Optimal KM: Distinguishing Know-What from Know-How

Great comprehensive piece by John Tropea on making the clear distinction between informal information management and knowledge management. It is a call to push current knowledge management practices further.

My thinking is that just the sharing aspect of informal stuff is “know-what”, this is what KM has been about, but we need to go further to the “know-how” ie. to learn and to be able to have the skills to come up with your own “know-what”. We can do this via conversations. We can now converse with people who shared their informal information, and not only know “what” but also “how”…the ultimate example is apprenticeship and mentoring.

Connect, Context, Engage, Interactions

So let’s get it right. Knowledge doesn’t exist independent from a person.

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The New Paradigm of Advantage

Great take by Umair Haque on the necessary paradigm shift that companies must in order to be agents of change rather than simply agents of opportunity. Author Umair Haque writes that the 21st century demands from firms of all stripes: a paradigm shift in the nature of advantage.

Here’s something you might not know. There’s enough food in the world to feed pretty much everyone. So why are more than 1 billion people — nearly 20% of the world’s population — either starving or malnourished? And why, over the last two decades, has global hunger steeply risen?

The answer has everything to do with the past — and future — of advantage.

The past of advantage was extractive and protective. The future of advantage, on the other hand, is allocative and creative.

Allocative advantage asks: are we able to match people with what makes them durably, tangibly better off — and can we do it 10x or 100x better than our rivals?

Creative advantage asks: is our strategic imagination 10x or 100x richer, faster, and deeper than our rivals?

Extractive advantage asks: how can we transfer value from stakeholders to us, 10x or 100x better than our rivals?

Protective advantage asks: are buyers and suppliers locked in to dealing with us, 10x or 100x more tightly than to rivals?

He even makes a Prezi about it.

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How Social Media, Organizational Dynamics and Social Change will Shape Communities of Practice over The Next 10 Years

Social Media has changes many things, including the way experts envisage online communities of practice. The following is Cormac Heron’s account of leading author and expert Richard McDermott’s reflections on how Communities of Practice have evolved and where they are headed.

Richard McDermott was there to give a bit of his background in personal and professional experiences of the last 20 years. 10 years ago they thought that these were the main characteristics of online communities:

  • Informal
  • Voluntary
  • Independent of an organisation
  • Some face-to-face occurrences
  • Passionate Leader
  • Supported
  • Light-handed management

But on revisiting them consequently the following were thought to be more relevant:

  • Goals were set out
  • Governance
  • Reporting to the highest level
  • Integrated into organisation
  • Passionate Leadership
  • Part of the actual job description

According to Heron, Richard then ended his keynote by hitting them all with this stonker:

How will the emergence of new social media, current organisational dynamics and social change shape the role and impact of communities over the next 10 years.

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ePortfolio: Uncovering the Talent in your Organization

I went to beautiful Banff, Alberta to deliver a presentation on ePortfolios at the Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA) conference’s conversation café.

Presentation Summary

An ePortfolio is an online record of formal and nonformal learning experiences and accomplishments which goes beyond the traditional résumé form. The objective of my presentation is to look at how implementing an ePortfolio development project in an organization can permit HR professionals to have a more holistic and complete picture of the knowledge, skill and abilities of the talent within their organization.

Building the Argument for Changes in Enterprise Learning

Today Jay Cross posted his elevator speech on what he does in his post Enterprise learning:

Most of the businesses and governments live in the last century. They cling to industrial-age beliefs that the world is predictable, management has the answers, and workers are under their control. In the real world, no one has the answers, collective intelligence beats top-down decisions, and management’s task is to inspire people rather than tell them what to do.

Corporations need to replace traditional training, knowledge management, and in-house communications with something more informal, interactive, collaborative, self-service, impromptu, and flexible. Instead of pushing content, they need to be facilitating conversation. I try to help them get there.

So what do you do?

I think when Jay asked “what do you do?” he meant, “how do you define yourself”. I could actually steal Jay’s elevator speech because that it pretty much what I do. Or at least what I’d like to be doing more and more of. But I can’t sell a service that people won’t buy, right? So I’m going to interpret it another way. What I do is try not to get discouraged/feel frustrated by those who cling to the industrial-age beliefs and want me to implement top-down learning systems. Don’t get me wrong, I do have some break-throughs, but I find I face so much resistance.

I know there has been a lot of research on why there is so much resistance to change.

Sometimes I wonder if my argument for change is not solid enough.

Perhaps this might help. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research recently released a report of their research on the use of social media by the Inc 500. I discovered this report via Ross Dawson who writes that “this is one of the first longitudinal studies, showing changes in adoption of social media tools from one year ago”.

In addition, a little over a month ago, Tony Karrer blogged about a Fortune Magazine interview with GE’s CIO who reports that their professional networking site gets 25 million hits per day and is “is becoming sort of a heartbeat of the company”.

There are definitely no lack of arguments for this change.

My concerns are the following:

  • I’ve found I’ve been able to implement change slowly: a little blog here, a little discussion forum there. But is this the most effective way to implement this kind of change?
  • Perhaps eventually they’ll think of a larger scale implementation, but I need to show the results and evaluation is a little trickier in this arena. What are the ways that we can concretely assess success with this type of learning?

I’m curious what kind of arguments and approaches have been successful in helping organizations change. I’d love some feedback.

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The Gen Y / Web 2.0 Way of Managing Information – Trend or Efficiency?

T+D Blog posted an entry today entitled There Is Not Much Difference Between Baby Boomers and Gen Y Grads. This slightly misleading title refers to a study which reported that new graduates, regardless of whether they graduated this year or 30 year ago, will make compromises to advance their career and succeed. This was probably in response to reports about Gen Y such as, but not necessarily, CIO.com’s October 2007 articles entitled Management Techniques for Bringing Out the Best in Generation Y and Employers Change Corporate HR Policies to Cater to Generation Y, Survey Finds.

What T+D Blog post does mention the report highlights as a fundamental difference is that:

today’s graduates are more community-oriented than boomers, and are more concerned with ethical behavior of employers and economic security.

Gen Y, Web 2.0 and Communities – a topic that has been in the forefront of my mind for a while now. In September 2006, I delivered a presentation at the Montreal ISPI Chapter conference entitled Designing eLearning Environments for Learning Organizations where I specifically addressed how the Gen Y, alternately referred to as “the Millennials”), have already incorporated social media technologies into their everyday lives and how forward-thinking learning organizations could leverage these spaces to get the communication flowing throughout the entire organization.

After watching this mash-up video on Informal learning & web 2.0 featuring Jay Cross, Donald Clark and Nigel Paine, I’m inclined to think that this wouldn’t be simply a trend brought forward by Gen Y, but rather technology catching up with the optimal and efficient way for professionals/adults to learn.

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Web 2.0 in Industry and in Academia

I delivered a presentation on Designing eLearning Environments for Learning Organizations at the ISPI Montreal’s 2006 Conference, which was assisted by Lt(N) Brett Christensen & Lt(N) Jason Barr of the Learning Technology and Innovation Cell of the Canadian Forces. Since then, we have been in communication discussing the role of eLearning/Web 2.0 to support virtual communities of practice and performance improvement

As a result, I have been invited to co-animate an interactive workshop with them on the application of Web 2.0 services to training, education and operations at the Canadian Forces Training Development Branch Association (CFTDBA) 2007 Conference on May 30th, 2007.

Click here to view the promotional Podcast (6 min.) to find out more. It requires the Flash Player to run

Here is the presentation team, minus Major Lemieux who had to leave right after his part of the presentation. In this picture: Lt(N) Brett Christensen & Lt(N) Jason Barr of the CFTDC R&D Company as well as LCdr Bruce Forrester, DTEP 3 and myself.