Following the Curve: A Change Management Strategy for the Digital Workplace #KMWorld

KMWorld 2013Speakers: Monica Wiant, VP & Director of Internal Communications, U.S. Bank and Robert Peery, Director, Product Management, Moxie Software

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2013 Conference. 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.]

Session Description: This session looks at different strategies for dealing with people at different points along the adoption path. Change management is one of the biggest challenges of rolling out an enterprise social network. Wiant shares the story of how U.S. Bank followed the natural curve of adoption to communicate and drive adoption of its internal social network, US Book. She discusses how they overcame challenges including training, employee involvement, and resistance from social media skeptics. Enterprise social networks and online communities have become critical components of the digital transformation revolution, and it is nowhere more visible today than in collaborative Knowledge — the next generation of knowledge management. Peery shares case studies of organizations which focus on capturing collective knowledge, putting it into context and validating the right answer basically connecting the person asking a question with the person who has the answer.


  • Innovation Adoption Lifecycle: When you track the adoption of new technology, it ranges from Innovators > Early Adopters > Early Majority > Late Majority > Laggards.  Innovators jump in for the sheer fun of it. Laggard adopt new technology only when they have no other choice.
  • The Marketing Message Follows the Curve:
    • Innovators want to hear: “Something exciting is about to happen. We need your ideas.”
    • Early Adopters: “This is cool. So are you. Check out.”
    • Early Majority: “You can do valuable things with this new tool.”
    •  “Did you hear what your co-worker did with the tool?”
    • You make everyday work easier.”
    • This is safe, friendly and easy to use.”
    • You’re missing out.”
    • Laggards: You have no other choice.”
  • Usability: Innovators are more interested in the “cool factor” than in usability. For people futher along the curve, usability is critical. It needs to be easy and intuitive for them — which may be something more than what you find easy and intuitive.
  • Training: With tech savvy people, don’t talk down to them. With Laggards, you need to provide hands-on training and support.
  • Communications Should Take the Layer Cake Approach: With each piece of messaging, make sure there is something for everyone — regardless of where they sit on the adoption curve. With Laggards, don’t take it personally when they don’t want to hear what you are saying.
  • Challenges of following the curve:
    • audience segmentation
    • because there is no big formal launch, people may not be aware the tool exists
    • change moves at the pace of poeple
  • Benefits of following the curve:
    • do more with less by empowering evangelists
    • influence hearts and minds — not just behaviors
  • Organic Structures are Stronger than Artificial Ones: A spider web as thick as a kevlar vest could stop a 747.


Bob Peery: Key Trends in Knowledge Management Technology

  • The resurgence of knowledge — there is a new understanding that most powerful knowledge is knowledge shared
  • Multi-channel ways of distributing/consuming knowledge — you need to meet your customer in many more places now
  • Dynamic service — requires more knowledge provided in more diverse ways
  • We build barriers to good KM
    • organizations block access to subject matter experts
    • organizations don’t always realize the relevant subject matter expert is outside the company — and may even be a customer
  • When is technology right?
    • when the information and system are equally accessible inside and outside the organization (anywhere, any time, on any device)
  • What’s on the horizon?
    • Presence
    • Dynamic Expertise
    • Recommendation engine
    • Usage in context
    • Structure when needed

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