Above and Beyond KM

A discussion of knowledge management that goes above and beyond technology.

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This publication contains my personal views and not necessarily those of my clients. Since I am a lawyer, I do need to tell you that this publication is not intended as legal advice or as an advertisement for legal services.
  • Larry Cannell is Research Director at Gartner Inc. At Gartner, he writes for information architects and everyone they influence. You can reach him on Twitter: @lcannell.

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • Innovations Since 2006. Social network sites, smartphone and tablet apps, business applications are all using activity streams. This has resulted in a more tech savvy user with greater demands in the workplace. And, it has changed the technology conversation within the enterprise.
    • Individualizing the IT Experience. For years, IT has delivered an “application-centered” experience. Now IT needs to provide a “people-centered” experience at work. This is the great lesson from mobile devices and apps. It also represents a huge change for IT.
    • What Does the Enterprise Social Experience Want? (1) Focus on the individual; (2) leveraging familiarity (e.g., familiarity gained through consumer social experiences on Facebook and the like), (3) acknowledge constraints — these are inevitable given the business, confidentiality and security requirements of business.
    • The Social Online Workplace. Start with social messaging, then add collaborative content, as well as content from business applications that matters to the individual. This is an “inside out” focus that begins with the individual. The activity stream shouldn’t be in a separate silo — it should be available in different form factors and displayed within the context of where the individual chooses to work.
    • How Can IT Enrich the Enterprise Social Graph? IT knows who works with whom. And IT knows what applications everyone uses. Imagine what could happen if IT could surface application data within a social graph? For example, showing John Doe information produced by Jack Smith because they both work with the same business application and are reasonably proximate within the organization’s social graph. IT could also recommend that John and Jack follow each other or get to know each other based on their shared work interests.
    • Social Network Aggregation Services. Similar to other aggregation services such as search, these social network aggregation services combine content from multiple sources. This is challenging, the work is not trivial — it requires more than just APIs. Consequently, vendors will have to offer something more sophisticated for information architects.
    • Working with Email and Instant Messaging. Each system works with different lists — address lists, lists of people I’m following, friends lists, buddy lists, etc. Rather than juggling all of these, we should be able to have a single list of the people I’m in contact with.
    • Working with Documents. For years, we’ve put documents in files. Overtime, these become blackholes of content. Often, they become personally owned. Cannell believes it would be better if they were group-owned. This would facilitate collaboration. Then the activity streams could be integrated and displayed for the group.
    • Portals. Portals are not de facto social. When badly implemented, they simply open a window on existing silos. They don’t fully integrate the content.
    • Search. There is significant overlap between search and some social functionality. However social software is having an impact on search. For example, activity stream filtering/visualization. This is a newer way of doing faceted search. In addition, integrating tag clouds and allowing search on those could be powerful.
    • Impact of Social on Business Applications. The innovation lies in displaying activity streams and social graph information within the context of a business application. Admittedly, this could give rise to security concerns: who controls access to an object embedded in an activity stream?
    • What Should IT Do? (1) Focus on providing people-centered experiences rather than application-centered experiences. (2) Do not push social networks as the next email system. This diminishes the role of social software and may mislead the user. (3) Rethink IT priorities to enable “individual first.” Simplicity is personal and contextual. Reconsider “need to know” policies in terms of sensible information reuse. (4) Solicit line of business ownership. Treat social as an extension of business processes. (5) Data management and availability is critical. Data may be siloed and noisy. It will need to be aligned. (6) IT cannot own the social experience, it can own the technology. IT can help businesses understand the value and step up to own the social experiences.
    • IT matters more than ever, but IT needs to change its priorities in order to be relevant in the Social Online Workplace.
    2 Comments
  • Alan Lepofsky (Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Inc.) discussed some of the challenges facing social software and how to address information overload. His excellent slides are available on Slideshare. You can reach him on Twitter: @alanlepo.

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • We’ve Been Chasing the Shiny New Toy.20 years ago, we thought that email would be the answer to all our problems. We were wrong. Then we thought it would be Knowledge Management. Now many work places won’t let you even mention knowledge management or KM publicly. Then we thought it would be portals. Not so much. Finally, we’ve pinned our hopes on social technology. How long do we think that will last???
    • Navigating Activity Streams.We thought that surfacing activity streams would increase transparency. The concept was that by consolidating everyone’s information in one place, all of us would be smarter. Unfortunately, we’ve been drowning in information. After all, if you can’t handle your own email inbox, how can you ever hope to manage the “social inbox” that includes everyone’s information?
    • What’s the Solution? Filter that Activity Stream. We can filter our stream by person, by group, by tags/topics, by key word or phrase, by time, or most importantly, by what most needs my attention. Tibbr allows you to create custom filters. Jive lets you to filter using a drag and drop function. Filters like these allow you to create custom streams. However, vendors tell us that most users rely on the default settings and don’t customize their interface. So it’s important that the vendors fine tune the algorithms. Alan thinks that Zite has found a great way to adjust what you’re seeing by allowing you to ask it to “show me more from….”
    • Another Solution is to Organize into ListsGoogle Plus has done a good job of letting users to filter by individually created lists (e.g., Circles). Similarly, Facebook and Twitter have lists. However, in order to benefit from this, each user needs to set these lists up themselves. That may be more work than some are willing to invest. However, lists organized by people don’t always talk about the topics you care about. Therefore, it would be helpful to organize activity streams by interests, by topics.
    • How to Manage Activity Streams.(1) Don’t put stuff in a stream that doesn’t belong there. (2) Implement a user interface that allows users to aggregate multiple streams (e.g., Tweetdeck or Hootsuite). (3) Organize content via lists. (4) Provide several notification options. (5) Manual filtering. (6) Automated filtering via analytics. (7) Showing what’s hot, what’s trending. (8) Crowd-sourced curation: taking advantage of the liking or flagging or tagging that your friends and colleagues do.
    • Aggregated Social versus Integrated Social. There are unstructured business process such as status updates, sharing, Q&A, exception handling and expertise location. However, organizations also have structured business processes that work well and shouldn’t be jettisoned (e.g., Sales, HR, Markteing, Supply Chain, Engineering, Learning, Suport/Service.) If would be great if you could add a social layer to those structured business process and their existing tools. One approach is to put everything onto a social platform that aggregates all activity streams and business processes and displays them through a dashboard. This surfaces information to a wide audience and it enables discussion. However, this approach typically just links by to the system of record. It doesn’t embed the object. One solution is the “embedded experiences” approach (e.g., IBM Connections lets you see an object in a stream rather than forcing you to the underlying silo or tool). A different approach is social integration inside core business applications. For example, you add a social layer to well-established business tools (e.g., SAP), so the user does not need to skip back and forth between the application they work in most often and the company intranet/blog/wiki.
    • What About Me??? When users log in, they want to see what they individually created, what they commented on, what they have “liked,” what I should be working on next. Take a look at likeabilitee — it’s a new tool for Facebook that allows a user to see materials according to what’s important to that user. It literally puts the user at the center graphically and show the user what resonated most with their network. Cisco is doing something similar. It allows you to sort materials based on what the user added/shared, the things people commented on, etc.
    • Social Task Management. This issue focuses on helping users figure out what to do first, what tasks need to be completed. Several vendors are working on solutions that range from standalone functionality (e.g., you have to go to the vendor’s site to log tasks) to functionality that is embedded in social software. Some file sharing tools have added a task management layer that allows you to place work flow around the content you are sharing.
    • Requirements of Task Management. Projects/milestons, repeatable tasks, commenting, workflow/dependences, etc. Imagine if this was integrated with your HR system. Wouldn’t that make it easier to generate periodic reviews? What if task management was integrated with the Finance system? Would that help capture billable tasks better?
    • What’s Next? Sentiment analysis that helps you understand which of your employees are happy or disengaged, which ones are a flight risk. Big Data should be able to improve recommendations and search results.
    1 Comment
  • Sara Roberts (President/CEO, Roberts Golden Consulting, Inc.) and Dr. Margaret Schweer (Managing Principal and Researcher, Tammy Erickson & Associates) are the speakers. This session focused on some “deeply embedded organizational assumptions that are no longer valid …and why they are no longer relevant.” They also discussed how “organizations will need to evolve to become Intelligent Organizations.”

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • Assumption #1: The Purpose of Collaboration is Obvious. Not so much. There is business case for the organization, but we also must understand the individual’s view: in what ways does collaboration help me do my job? Remember that collaboration is a volutary activity so we need to give individuals a good reason to collaborate.
    • 10 Collaboration Intents. These are the situations in which collaboration makes most sense: Connecting previously unconnected ideas; co-creating products, services, experiences; engaging stakeholders (markets, communities, employees, partners); tapping people, expertise or other resources, as needed; coordinating in time and space; distributing work cost or risk; sensing emerging patterns (trends, opportunities, threats); pooling judgments; polling to gather input or determine group-wide preferences; coalescing around an emerging consensus, after debating multiple views.
    • Assumption #2: Bigger is Better. The rule is not necessarily go big or go home. Rather, understand that organizations have a rhythm, a pattern. Enrollment begins at the individual level, one person at a time. Initial deployments often start with small groups focused on accomplishing specific tasks. These initiatives can then be scaled up as they demonstrate value and gather a solid base of users capable of spreading the word about the technology.
    • Assumption #3: Build it and they will come. Not really. Collaboration is sustained not because of a whiz bang technology platform, but because it is nurtured at the level of the individual. Trust builds quality content, which in turn attracts more contributions. Community management is an important role to help nurture contribution and collaboration.
    • [They skipped Assumption #4 due to lack of time.]

    • Assumption #5: The Real Value in Collaboration is Connecting People to Content. No. We don’t want to create the “document mortuary.” We don’t want to simply digitize our physical workplace. Rather, we need to connect people to each other in new and meaningful ways, and then change the way we work together. The new way of working is “narrating your work.” What does this mean? [It can't just be about explaining how you do what you do since we don't always understand exactly what we do. See my earlier piece on Topspin and KM.] For people who are interested in learning more, the presenters suggest looking at Susan Ambrose’s work in the education area.
    • Collaboration Readiness Audit. You should assess your organization’s readiness for collaboration. This focuses on decision making, processes, diversity, culture, for example. If the organization does not value creativity, it may be difficult to foster collaboration.
    • HR and KM. One rich area for HR is in the knowledge space. HR knows the culture and can help with knowledge-sharing, transparency and collaboration initiatives.
    No Comments
  • Sara Roberts (Roberts Golden Consulting) moderates this session involving Lisa Bonner (AVP, Contemporary Work Practices, The Hartford Insurance Company), Erin Grotts (Director of Internal Communications and Collaboration, SUPERVALU) and Dan Pontefract (Head of Learning & Collaboration, Telus).

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • Start with Your Culture in Mind. Dan Pontefract believes that without culture, there’s no engagement, no collaboration or a shared single vision (panoptic view). “If we want to build a culture of collaboration, we do not want to implement a collaboration of cultures.” By contrast, Erin Grotts thinks that culture is a little overused. Rather than trying to manage the culture, she decided to build a place that amplified the things that people in the organization already liked about their corporate culture.
    • Treat Engagement as the GoalDon’t waste time on “busyness” metrics. It doesn’t matter how many times someone blogs. What matters is how engaged that person actually is. Telus uses surveys and benchmarks against Aon Hewitt data.
    • You Need a New Leadership Philosophy. Telus dumped the old competency models in favor of a new framework that promotes open, connected and transparent leadership. If you want collaboration to occur, you can’t just dump the toolset on your people. You need to create a leadership framework that supports the desired cultural change. To be successful, you need to straight talk, honesty.
    • The Organization has to put it’s money where it’s mouth is. If you want openness and transparency, you can’t censor. “If you muzzle, you risk irreparable damage.” Focus on the desired behavior, not the tools. In the experience of Telus, you can change the tools without disrupting collaboration provided the right behavior has been established and supported.
    • What Incentives Work? Don’t lead with money. Recognition that improves the “social street cred” of the individual will provide greater incentive. The talent war has already started. Hanging onto key people is critical. The Hartford is internally competitive. They posted a leader board and awarded badges for updates on customer calls. Interestingly, the pilot group participating in this badge program outperformed the sales personnel outside the pilot group. Gamification is a 21st century way of leading and thinking. You will stay longer and work harder when tackling a challenge in a group. SUPERVALU doesn’t use gamification. Rather, the CEO is active in Enterprise 2.0 and publicly recognizes the people who exhibit collaborative behaviors.
    • Leading Through ChangeTrust and respect are earned. Leaders need to understand that. They can earn trust and respect by doing what they say, delivering on their promises.
    • Embrace Lack of Control.Change management tactics are often another way of trying to maintain control of the organization. With Enterprise 2.0 deployments, tight control can choke the life out of collaboration. This will be a tough message for corporate leadership, so you’ll need to educate company leaders.
    • Legal Challenges.The Hartford is an SEC-regulated company. Therefore, they needed to involve the legal department early especially with respect to privacy and confidentiality concerns. However, Lisa Bonner believes that 100% of their employees are adults and 99% do not want to be fired. Their guiding principles are be professional and responsible. Don’t post anything online that you don’t want your mother or boss to read. This seems to be working fine for The Hartford.
    • What Analytics Do They Use? SUPERVALU maps internal social networking of an individual with that individual’s performance. Soon they will be able to do “mood analysis” of blogs. They also use employee surveys. At Telus they survey both employees and clients to determine performance. The key question to clients: would you recommend Telus?
    1 Comment
  • Jared Spataro, Senior Director, SharePoint (Microsoft) and Rob Gubas, VP Global Marketing (Colliers International) are the speakers. Colliers is a commercial real estate company.

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • Key Technology Trends Connecting technologies (leading to a connected enterprise), social, mobile, cloud, cross-org collaboration. While each are interesting, combining them can be very powerful.
    • Connected Experiences + Single Platform.This is Microsoft’s vision. It applies to Office and, of course, SharePoint. Microsoft calls this “The Connected Enterprise.”
    • Social Collaboration at Colliers. They have a collaborative culture and wanted the technology to support this. Further, they work in a knowledge intensive industry and needed to share that knowledge efficiently. They also needed to facilitate growing mobility in how their people work. They wanted to connect people, connect people to client information, make data visible and introduce transparency.
    1 Comment
  • This panel discussion involved Chris Gramms (Hackathon community manager), Mary Wolf (Yum! Brands), Nyla Reed (Educe), Dave Mason (Mozilla). They are involved with “Mix Management” that is focused on reinventing modern management.

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • The Management Hackathon This is a collaborative effort to reinvent management so that it works better in the age of the internet. They found 900 people around the world from a variety of organizations who were interested and then hosted the asynchronous conversations on a Saba platform over several months. They developed 20 full management hacks. They started by identifying everything that is wrong about management today. Then they identified what was right about the internet and asked what could be applied to modern management.
    • Hacks Must be Radical AND Practical. The hack needs to be radical to make a difference in the organization. However, it must also be practical and easy to implement. If it requires a huge change management program, it is much harder to implement. The beauty of hacks is that they let you chip away at a problem until you’ve made an impact.
    • Hacks Must be Simple. In the coding world, hacks were created by lazy coders. While this isn’t necessarily about rewarding laziness, management hacks should promote simple and easy improvements.
    • Hack:Embracing “Skills 2.0″ How do you actually start developing the requisite organizational mindset? Are currect competency models structured to support the adoption of these technologies. They created a quick assessment (20 questions) that help particpants understand what E2.0 skill that already excel at and should use to improve your organization.
    • Hack: The Freedom/Accountability Swap. This is a “stealth” hack. It doesn’t require senior management approval to adopt it. Just start by initiating a conversation with your colleagues in which a manager and her subordinates identify places where they have high freedom, low freedom and then figure out what level of accountability is mutually acceptable.
    • Hack: Open Up Clip by Clip.Start by opening up processes within the organization. For example, begin with introducing transparency into how paperclips are procured and distributed. This is the type of process that most don’t find threatening and, therefore, should be willing to reform.
    • Why Points Trump Hierachy.This NOT a stealth hack. It’s principle is that no one receive rewards on thhe basis of past achievement, but rewards are given on the basis of points given for work curently done for the company and within the last year. This should eliminate outsize pay packages that don’t map to actual performance.
    • Hack: Leader Meter. This hack focuses on helping to uncover the natural leaders within the organizations, regardless of where they sit on the org chart. What’s key is for the organization to see them AND for the individual themselves to recognize their promise.
    • Hack: The Anonymous Hero.This hack focuses on allowing people to suggest innovations anonymously. This means that the idea rises or falls on the merits.And then the person proposing a good idea can be identified as the hero.
    No Comments
  • Jeff Schick (Vice-President, IBM Social Software) is one of the creators of IBM Connections. Wim de Gier is Senior Global Project Manager, Corporate Strategy and Development, LeasePlan Corporation.

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • The Corporate Brain As we expand social networking within the enterprise, we actually “grow” the corporate brain. As the network becomes smarter, individuals have access to the information they need to work better.
    • Challenges of E2.0 for an International Company. In an international company, you have to accommodate cultural differences, skepticism and language barriers. Further, transparency won’t happen overnight. It requires a shift in corporate culture over time.
    • Start with the Work. Rather than worrying about how to blog, focus on how to use the social technology to do your work better. In other words, can it answer the questions you have? Can it connect you easily to the experts you need? Can it accommodate your task list and projects?
    • Adoption. LeasePlan had a defined rollout plan. This included lots of explanatory material. They have support staff that walk the floors to help introduce the social technology and to help people get started.
    No Comments
  • Art King is Global Information Architecture Lead at Nike

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • Mobile IT Shift Everything must be intuitive, intuitive, intuitive. The customer wants the mobile experience of opening the app and watching magic happen.
    • Deployment is About Pull NOT Push IT can no longer push or demand. Now the customer must consent. Further, support tends to be self-service or offered by friends. Few look to IT. (Perhaps they have learned the shortcomings of IT support.) Another shift is that IT can no longer insist that certain functionality or apps be adopted. Instead, IT can only recommend that certain apps be adopted.
    • Evolution of Apps from Standardized to Role-Based. Now the IT departments are not setting the pace. Rather, they are racing to match the quality of products available in the consumer world. Everything needs to be intuitively easy to use. Developers need to have empathy so that they can put themselves in the shoes of their customers. The consumers experience must be “felt.”
    • The Impact of Consumerization. Should companies replace enterprise tools with consumer tools? This could have huge cost, support and security implications for companies.
    • IT must gracefully share control with customers. As you focus on solving business problems, you might be tempted to work around IT structures. This will only get worse as more functionality becomes available in the consumer world.
    2 Comments
  • Andrew McAfee is the principal research scientist at MIT.

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • The World is One Big Data ProblemThis has become an article of faith in silicon valley. A lot of start-ups are now exclusively focused on cracking the big data challenge. According to Google, they don’t have better algorithms than the rest of the world — they just have better data.
    • Computers are Getting Better IBM has produced a graph that shows how Watson has improved itself with respect to percent of questions answered and precision. Relentlessly, month by month, Watson got better. This was just one domain that computers mastered. Even very human functions such as writing prose can be done reasonably well. (McAfee showed a screenshot showing an article in Forbes regarding Apple. Interestingly, it was written by a computer based on algorithms. Narrative Science is the company that produced it.) Long-form journalism may be safe from computers for the time being, but the more anodyne wwriting is completely within the realm of the possible for computers. Even pathology is being mastered by computers. Once they built the relevant algorithms, they discovered that the computer was at least as good as a human pathologist at detecting breast cancer. Further, the computer was able to identify three things in the samples that humans were not yet trained to observe.
    • Is the Physical World Safe from Computers? It is conceivable that computer algorithms could master knowledge work, but can they master the physical world? Google’s autonomous car actually drives itself. McAfee and his co-author drove it down Route 101 in stop-and-go traffic. The computerized car did just fine.
    • Humans Were Never All That Good In every realm checked, we’re discovering that our mastery nearly isn’t as complete as we supposed. Take for example, the art of predicting good bordeaux wine. A computer programmer was able to create a program that could reliably predict which year’s bordeaux production would be best, based on agricultural data. In the legal domain, a computer beat the best legal minds at predicting Supreme Court decisions. With respect purchasing decisions, a fairly simple model will allow a computer do this better than humans with experience and expert judgment. In 136 man-vs-machine studies, in only 8 cases did the humans outperform the computers. The researchers attributed these 8 to either computational error or the fact that the computers lacked sufficient data. This problem will go away soon.
    • What Bad Strategies Could We Adopt? (1) Ignore the problem until the competition adopts the computers; (2) be a Luddite and destroy the machines.
    • Race with the Machines McAfee believes that partnering with computers is the best strategy for us to adopt. Deloitte’s Center for the Edge study shows that quality improved as a wiki as edited more. Further, Lynn Wu discovered that people who participate in Enterprise 2.0 social networks tend to survive rounds of layoffs.
    • I for one welcome our Computer Overlords. What about You?
    4 Comments
  • Keith Myerson (Director, Learning & Development, Neiman Marcus Group Services) discussed how social learning (i.e., “sLearning”) will change the way L&D professionals see themselves, promote learning in their organizations and prevent brain drain from the “impending war for talent.” He may be contacted at Keith_Myerson@neimanmarcus.com or on Twitter @KeithMyerson.

    [These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I'm publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I've made any editorial comments, I've shown those in brackets.]

    NOTES:

    • What’s Social Learning? sLearning isn’t just another form of electronic learning (eLearning) or mobile learning (mLearning). It harnesses the power of social technology to help employees find the information and training they need at the moment of need by connecting with their colleagues. At Neiman Marcus they have deployed a social platform that allows employees to share learning, particularly through focused discussion threads.
    • Social Tools Don’t Meet Every Training Need. L&D professionals need to think creatively and dispassionately about appropriate uses of social technology. While a Q&A might be well suited to a social platform, training on improved customer service that involves observing tone and body language is better suited to face to face sessions.
    • Tie sLearning Initiative to Business Metrics. It can be a challenge to establish ROI on social technology projects, so plan early to collect meaningful data. In the case of Neiman Marcus, they were able to establish that their sLearning initiative led to demonstrable (and quantifiable) improvements in customer satisfaction. Given that each one percent increase in customer satisfaction results in a specific dollar amount in improved revenues, they could connect sLearning efforts to better financial results. This is a great outcome for an Enterprise 2.0 project. It is also very different from the traditional approach of providing a training session and then pretending to measure impact through “smile sheets” (i.e., questionnaires that request trainee views on the session) that don’t typically connect to business performance.
    • The Impending Talent War. For years, people had been predicting an enormous brain drain when the Baby Boomers retire from the work force. In Keith Myerson’s view, most organizations have dodged a bullet since the economic downturn has forced many Boomers to remain employed. Similarly, some younger high-performing individuals have elected to stay put with their current employers until the economy improves. This means that once economic good times return, organizations should expect a mass exodus of Boomers and younger high-performers. This will result in a brain drain and the “impending war for talent.” Until that happens, however, organizations have an opportunity to foster knowledge transfer and hone their succession planning. Social technology and sLearning can help with this.
    • What Does sLearning Mean for Knowledge Management? The Neiman Marcus sLearning initiative has created a dynamic collection of current know-how that is quite different from the static intranet or portal collections. In fact, users are driving change by asking that their content be moved from the intranet/portal to the sLearning platform. [The implications of this for traditional knowledge management should not be ignored. Clearly L&D and KM professionals should be cooperating to ensure that an organization's knowledge base is as current and complete as possible. Creating yet another disconnected silo of information is not helpful for the individual employee or for the organization as a whole.]
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