How KM Enables Innovation #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description: 

Most companies struggle to find ways to embed innovation into their business. This talk shares the journey of establishing a grassroots movement—a journey fueled by innovation, knowledge sharing, and learnings, and the critical success factors discovered along the way.

Speakers:

  • Wendy Woodson, Director, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Kim Bullock, #innovation Catalyst, ExxonMobil

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so 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:

  • How They Approach Innovation.  There are multiple kinds of innovation — not just transformational, game-changing innovation. Instead, they use the following model [see Managing Your Innovation Portfolio]
    • Transformational Innovation
    • Adjacent Innovation — taking what you do well and moving into a new market
    • Core Innovation — improving your bread and butter functions — this area is ripe for smart KM
  • Brutal Truths:
    • Culture & Behaviors. These beliefs and behaviors are so deeply ingrained in the organization that they can be extremely difficult to identify and excavate, much less reform.
    • Politician & Magician. We are always selling (politician), we’re always performing (magician).
    • Art not Science. There is not a single best approach to innovation. The key is to find business problems worth solving and then working with the affected group to improve their situation. The speakers spoke about a project they did to reduce the burden of exception reporting from  70% of the avaialble time to 30% of available time. This translated into a significant improvement in the quality of life.
    • Warrior. We have to be very thick-skinned and ready to fight for attention, for support, for successful projects. KM often is considered a “nice to have” rather than a “need to have.”
  • Opportunity. For all of the brutal truths, the speakers believe that there is tremendous opportunity in KM for rewarding work.
  • Critical Success Factors.
    • External Network. Just as you create your internal network within your organization, intentionally create an external network that can be the source help, information, and commiseration.
    • Brutal Truths. Be honest about the Brutal Truths discussed above. And be very forthright about your projects and progress. And be very honest with your leadership. They need to know.
    • The Middle Matters. We usually tend to start by looking for support from senior champions or at the grassroots level. However, the middle managers are influencers who often are ignored. The speakers focused on the middle managers — they were explicit about exactly what they expected in terms of influencing up and influencing down.
    • Attention, Attraction, Adoption.
      • Attention — use standard marketing tactics to get their attention
      • Attraction — explain what you are offering and how you can help
      • Adoption — get down to brass tacks, find an issue you can work on with the business, get it done, and then repeat.
    • Tell the Story. Rather than just insisting that KM is good, collect and share the success stories. Capture them in an article, record videos. Both of these are more contagious that assertions by KM.
Share

Industry Leaders Conversation: Change, Culture, and Learning #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

Former head of KM with the BBC, Semple believes in conversations and leads our panel on a far-ranging discussion of change, culture and learning as we all aspire to an outbreak of common sense on our journey for knowledge sharing and creating sustainable, high-functioning organizations and communities.

Speakers:

  • Euan Semple, Director, Euan Semple Ltd
  • Jean-Claude Monney, Former Chief Knowledge Officer, Microsoft, Columbia University and Digital Transformation Coach
  • Kim Glover, Global Manager of Knowledge Management, TechnipFMC
  • Nancy Dixon, Principal Researcher, Common Knowledge Associates

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so 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:

  • Why knowledge management?
    • at Microsoft Services, Jean-Claude Monney was given responsibility to get 100% of Microsoft knowledge to 100% of Microsoft’s customers, 100% of the time.
    • Best of the knowledge = relevant (in the context of the work) and trustworthy
    • For Nancy Dixon, knowledge management helps the organization learn better and faster.
  • What is the pedigree of knowledge?
    • if the knowledge comes from a person, is that person reliable/trustworthy?
    • if the knowledge comes from a document, is the source of the document reliable?
  • Knowledge management should focus on the issues that matter.
    • Nancy Dixon worries that KM focuses too much on the tactical (how to be more efficient) but misses the issues that can really bring down the organization, such as ethical issues.
    • General Motors once had a terrific KM group. However, they were unable to help the company prevent bankruptcy. What if there were a KM group at Volkswagon that could shed light on ethical issues? Would that have prevented the emissions control disaster? Would there have been a different outcome at Wells Fargo if there were a KM-organized forum for employees to express their concerns about business practices that did not align with the company’s mission statement?
  • Conversation is Consequential. 
    • Conversation is something you enter with the realization that you might be changed.
    • Conversation in an organization creates a culture — it is important to notice what is talked about AND what is not talked about.
    • An organization that wants the benefit of consequential conversation must first create an environment of psychological safety.
  • We Make Culture.
    • Culture is not just something that is something that is done to us. We make culture by everything we do (or do not do).
    • We learn culture in the first instance from our experiences with our direct managers.
  • How to Start a KM Program.
    • If you are lucky, the CEO comes in one day and says we need a KM program.
    • More likely, find business problems that KM can help solve.
    • When you are asked to “show them the money,” don’t assume the responsibility for the numbers. Instead, partner with the business first, find out what KPIs are important to them, and then figure out the value KM adds to achieve those KPIs.
    • Before you mention KM to anyone, collect stories of instances when one unit helped another unit (and how much money was solved). Then suggest to management that you create an organizational strategy out of this collaboration.
  • What’s Next for KM?
    • Monney:
      • We are experiencing a massive change due to digital augmented knowledge. The reality of AI and augmented reality is extraordinary. The key is to use AI to improve a human’s ability to make better decisions.
      • We need to figure out to digitally transform our business — or someone else will.
      • We need to develop empathy
      • We need to harness the source of knowledge — but what if the knowledge is the heads of contractors or people who do not want to be handcuffed to the organization.
    • Glover: As technology gets better and easier to use, KM professionals can go back to being “people people” rather than reluctant technologists.
    • Dixon: There is an erosion of cognitive authority. We have stopped trusting CEOs and other people in positions of authority. KM’s role is to make things more transparent so that we can operate without omniscient authority figures.
Share

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast — or Does it?

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” famously attributed to the late business guru Peter Drucker, perfectly states the need for an organization’s culture to be aligned with its strategic objectives for there to be any hope of fully realizing them. Culture is tribal and pervasive. And, it can vary depending on the group, environment, or objectives. But, this powerful and often unconscious set of forces that influences both individual and collective behavior can be harnessed to drive culture change and reinforce shared values within an organization or project team. Speakers explore examples of “epic culture fails” resulting from strategy that neglected the cultural component, then impart seven tips to drive outcomes that leverage culture to support organizational- or project-based strategy. These tactics can be used to support a company or project team’s core values and culture while creating synergies with strategic initiatives and shortening the time to adoption. Aligning the strategy of whatever it is you are trying to do with the culture of whoever it is you are working with is paramount. It can mean the difference between success and failure. Culture doesn’t have to eat strategy for breakfast; they can be harnessed together to create organizational strength and a better overall customer outcome.

Speakers:

  • Kim Glover, Global Manager of Knowledge Management, TechnipFMC
  • Tamara Viles, Manager of Knowledge Architecture, TechnipFMC

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so 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.]

Session Slides: 

Viles & Glover – C202_Viles.pptx
Glover & Viles – C202_Glover(1).pptx

NOTES:

  • Value Moment.
    • A Value Moment =
    • Today’s Value Moment: Knowledge Mangement needs to be just in time, just for me, and just what I need.
  • Culture.
    • Culture is critical if you want to execute your strategy.
    • Culture = how we do things around here
    • It is an unconscious set of forces that influence individual and group actions
    • Ed Schein is the considered the father of culture. He wrote Organizational Culture and Leadership, and the Corporate Culture Survival Guide.
      • What is Culture?
        • Structures and Process: the visible layer of culture, the observable artifacts
        • Espoused Values: the stated mission, how the organization talks about itself internally and externally.
        • Real Culture: the basic assumptions of an organization — what the group has learned over time from its successes and failures. These assumptions, ideas, even pictures need to be challenged and replaced if you want to change the culture. These are the unwritten rules.
    • Examples of strong organizational culture
      • Starbucks
        • Structures & Process: their observable artifacts (the way they look, they way they work) are strong and consistent
        • Espoused Values: they buy fair trade coffee, they recycle, they hire veterans
    • Culture reinforces itself by promoting people who live by the organization’s unwritten assumptions and beliefs.
  • Epic Culture Fails.
    • Wells Fargo is currently suffering an enormous gap between the organization’s stated mission and their culture.
    • AT&T/AOL Time Warner merger — early reports indicate that the two companies have radically different cultures. And they have fairly negative assumptions/beliefs about each other.
    • Hollywood is suffering a huge gap between stated values and actual culture/behaviors.
  • Components of Great Culture.
    • Clear Vision and Strategy: Volvo has an unambiguous commitment to safety that they have built on over decades.
    • Shared Values: Your actions must align with your words. (Walking the talk.)
    • Common Practices: Your processes must align with your strategy and values.
    • Engaged People: According to Monster.com, departments with healthy culture have 30% less turnover in staff.
    • Common Narratives: Positive stories that celebrate and strengthen an organization’s unique culture.
    • Reinforcing Physical Environment: Physical surroundings that align with and support the culture.
  • Tips and Tricks for Healthy Culture.
    • Seize every opportunity to reinforce your culture.
    • Assess your culture before creating your strategy. Will they be mutually supportive?
    • What you reward is what you will get.
    • Collect and share stories that support your culture.
    • Identify your champions and evangelists
    • Keep people engaged by making work fun.
    • Build on the familiar by integrating new things with existing practices.
    • Make the invisible visible: provide help and support — connect the dots so people can find what they need and share what they know.
Share

Intuition and Bold Risk-Taking for Breakthrough Innovation and Growth #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Title and Description: 

Maia Marken explores different ways of thinking, from professional poker and chess players to provoke, challenge, and inspire business leaders. In discussion with professional poker player Alec Torelli, she looks at the interplay between analytics and intuition in decision making in today’s workplace. They talk about a high-stakes game that ended in a surprise that all the math experts would not have expected because Torelli relied on his intuition. In a world full of data-driven decision making, is intuition dead? They explore this idea and its applications to business decision making. Marken and chess grandmaster Sam Shankland then explore the concept of bold risk-taking through a discussion of the 1972 chess championship between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, who took the entire chess world by storm when he opened with a new move, C4, despite a lifetime of having successfully played E4 as his opening move. While this move caught Spassky by surprise and demonstrated Fischer willingness to play in Spassky’s turf, it also was an objectively smart move, as Fischer went on to win the match. This and other case studies share lessons from chess and business on bold risk-taking.

Speakers:

  • Alec Torelli, Professional Poker Player
  • Sam Shankland, Professional Chess Player
  • Maia Marken, Chief of Staff, Worldwide Services Strategy, Cisco

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so 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:

  • Sam Shankland: Bold Risk-Taking.
    • By his own admission, Shankland (an Olympics-level chess player) is a risk-taker in chess and in life.
    • Bold Risk-Taking can be a brilliant move — provided that your bold risk is an intelligent risk. Shankland described how Bobby Fischer abandoned his favorite opening move (C4 move), which his opponent, Spassky, expected, and used instead Spassky’s favorite opening move (E4). This was an intelligent risk because it had the benefit of surprise and completely threw his competitor of his game.
    • Use your intuition to choose which risks to take AND the right moment in which to take the chosen risk.
    • How does this apply to your work? Maia Marken says that her team challenges each other’s thinking by asking if a suggested action is your C4 move (the favorite, usual thing) or your E4 move (a bold risk for you).
  • Alec Torelli: Intuition
    • Torelli is a professional poker player and coach.
    • The relationship between logic and intuition at the poker table:
      • [You can find a video of these on YouTube on Torelli’s channel.]
      • You need to use logic AND intuition in harmony — don’t rely on just one or the other.
      • Intuition informs your assumptions, which you then test through logic.
    • To strengthen intuition, pay attention to the clues that the other humans in the game are providing. Learn to interpret those clues (based on rigorous pattern recognition). In 1502, Da Vinci intuited that a suspension bridge could be built. To support his insight, he did the math to demonstrate the necessary calculations. He then proposed this to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire whose engineers were unanimous that this bridge could not be built. It wasn’t until 2001 that an engineering team was able to build Da Vinci’s bridge — in Norway.
  • How to get more skillful in taking risks?.
    • Practice makes it better, reflection makes it perfect. You can understand the theory of risk-taking but until you practice over and over, you won’t master the skill. And a critical part of that practice is reflection: examining what happened and why — when you lose AND when you win.
    • Separate yourself from the outcome — just focus on the process. This means removing the emotion related to the outcome and objectively make the best decision you can make with the information you have in the moment.
  • How to improve your judgment?
    • Check your ego at the door. After all, even the best professional poker players in the world lose 30% of the time. Therefore, never assume you are infallible. Instead, use every opportunity to improve.
    • Be open to learning.
    • Have someone in your life who calls you on your BS. (Torelli says his wife is invaluable for this!)
Share

Making a Digital Workplace Work #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

For 11 years, the global Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards have uncovered and shared remarkable solutions. This year is no exception! See the best of this year’s winners from the U.S., Europe, and beyond. They range from small ideas to entire platforms, giving something for everyone to take away. Ismail discusses the challenges of developing a rigorous and robust, efficient and effective digital workplace environment in a multi-cultural, decentralized organization and what means and methods can be used to create a viable digital workplace. A variety of different tools are recognized, such as the intranet, internal and external collaboration platforms, and enterprise search.

Speakers:

  • James Robertson, Founder, Step Two
  • Carlos Pelayo, Director, Lead IT Business Partner for Communications and Public Affairs, Shire
  • David M. Feldman, Associate Director Collaboration, Shire
  • Brian Duke, Senior Manager, Intranet Solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so 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:

  • Fisher Scientific.  [Here is a link to their slides, including screenshots]
    • Following the example of consumer apps, they put their Yammer feed front and center on their intranet page. They did not shove it over on the side or hide it behind a link.
    • They are using Microsoft Flow to automatically post content to designated feeds.
    • They use tyGraph to collect and display their Yammer usage metrics
    • Of the 38K activated Yammer accounts, 31K were active on the intranet in the last month.
  • Shire. Governance First Intranet [Here is a link to their slides, including screenshots]
    • They found it really helpful to start with governance, rather than touching on it at the end of the intranet project
    • This project came out of an acquisition — Shire acquired a much larger organization. They grew from 7K to 23K employees.
    • They started by looking at the problems in the various legacy systems.
    • They wanted to reuse as much of the content as possible from the legacy systems.
    • As much as possible, they want to configure rather than customize
    • They gave people the freedom to do what they wanted — but within predetermined guardrails.
    • They used Microsoft Office 365
    • They created a consistent look and feel across all devices by using custom-branded webparts.
Share

Employee Experience — the Heart of the Digital Workplace #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

The idea of the “customer experience” is a powerful one, and it’s a strategic consideration for most big organizations. As a result, we’ve seen a huge degree of customer-centric digital transformation. Within the enterprise, the concept of the “employee experience” is equally powerful. Going beyond basic usability and UX, it takes a holistic view of how solutions are designed and delivered. This practical session outlines how digital workplace professionals and projects can use the employee experience as a strategic driver for change. Real-world examples of great employee experiences from around the globe are shared.

Speaker: James Robertson (Founder, Step Two)

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so 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:

  • James Robertson Slides
  • Horrifying Employee Engagement Statistics.
    • In the US, only 32% of employees say they are engaged
    • In the rest of the world, only 13% of employees say they are engaged
  • A digital workplace”. “A digital workplace consists of the set of tools you already have.” The problem is that it isn’t good. What’s a great digital workplace?
    • a holistic set of tools, platforms, and environments that enable work
  • Visa’s Digital Workplace.
    • delivers high functionality and a rich user experience
    • they provide a great mobile experience — they go beyond responsive design to provide a dedicated mobile app.
  • Coles Supermarket Chain in Australia.
    • Their intranet = “My Coles”
    • They wanted to provide high functionality for (previously underserved) employees in the field that is comparable to the functionality previously available only to office-based employees.
    • They provided a mobile app that could be used on personal devices on an opt-in basis. They have high rates of adoption.
  • Swisscom.
    • They provide 3 home pages
      • one is all about news — all the time
      • one is all about tasks — all the time
        • it is tailored to the individual user and their function
        • it includes the one piece of content EVERYONE wants: the cafeteria menu
      • one is “about us”
    • Through this approach, they demonstrate that they are interested in providing the materials that the employees care about most to do their jobs.
  • Telstra.
    • Their goal was to make their intranet so effective that they would be able to reduce the number of support calls
    • Their employees cannot be paid without submitting their time sheets. So they provide a visual display on the HR page of their intranet which shows the individual employee’s current level of time submission
  • What about allowing staff the ability to personalize their intranet pages?  In theory, this is a wonderful approach because it treats employees as engaged adults. However, research shows that only 5-10% of staff ever take advantage of the option and actually customize their pages.
  • A truly delightful employee experience is also effective for the business. The Mando Agency is a professional services firm that cannot bill its clients unless its own staff submits their time sheets. To manage this challenge, Mando installed an internet-operated beer fridge that was programmed to unlock on Fridays, but ONLY once everyone in the firm had submitted their time tickets. The firm provided a dashboard showing everyone how close they were to achieving an unlocked fridge AND which people were blocking progress by their delinquency in submitting their time. This gamification and extreme transparency work. In the five years since they installed the fridge, the employees have failed to open it only once.
  • How to provide a good Employee experience?.
    • Learn about how the employee works and what they need.
    • Have a deliberate digital approach that allows you to do all of the following three things simultaneously, but at different paces:
      • Projects: make sure you have at least one project for every budgetary period in order to make continuous improvements to the digital workplace
      • Strategy: this should enable the “big leap” that takes 3-5 years –it shows the trajectory of the combined effect of these projects
      • Vision: these big ideas about the future
    • Take ownership of your employee experience
      • don’t give this away to vendors, don’t let the vendors dictate what your employee experience should be
      • your needs are different from those of your vendors so if you are going to meet the unique needs of your employees you need to exert some control over the vendor offerings.
    • Establish Governance
      • Step Two provides an Intranet Operating Model
      • Governance is merely a means to an end
    • Take every (small) opportunity to improve your digital workplace and employee experience
      • but beware that every change has an inherent cost — it is disruptive, it asks for different processes or behaviors, etc.
      • Step Two provides a 6×2 methodology to help choose which changes are feasible and worth doing.
  • Dream Big, but iterate often!
Share

Transforming Portals into Digital Workspaces #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

Rebuilding aging portals is a daunting task. Years of accumulated knowledge and information are stored in portals that have become too big and too convoluted to function efficiently. The potential value of the information stored there is clear, but cleaning portals up and transforming them into a modern, flexible, and scalable digital workspace is no small feat. Our speakers discuss devising and executing a program to transform a dinosaur of a portal into an active hub of multilateral information exchange, describing how they did it and what they learned along the way. This includes the structured and patterned approach to redesign and rebuild the old portal in a systematic and predictable way; the role of internal social networks as tools for both communication and collaboration; the role of information items and contextual search as building blocks of information repositories; introducing the concepts of portal transformation to content owners who were initially resistant and functionally fixed; and selling the large information management project to C-level executives. Merck (known as MSD outside of the U.S. and Canada) is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop, and provide innovative products and services that save and improve lives around the world. Hear how it implemented a KM strategy for self-service that considered user experience-driven technology, as well as a change execution management methodology that included process, people, and content. Get tips and success factors on the case for change and the holistic solution for an IT self-service portal that included people, process, content, and technology components.

Speakers: 

  • Craig St. Clair, Principal Consultant, Enterprise Knowledge LLC
  • Cindy Larson, Director, Digital Channels and Platforms, Adient
  • Karen Romano, Associate Director, Knowledge Management, Merck
  • Charles Denecke, Director, Global Operations Management, Merck

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so 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.]

 

SESSION SLIDES:

Romano & Denecke – B101_Romano.docx
Romano & Denecke – B101_Romano.pptx
St._Clair & Larson – B101_St_Clair.pdf
St._Clair & Larson – B101_St_Clair(1).pdf

 

NOTES:

Adient

  • Cindy Larson:  They started with an old-fashioned portal site that they had rebranded after a mergers & acquisitions event(without changing the underlying functionality). So they were ripe for an upgrade. Their executives wanted something different, something new, something that users would truly miss if it went down.
  • Major Workstreams:
    • Productivity
    • Engagement
    • Collaboration
  • Constraints. They had to work incrementally. And they could not take the portal offline while doing the upgrade. It had to be fully functional during the transition.
  • Employee Communications. They expanded their Yammer use. In addition to existing peer-to-peer use, they now started using it for top-down corporate communications. To help identify corporate communications, they created a corporate “avatar” for the internal communications stream.
  • Content handling. They separated the all-company facing content from team content. Then they adjusted search scopes to ensure that the users got to the intended target quickly.
  • New Info Infrastructure
    • enterprise metadata and content types
    • common search facets
    • a patterned approach for interface and repository design
  • Prioritization Plan. They focused on content and processes in the following order
    • End-user value and importance
    • Relative size and complexity
    • Readiness of individual content owners
  • Repeatable Process. They created a process for tackling the huge amount of legacy content they had
    • Engage with content owners
    • Guide content owners through a cleanup of their legacy content
    • Extend the enterprise metadata and content types — but just as much as necessary
    • Extend the standard information  and document repositories
    • Migrate refreshed content
    • Build out contextual landing and search result pages
    • Launch and announce the newly transformed functional area
  • Marketing
    • they use internal social media announcements (via yammer and blog posts)
    • they talk up the changes in town halls and other meetings
  • To learn more about the Adient Portal effort: See the white paper that Cindy Larson and Craig St. Clair wrote

Merck: Self-Service for IT Support

  • Massive Support Requirements. The Global Support Center has close to 200,000 interactions with internal and external customers each month.
  • How they create content. They record support calls, capture the knowledge, and then use that knowledge to fill holes in their knowledge base.
  • Plan for change.
    • Stakeholder analysis
      • what behaviors do they need to learn?
      • what behaviors do they need to stop?
      • what behaviors do they need to continue?
    • Sponsorship requests — they were explicit about their asks. This clarified things for their sponsors and increased success.
    • Incent behaviors
    • Promote benefits
    • Measure effectiveness
      • They compared the results for Tier 0 (online self-service), Tier 1 (Helpdesk), and Tier 2 (specialized help)
      • They were looking for an increase in Tier 1 and a corresponding decline in Tier 1 requests
      • They use net promoter score to assess customer satisfaction
  • Marketing Plan
    • Digital
    • Signage
    • Onsite events
    • Having business leaders speak about the new service portal. “People don’t love the HelpDesk but they love the portal.”
  • Lessons Learned and What’s Next.
    • Before you start:
      • be prepared to demonstrate the business value of the proposed KM activities
      • strong sponsorship is a key enabler of change.
    • Plan for change — change is the hardest part of the process, not the new technology
    • Do extensive end-user interviews and testing. Then listen to them carefully to discern user requirements.
    • Forget about perfection. Use an agile approach: improve and iterate.
    • What’s next: keep track of progress and share results with sponsors (to maintain their commitment) and with users (to maintain their engagement).
Share

John Seely Brown Keynote: Knowledge Sharing in our Exponential World #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description: People & Tech — the Future of Knowledge Sharing

People are at the core of knowledge-sharing—the key to high functioning organizations. In John Seely Brown’s words, “We participate, therefore we are.” New and emerging technology can only enhance learning, sharing, and decision making to create successful organizations. Join our inspiring and knowledgeable speaker as he shares his view of the future of people and tech working together to share knowledge and create winning organizations.

Speaker: John Seely Brown, Director, Palo Alto Research Center

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so 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 live in an Exponential World.  We are experiencing an exponential curve along which roughly every 18 months we have something new we have to think about. And that new thing forces us to change our view of our current best practices.
  • Whitewater Rafting. Whitewater rafting is a good metaphor for this age. In this period of rapid shifts (every 18 months), we are constantly creating tacit knowledge but do not have enough time to distill that knowledge and make it explicit. This means that we have to acquire new skills rapidly. However, the half-life of our skills is about five years. So we can never rest.
  • Scalable Learning. In this age of exponential change, we don’t merely need scalable learning. We need scalable UNLEARNING. This is the ability to forget our old tacit knowledge (and the associated beliefs) in order to replace it with newer, more correct knowledge and skills. The challenge is that we are caught in our own Competency Trap: sticking with what we know/do best — even in the face of obvious and unavoidable change.
  • Unlearning is hard. Unlearning depends on being able to find and expunge our own tacit knowledge and beliefs. The challenge is that sometimes we are completely unaware of those beliefs — we don’t realize we have them.
  • Start by Getting out of your Comfort Zone. Jack Hidary has a helpful protocol: every year, he takes a few days to learn something completely outside his area of expertise: (1) Attend a conference and sit and listen to every session. (2) On day 2, do not attend any conference session. Instead, sit by the coffee pots and listen to how subject matter experts talk about the subject. They will be “shamanistic,” using lots of jargon. Notice what they take for granted, notice what they miss. (As an outsider and novice, you will see things they do not see.) (3) On day 3, go outside and think about what you have heard and observed. Then determine what is actionable and worth pursuing. Using this approach, he attended an energy conference, did a quick deep dive into this area of expertise, realized we needed to switch to hybrids. He took action by convincing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to convert some of its taxi fleet to hybrids. And he convinced President Obama to launch the Cash for Clunkers program.
  • Orchestrating Serendipity:
    • Choose serendipity environments
    • Develop Serendipity practices
    • Enhance Serendipity preparedness
  • Reverse Mentorship. Ths is a very practical and effective way to learn new skills
  • Institutional Innovations. How do we help our organizations think differently — not just use new tools?
    • Hackamonth — This is silo busting at Facebook. It’s a hackathon that lasts for 30 days to crack a problem. They do solve a lot of problems but, more importantly, they are building deeper communities of practice across the whole company.
    • Skadden Arps — they have implemented bi-directional learning opportunities by pairing young associates with senior partners. This work is facilitated: Peter Lesser (Skadden’s CEO) is the convener/moderator/translator.
  • New tools for empowering the edge.
    • cloud computing enables the edge to access all the power it needs without core approval
    • cloud enables nearly infinite scalability and reach, and enables new business models
    • social media amplifies engagement with external partners, customers and others in the core
    • bog data allows you to interpret weak signals
    • blockchain enables smart contracts with no overhead
  • Listening Tools. We also need tools that help us listen to each other better, interact with each other better.
  • Reality Mining. Sandy Pentland studies how to build great teams. He has learned that “patterns of communication are the most important predictor of a team’s success.” Just by listening to the intonation of the communications, the amount of information actually shared, the amount over-talk, Pentland’s group could separate the high-performing teams from the low-performing team.
  • Amplifying DevOps. DevOps creates a great deal of “digital dust.” Can we collect all these communications (across email, Slack, Jira, etc.) and mine them to improve our understanding? How would this then change the way we work?
  • What we Need for the Big Shift. The Big Shift calls for more than just scalable learning and unlearning. It calls for a new ontology  = a new way of being. This means blending in ourselves Homo Sapiens (man who thinks), Homo Faber (man who thinks) and Homo Ludens (man who plays). This playing isn’t just about recreation. It’s about “playing with” ideas and challenges in order to reach a breakthrough moment, an epiphany. Therefore, we need to learn how to do this type of play:
    • probing and pushing the boundaries
    • how to invent within a space of rules
    • deep tinkering
    • how we interrogate context is a form of “play” — like a detective who makes sense of the clues she reads in her environment.
  • Imagination is the Key. It is the way that we play, it is the way that we fuse or find an internal blend of knowing, making, and playing.
  • Our Symbiotic Relationship. When Big Blue defeated Gary Kasparov some thought it was the end of the ascendancy of humans. However, it also signaled an opportunity. Zack Stephens nd Steven Cramton were winners of the Freestyle Chess Tournament, which effectively is “a race with the machine” that is “a generative dance between us and the machine.” We need to look for opportunities for more generative dances.
  • What about IA? IA is Intelligent Augmentation. We can use intelligent augmentation to provide imagination (as the binding agent) with new properties.
    • Homo Faber + IA = digital assistants
    • Homo Ludens + IA = freestyle chess, Go masters
  • Networked Imagination: We need to create in each of us a product blend of human & machine. Then we need to figure out how to create distributed communities of practice that function as networked imagination.
  • CAUTION: “The real difficulty in changing any enterprise lies not in developing new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones. (John Maynard Keynes)
Share

Leadership Matters #ILTALead

Not a day goes by without yet another stark reminder that leadership matters. And, that good leadership is not as common as one might wish. For this reason, I am so grateful that the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) sets aside time and resources annually to develop leaders.

One of ILTA’s signature leadership programs is its Leadership NEW.0 conference. It is held every year in honor of the late Chief Warrant Officer 5 Sharon T. Swartworth, a beloved volunteer leader at ILTA. This conference brings together current and future leaders from law departments, law firms, and the US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

At this year’s conference, we will be looking at a model of leadership that does not seem prevalent but should be: servant leadership. Originally articulated by Robert Greenleaf in 1970, the principles of servant leadership are a vivid contrast to some of the selfish power grabs and lack of integrity we see too often across organizations and society. For Greenleaf, a servant leader is driven by a desire to serve the greater good. That drive causes the leader to focus on the development, growth, and health of that leader’s team.

In his preface to the 25th anniversary edition of Greenleaf’s book, Steven Covey makes some strong assertions about what is wrong with traditional approaches to leadership and why we need servant leadership:

A low-trust culture that is characterized by high-control management, political posturing, protectionism, cynicism, and internal competition and adversarialism simply cannot compete with the speed, quality, and innovation of those organizations around the world that do empower people. It may be possible to buy someone’s hand and back, but not their heart, mind, and spirit. And in the competitive reality of today’s global marketplace, it will be only those organizations whose people not only willingly volunteer their tremendous creative talent, commitment, and loyalty, but whose organizations align their structures, systems, and management style to support the empowerment of their people that will survive and thrive as market leaders.
…the old rules of traditional, hierarchical, high-external-control, top-down management are being dismantled: they simply aren’t working any longer. They are being replaced by a new form of ‘control’ that the chaos theory proponents call the ‘strange attractors’ — a sense of vision the people are drawn to, and united in, that enables them to be driven by motivation inside them toward achieving a common purpose. This has changed the role of manager from one who drives results and motivation from the outside in, to one who is a servant-leader — one who seeks to draw out, inspire, and develop the best and highest within people from the inside out. The leader does this by engaging the entire team or organization in a process that creates a shared vision, which inspires each person to stretch and reach deeper within himself or herself, and to use everyone’s unique talents in whatever way is necessary to independently and interdependently achieve that shared vision. [emphasis added]

If you are in the Chicago area on Thursday, November 2, I invite you to join us for a day of learning how you can become the kind of leader who draws out, inspires, and develops the best and highest within people from the inside out.

Share

ILTACON Video Killed the Radio Star

Video Killed the Radio Star

In 1978, Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes, and Bruce Woolley wrote a catchy earworm…ahem…jingle that focused on “promotion of technology while worrying about its effects” and “concerns about mixed attitudes towards 20th-century inventions and machines for the media arts.” (Wikipedia)

Doesn’t this sound remarkably contemporary?

The song’s video went on to become “the first music video shown on MTV in the United States at 12:01am on 1 August 1981, and the first video shown on MTV Classic in the United Kingdom on 1 March 2010.” (Wikipedia)

ILTACON Video

I really did intend to provide a recap of some ILTACON highlights as soon as I returned from Vegas. However, life intervened and I found myself on the road again. Therefore, I’ve decided to focus on some highlights that happened outside the formal ILTACON sessions but were captured by ILTACON TV. Thanks to the wonderful folks at ILTACON TV, I was able to have extended conversations with the conference’s keynote speakers: Pablos Holman, Brian Kuhn, and Shawnna Hoffman. All of the conversation ran overtime. However, we do have a bit of video to share with you now.

Below you’ll find my interviews of Pablos, Shawnna, and Brian. In addition, I’ve linked all the rest of my ILTACON blog posts so you have them in one place. Finally, I’m including a video of the infamous song that started this post. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be the original video but it certainly is enough to induce a bit of nostalgia among my more seasoned readers and, perhaps, introduce millennial readers to a classic.

Pablos Holman

 

 

IBM Watson Legal with Shawnna Hoffman and Brian Kuhn

 

A Roundup of my ILTACON 2017 blog posts

 

Video Killed the Radio Star (1979)

There you have it. And I bet you won’t be able to stop humming the song. <Sorry!>

While these ILTACON videos may not kill a radio star, they certainly have lots of interesting information for you to chew on over the long weekend. Hopefully, their lessons will endure nearly as well as the one cheesy song that started this post.

Have a great long weekend!

Share