Saturday, September 07, 2002

Article : Information Overload :
By Mignon Fogarty and Christine Bahls - "The common denominator: the difficulty, if not impossibility, of keeping pace with the overwhelming amount of scientific literature and mountains of new data released daily. Throw in more discoveries, more funding, more specialists, and you have more data, more print journals, more E-journals, more room to miss something, more room for mistakes. PubMed, the major literature database for biomedical researchers, adds about 40,000 new entries each month; the complete database (which dates to 1966) has nearly 12 million citations from more than 4,500 journals. Add GenBank, Swiss-Prot, and myriad other databases, and the list grows like kudzu. Factor in the enormous scientific community worldwide who speak in different tongues, who publish in those languages, and the problems with communication become frustratingly clear."
* NOTE: Free Registration is required to access content
* Go to Information Overload, published in the August 19th edition of The Scientist
Book (Forthcoming) : The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome - How Good Managers Cause Great People to Fail : "In this thoughtful examination of the downward spirals that employers and employees can fall into, management experts Manzoni and Barsoux consider some of the problems that cause a work relationship to end badly. The duo encourages bosses to look inward and examine their own behavior and its effect on subordinates, highlighting the stress of subtly creating a dynamic in which employees ‘start living down to expectations,’ among other negative situations. While work relationships are often highly complex and nuanced, the authors point out that in some instances, difficulties result from misunderstood behavior that becomes ‘self-fulfilling’ and ‘self-reinforcing,’ a dangerous circle. Manzoni and Barsoux show that highly successful workers generally belong to the ‘in-group,’ which boosts self-confidence and provides access to resources not available to those trapped in the ‘out-group.’ It comes as no surprise that many morale-lowering problems are avoidable and in some ways predictable, involving basic issues such as fairness, freedom and choice, and the difference between a boss asking rather than telling. And while the road to long-lasting behavioral change is long, it is a type of business investment that has ‘become a condition for survival in an increasingly demanding world.’ HR departments and bosses alike would be wise to consult this guide in an effort to build better work relationships, as its nitty-gritty explanations of the ‘set-up-to-fail syndrome’ will raise crucial self-awareness, a useful tool for everyone, regardless of position in the work food-chain. (Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.)"
* Go to this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo
Discussion Forum : Freedom of Expression in the Information Society : Beginning September 9th - "The forum is mainly aimed at specialists from public institutions, civil society and research, who are expected to provide intellectual input for the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action the World Summit will adopt in December 2003."
* Sessions include:
- I. New opportunities? - Cyberspace : a new space for the exercise of freedom of expression
- II. Obstacles to overcome? - The guarantee of freedom of expression respect and the promotion of its full exercise
- III. New standards to be defined? - To guarantee of the respect and protection of the all the values and rights of society in cyberspace"
* Go to Freedom of Expression in the Information Society, hosted by the Internet Rights Forum
Expert Panel : Are We Any Better at Managing People? : By Matthew Budman - "To get a sense of how much we've learned and how far we need to go, we went to a panel of experts-authors, executives, and consultants-and asked each of them: Has the attention paid to performance evaluations, feedback, rewards, SMART goals, and the like improved workers' feelings about their managers?; Do managers feel any more competent or, at least, better equipped for the tasks of people management?; If the problem is that managers-and their companies-have never taken people management seriously, how do you suggest changing their outlook?"
* Go to Are We Any Better at Managing People?, published in the Across the Board - a publication of the The Conference Board
eZine : ShelfLife : "a weekly executive news summary for information professionals worldwide … a free service of RLG [Research Libraries Group], the not-for-profit membership corporation of more than 160 universities, national libraries, archives, museums -- and other institutions with remarkable collections for research and learning. RLG was created in 1974 as the Research Libraries Group. ShelfLife provides context for RLG's major initiatives, which celebrate the power of knowledge to grow, to live, and to last."
* Go to ShelfLife

Friday, September 06, 2002

Book (Forthcoming and Companion Web Site) : The Deviant's Advantage - How Fringe Ideas Create Mass Markets :
By Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker; Published September 2002 - "Consultants (and ‘futurists’) Mathews and Wacker present a book about cashing in on weird ideas. Defining deviance as ‘something or someone operating in a defined measure away from the norm,’ the authors examine the transformation that takes fringe ideas-such as jazz, holistic medicine, and even personal computing-into mass markets. They use examples such as Virgin mogul Richard Branson (whom they call a ‘poster boy’ for deviance, because of his notion that everyday people should be able to have a lifestyle that would normally be closed to them) to show the process of taking a peripheral idea mainstream and applying it to one's business, even addressing the inevitable occurrence of the once-fringe idea becoming cliché. Although laden with trendy made-up words, e.g., ‘devox’ and ‘prescreen,’ Mathews's and Wacker's intriguing book is a fun mix of business savvy and social commentary that will surely appeal to the Fast Company crowd. - Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc."
* Go to companion web site - FirstMatter
* Go to this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo
Document : KM Quick : "is the genesis of an outline of knowledge management (KM) provided for KM practitioners in the Government. Practitioners in the private sector may also be interested in using it. Many individuals are expressing appreciation for a quick reference that lists various aspects of KM. Since KM touches numerous disciplines, professionals who provide KM expertise find themselves overwhelmed when implementing and integrating KM. Under these circumstances, KM Quick allows one to quickly scan for related KM subjects. The original editors have the expectation that KM Quick will be expanded and changed as others build upon it."
* Go to KM Quick (which downloads a 68-page, 406 KB Word document into your browser) - hosted on KM.gov (look under ‘New Documents’)
Ethics : Codes of Ethics Online - Index of Codes : "Following are the codes of ethics, organized by professional category … This site is under continual construction and updating as our library of codes expands."
* Codes are available for the following professional categories - Agriculture / Animal Breeding and Care / Arts / Business / Communications / Computing and Information Systems / Construction Trades / Education and Academia / Engineering / Finance / Fraternal and Social Organizations / Government and Military / Health Care / Industrial / Law and Legal / Management / Media / Other Professions / Real Estate / Religion / Service Organizations / Science / Sports and Athletics / Travel and Transportation
* Go to Codes of Ethics Online - Index of Codes, provided by the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at the Illinois Institute of Technology
Research Note : Australia's Growth Industries in the Age of the Knowledge Economy : Published August 27, 2002 - "Change is normal for an economy. The Australian economy is no exception. Over the last 100 years it has undergone many transformations in response to economic and technological developments. In 1901 agriculture was the most dominant sector. By the middle of the century manufacturing had become the dominant sector. Since the 1970s the Australian economy has evolved into one based on service with more than 70 percent of its wealth and jobs now falling into this sector … During the 1990s the world's leading economies started to undergo another transformation. The latest developments in advanced economies, like Australia, have seen the emergence of a phenomenon variously referred to as the 'new economy', 'knowledge economy' or 'information economy'. This is a change that has shifted resources into sectors of the economy that produce or use high technology goods. This includes high to medium technology manufacturing industries, and 'knowledge intensive' services such as finance, insurance, business services, communications, community, social and personal services that use this technology."
* Go to Australia's Growth Industries in the Age of the Knowledge Economy
Webinar (Upcoming) : Trade Your Volumes of Unstructured Data for Intelligent, Decision-driving Knowledge : Scheduled for Wednesday, October 23th, 2002 - 8:00 A.M. PST / 11:00 A.M. EST - "You are drowning in volumes of "unstructured" data. Word processing documents, Web pages, e-mail, presentations, and customer contact notes are streaming in from all directions. Yet, like most, you are probably using only a fraction of all the information available. That’s like driving a high-performance car without a steering wheel, brakes or even understanding the road signs. You need fast, precise access to your vital business information for competitive survival … Join us for an informative Web Seminar. You will hear from industry experts about the issues and requirements for managing, accessing and effectively using unstructured data to drive business decisions. Inxight Software will provide an overview of our latest enterprise solution that organizes and manages unstructured data for fast and precise delivery of vital business information to improve productivity and collaboration across your organization. And, you will learn how unstructured data is being integrated into real-world business processes."
* Go to Trade Your Volumes of Unstructured Data for Intelligent, Decision-driving Knowledge, hosted by Inxight
* While you are there, checkout the web seminar Archive, where you’ll find - "Overload" or "Under use"? Unlocking your treasure trove of information

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Article : Crucibles of Leadership :
By Warren G. Bennis and Robert J. Thomas - "What makes a great leader? Why do some people appear to know instinctively how to inspire employees--bringing out their confidence, loyalty, and dedication--whereas others flounder again and again? No simple formula can explain how great leaders come to be, but Bennis and Thomas believe it has something to do with the ways people handle adversity. The authors' recent research suggests that one of the most reliable indicators and predictors of true leadership is the ability to learn from even the most negative experiences. In interviewing more than 40 leaders in business and the public sector over the past 3 years, the authors discovered that all of them--young and old alike--had endured intense, often traumatic, experiences that transformed them and became the source of their distinctive leadership abilities. Bennis and Thomas call these shaping experiences ‘crucibles,’ after the vessels medieval alchemists used in their attempts to turn base metals into gold. For the interviewees, their crucibles were the points at which they were forced to question who they were and what was important to them. These experiences made them stronger and more confident and changed their sense of purpose in some fundamental way."
* Available by subscription or pay-per-view
* Go to Crucibles of Leadership, published in the September issue of the Harvard Business Review
Article : Why Change Efforts Fail :
By Bob J. Holder - "The landscape of organizational life suggests change has become a way of life. There are numerous sources. There is the emergence of new technologies. There is global competition. Values and lifestyles are continuously changing … Change has also changed. Change is continuous and discontinuous. Change is accelerating. Change is as rafting in white water. Change is rapid and complex … With the change in change, there have been numerous change and organizational improvement processes. There have been great successes. However, there have been countless failures. This has resulted in blaming and scapegoating. Executives are blamed. Consultants are scapegoated. Yet, executives and associates know that they must change. The question on their minds is, ‘How do we stop this from becoming another failed change effort?’ … It's difficult to know the reasons why people resist and why change fails. There can be numerous reasons. Resistance can be multi-dimensional. The reasons can be conscious and unconscious. The proposed cure for dealing with resistance may even poison the change process … This article presents a number of change failure themes. Their avoidance may serve to prevent an organization's change process from ending up in the ‘change effort graveyard’ …"
* Go to Why Change Efforts Fail, published in the September issue of The CEO Refresher
Briefings (Forthcoming, On-line) : Babson's Free Fall 2002 On-line Briefing Series : "This Fall Babson will deliver a series of virtual events aimed at providing you with a brief overview of the latest thinking on some of the most important topics in management today. Our series of one-hour online briefings will be interactive events that allow you to hear cutting-edge ideas and pose questions directly to our faculty. These briefings will provide a preview of the fuller material to be presented at Babson's Executive Seminars in October at Babson's Center for Executive Education … Using our learning platform you will experience a session that is rich with exchange as Babson faculty facilitate the sharing of insights and knowledge in a convenient and efficient manner."
* Sessions include:
- Corporate Entrepreneurship
- Leadership and Influence
- Forging and Managing Alliances
- Service Excellence
- Solutions Leadership For IT Professionals
* Go to Babson's Free Fall 2002 On-line Briefing Series
Conference Paper : Proposition of a Human-centred Solution Framework for KM in the Concurrent Enterprise :
By Michael Wunram, Frithjof Weber, Kulwant Pawar, and Abishek Gupta; June 2002 - "This paper proposes a human-centred solution framework for KM in the Concurrent Enterprise. The framework allows for the identification of key prerequisites and enablers for inter-organisational knowledge management. In the end the framework provides a theoretically based check-list to assess inter-organisational co-operations towards their knowledge management preconditions. Looking at knowledge as being something bound to individuals, the authors are convinced that knowledge itself cannot be managed unless the individual and his communication behaviour is put at the heart of the observations. Building on the concept of von Rosenstiel [v. Rosenstiel 2000] that describes the driving forces of human behaviour, examining the barriers related to knowledge management identified through interviews and questionnaires, and having made an extensive literature review the authors improve and further detail a model already presented by Wunram et al. in a former publication [Wunram et al. 2001]."
* Downloadable in Word and PDF format
* Go to Proposition of a Human-centred Solution Framework for KM in the Concurrent Enterprise
Interview : Up Close – Dr. Nick Bontis – World Class Thinker : By Susanne Hasulo - "At the young age of 33, Bontis has achieved guru status in the fields of intellectual capital, knowledge management and organizational learning. He's one of the first people in the world to have completed a Ph.D. in this area. As an assistant professor of strategic management at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, Bontis has helped to build the school's reputation as a leader in knowledge management education with last year's launch of Canada's first MBA minor program in KM. He's also the director of the Institute for Intellectual Capital Research, a strategic management consulting firm and research think tank that develops KM diagnostic tools for government and corporate clients … Bontis keeps his academic research current and relevant by maintaining close ties to the business world. He's the CKO of Knexa.com Enterprises, and is on the advisory board of several organizations, including BrassRing, an IT and healthcare recruiting firm … Bontis's work and reputation has also caught the attention of the United Nations, which recently selected him to be the chief researcher for the UN's new National Intellectual Capital Development Program. His research in the areas of knowledge flow and intellectual capital has been published in several journals. He's also gained a reputation as a dynamic lecturer who not only explains in an easy-to-understand manner what KM initiatives can do for one's organization, but makes the notion of implementing them doable and fun."
* Go to Up Close – Dr. Nick Bontis, published in the September/October 2002 edition of Information Highways Magazine

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Book (Forthcoming and Companion Web Site) : The Squirrel - The Seven Highest Value Forms of Organizational Storytelling : By Stephen Denning - "This book deals with leadership. It’s about how we can use the magic of narrative to lead from wherever we are and to handle the principal challenges facing all of us who want to do something constructive with our lives: how do you persuade people to change? / how do you get people working together? / how do you share knowledge? / how do you tame the grapevine? / how do you communicate who you are? / how do you transmit values? / how do you lead people into the future? / Whether you’re a manager in an organization or a concerned citizen or an anxious parent, these are among the most difficult – and significant– leadership issues that you have to grapple with. To deal with them, there are few, if any, other usable tools … Of the thousands of books that have been published on the subject of leadership, only a few have hinted at a connection between leadership and storytelling. But even those writers who made a beginning dealt with storytelling as a peripheral issue. None grasped the centrality of narrative to management and communication or systematically spelt out its multifaceted dimensions and methods."
* Download excerpts from each chapter (in PDF format)
* Go to The Squirrel
Discussion Paper : Measuring a Knowledge-based Economy and Society – An Australian Framework : Published August 28, 2002 - "Chapter 1 The importance of knowledge to economies and societies has been much debated in recent years. In particular, many commentators have linked an increasing level of knowledge in society with economic growth … Chapter 2 of the paper considers theoretical and empirical work relating to the role of knowledge in the economy and, to a lesser extent, society. It briefly examines economic theories of growth and social perspectives then goes on to describe empirical work in the field … Chapter 3 considers approaches to the measurement of a KBE/S. It discusses the need for a measurement framework, the type of framework and the appropriate approach. It lists examples of existing measurement frameworks and describes, in some detail, APEC and OECD work in this field … Chapter 4 generally describes the proposed framework, discusses its limitations and outlines the proposed framework dimensions and characteristics … Chapter 5 discusses the approach to choosing indicators then lists the statistical indicators included in the framework in their dimension-characteristic context … Finally, Chapter 6 discusses the user consultation process, the Web release of this paper, options for disseminating statistical information from the framework and related ABS work."
* Read the paper in your browser or download the 48-page, 199 KB PDF file
* Go to Measuring a Knowledge-based Economy and Society
* Source: Originally encountered on the act-km mail list
Interview : The Knowledge - Karl-Erik Sveiby : Posted September 2, 2002 - "Frequently described as one of the founding fathers of KM, Karl-Erik Sveiby’s involvement in the field stretches back almost 20 years. Simon Lelic talks to him about his personal reflections on how the discipline has evolved, and what the future has in store."
* Go to The Knowledge: Karl-Erik Sveiby
Project : Immortalizer Technologies Project : "Immortalizer Technologies are the big things that haven't been invented yet. In short, they're future inventions that will guarantee a permanent spot in the history books for whoever invents them. We're looking for new ‘unidentified’ Immortalizer Technologies. We currently have 120 on our watch list so far, but we need to expand that list. We think the list can eventually expand to over 500 listings … Here are some examples:
- Instant Sleep - People who need to finish an important project, but are beginning to get exhausted can just walk into the instant sleep chamber. In just a few seconds they can walk back out totally rejuvenated, ready to tackle their rest of their work.
- Controlling the Weather - Since the beginning of time, man has been fighting the forces of nature. Clothing protects us from the weather in a small way. Buildings protect us in a much larger way. But wouldn't it be nice to spot a hurricane when it first starts to develop, shoot a special wave into it, and just put it out.
- Creating the First Space Hotel - It may be the first floating Hilton with docking stations. And no, it won't have an 18 hole golf course. The first space hotel will signal a new era in space tourism and space commerce … Have an Immortalizer Technology Named After You … Our goal is to publish a book with a complete list (or as close as we can get) of all the Immortalizer Technologies. Because this is a proprietary list, we can't share with you all the items on the list just yet. However, any new listing that you come up with will have your name on it … We are looking for the truly unique and original ideas, the holy grails of the various technology industries. We're not looking for evolutionary improvements, like better brakes on cars. Rather, we're looking for the revolutionary ideas, the ones that even the science fiction writers may have missed … Think of it this way. When a young person is graduating from college and wants to determine their calling in life, they can simply page through the book on Immortalizer Technologies and select the one that best fits their talents and interests."
* Go to Immortalizer Technologies Project, sponsored by the DaVinci Institute
* Source: Originally encountered in the September 2002 issue of Futurist Update newsletter
(August edition currently online), published by the World Future Society
Quotient : The Innovation Factor - What's Your Innovation Quotient? :
"Are you innovative? Do you run your company in an innovative fashion? If you've read the first two special sections on innovation in Inc, then those are two questions you may have been asking yourself. The following quiz should help you find the answers. Some of the questions, we realize, will seem rangy and random. That's intentional. To design the quiz, we relied on a wide variety of information about innovative minds -- both in the business world and out of it. One source, for example, is a book called How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, by Michael J. Gelb. Another is the Tom Peters opus The Circle of Innovation. So buckle up, gentle reader, and get ready: you'll be able to calculate your innovation quotient in a matter of minutes. And if you wind up displeased with your score, don't worry. True innovators often don't do well on standardized tests."
* Go to The Innovation Factor - What's Your Innovation Quotient?, published in the September edition of Inc. Magazine
* While you are there, checkout these other innovation articles:
- Inside Innovative Minds
- Innovative Minds
- Your Brain on Innovation