20071129MakatiHotelCoupAttempt.jpgI was speaking, full speed, in the last hour and a half of day five of the Beyond Planning: eProductivity conference in Manila, when Pastor Sumrall interrupted me to break up the conference and send everyone home due to an attempted Coup D'Etat in process in Makati (Manila). Pastor led us in a quick prayer and dismissed everyone; people wasted no time in evacuating the building. My driver packed my computer and whisked me to my hotel. I'm now safe and comfortable in my hotel, watching the tanks storm the hotel and troops with M16s and tear gas launchers. Presently, it looks like this first stage could be over soon. We'll see... Ultimately, God remains in control, so I have no worries.

Eric, presenting with his Tablet PC at the eProductivity Conference, ManilaI feel bad for all of the people at the conference, though; we got off to a late start this morning due to last night's typhoon and now this. As we left, we told everyone that they were welcome to come back for the student conference tomorrow and that I would arrive earlier to spend time with them.

What next? I've had no time to process email, blog or even look at the photos from the conference all week. I'll try to find some photos to share as time permits.
Michael Sampson Skyped me with another of his daily reasons for why I should buy a Mac.

20071127NotesforAppleDownload.jpgApple's apparently listed Lotus Notes as a featured download. The link is not for Notes R8, but this is exciting nonetheless. I've ranted about the lack of visibility of Notes for end-users. This is a step in the right direction. No idea if this is an Apple, IBM, or user initiated activity but it's exciting all the same. I've not tested the link yet but I hope that IBM's provided a reviewer's guide for the Mac. So often the power of Notes is not realized until someone explains or demonstrates how key features and concepts work. Notes is unique in so many ways that much of the power is often missed without a tour. Fortunately, we are seeing many good video tours on YouTube. Perhaps someone will post one for the Mac.

Continue Reading "Good on you, Apple, for Lotus Notes featured download" »

Greetings from Manila eProductivity Conference

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
Hello from Manila, Philippines!
I am doing a live demonstration to show the audience of the Beyond Planning: eProductivity conference just how easy it can be to set up a web site. This is our first blog post and here is a picture of the audience.

I invite you to respond by posting a comment to tell me what you think.


Thankful for many things, including Skype

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007
This is my first time to miss Thanksgiving, ever. A bowl of rice noodles and food I like but cannot pronounce, no matter how delicious, is just not the same as a plate of roast turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy. (I'm getting hungry just typing that.)

20071124_ThanksgivingCards.jpgThanksgiving, however, is about more than food; it's an opportunity to thank the Lord for His loving kindness and provision for us, and that I can do from anywhere. I indeed have much to be thankful for: my family, friends, the opportunity to live and work in the United States of America, and for the freedom I enjoy.

20071124_ThanksgivingSkypeCallFromManila.jpgBut mostly, I'm thankful for my family, who love me very much as I do them. And, I'm thankful for the opportunity to be here, in Manila, to serve the people here. This morning (it's 4:20 AM local time) I enjoyed a wonderful Skype video call with my family as they were about to celebrate Thanksgiving at home.

Indeed, I have much to be thankful for, even Skype.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Cool Gear: GTD® System folders & Zip Pouch

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007
The day before I left for Manila, I received a care package from Liz Harward, product manager at The David Allen Company. Inside, was a bunch of goodies for me to evaluate. I'm particularly excited about the new GTD® System file folders and the GTD® Zip Pouch. With these, I have an even easier way to carry my mobile filing system with me.

Eric's new and cool GTD® System file folders and Zip PouchI've traveled with a home-made set of travel folders for years but I've never found the ideal carrier for the folders - something that would keep the papers from falling out and the folders from getting damaged. The GTD® Zip Pouch keeps everything together and has a little extra room - just enough for a pen or two, a highlighter, and a pad of post-its. The bright orange color is a bit, well, bright for my taste but it's growing on me. I know it will be impossible to misplace! (That's a good thing)

I really like that they went with a fabric mesh for the pouch because I carry two pouches and the mesh allows me to see what's inside without opening up the pouch. I hope that they will expand the product line with other colors of pouches.

Continue Reading "Cool Gear: GTD® System folders & Zip Pouch" »
ScottMoehringWorkflowDiagram.jpgScott Moehring, a tremendously creative and talented design/process consultant offered me his workflow diagram to distribute, free of charge, at the Beyond Planning: eProductivity conference. Some of you may recognize this diagram as Scott posted it on the various GTD groups and forums.

I've been a fan of Scott's work from many years and I will use some of his diagrams in my presentations. This workflow diagram summarizes on one page, Scott's understanding of many key workflow behaviors in David Allen's Getting Things Done methodology. I've used this, along with my own diagram and a full set of GTD templates, to help me in my weekly review and action planning process.

We've arranged to include Scott's workflow diagram, in full color, on the 4,000-5,000 CD's that we will hand out at the conference.  I'm sure that the people of Manila will benefit greatly from the diagram.  (I wish I had time to solicit others from folks I know.)


Thanks, Scott!
For various reasons, I'm choosing to keep my system in PST. So, if you are in the PST, the local time of the blog posts you read are 15 hours ahead of PST.
One of the sessions I will present for each track will be a series of tips that I have collected and found useful. A few of these tips are my own invention, however, many are tips learned from colleagues, friends, bloggers and books. What I hoped to do was to tap the wisdom of the crowds to rank these. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to do this before I left.

IdeaJam to the rescue

My friend and fellow Notes enthusiast, Bruce Elgort has IdeaJam, a fantastic tool to tap the power of the social network to find out what's most important, most valuable, etc...

Before I took off for Manila, I wrote to Bruce and asked him if he would set up an IdeaJam space to allow me to share some of my favorite productivity tips that I have collected and allow folks to rank them in terms of value to them. Bruce came though and created the Beyond Planning IdeaJam site. He's created sections for all three categories of tips I plan to share: General, Advanced, and Executive.

Or not

The problem is that the internet here at my hotel is very slow (imagine using the internet on dial-up) so I won't be able to upload anything to the site. It would take me all day to do it from here.

I need your help for 5 minutes, today, if possible

Continue Reading "I need your quick help, Idea Jamming on productivity tips." »

Musings on jet lag, conf prep, and favorite hymns

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
I crashed hard last night at about 7:30 PM local time. Now, it's 3:43 AM local time and I'm wide awake. I'd rather be on this side of jet lag. Anyway, I enjoyed a nice quiet time, reading my Bible and listening to my favorite hymns and worship songs in my hotel room. I'm normally a late night person, and while getting up early for a quiet time has long been a desire of mine, it does not happen as often as I would like. So, I'm thankful for opportunities like these when I actually get up before the clock sounds.

Focusing on the outcome
This conference has required so much work and preparation that's easy to forget the purpose of the conference itself and focus on mechanics and delivery. The purpose of this conference is about helping people. I desire to be a part of that process, by sharing some of what I have learned in the past 25 years in business with the hope that others will find some of it useful and learn from it, too. I'm really excited about the vision that Pastor Sumrall has for these conferences that he does each year to help the people of Manila and I'm honored to be invited to be this year's featured speaker. It's an awesome responsibility and opportunity.

Continue Reading "Musings on jet lag, conf prep, and favorite hymns" »

Conference preparation going well

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
After a nice shower and breakfast, my driver picked me up to take me over to COP to meet with the staff. They are in full swing for the conference. Pastor Sumrall met with me and we visited for a while. Then, he took me to the auditorium to share some speaking tips for presenting in the round. he explained that most public speakers tends to face and speak to the people on the right. I will work on moving around, both physically, and in eye contact. I want to keep the audience engaged. Just in case I forget, we agreed to ask some of the planning committee folks to scatter around the auditorium so that when I'm looking out at an ocean of faces I'll spot a few I recognize and come back to them.

Internet at COP is much faster than the hotel:
Pastor Sumrall showed me his shiny new Fujitsu Tablet PC. He's a big JK fan. It sure sounds like he's YABHTU but he still carries his Mac, too. Apparently viruses are a big problem in Asia, which is a big reason why he switched to a Mac, when 99% of the Filipinos use PC. I'll have to introduce him to Notes, so he can use both, in whatever way serves him best.

We talked about Michael's conference planning and the challenge of managing so many sessions.
Continue Reading "Conference preparation going well" »

Collaborative Newswire goes live!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
Congratulations, Michael. Last summer, we sat in a meeting with Marc Orchant and you shared your vision for this publication.
I'm delighted to see it become a reality and I can think of no one more qualified to be the editor than you. I'm expect this will grow to become a good source of sound reporting on all things CT.  Good on you, Michael and I wish the best of success to you and the publication!

Uh Oh. Broken Internet. This is not good.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
I've just checked into my hotel and purchased a 7-day internet access card. Unfortunately, the speeds are very slow to the U.S. ~70Kbps download. (Reminds me of life in the early 1990s with a leased 64Kb frame relay circuit.)  
I can live with that - Lotus Notes does a good job of shielding me from the slow network by allowing me to work local and replicate in the background. The real problem I'm having is that I cannot reach my corporate Domino or Web servers from the in-room wireless, however I can reach them just fine from the hotel lobby.

I've been trying to work with the IT people here with little success. I told them I refuse to reboot my computer, clear my cookies, or reload Windows, when I can walk downstairs with my laptop and everything works fine. I've now spoken to several people and several tell me they are working on it.

I'm sure glad I'm not sold on the concept of Office 2.0 and ubiquitous web access. At least not here, yet. Well, I can be thankful for this, as it gives me a taste of internet service here - something I need to know in order to serve effectively at the conference.

I'll just work off-line in Notes and sip high-speed internet when and where I can find it. What a disappointment.


Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
My flight arrived 3 hours early!  (Try that in the U.S!) Actually, there's an explanation. The Philippine Air 747 was not full today; apparently when that happens the plane does not have to stop in Guam to refuel. I feel bad - the people who came to pick me up missed a night's sleep. I'm thankful that they were there, however, to get me though the airport and to the hotel. I've just checked into the Manilla Pavilion hotel. Very nice and nice people, too.

Next action: hit the shower. 15 hours on a plane makes me appreciate soap and water.

Then, I'll replicate and check in with Michael to see what he's been up to. (He threatened to make some posts about a Mac or something... I won't be surprised.) Seriously, Michael's working very hard, handling the details of this conference and working tirelessly on the slide decks for the presentations. I am so very appreciative for his help that if he wants to rub in the fact that he thinks Mack should have a Mac, I'll grant that to him. Especially, after yesterday. Nice work, Michael.

My head's starting to spin a little, but I promised my children I would blog so that they can follow along. Then, I'll rest up and check in with Pastor Sumrall at COP to see how their plans are coming along.

I'm excited to be here in Manila, and I look forward to getting everything ready for the conference.

Thank you Apple iLife

Monday, November 19th, 2007
Today, as I was departing for Los Angeles International Airport, Michael called me to share that he needed to put together the CD for the conference materials. He knew that there would be little that I could contribute as I would be travelling for 24 hours. He told me not to worry and that he and his trusty sidekick, the Apple Mac would take care of everything.

By the time I arrived at LAX, Michael Skyped me to have me look at his first cut of the CD. It looked great, thanks to some clever work in iLife.

Michael and I worked together while I waited for my flight and I was pleased to see how easy it was for him to quickly make changes to the site. By the time I shutdown my laptop to board the 747 to Manila, we were almost done. As Michael put it, a Mac was about to save my bacon.

Foiled again!

Continue Reading "Thank you Apple iLife" »


Saturday, November 17th, 2007
This past week, Michael and and I have been working through the content for the Beyond Planning - eProductivity Conference in Manila later this month. I'm generating content, uploading into Notes, and Michael's generating slides and ensuring thematic consistency...  and, apparently, a whole lot more. I really have to stay on top of this, however, as Michael keeps slipping surprises into the slide decks...

Beyond Planning Conference Site

Thursday, November 15th, 2007
I've just activated the USA Mirror site for the Beyond Planning Conference.


If you click through to the site you will see a brief video commercial that is being broadcast in Manila.


Beyond Planning Conference Schedule
Beyond Planning Conference Poster

Web sites:

Beyond Planning (USA Site)
Beyond Planning (Asia-Pacific Site)

Special thanks to Vanj Real and the media team at COP. Vanj and her team created the site, the video, and all of the marketing/presentation materials for the conference. To Vanj and the team, I say, "Well done!"

Staying productive and focused with Notes

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007
Michael Sampson and I are busy working on the session planning for our upcoming eProductivity Conference. There remains much to complete, but we are supported by a wonderful group of advisors and great technology. I thought I wold take a quick break during lunch to share how we are using Lotus Notes to collaborate synchronously and asynchronously, across the Pacific.
eProductivity Conference Planning Document Library
Michael and I are using a Lotus Notes document library that we have customized to allow us to track all of the session planning and content for the 36 sessions for the eProductivity conference. We've added some very basic workflow functionality. This allows us to flag any document as being in one of eight states:
eProductivity Conference Planning Document Workflow
This allows us to work together on content, synchronously and asynchronously - even though we are on opposite sides of the Pacific!

As we work on content I update a field in the document to change the document state to any of the above. In the background, as I work, these changes are replicated from my Windows laptop or Tablet PC in California to my primary server in Arizona and from there to Michael's Tablet PC or Mac, in New Zealand. It does not matter who's on-line, when, or what platform we choose to use. (Michael and I have a few quiet preferences about PC or Mac) After replication, each of us will see the documents that require our attention, edit and comment and flag them for review and the cycle continues back across the Pacific.

Think of it as digital volleyball.

Thanks to Lotus Notes replication, we are able to simultaneously manage hundreds of documents in various stages of completion.

Add to this, our use of MindManager and other productivity tools and we've got a neat system for information sharing and collaboration across the miles.

For me, a powerful aspect of this approach is not only the ability to compress work into a small amount of time, but the ability to break our focus down to very next actions. Between my family, graduate studies, client work, eProductivity Beta, and preparation for this conference, about the best I can do is keep my head down and focus on the simple next actions, the things I can do in one setting.

I'm grateful to have Michael's expertise as the eProductivity conference organizer. I can't imagine doing this without his help and without a cool set of tools to make distributed work easy.

Lunch is over. Time to get back to work.

Mountaineers qualify for the State Competition!

Saturday, November 10th, 2007
20071110_SCVFLLEvent.jpgThe LEGO Mountaineers have just completed the Santa Clarita Valley FLL Regional Robotics Tournament and they did very well!
  • First place in the research project
  • Tied for first place in the Teamwork Award
  • Highest robot performance score in the afternoon session
  • Third highest robot performance score overall

The team has qualified to continue to the FLL State competition, the next step on their journey to the National Competition in Atlanta and then, hopefully, to the White House!

Coach Simmons encourages the Mountaineers in the practice pitThe Mountaineers present their research and technical presentation to the FLL judges, followed by Q&AThe Mack sisters look on anxiously as the FLL judges tally their scoreWaiting for the award ceremony to begin so we can find out how we did

I'm VERY proud of their accomplishments. They worked very hard and demonstrated outstanding teamwork to solve some difficult challenges with their robot.

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)" »
20071108_KMWorld2007MacWontWork.JPGSo, today's Dave Snowden's keynote is already 10 minutes behind schedule. 4 guys are on the platform trying to get the Mac to work with the projector.

In a sad way, I'm a little pleased to see that us PC users are not the only ones with problems. ;-)

"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" »

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" »
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).
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...

Thanks to my extended eProductivity team

Monday, November 5th, 2007
Several people have graciously offered to review the session outlines for my eProductivity conference in Manila, and to offer their input and suggestions.

It's just three weeks until the conference,  and I have much to do to prepare. I'm thrilled to have Michael to help organize the conference and plan each of the sessions. I greatly value the feedback and input from several of my clients, colleagues and fellow productivity bloggers.

Late last week Michael sent out the session overviews and content statements to these people and we have already received great feedback from:
Tanny O'Haley
Jason Womack
Wayne MacKirdy
Steve Holden
Matthew Cornell

to name just a few...
Thank you very much to each of you for your insightful and perceptive responses
. There are a couple more responses due in the next day, and then we'll shift to the next stage of getting ready.

I'll try to post some more details as I go, but as you can imagine, things are hectic around here. On top of that, I'll be presenting on knowledge worker productivity with Steve Barth at KM world today. So, while I have great hopes for blogging, the posts may be sporadic. I'll try to blog KMWorld this week, though.

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" »
Our homeschool robotics team participated in a local FLL competition in Hermosa Beach. The team received the highest scores for robot performance, research, and the technical presentation, earning them the Robot Performance Award and the Championship Award.

The LEGO Mountaineers earn the FLL Championship and Robot Performance Awards at Hermosa Beach, CA

This is the first stop in a journey the kids hope will take them to Washington D.C. to meet the president. Next stop is in the Santa Clarita Regional FLL event where the team must qualify to attend the L.A. State Competition. If they win that, then can continue to the national competition. Last year, President Bush invited the winning teams from the national event to an award reception at the White House. The team is hoping he will do that again and that they will be invited to attend.

The Mountaineers present their research and rechnical presentatons in front of the FLL judges  Wendy prepares the robot to complete the assigned missions while judges and spectators observe

I'm very proud of the team and I think they have a very good chance at winning and achieving their goal.