that still frightens many. I told her that if she decided to create a blog, she should send me a link and I would blog about it.

This morning, I opened my e-mail and received an invitation to LinkedIn and a link to Mary's new blog and her first blog post about her takeaways from the Southern California, KM Exchange.

Please welcome Mary Shippy to the blogosphere!

Mary Shippy on KM

Supply Chains in large Scale Engineering Projects

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
David Pender, University of Adelaide, is sharing some of his current research (in progress) about some of the knowledge management issues in supply chains.

The problem:  Just as collaborative barriers exist, within organizations, so they exist between organizations.

So what  don't we know?

Pender identified eight questions that must be asked when considering this issue:
- nature of the supply chain and how it evolved
- basis of the supply chain design
- intellectual property issues
- network and "social capital" issues
- Inter-firm "ba"
- distribution of risks, costs, & rewards
- inhibitors & enablers to success
- leadership, management & stewardship issues

Continue Reading "Supply Chains in large Scale Engineering Projects" »

Two useful KM links for Aerospace

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Jeanne Holm shared these links...

Federal Knowledge Management Working group

International Astronautical Federation

Knowledge/Change Management in Turbulent Times

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Mark Kotler, Senior VP, IT, Direct IT, Wells Fargo Foothill, is talking about managing change in organization development at Wells Fargo Foothill.

Personal Knowledge Management & Productivity

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
KMWorld is just two weeks away.  Last year, Steve Barth and I presented a workshop on Personal KM. Steve's moved on to other things, so this year I've invited a Paul Heisig, from Disney, to join me in presenting this workshop.

On Monday, September 22, (1:30 p.m - 4:30 p.m.) Paul and I will be presenting a workshop on Personal KM:
Personal Knowledge Management & Productivity
Paul Heisig - The Walt Disney Company
Eric Mack, eProductivity Specialist - ICA.COM
This workshop illustrates how personal knowledge management (PKM) can make a lasting impact on the enterprise. Workshop leaders take a look at how productive knowledge work evolves from individuals, teams, and organic communities to ultimately impact the entire organization. It offers an overview of potential entry points for the individual knowledge worker and explores the top challenges that companies and those individual employees face, including the variety of collaboration vehicles offered in the marketplace. Discussion and categorization of the emerging collaboration technologies includes how to apply them to the individual user to fit into the larger enterprise road map. The workshop discusses key success factors and lessons learned; insights from past industry project implementations; and takes a fresh look at the successful habits, tools, methodologies, strategies, and techniques of knowledge work in a Web and Enterprise 2.0 world.


If you're planning to attend the conference, let me know - it would be nice to meet you in person.

Managing Change and Organization Development

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Kurt Motamedi, Senior Faculty in Strategy at Pepperdine University, is talking about  managing change as a function of knowledge management and organizational development.

Change has multiple facets

Knowledge drives change; change drive knowledge
knowledge is dynamic; it's not stationary
Organizational development is a knowldge-based process.


Continue Reading "Managing Change and Organization Development" »
Tom Soderstrom (NASA-JPL), Christina Ramstein (Disney), Andrew S. Gordon, (USC).

A great discussion about innovation and creativity. Interesting discussion on where the knowledge management function is situated. In the United States, the KM function is often connected to the IT function. This is less the case in Europe or Asia, where it is more a part of strategy, management, etc.. Innovation can be easier (and less expensive) to implement than many people think. Much of it is idea sharing and recognition. People love to share their ideas and be recognized as having contributed to something. Create an environment where new ideas are welcome and encouraged and where ideas can be recognized among peers (note: $$ not necessarily required) and potentially flourish (e.g. connect a person with someone that can implement the idea). Imagineers are engineers, their job is to be creative, but that does not prevent someone in management (or security, or the Churro vendor) from having an idea and sharing it.

JPL uses the Disney quote, "If you can imagine it, you can build it" to drive innovation.  Find out what people's passions are and encourage them. Many of them will do it for free on their own time. This is not about taking advantage of people, it's about encouraging and equipping them. Everyone is very creative, not everyone is encouraged to share. That's a missed opportunity for innovation.

(Photo Credit: Allan Crawford)

Innovation at the Walt Disney Company

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Christina Ramstein, Director of intelligence and Collaboration at The Walt Disney Company, is speaking about Innovation, Intelligence, and Creativity:

What is innovation?

Discovery of new ideas
Understanding new realms
Development of new things
Embracing new concepts
Willingness to think outside your comfort zone
Utilizing the knowledge of others to build upon all of the above

What drives innovation?

collaboration (overused term, but valued and encouraged across 400 business units)
all of the above

Technology is he life-blood of the organization; it enables the sharing of ideas (knowledge) across the organization and with partners.

Continue Reading "Innovation at the Walt Disney Company" »

Andrew S. Gordon, USC Institute for Creative Technologies talks about concept development and visualization.

Story-based organizational learning: a Vision.
We share our experiences through stories. Through stories, others can learn from our experience.

Talked about using immersive virtual environments as a tool for sharing, training, learning.
Today, we are looking at how to capture stories and then use them for learning and knowledge sharing.

Traditional approach
Stories Gathered through interviews
- Talk to the people who have skill and experience in the subjects we are training for to gather real-world experience. Gathered from practitioners, once their experiences are over.

Analyzed to identify training relevance [based on established training objectives]

Integrated into hand-crafted training simulations [deployed months or years later, at great financial cost]

Automated Story Capture [a new approach]

Continue Reading "Activity-Based Story Retrieval (Story Management Technologies for KM)" »

IT Industry Trends Viewed through a JPL Filter

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Tom Soderstrom, CTO, NASA-JPL, Office of the CIO, is presenting. I love listening to Tom's presentations because I always leave with a new perspective.

(Tom gave us a quick overview of JPL, it's role and mission.)

Routinely evaluates trends in technology. Constantly on the look out for tools and technology that will make our people more productive.


Identify IT trends
Userr Our Filter
Listen and Share
Collaboratively Infuse
Standardize and energize
User emerging COTS intelligently
Stay compatible with NASA but lead where it helps

JPL maintains over 100 operating systems at JPL. (Some of their missions are 30 years old - pre-DOS, need to still support them)

Continue Reading "IT Industry Trends Viewed through a JPL Filter" »
I've been live-blogging the conference with DominoBlog but no one knows. Why? Because port 1352 is blocked. That's too bad as many of us here at the conference use Lotus Notes.

I wish Notes had a built-in tunneling mechanism to failover to port 80.

Next time, I plan to setup a VPN link.

Using KM to Drive Innovation and Creativity

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Everyone understands the value of KM to increasing efficiency of finding and sharing knowledge. But how are organizations using KM methods and technologies to drive innovation and creativity in radically new ways?

Today,in this final day of the Southern California Knowledge Exchange, we will be dealing with the following topics:
I. Using KM to Drive Innovation and Creativity
II. Managing Change and Organizational Development
III. Community Driven Projects in Aerospace

(Photo credit: Allan Crawford)

I’m OK, You’re OK ..... OK*?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
Mark May, Program Manager IBM Global technology Services


Depending on when people were coming of age, they were shaped by key events. What is right for one generation is often different from what is right for another generation.
The mixing of generations is producing unique work situations.

Quick summary of Eric Berne's work on Transactional Analysis, notably summarized by Thomas Harris in the book by the title of this presentation.

We have a problem when we get to I'm OK, you're not OK.
  • Innovation is the creative side of collaboration
  • Collaboration is built on trust
  • Trust is built on relationships
  • Relationships a built by getting to know others
  • Relationships cross generations
Quick review of generations and the significant common events that shaped their generation.

Continue Reading "I'm OK, You're OK ..... OK*?" »
Steve Cranford, PriceWaterhouseCoopers KM office.

KM as a management philosophy to take organizations FROM an Industrial Economy TO a knowledge economy. From INTUITIVE decision making to INFORMED decision making.

OBJECTIVE: Fostering Innovation & Creating the Learning Organization

A knowledge culture
is evidenced in an organization that encourages people to work together effectively, to collaborate and share to ultimately make organizational knowledge more productive. (Source unknown)

The challenge: Multi-Generational Expectations
Capturing the attention and providing incentives is a top organizational challenge.

Shaped by different experience.
- 78 Million, (1946-1964)
Gen X
26% of the workforce (1965-1981)
Gen Y
28% of the workforce  (1982-2008) will be 47% of the workforce by 2014

The challenge is that each generation thinks differently about what the other generations think.

Continue Reading "Generations and their impact on the Knowledge Sharing Culture" »

Multi-Generational Knowledge Sharing

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
Many organizations are confronted with a work force spanning up to four generations that need to work together to share information and knowledge. We're exploring the opportunities associated with a multigenerational work force and how that impacts knoweldge sharing, capture, retention, innovation, and productivity.

This afternoon, we have three presenters on the topic of multi-generational knowledge sharing.

Captain Ralph Soule, U.S. Navy Team Carrier One

Responsible for the USN overhaul program for submarines and air craft carriers.

Capt. Soule shared his experience on a ship with multiple nuclear propulsion plants. Here he was, recognized as an expert in the equipment he oversaw, yet he was not allowed to touch a valve. Knowledge transfer is so important to survival of the ship (and the mission).

Spoke about the strengh of the critique process (another term for after action review) for identifying lessons learned and reinforcing them in real time operations (on a ship). Shared how he educated his crew that this is a core process in learning faster - a source of competitive advantage.

Challenges for intergenerational knoweldge sharing:

Continue Reading "Multi-Generational Knowledge Sharing" »

KM Project Management Synergy

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
Don McAlister, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is talking about the intimate connection and relationship between Program Management, Knowledge Management, and Process Synergy.

Program Management doesn't use Knowledge Management Processes, it IS A KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT PROCESS.


Premise. We already know that the KM & PM are Critically Interdependent. (See slide to review phases of each)

Insight #1 - Program Management is actually a Knowledge Management Process

Insight #2 - The "Material Transformation" Business Model is Incomplete
Businesses are also "knowledge transformation" machines. Example: A rocket manufacturer is in the business of selling knowledge; the rocket motors are simply the containers in which we provide that knowledge.

So, as Gartner proposed, knowledge management is about management; it's leadership.

Continue Reading "KM Project Management Synergy" »

I see many Notes users at the conference...

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
From my vantage point and as I walk around the conference, I see many people working on their laptops. Many are using Lotus Notes. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised as many of the organizations that were pioneering in their application of KM were also pioneers many years earlier in their use of Lotus Notes.  I don't know but there could well be a half a million or a million Notes users represented here. I wonder what the real numbers are. Any way, these are some smart people, focused on learning and knowledge and the productivity of the people in their organization.

I wonder what any of them would think about eProductivity for Lotus Notes?

A beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
View of the Pacific Ocean from Pepperdine University
The Southern California Knowledge Management Exchange is taking place this week at the Graziadio Executive Center on the Campus of Pepperdine University. It's beautiful. From the terrace, we have a beautiful view of the Pacific.
This afternoon, we are exploring the implications of Web 2.0 on the Enterprise specifically in the area of enhancing collaboration and innovation in support of organizational goals and objectives. My friend and colleague, Rick Ladd, Information and Learning Specialist at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, shares his experience with KM at PWR.


What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is about:
And more...

Question: How do we, as KM professionals, take what is going on out on the Internet and bring them into our organizations so that we can apply them as tools to support KM?

The Web as a Platform - key concept. We build on the web.

"Software that gets better the more people use it..." That may be the case on the internet. Does it hold true inside the firewall?

Web 2.0 boils down to just three things:

Continue Reading "Web 2.0 Design Concepts and their Application to the Enterprise" »
Q&A Panel with Stu Sutton and Deone Zell:

Opening comments on Drucker and Covey's point that accounting models look as people as expenses without placing a value on the knowledge capital they represent.

Challenge: Putting a value on a person's knowledge value could upset (or disrupt or possibly destroy) the organizational structure. (Hint: The real value may not be at the top of the org chart.)

Continue Reading "Social Networks, Theories, Applications, and Beyond! (Panel)" »
(Deone Zell, CSUN school of business. )

Network principles underlie many concepts. The ability to network is unprecedented.  The transition from the "Organization man" (White, 1956) with the "network Person (Economist, 2006).

Consider the relationship between nodes and links. Every time you add a node you increase to the square of the number of links. (Metcalf's law) Now, add in the six degrees phenomenon and you have a radical skyrocketing in the number of possible connections.

Social Capital - the idea that relationships are more important that the number of nodes.  The value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other.

Continue Reading "Social Networks, Theories, Applications, and Beyond!" »

Studying Communities and Knowledge Management

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

(Dr. Joseph Betser of The Aerospace Corporation, presenting doctoral work of two doctoral students at UCI.)

KM issues in Aerospace

Aerospace workforce issues
        Average age of production workers: 51
        Average age of engineers: 54
        About 27% eligible for retirement by 2008

Continue Reading "Studying Communities and Knowledge Management" »

Knowledge Management, Social Software and Economics

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
How can a deeper understanding of social networks contribute to knowledge management and increased innovation and productivity? What are the new methods being used to conduct social network analysis? How can organizations take advantage of existing social networks?  These are some of the topics that will be discussed in session I.
First up, Stewart Sutton, Principal Scientist and Director of KM at The Aerospace Corporation is presenting. At Aerospace, our product is knowledge. That knowledge is embodied in our products.

Human knowledge is increasing exponentially and the KM tools and social software techniques to help manage that increase are being introduced just as fast.

The culture of knowledge: If those that possess knowledge regard it as power, they will guard it more jealously -- this increases access costs.

The same tools we use to search, sort, organize, and process our knowledge are consuming increasingly more time in our daily routine.

Continue Reading "Knowledge Management, Social Software and Economics" »
Dr. Robert Bauer, Xerox PARC, on future practices of KM.
An investment in knowledge pays the greatest dividends.... - Ben Franklin

On creative destruction: (Missed quote on slide)

Actionable by people
Content, Context, Community

Context <=> Content
Creates Value
- Case study: Xerox Sustainability Strategy
- Case study: Xerox Security Strategy

Communities of Practice
Tools (Web 2.0)

Continue Reading "Lessons for future KM Practices: 3C's for value Creation" »
Knowledge management is implicitly about time. Think about time and duration: how long does the knowledge have to last?

Discussion about KM in context of the NASA Return to the moon after a 40 year gap.

Discussion about Roman Engineering, a classic success story of durability.

Discussion of Y2K - who would have thought that shortcuts we took 30 years ago would come back and haunt us in 2000?  Someone forgot to ask, "how long is this thing likely to last?"

Continue Reading "Lessons for future KM Practices (Charlotte Linde, NASA-AMES)" »

Innovation at Google (Vijay Koduri)

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
Innovation at Google (Vijay Koduri)

Mission: Organize the world’s’ information and make it universally accessible and useful.

2000, realized: 40% of the World’s information is sitting behind a firewall.
2002, created Google Enterprise.
Three areas of focus: Search, Geospatial, and Applications
Google has evolved with the internet.

Sergey’s Resource Allocation Rule: 70/20/10

This is the secret to innovation at Google.

Resource focused on core products: Search, Ads, Apps
Products with strong potential
Wild and crazy. “Go pursue it”
Everyone is encouraged to have 20% projects.

Q. How do we get our daily job done in 80% of the time? (I know GTD is one element.)

Continue Reading "Innovation at Google (Vijay Koduri)" »
Randy Adkins, Director of the KM Center of Excellence, United States Air Force, speaking on knowledge services for the Air Force Enterprise.

Why does the U.S. Air Force do KM?
To deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests.

Air Force Knowledge Now program

Organizational Knowledge
-        Training
-        Official Documents
-        Libraries
-        Explicit Knowledge

Individual Knowledge
-        Expertise (Best Practices)
-        Experience (Lessons Learned)
-        Judgment Tacit Knowledge

Continue Reading "KM for Project Development, Management, and Execution (Randy Adkins)" »
KM for Project Development, Management, and Execution - Dan Nerison

Next speaker, Dan Nerison, Fluor Corporation.  Dan oversees performance of all knowledge communities at Fluor.

KM at Fluor: Connecting people, delivering value.

Sharing the Fluor Story.

KM QUOTE: If it wasn't for the people, knowledge management would be easy...  It's ALL about the people. - Dan Nerison

Continue Reading "KM for Project Development, Management, and Execution (Dan Nerison)" »

The Future of Knowledge and KM (Darcy Lemons)

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
The Future of Knowledge and KM (Darcy Lemons)

Darcy Lemons, Senior Project Manager and KM Advisor at APQC is presenting on The Future of Knowledge and KM.

APQC = American Productivity & Quality Center

Darcy - Involved in supporting research in KM (benchmarking studies, research in KM & Web 2.0 tools for collaboration, as well as custom consultative work, etc.)

Quick summary (unedited, not proofed)

Q. What is the future of knowledge?

Will the knowledge we have today be sufficient for the future, say five years from now?

Continue Reading "The Future of Knowledge and KM (Darcy Lemons)" »
I've travelled to the campus of Pepperdine University to attend the Southern California Knowledge Management Forum II this week. For the benefit of my KM colleagues, friends, and anyone else that cares to read along, I'll attempt to blog some of the conference highlights. Time permitting, I'll add my own comments, otherwise, I'll focus on the capturing what's going on and add my two cents later.

The theme of the conference is: The Evolution of Knowledge for Value Creation

The conference agenda for the next three days is quite full. Today's agenda includes a number of presentations and discussions. The three sessions for today are:
  • KM for Project Development, Management and Execution
  • International Knowledge Management
  • Lessons for Future KM Practices

Kiho Sohn presented an overview of the history of events that led up to this KM conference. (This is the second year. I attended the previous iteration when it was hosted by JPL at Caltech.
Here's an interesting spin on the notion that knowledge workers need to think through the transition from "knowledge is power" to "knowledge sharing is power"...

My friend, Alan Lepofsky, has posted his thought on a new tag-line he thought up:
"If knowledge is power, then sharing knowledge is the ultimate power-trip"

I liked Colin Williams' comment that proposes a secret handshake for KM professionals: "Sharing is caring.".

A few key takeaways from KMWorld

Thursday, November 8th, 2007
I've spent the past four days immersed in all things KM. The two concepts that most impressed me are in the are of narrative and change management.

A few key takeaways from the KM sessions:

- Narrative and sensemaking are powerful tools for the knowledge manager
- Change management is a fundamental component to a successful KM initiative
- the eProductivty equation for knowledge worker productivity works
and a few points from Dave Snowden's talks:
- "Knowledge is only ever volunteered, not conscripted."
- "We only know what we know when we need to know it."
- "We can always know more than we can tell, and we will always tell more than we can write down."

Of course, there was much more going on at the conference, some of which I was familiar with and some new. but these two points will have a profound effect on how I approach my KM consulting work with clients.

Time to head home, I've got to get back to work with Michael on the upcoming eProductivity Conference in Manila.

I'll try to post somemore updates, as time permits. Meanwhile, you can follow my KM posts, here.

Narrative Capture as a KM tool

Thursday, November 8th, 2007
Terry Miller is presenting on organizational change in healthcare and how narrative capture is being used as a KM tool. (Terry's an Organizational Development Consultant, British Columbia Interior Health Agency.)

Terry shared about a hospital during crisis, low morale, and intense public pressure, and how, as an OD consultant, he had to create a sensemaking project in the aftermath.

Presented "A model for sensemaking" (Snowden) from cognitive-edge.com.
Complex Complicated
Chaotic Simple

Narrative and workplace stories define an organization's culture. The challenge is that we need to be able to see multiple perspectives.  Terry used narrative capture as a tool for to make sense of how all of the people involved (healthcare providers, management, patients, and families) experience their system and how solutions were identified to encourage change.

Continue Reading "Narrative Capture as a KM tool" »
How important is business narrative in your organization?
20071108_KMWorld2007SteveDenning.JPGSteve Denning is up next, sharing his stories on how to get enduring enthusiasm for change, whatever the change happens to be. This looks like a good follow-on to this morning's session on change. I'm particulary excited to be here because I've followed Steve writing, both professionally and in my KM texts. Several people have told me that Steve's the greatest storyteller overall and that I should not miss the session. Let's see what he has to say...

What's the cost of not doing KM?
    Wall Street subprime crisis - why weren't they listening?

What's the missing chapter in most books on leadership or communications?
    How to inspire people to change.

Steve's just given us a warning that he's going to question some of the basic principles we have grown up with.

[personal action: purchase secret language of leadership]

The Secret Language of Leadership

Continue Reading "Sparking enthusiasm for change: Narrative Intelligence" »
Change is possible, however, we need to change what we are doing if our KM programs are to be a success.
20071108_KMWorld2007_JeffHiattonChangeManagement.JPGAre we more interested in the technology or in the change?

Jeff Hiatt, President, Prosci, & Author, Change Management: The People Side of Change, is sharing a roadmap for managing the people side of change.

Premise: Knowledge management shouldn't be a project; it's a change to the organization, its culture, and its people.

Types of change
  • Natural
  • Perspective
  • Self-initiated by an individual
  • Self-initiated by a group
  • Externally initiated toward an individual
  • Externally initiated toward a group
20071108_KMWorld2007ChangeManagementHiatt01.JPG"How many of you have change going on in your life right now?"

Where does KM fit in? KM is about change, it is a process, not a project. It is about a change to the organization and how it works.

Change is possible. But if we do not approach it right, the likelihood of success is low.


Continue Reading "A roadmap for managing the people side of change" »

Cool meet up with Patrick Lambe

Thursday, November 8th, 2007
As we were leaving Dave Snowden's talk I heard the distinctly familiar voice of renowned Knowledge Management Expert, Dr. David Vane. 20071108_KMWorld2007_EricMackandPatrickLambe.jpgI ws wrong. Disappointed, I turned around to greet him and found that it was not David, but his lesser-known colleague, Patrick Lambe. We had a nice conversation about KSAs and distance education in KM. Patrick had to head off for the taxonomy bootcamp, but we agreed to try to connect today to discuss distance Ed. in KM.
Dave Snowden is delivering today's keynote speech. The room is packed. I'll see if I can keep up with Dave and share the key points.


Dave says that four blogs influenced today's talk:

Nicholas Carr on knowledge sharing:
What they say about sexually transmitted diseases seems to apply equally well to data in the Web 2.0 age: You're not just sleeping with your partner; your sleeping with your partner's partner. - Nicholas Carr

Dave likes Nicholas Carr because he challenges conventional thinking and provides great opportunities for responses.

Dave takes issue with Hubert Saint-Onge's perspective on collaboration tools:
... an organization should mandate one tool for collaboration, rather than allowing diversity; but that participation in the use of these tools should be voluntary. - Hubert Saint-Onge

(sorry, missed other two. Took photo and will try to return to this.)

Social computing is more about relationships than categories

Continue Reading "Tags, Categories, & Knowledge Sharing (Dave Snowden)" »

"Lotus Notes/Domino is a dead product"

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007
I do not agree, but that's what I was told when I visited more than one booth of vendors of KM search technology at This week's KM World conference in San Jose. (Steve Barth and I presented a workshop on Knowledge Worker Productivity at the conference.)

During this week at the KMWorld conference I've met many people that tell me they are using Lotus Notes successfully as their collaboration and knowledge management platform. I heard this same comment more than once;
"... people are all excited about this new tool or that new tool or tool 2.0, but our organization's had [most of] these capabilities with Lotus Notes for years...."
Of course, I did meet another speaker at the banquet who asked me if Lotus Notes was still being sold and supported. He was shocked when I told him that the last IBM # of Notes users I was aware of was 140 million Notes users. (Even if I'm off by a few tens of millions of users, that's nothing to sneeze at.)

So, what's the problem?

Why are there so many decision makers that attended Enterprise 2.0 and KMWorld 2007 (and many other conferences I frequent) unaware of the power of Notes?

Continue reading and post your comments

Intuition’s Role in Decisions and Innovation

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007
20071107_KMWorld2006_StveBarthRichardMarrs.JPGRichard Marrs, and Steve Barth are talking about the relationship between intuition, decisions, and innovation.

Does more analysis make for more certainty
Does more certainty make for better decisions?

Everything you need to know about all of this (sorry, slide went by too fast)

Learning loops

     Sense                ---->         Respond
(attention and awareness)        (Assessment and action)

The cycle includes Change

Continue Reading "Intuition's Role in Decisions and Innovation" »
20071106 - KMWorld 2007, Day Two 042.JPGI'm at The Brain exhibit at KMWORLD and Harlan and Shelley are working the crowd, showing off Personal Brain Software and giving out... brains. Want to relieve stress? Squeeze your own brain.  Want to visualize content? Use Personal Brain or Brain EKP

The booth has been packed all evening, perhaps one of the most popular in the exhibit hall. People like the simple interface for visual mapping. 20071106 - KMWorld 2007, Day Two 040.JPG It was good to visit with Shelley and Harlan and to meet Matt, who has been helping me master BrainEKP.  Harlan promised me a bunch of new features in the next version of The Brain. !!! We also discussed how we might collaborate to use The Brain as a visualization tool for Lotus Notes. (We need to find a Notes App Dev familiar with JDBC, XML, agents, etc., to pull this off.)

I didn't bring home any brains from the exhibit. Already got one. (It's named abby normal.)

It's good to see The Brain at KM World - they are the only mind mapping tool present and the audience seems unable to get enough of the visualization The Brain offers.

Note: I've blogged about The Brain and posted some podcasts over at Notes on Productivity.

KMWorld 2007 Grand Reception

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
20071106_KMWorld2007ExhibitHall.JPGWe are about to enter the main Exhibit hall for KM World 2007. The grand opening reception is sponsored by Microsoft, so I bet we will see lots of SharePoint applications. (IBM is very notably absent from KM World) .

I've come with a list of KM vendors I want to meet and products I want to see. Most notably, the areas of interest to me are in enterprise search, social tagging within the enterprise, and visualization of knowledge maps for workflows, knowledge repositories and social network analysis (SNA).

The Tragedy of the Knowledge Commons

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
20071106_KMWorld2007RichardMcDermott.JPGThe tragedy of the knowledge commons
Richard McDermott offers some unconventional steps organizations can and individuals can take to deal with the flood of complexity, connections, and information.
As information content, connection and complexity explode, maybe we should shift from seeing knowledge management as a traditional library model and more to how to live in it as a world.

Richard shared a story of a nameless well known and well respected (MAKE winner) organization.  In the early days of computerization, maps were drawn computer assisted; time consuming and difficult to produce, did not change often. Now, in this organization, maps (think documents) are easily created, so we have multiple versions of maps floating around, utility drops, trust drops. They are drowning in knowledge, faithfully captured in their systems. [The problem is in how they use and interact with it.]

Shift in Knowledge Work
  • Globalization increass the amount of information content to sort;. (How much email do you get>? Which doc version to trust?)
  • Computerization increases complexity of knowledge
  • Global connectivity has increased transaction time for managing contacts
  • Leads to a "tragedy of the Knowledge Commons"

Continue Reading "The Tragedy of the Knowledge Commons" »
10 inexpensive ways to introduce your organization to social networking. 20071106_Dave_Pollard_KMWorld2007.jpgOne of my favorite KM bloggers, Dave Pollard (How to Save the World), is speaking on social tools and knowledge sharing. Pollard shared success stories of how organizations can use social networking tools like:
  • Weblogs
  • Wikis
  • Instant Messaging
  • Desktop Video Conferencing
  • Just-in-time canvassing
  • RSS Aggregates
  • "Know who" directories, etc.

Four types of social networking tools
  • People-Connectors
  • Social publishing and information sharing
  • Collaboration and Communication
  • SNA/Sensor/GIS Mashups

Continue Reading "Dave Pollard on Social Tools and Knowledge Sharing" »

Work with People, don’t do things to them!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
How (and why) do we make people do things?

20071105_Dave_Gurteen_KMWorld_2007.JPGDavid Gurteen is an independent knowledge educator and coach, helping organizations to share their knowledge more freely and to innovate more creatively. Dave is also the founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community, a global network of over 14,000 people in 153 countries. [ He is also a diehard Lotus Notes user!]

David is inviting us to join a conversation about rewards in KM initiatives. Rewards as in a specific reward for a specific knowledge behavior.

"How do we make them use it?"

A story: (my paraphrase, here...)

KM Program manager: "We've just created a KM system and no one will use it. How do we make them use it?"
KM Consultant: "To what extent did you involve the users in the design, planning, and implementation of the system?"
KM Program manager: "We didn't. Management wanted the system yesterday and there simply wasn't any time to involve the users."
KM Consultant: "Well, that is a problem. I'm sorry your people choose not to use a system that they see no value in..."
and so it goes...

So the question Dave wants us to consider is "How (and why) do we make people do things?"

It looks like, much of David's current thinking and questions on this topic is influenced by Alfie Kohn, author of the book "Punished by rewards".
Many of the familiar principles of Quality Management amount to an elaboration of this simple truth: an innovative healthy organization requires that we work with people rather than do things to them. - Alfie Kohn

Continue Reading "Work with People, don't do things to them!" »
20071106_KMWorld2007-HubertSaintOnge02.JPGKM Pioneer, Hubert Saint-Onge, Principal, Saintonge Alliance, & Author, The Conductive Organization: Building Beyond Sustainability.
Technology plays a key function in most knowledge work. Much work now gets done through virtual tools, allowing unprecedented levels of interaction and collaboration.

A challenge before us...

...managing the evolution of the collaborative organization with the free flow of capability and knowledge.

[Hubert is creator of the "Knowledge Assets Framework." he is also listed in many of my KM texts - it's wonderful to meet and hang out with people I've followed from a distance for years.] Hubert's focus is on the need to increase the level of collaboration in organizations.
Collaboration is the engine that will make KM work across the organization

Key propositions:

1. Developing collaborative networks and heightened level of collaboration in an organization will...
- engender the free flow of capability and knowledge
- create closer connections with stake holders (customers, suppliers, etc.)
- enhance innovation and agility and give the organizational greater "emergent orientation"
2. Developing a knowledge platform will make it possible to collaborate with low transaction costs.
3. Exercising conducive leadership will be key to enhancing collaboration
4. Collaborative networks for a second dimension of the organization structure can function in a complementary way to the hierarchical structure.

Collaboration is becoming more important because...
  • client want seamlessly integrated solutions
  • we now have a global marketplace
  • extensive, global supply chains
  • organizational life is more complex
  • need for greater access to knowledge
  • generation of creativity, innovation, synergy
  • expansion of networks and influence

Continue Reading "Collaborative Networks & The New Enterprise - Hubert Saint-Onge" »

Organizations as value networks - Verna Allee

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
Organization Charts: Kiss Good-bye or Keep?
20071106_Verna_Allee_KMWorld2007.jpgVerna Allee, founder of Allee & Associates and author of The Future of Knowledge: Increasing Prosperity through Value Networks, just presented on the future of the organizations as value creation networks. Org charts, once the blueprint for the organization are now being relegated to the role of directories in our age of horizontal organizations.

The evolution of business. Allee begins by sharing her favorite Drucker quote about how the corporation will not survive the next 25 years.
The corporation as we know it, which is 120 years old is unlikely to survive the next 25 years. legally and financially yes, but not structurally and not economically.
- Peter Drucker, Fast Company, 2000

If we will have a new economy, where will the new theory come from?
  • Living systems theory
  • Complexity theory
  • Chaos theory
  • Network analysis
  • Intellectual capital

We must look at how knowledge value is created (see Hubert Saint-Onge)

The strategic capability for the future is about how you are building the intangible assets in the organization - this is where is real payoff is for focusing on knowledge.

Continue Reading "Organizations as value networks - Verna Allee" »

The Dynamics of Strategic KM - Dave Snowden

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
20071106_KMWORLD2007_DaveSnowden.JPGDave Snowden, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd is talking about sense-making in a world of many voices.

Not impressed with idea of a group of leaders locking themselves away to come up with a KM strategy for their organization. He's yet to find a situation in which this has worked, yet organizations continue this practice.

Knowledge is context dependent.

Dave shared a story, which I will not repeat it, but a good one to exemplify how knowledge is context dependent.

Where is KM?

Stronger in government, weaker elsewhere but the purpose remains the same (whatever the label).

KM Is about
  • Improving the way people make decisions
  • Creating conditions for information

You don't manage knowledge

Continue Reading "The Dynamics of Strategic KM - Dave Snowden" »
20071106_KMWorld2007_JamesSurowiekiKeynote.JPGJames Surowiecki is presenting this morning's keynote for KMWorld 2007. As expected, he's talking about the Wisdom of Crowds - why the many are smarter than the few and how collective wisdom shapes businesses, economies, societies and nations.

No slides. No PowerPoint.

Premise: Under the right conditions, groups of people can often be remarkably intelligent, often smarter than experts in the same context.

It's called collective intelligence. Several examples and stories given.

Generally speaking, the group can be smarter than an individual.

Example of who wants to be a millionaire: Experts get answers rights 2/3 of the time; the audience, however, gets the answer right 91% of the time.
Problems are not that difficult, but one would expect the experts to be right more often.

As the problems get more complicated, collective intelligence becomes more powerful.

Google's page-rank algorithm is an example of Wisdom of crowds - uses hyperlinks to count as votes.

Surowiecki gave examples of using prediction markets to predict presidential election outcomes, then talked about the idea of how organizations and set up and use internal prediction markets. Gave example of HP and their internal prediction market for printer sales - found to be more accurate than HP's own internal market research organization.

Continue Reading "Collective Intelligence in Action: The Wisdom of Crowds" »

KMWorld 2007 Conference in San Jose

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
Why KM is like a 12-step program (Andy Moore)
  • Admit you have a problem - a knowledge management problem
  • You have to attend the meetings - where you share information with people in the same boat as you.
  • You have to atone for your past discretion - Blogs, Wikis, Collaborative tools DO have a place

Next up, Jane Dysart, KMWorld conference organizer, welcomes us to this morning's Keynote and the conference in general. There are a large number of first time attendees to the conference - a measure of the growth in awareness for the need for organizational KM.

Tribute to Melissie Rumizen
This year saw the passing of a well-respected and well-loved KM professional, Melissie Rumizen. This morning, before the keynote, Verna Allee, Steve Barth, David Snowden gathered to honor Melissie Rumizen, a KM Pioneer, Author, and respected KM Practitioner. I have Melissie's book and even my KM professors refer to quotes in it. I'm sorry I did not have the opportunity to meet Melissie.

Microsoft is sponsoring the Exhibit hall. Where is IBM? (I see many software tools to support KM, where is Lotus Notes.)

Now, it's on to the Keynote...

Knowledge Cafe with David Gurteen

Monday, November 5th, 2007
This evening, I participated in David Gurteen's Knowledge Cafe. The purpose of the KCAFE is to bring people together to learn from one another on a topic. David begins by providing us with the history of his Knowledge Cafe and how it works.

Continue Reading "Knowledge Cafe with David Gurteen" »
20071105_KMWorld-KnowledgeWorkerProductivity00.jpgSteve and I presented our half-day workshop on knowledge worker productivity, today at the KM World Conference. The workshop went very well and I think the participants left pleased. The workshop focused on Personal Knowledge Management (PKM), which explores how expertise and effectiveness scale up to organizational value with a focus on the capabilities and contributions of each and every knowledge worker. PKM starts with individual priorities and processes that lead to self-organization in the workplace with values, skills, and tools to build stronger teams and networks from the ground up.

Participants in the Knowledge Worker Productivity Workshop at KMWORLD 2007Participants discuss their KM lessons learned at the Knowledge Worker Productivity Workshop

Continue Reading "Knowledge Worker Productivity at KMWORLD 2007" »
lost_knowledge_book.jpgI'm sitting in the Leadership & Learning Center at Rocketdyne - I've been invited to attend a KM presentation by Dr. David DeLong, author of Lost Knowledge. I recently purchased Dr. DeLong's book, however, I had not even opened it when I received the invitation to attend his presentation. I've brought along my X61 and my folding table so that I can live-blog this event for the benefit of my Knowledge Management cohort and anyone else who wants to learn... Here we go...

Kiho Sohn, Chief Knowledge Management Officer at Rocketdyne, is introducing the speaker...

Opening question: "How many of you remember where you were, July 20, 1969?"  [That's easy, I was sitting in front of my parents B&W TV watching the first moon landing.]

We are getting ready to go back... but are we doing everything we can to capture and retain the knowledge and experience gained in the first mission so that we can do it again.

Much of society assumes that because we were there [the moon] once, we can go back immediately. Unfortunately as you [rocket scientists] know, that's simply not he case...

Continue Reading "Knowledge Retention ... a Framework for Action" »
Knowledge management is rocket science -- at least for a group of people I spent the afternoon with yesterday. I was invited to attend Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's 7th annual Knowledge Management Share Fair. Each year, this KM event grows larger. This year, the exhibits filled the main auditorium and spilled out into the front entrance. No cameras were allowed in the building, so the best I can do is give you this after-the-fact photo of the top of my ID badge:


It was inspiring to be in the auditorium, walking among various KM exhibits from all divisions of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) surrounded by huge rocket engines and pumps from various rockets - they even had a Space Shuttle Main Engine on display.

Continue Reading "Knowledge Management Share Fair; it's Rocket Science!" »

Paradoxical characteristics of knowledge

Friday, September 14th, 2007
I'm buried in my graduate studies in the field of Knowledge Management and having a fun time assimilating what I'm learning into usable form. I'm using a variety of tools to capture what I'm learning, including Lotus Notes, MindJet Mind Maps, and Personal Brain for knowledge visualization. I plan to blog about it from time to time, both to share what I'm learning and to organize my thinking on the subject. Here's today's thought:

Kimiz Dalkir, the author of Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice shares that knowledge has certain paradoxical characteristics:
  • Use of knowledge does not consume it
  • Transferral of knowledge does not result in losing it
  • Knowledge is abundant, but the ability to use it is scarce
  • Much of an organization's valuable knowledge walks out the door at the end of the day
How interesting is it then that we talk about knowledge management. Traditional methods for managing physical assets won't work knowledge.
"You can't do knowledge management until you accept that you can't manage knowledge." - Luke Naismith

The NASA/JPL International Workshop on Managing Knowledge for Space Missions at The California Institute of Technology has just concluded.

2007 NASA Conference on Knowledge Management for Space Missions Presenters and Track Chairs

It's been a great week with a lot of information and discussion. Personally, I've learned a great deal and I plan to take what I've learned and put it into practice with my clients. A big thank you to the researchers and presenters.

Track Chair Wrap-up at NASA KM Conference

Thursday, July 19th, 2007
Latest KM Research Trends & technologies
NASA has an agency-wide initiative to use Persistent Immersive Synthetic Environments for Knowledge Transfer and Collaboration. Four drivers;
1. Mission support (Modelling, simulation, collaboration)
2. Outreach (public engagement)
3. Education
4. Internal Training

Case study of Pratt Whitney-Rocketdyne on Systems Theory in KM. Their successful KM program built on the four phases of KM: Knowledge creation, storage, transfer, and application. Five stages of their KM implementation: Determine state of processes, Identify & classify existing KM systems, and ... oh well, go read my notes from earlier...

Virtual Collaboration, success through failure
Estelle shared best practices in collaboration. (See my write-up) Things to come: Blogging, expert locators, science-based facebook, interoperability and standards.

Creating a learning organization at NASA
You know what? I'm tired. Please read the presentations and see my blog for comments.
What are the ethical and legal implications related to KM? That's what we are here to discuss. I'll my best to capture salient points.

Knowledge Management needs to be addressed from three perspectives
- Leadership
- Purpose
- Process/Infrastructure

Continue Reading "Legal and ethical issues in Knowledge Management" »
Latest industry estimates are that between 30 and 40 million Americans currently participate in persistent immersive synthetic environments. For comparison, only 26 million Americans golf.

Persistent Immersive Synthetic Environments for Knowledge Transfer and Collaboration.

The next three sessions will focus on the use of virtual worlds, in this case, Second Life, as a tool for knowledge transfer and collaboration. What makes this particularly interesting is that the presenters are not here in the auditorium. They are presenting virtually and these sessions will be presented simultaneously in real life (here, at Caltech) and also in Second Life.

LIVE presentation: Using Second Life for Knowledge Transfer and Collaboration

Continue Reading "Second Life for Knowledge Transfer and Collaboration" »

Emergent Trends in Academic Research in KM

Thursday, July 19th, 2007
The room is quiet and the panelists have just been introduced, so let's go...

Panel: Emergent Trends in Academic Research in Knowledge Management (NASA KM 07/19/2007)
Panelist opening comments:

Continue Reading "Emergent Trends in Academic Research in KM" »

NASA KM Conference in Second Life

Thursday, July 19th, 2007
I must have arrived early for today's virtual KM presentations in Second Life. If you want to attend the conference with me, meet me at NASA's explorer island. I'm the guy in jeans and a white shirt. (I know, my wardrobe isn't very imaginative.)

Here I am, attending the the NASA KM Conference in Second Life

Anyone seen Jet Burns?

Why yes Wendy, it IS Rocket Science

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007
Tonight, after the NASA KM conference, many of us went to dinner at Burger Continental, a local hangout for CalTech folks. Wendy joined me, Jeanne Holm, David Pender, and others for dinner.


Later in the evening, Paul Caraccioli, Program manager of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Propulsion System Department (PSD)* KM System came over and sat down and started to share with Wendy some of the problems his group is facing getting the engines for the Lunar lander to work. Wendy listened attentively, as she's very interested in engineering and space exploration. What a treat, thank you, Paul, for making engineering real and for inspiring a future engineer.

* Long title; they deal with engines - fast ones
We finished early today, so our host, Jeanne Holm is moderating an impromptu Q&A session. I'll blog this, live.

Jeanne has turned off to the digital projector and she's now walking to the front of the lecture hall. An aide has just wheeled an interesting looking device onto the stage and handed Jeanne a white stick. I think she's about to use an analog cognitive capture tool...

Jeanne Holm moderates the Q&A session at the end of day two, using an analog cognitive capture tool.

Yes, she's using the white stick to leave artifacts on a black surface.

Continue Reading "NASA KM Conf. Day Two. End of day discussion" »

Applying Semantic technology to KM

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007
Chris Bunk, Knowledge Systems Engineer for of Ares Corporation, up next; he's presenting on applying semantic technology to the practice of knowledge management.

Disclaimer: Semantic technology is a tool, not a solution. great slide

Continue Reading "Applying Semantic technology to KM" »
We're back from the fire drill. Celeste J. Merryman, a psychologist and usability expert, is presenting a paper describing the evolution of an Intranet at NASA, called Inside NASA..

Continue Reading "Into the future: the evolution of a NASA Intranet" »

NASA’s Knowledge Management Architecture

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007
Jeanne Holm, Chief Knowledge Architect for NASA/JPL shared the story of Knowledge Management at NASA and gave us an overview of the KM architecture.

Framework for Knowledge Management at NASA/JPL

NASA has 80,000 people (including  18,00 civil servants) and about 140,000 people involved. NASA Projects can last a very long time. Her first project, Voyager is a 50 - year project. How do you sustain knowledge across a project with that kind of lifetime? That's what KM is all about

A framework for knowledge sharing:
PEOPLE - Enable remote collaboration; support communities of practice; reward and recognize knowledge sharing; encourage storytelling
PROCESS - enhance knowledge capture; manage information
TECHNOLOGY - Enhance system interoperability; Utilize intelligent agents; Exploit expert systems and sematic technologies

NASA KM Strategy
  • Sustain knowledge across missions and generations.
  • Help people find, organize and share the knowledge we already have
  • Increase collaboration and to facilitate knowledge creation and sharing

Continue Reading "NASA's Knowledge Management Architecture" »
Teresa Bailey, Senior Technical Librarian, jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology. presents:

Prusak on KM:
- You do connection
- Reflect - nothing happens in knowledge without reflection
- Understand that people learn from one another through stories

Stories at JPL originated as a way to get people in the door [to the library; the library, though centrally located at JPL was not easily accessible.]

Teresa was inspired by literature on storytelling (see slide for references)

Criteria for storytelling at JPL
Story must be told by someone sharing personal experience at JPL.
Be creative
make program inclusive to all aspects (or departments) at JPL

"Tell us your story" Story hour at JPL initially began in 2000 as a way to do knowledge capture and transfer. No one knew at the time how big it would become.

Continue Reading "Cultivating an organizational culture of storytelling at JPL" »

Knowledge Management Activity at JAXA

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007
KM at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), presented by Hiroaki Tateshita, KM Expert at JAXA.

As JAXA gets ready to send a spacecraft to the moon later this year, there are increased initiatives to capture, share, and reuse knowledge within JAXA.

Continue Reading "Knowledge Management Activity at JAXA" »
[Attendees, if you have information to add or corrections, please post a comment or send me an email.]
Dr. Marcia Gibson, NIA, and Dr. Bob Baxter, CIBER, an adult education and learning expert and a historian are presenting.

Nonanka Model for KM

Here to discuss NASA Engineering Safety Center (NESC).  NESC stood up after last shuttle disaster and pulled in key experts from 15 disciplines of NASA to work together to determine what they could learn from their mistakes.

NESC Academy was put together to capture knowledge from the top people in each area of discipline. Charter is to take that information and share it with the younger NASA engineers and scientists. target population is folks who have been at NASA from 1-10 years. Currently have 22 disciplines represented.  www.nescacademy.org.

Will share lessons learned in KM at NASA.  A successful KM approach

How do they know their KM program is successful?

Continue Reading "Lessons learned in capturing human knowledge" »

Panel: Emergent Trends in Sharing Knowledge

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007
Panel: Emergent Trends in Sharing Knowledge

Today's panelists are all KM practitioners. (Tomorrow, we will cover the same topics but from a researcher perspective.have research
Linda Holmes, CIO, Canadian Space Agency
David Licher, Northrop Grumman
Kiho Sohn, CKO, Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne

First up: Linda Holmes, CIO, Canadian Space Agency

Continue Reading "Panel: Emergent Trends in Sharing Knowledge" »

Collaboration in a Global World, Pt 2.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
The NASA Process Based Mission Assurance Knowledge Management System (PBMA-KMS).  Presenter: Christopher Bunk, ARES Corporation,

Christopher gave us an overview of PBMA-KMS.

Notable points:
Technology as an enabler, not a driver.
Video Nuggets as a knowledge capture and sharing tools
Publicly (and freely) available (http://pbma.nasa.gov)
Knowledge Registry (Includes Competency management system)- find out who knows what and how to reach them
Secure workgroups - can host sensitive but not classified information
Real-time remote meeting and conferencing capabilities
[Look at his metrics slide to an example of how one might measure KM success.]

Key lesson learned:
KM Systems do not survive without a heavy does of the human element.
Programmers should not be driving the KM system. (Don't even let programmers suggest the tools. Instead, identify the problems and find the tools to match.)
Subject Matter Experts should be driving the system. (They want to share, but often don't have time. Find a moderator and make it fast and easy for them to do so.)
Don't buy a tool, buy what it does.

Continue Reading "Collaboration in a Global World, Pt 2." »

Collaboration in a Global World, Pt 1.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
Emerging Trends in Inter-Firm Collaboration; lessons learned form the literature
First up: David Pender, University of Adelaide, Australia.

Abstract: It is widely accepted that collaboration, whether between individuals, work groups, or, indeed, organizations, plays an important role in the process of knowledge creation and maintenance.

"Knowledge is in the eye of the beholder." Context is such an important part of the knowledge itself. [Collaboration can help provide the contextual structure.]

Technology that supports the people in a KM system is important, but it's the people that makes the whole thing work.

Things like knowledge and innovation doe on have a corporate existence! They exist within the individual.

- Complex organizational forms
- Incomplete contracts
- Contingencies cannot be prespecified in contract

Two distinct paths
- Emergent processes (from common interests, environmental changes)
-Engineered (triggered entity)

As the operating environment becomes more discontinuous, the more impossible it is to do everything in-house. (Limerick, Cunnington, & Crowther, 2002)

Continue Reading "Collaboration in a Global World, Pt 1. " »
"NASA has not demonstrated characteristics of a learning organization after investigators observed mistakes being repeated."  - A statement read from the last Space Shuttle disaster report.  (I wonder how many companies would fall into this same group?)


Presenting: Paul Caraccioli, Program manager of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Propulsion System Department (PSD) KM System. (Long title; they deal with engines - fast ones.)

Paul shared a case study of their KM deployment and the lessons learned.

MSFC PSD KM Strategic Plan

(see slide - sorry; too fast.)

"IT is great, but for our KM strategy to work, what we need to bring about a culture change within NASA."

Continue Reading "Does your organization learn from its mistakes?" »
"When a [space] vehicle blows us, all you have left is the paper." For this reason, we need to think about how we are capturing and organizing our information so that we can learn from it.

Integrated IT Architecture can be leveraged
-To enhance search/data mining capabilities
- Knowledge put to use on new designs

Process for retrieving related records and documents is tedious, time consuming, and inaccurate.

The Connect Concept:
Enable the user to retrieve records and documents related to a task or an issue. Context sensitive work.

Continue Reading "Connecting related records and Documents in KMS" »
The NASA Engineering Network (NEN)
(Manson yew, Douglas Hughes, Keri Murphy, Gena Henderson, Jeanne Holm of JPL, presenting.)

NEN began as a vision for knowledge sharing:
Capture knowledge
Organize and disseminate knowledge
Enable reuse of knowledge.
Facilitates creation of knowledge

Michael, you will be pleased to know that there are many Macs in use here at the conference. Of course they have the same problems connecting to a projector as PCs. So much for engineering...

NEN Integrates a content management system, a portal, search engine, and engineering community.

Key difference with NEN is that content is authoritative and actionable. Everything's been vetted first.

Key Knowledge Resource: engineering databases.

Shocking discovery: Much of this knowledge is still siloed.

If we are going to get back to the moon, we need to know what we know...

Writing interfaces to legacy databases. Some systems are so old that they have to be exported and then imported into new systems. This to achieve standardized interface to information.

Key Knowledge Resource: Subject Matter Experts
SMEs are our best knowledge resource, but sadly they are often not easily discovered.
We know the people here know what we need to know but we don't know who we need to know to know this.

Continue Reading "Creating a learning organization at NASA - the NEN" »

Albert Einstein ate here

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
So did Eric Mack and Charles White, JPL's subject matter expert on virtual collaboration. (Charles presented earlier on NASA's Second Life initiative.) We had a great conversation about his vision for virtual tech as a teaching and learning tool as well as a vew of how we might use these technologies at our desktop. Think presence awareness by avatar.

I wish I had brought my camera to lunch with me. For lunch, we dined on regal gold-trimmed china in a majestic wood paneled banquet hall of the CalTech Athenaeum. Apparently Albert Einstein's apartment was on the floor above.


PS. In case you are wondering about your tax dollars, we had turkey wraps, potato chips, salad and cookies. Still, it was a nice meal with ample opportunities for discussion on collaboration and knowledge management.
Estelle Dodson, of NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Astrobiology Institute

NAI has 16 teams spread across NASA, researchers and academia. Started out with PolyCom multipoint video in 1998, It bombed. The technology was not ready. That story has changed now.

Yet another KM definition: Knowledge management is about knowing expertise, who to talk to, what to ask.

Communities of Practice (COP)
It's about the people; technology should enable the people, not the other way around.

New Approached and ideas

Project-based collaboration
Needs assessments
Virtual Office Hours (Connect all tools for an hour each week and allow people to come and explore - a safe sandbox to play in.)
One-on-one and group training
Cheat sheets - a great tool, along with IM to connect people and answers
Adoption planning
Virtual seminars and meetings - expected that most folks would watch archived meetings; found that many came for the live experience.

Continue Reading "Lessons learned in KM and virtual Collaboration" »
Why the push for KM in Aerospace and, to a lesser degree, in business in general?
Let's look just one problem in Aerospace: As of Jan, 2007 50% of aerospace engineers are eligible to retire...  Point made. (There were more excellent points made, I chose this one.)

A common framework used by academics and KM practitioners breaks into four stages:

Knowledge creation
Knowledge Storage and retrieval
Knowledge transfer
Knowledge application

This presentation looks at KM in light of systems theory - a System is an entity which maintains its existence through mutual interaction of its parts. Citation: Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Research presentation focused on case study of Pratt-Whitney Rocketdyne and how they successfully addresses the area of Knowledge Application - founded on Systems Thinking.  KM Initiative founded on systems thinking. $2.5M invested in KM initiative, $25M savings realized.

Continue Reading "Systems Theory and Knowledge Management Systems" »

Engaging Partners in a Virtual World

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
Jeanne Holm, Charles White, and Tom Soderstrom, of JPL, present on the use of Second Life and other immersive worlds for public and educational outreach:

An emergent trend: partners that are even more virtual than ever before. Virtual worlds, avatars, and the like allow us to create new social networks in which to get things done together.

Traditionally, a social network involved friends and family. That's changing. Now, social networks reflect the growing on-line realm of virtual worlds, on-line spaces, [blogs] and virtual friends - people we know because of someone we know.

Cross Generational and Cultural Boundaries
Focus on society
Friendships forged through adversity
Focus on community
Friendships forged through identification with a cause
1980s... [I'll come back and update list]

Social networks - why should professionals and their organizations care?
Social networks are critical to organizations retaining and enhancing their critical knowledge yet have been left to grow organically.
Social and intellectual capital is developed through reciprocity.
Second Life Demonstration at NASA KM Conference
NASA is moving, in a big way to using virtual worlds as a teaching and learning tool, as a tool to engage with people around the world and to capture knowledge. It's expected to be a key way to engage with the virtual workforce.

Continue Reading "Engaging Partners in a Virtual World" »

Opening Keynote and welcome

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
I'm sitting in a room of rocket scientists and KM experts from around the world. How cool is that? Some of these people are dealing with really big issues: how to track, capture, share, and reuse knowledge gained from the International Space Station. It really is rocket science!

Jeanne Holme shared the genesis for this workshop, how different KM groups and practitioners came together to create this event.

Knowledge Management, while often driven by technology, is as much if not more about people and culture. This workshop will provide a forum for peer-to-peer exchange of KM experience and best practices for knowledge capture and reuse for space missions.

Continue Reading "Opening Keynote and welcome" »

Delivering Information for Action

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
This week, I'll be attending the NASA/JPL International Workshop on Managing Knowledge for Space Missions at The California Institute of Technology. I'm sitting in the main auditorium, wondering what great minds have met in this room. As a young student of computer science, I often thought about attending CalTech when I was younger so it's fun to finally be here. It's inspiring.

NASA Conference on Knowledge Management for Space Missions

The conference theme is Delivering Information for Action, which addresses two of the three areas I focus on at ICA, Information, Communication, and Action.  For this conference, I'll be participating with a different set of lenses - I'll be watching and listening to hear what concepts can be applied to my current area of interest: Personal Knowledge Management. This is an academic conference with a number of papers and topics being presented. Time permitting, I'll summarize the sessions I attend.

I'd like to extend my gratitude to Jeanne Holm, the Chief Knowledge Architect at the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for her efforts in organizing this conference and for allowing me to attend.
Having recently returned from the Enterprise 2.0 conference, where it seems everything was something 2.0, I've been thinking a lot about my own tool kit of methodologies and technologies that I use to stay productive accomplish results, personally and for my clients.

Click to see Eric's Brain on GTD 2.0

As I prepare for my upcoming presentation with Steve Barth at KM World: New Fundamentals of Knowledge Worker Productivity, I realize that while the current iteration of GTD has been a transformative tool for personal productivity for me, it doesn't go far enough for the way I work today...

The business world is a much different place from what it was just 15 years ago, when I was first introduced to GTD. The pace with which decisions are made and the information needed to make those decisions has increased to the point where we are expected to be connected at all times (omnipresent) and aware of all of the information (omniscient) that we need to know. Of course, that's not possible for us mere mortals. Nonetheless, the expectations remain.

Continue Reading "Do we need a GTD 2.0? If so, what would it look like?" »
Steve Barth and I will present a new workshop on personal knowledge management at the 11th annual KMWorld & Intranets Conference and Exhibition. New Fundamentals of Knowledge Worker Productivity will be on November 5, 2007 while the main sessions and show are Nov. 6-8. The venue is the McEnery Convention Center, in San Jose, California. Steve's posted the details here.
Michael Sampson and I will be in Boston next week, for the Enterprise 2.0 conference. While we are there, we'd like to meet up with fellow GEECs (Global Experts in Collaboration) but the invitation is open to GEEKS (If you have to ask...) and folks who love tech, GTD, and PKM (Personal Knowledge Management). We did this two years ago and it was great fun.

Time and place to be determined. Pay your own way.

GEEC Dinner in Boston on Wednesday June 20, 2007

PS. While we are in town, Michael and I hope to visit MIT, perhaps someone would like to arrange a tour?
MindJet has asked me to present a webinar on how I use MindManager to get things done. I agreed, and on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 10:00 AM (PST) I will present a free webinar, entitled MindManager as a Knowledge Management Tool: How I use MindManager and Lotus Notes to get things done. That's the fancy title. My working title is "Mind Mapping in the Digital Sandbox." (See description below)  


I don't consider myself an expert in MindManager - to me that implies that I know all there is to know about Mind Mapping. (I don't.) Rather, I think of myself as a perpetual student of tools and methodologies for productivity and knowledge management. I'm always ready to learn and to share what I've learned.

I plan to share how I use MindManager in my daily work and how I've integrated it with other software tools that I use. No sales pitch, just show-and-tell about some of the geek tools I use daily.  I plan to cover a range of topics, including how I use MindManager and Lotus Notes and how I use MindManager teaching my children and coaching robotics teams. I plan to leave ample time for questions and answers.

This will be a fun opportunity, I look forward to it as much for the opportunity to share as to learn from your questions and comments. My goal is to make this presentation as informative as possible, so I invite you to submit the questions that you would like me to answer or things you would like to see. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please post your questions below. Also, if you blog, please help me get the word out about this webinar.

I've provided a link to sign up for the webinar at the end of this post.

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Barth and Sampson visit the Digital Sandbox

Monday, January 29th, 2007
Today, I received two special visitors to the Digital Sandbox - Steve Barth and Michael Sampson. Steve's a recognized authority on knowledge management and organizational learning, especially the dynamic relationships between individual knowledge workers and their peers, teams, organizations and communities.


I first met Steve at the KM World Conference in San Jose and we immediately hit it off. Once we discovered that we were both passionate about the concept of the KM approach to self organization and personal productivity we knew we wanted to explore our common interests further.
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KM, GTD on The Brain

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
A fascinating day at the KMWorld Knowledge Management Conference! I came looking for tools for knowledge visualization and Personal Knowledge Management and I 'm not disappointed.


One of the tools that I've looked at off and on over the years is TheBrain by The Brain Technologies. Tonight, I had a fascinating conversation with CTO and Co-Founder, Harlan Hugh and Shelley Hayduk (VP Mktg & Sales). We discussed the genesis for TheBrain and how Harlan came to design the brain 15 years ago, based on the associative thought process of the brain. For those of you into mind mapping, TheBrain is not your traditional mind-mapping/diagramming tool - at least not in the sense of the Buzan model or MindJet's MindManager.

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The KM World Knowledge Management Conference is coming up in San Jose, California

I'm curious, has anyone been to a KM World conference? Anyone planning on going?