Monday, December 15, 2008

Does the journey matter?

We now tend to work in an outcome focussed world.

'I don't care how you do it, just deliver the outcome.' or 'It's up to you how you do it.'are phrases that come to mind.

Now I'm all for the freedom to choose the best way to deliver. I'm a big fan of the term 'fit for purpose'.

But I think when faced with a choice, people will tend to choose the easy option.

Surely we learn most from the journey, not the destination.

So what if an instruction contained information about the sites to see on the trip as well as the destination?


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Personal versus professional social networks

It is amazing the number of social computing 'experts' there are out there. Takes of back to the days of search engine optimisation experts who just entered some meta tags on your pages and submitted the site to numerous search engines.

I don't claim to be am expert in this space but I don't think it takes much to learn what these tools do and what products are available.

So anyway. There have been a number of requests made in our organisation for up to have a presence on Facebook, a Ning group etc..

Reasons range from 'our competitors are doing it' to 'gen Y demands it' all of which are based on opinion not demand or benefit.

In some of the discussions I have had with people I have noticed a blurring of the lines between personal and professional social networking. There seems a belief that you can use any social networking solution to cater for professional networking groups.

[getting up on soap box] I am of a mind that there does need to be a seperation of powers when it comes to personal and professional life. Yes there will be a few bridging relationships where you work with a friend or a collegue becomes a friend.

Maybe other people are more open to sharing and the lines between professional and personal are blurred.

I start having issues when you want to put a professional group on a personal networking site. Some have heard of the work the Deloitte have done in utilising Facebook as a professional networking tool. This has been done with the main proviso that the profile that staff use is a professional one. This does not preclude them from having a personal one but the professional one is the one that gets connected to the group.

When someone comes to me and says 'we need to be on facebook' I congratulate them for making such a decision and then try and work out exactly it is they are trying to achieve. Assumptions get made. People have only heard of Facebook so they believe that is what must be used.

Personally, I am a big fan of LinkedIn for professional networking. Now that they have provided more social computing tools (group discussions etc..) it is evolving into the professional networking tool of choice. I also maintain a profile on Plaxo (glorified address book) to pick up other people in my network who are not on LinkedIn. I also have one on Xing but nothing seems to be happening there. I belong to several Google Groups (preferred) and Yahoo Groups. I share my travel on dopplr, photos on flickr, slides on slideshare. I have my personal network on Facebook. Oh... and I blog here (when I can), tweet here and also on Yammer.



Monday, December 01, 2008

Open Source KM

aka: Practicing what we preach.

When I first got interested in knowledge management (2002) I did a bit of research on the internet looking for methods, frameworks, theories and tools (some call them 'recipes'). What I ran into was a lot of "We have what you are looking for and are more than happy to do it for you for $X,XXX an hour/day."

Now obviously there is the need for people to have a career and be paid for their services. But having come from a computer technology background I understood that knowledge could be openly shared and people could still get paid (a lot).

So after becoming aware of the the Cynefin and Cog Edge work and this being published under creative commons instead of copyright, I held a hope that there are KM people that actually practice what they preach. That is openly share what we know.

Now you may of may not agree with me but the way I see it is Dave and his posse have been developing techniques in the sensemaking space and improving on them.

So why can't we do this with other aspects of sharing and using knowledge. Yes I'm aware of issues of IP and alike but I don't see these raised in the forums we participate in both face-to-face and virtually.

So what if this was harnessed? There are a 1,001 ways to do it. What if we took what we try to do (successfully or otherwise) either at work or with our clients everyday, and proved that it can work in our own discipline? 

There are fragments all over the place. In forums, books, blogs, white papers, articles, video, audio and of course in people. What if we did the unthinkable and all contributed to knowledge technology (this is using technology in it's original form talking about knowledge of a technique)? How can we provide people with a map of what knowledge management could be? A body of knowledge.

I don't even want to talk about computer technology (yet). 

I don't want to go near the IM/KM debate because it is not a debate. It is merely different perspectives. Though they may be different, they are still valid.

I am keen to here you thoughts on the validity of such an endeavor.