Saturday, September 29, 2007

A capital idea

This week saw me start a new role, be offered another role and be invited to participate in some psychometric testing for yet another role. When it rains it pours.

But aside from that, I took some time out of a busy schedule to have hot chocolate (don't drink coffee) and some stimulating conversation with other Brisbane based KM practitioners at the KM over Coffee event that the QKM Forum has once a month.

After introductions and some initial discussion I raised a perception I have of how companies measure their performance. I drew the following diagram on a piece of paper.

It seems at the moment that everything is brought back to dollar amounts. Activities or programs undertaken in organisations that have a human capital or intellectual capital focus seem to have their performance measured financially. How much did we make? How much did we save? Did it effect the share price? What is the financial value/benefit?

I can understand why this is the case. It happens that financial performance is one of the very few performance indicators that transcends industries, geographies and scale. Profit, share price, assets, liabilities. All are measured in dollar amounts. It creeps into the knowledge management space because you find you have to talk in these terms to make sense or get the attention you require.

Example - Lessons Learned
How many times have we seen reusing knowledge/experience from previous activities expressed in terms of "We saved $X million", "We reduced our costs by half", "Our income increased by $Y".
Now I know a number of people have been trying to get organisations to adopt metrics for human capital, intellectual capital and other areas, that are not converted to financial terms. But there is a long road ahead to get them to any sort of level that has them even appearing in Annual Reports.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Something different

From Monday I start a 3 month stint with Suncorp's Leadership & Organisational Development team. in the People & Performance (HR) Division.

The role - People & Performance Adviser.

The responsibilities - Working on the Culture & Change Stream of the Integration Program facilitating the merger of Suncorp and Promina.

The biggest challenge is going to be managing the change in over a dozen organisations across the Suncorp Group in Australia and New Zealand.

The diversity is both exciting and ominous. Lets see how we go.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Misunderstanding Information Management

As part of a recent organisational restructure I noticed the naming of a unit called Group Information Management.

Was this the answer to the questions I had been asking a number of people as to how we are managing information, records, files, content? Would they be able to provide me with the skills and advice I needed in developing taxonomies, information pathways, navigation structures and metadata?

The short answer is no.

Upon further inspection I discovered that this is the team that was previously named Management Information Services and they provide a number of services including data warehousing, data analysis, report generation and trend analysis.

How is it so easy to confuse Information Management with Business Intelligence?

How hard does this now make it to find the people who will provide standards for information governance, when there is already a unit called Group Information Management, who don't necessarily manage information?

Has anyone else come across similar issues?



Sunday, September 09, 2007

Making Decisions

On Friday a colleague and I delivered a workshop for our staff on making decisions.

We took people through a few approaches, frameworks and tools around decision making including Six Thinking Hats, our internal Design approach, SCAMPER, Force Field Analysis and a few others.

We had a good conversation around approaches to decision making and mainly talked about:

  • Autocratic
  • Democratic
  • Participative
  • Consensus.

The main discussion was around saying that despite the fact we may have a default approach, at any time people will use all of these approaches to achieve the desired outcomes.

Dave Snowden of Cognitive Edge is about to have a co-written article published that he has written about on his blog, about different management styles that are more successful than others in simple, complicated, complex and chaotic environments (Cynefin Framework).

I suppose it's up to people to be aware of alternative approaches and also to be self aware of the situations they find themselves in. All too often people just do things that have worked for them in the past with very mixed results.

The number of times I have heard people at conferences saying that if people just follow a simple process or do things the same way it will guarantee success starts to grate on my nerves. This may be right in some cases but definitely not when you are playing in complex space.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Blogging Conference Blog


Just caught wind of the this event happening in Brisbane. Could be quite interesting.

There is also an event space on Facebook.