Saturday, September 14, 2002

Article : How to Improve Learning Outcomes : By Cheryl Flagler; Published September 12, 2002 - "In order for the full impact of e-learning to be realized, we must establish the way in which learners digest information through this relatively new medium. Is the traditional process-oriented way of thinking in a classroom setting the best way to learn in an online environment? I would suggest this leads to a broader question: What skills do learners need to be most effective in an electronic learning environment? … What competencies do developers need to be cognizant of so they can provide users of online materials with an optimal learning advantage? Developers have the most influence on the learners’ success through the learning environment they provide them. This environment must take into account self-directive skills that are intrinsic to the learner, including motivation, self reliance, self confidence, and risk tolerance."
* Go to How to Improve Learning Outcomes, published by e-Learning
Book : The Sixth Sense - Accelerating Organisational Learning with Scenarios : By Kees Van Der Heijden, Ron Bradfield, George Burt, George Cairns, Kees A. Van Der Heijden; Published September 2002 - "In this follow-up to his successful book Scenarios, van der Heijden helps managers move beyond the idea that the future of business will resemble the past and allows them to use scenarios to imagine multiple perspectives, leading to more creative and efficient ways to overcome common problems. Suitable for managers of any sized group, The Sixth Sense offers a new way to broaden the horizons of managerial thinking and reach new heights of business success.”
* Table of Content – 1 Preparing for the Future / 2 How Managers Think About the Future / 3 How Organizations Think About the Future / 4 The Impact of Culture and Cultural Assumptions on Strategy / 5 Shaping the Future: The Emergence of Modern Scenario Techniques / 6 Developing the Skills for Long-Term Survival and Success: Principles of the Scenario Process / 7 Scenario Planning in the Organizational Context / 8 Scenario Planning: Taking Charge of the Future
* Go to this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo
Organization : Great Place to Work® Institute : "For more than 20 years the Great Place to Work® Institute has: Advanced the knowledge of what makes a great place to work; Recognized the best companies to work for in the U.S. and around the world; Helped numerous companies transform their workplaces … We help companies improve corporate performance and raise the quality of work life for their employees. Our extensive research and experience in this area has confirmed our definition of a Great Place To Work® as one where … You TRUST the people you work for, … have PRIDE in what you do … and ENJOY the people you work with … This definition is embodied in the framework of the Great Place To Work® Model© which is the foundation for all our work … Leaders of great work places and independent financial analysts alike acknowledge the many business benefits associated with becoming and sustaining a great place to work®. Among these benefits are significant competitive advantages including higher productivity, greater retention and increased innovation and creativity … Each year the Institute works with Fortune Magazine and several other publications throughout the world to select "Best Companies to Work For" lists … Our employee centered approach, vast research on workplace cultures, extensive database of best people practices, and underlying Great Place to Work® Model©, all serve as the basis for design and delivery of our services."
* Go to the Great Place to Work® Institute
Report : The Future is in Knowledge and Competence – Technology Strategy – A Review of Choices : Published June 2002 - "In international comparisons, Finland is at the cutting edge in terms of competitiveness. Finland is recognised as one of the high-tech centres of the world and has become one of the leading countries in the development and use of mobile communication, Internet and digital communication – the country is thus an excellent example of the information society … Finland is a forerunner in many other technologies as well. The forest and metal clusters have been main forces in the Finnish economy for decades, and the forest industry has traditionally been a technology leader globally. In biotechnology, Finland is at the top of the world in many research sectors, and business activities in this field are increasing. Finland offers also a competitive innovation environment for foreign companies … Finland has succeeded in combining the application of technologies, welfare, sustainable development and continuous renewal."
* Downloadable as a 32-page, 629 KB PDF file
* Go to The Future is in Knowledge and Competence (located at the bottom of the page), published by Tekes
Working Paper : WP 7/2002 - Creative Knowledge Environments in the Innovative System : By Sven Hemlin; Published February 2002 - "This paper summarises a grant proposal to the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) … The aim of this research project is to increase our understanding for factors that are crucial for creative working processes and innovative results in knowledge organisations. Its objective is to make a contribution to the construction of a model, which describes how to increase creativity with work teams in knowledge organisations. The reason to pursue this project is first that knowledge workers are key-persons in the innovation system, and second that we know surprisingly little about what is important for knowledge workers to develop creative processes … This research is based on two assumptions. One is that innovations are based on creative processes. Another is that social scientists argue that we now have a society, which can be seen as a knowledge and network society."
* Downloadable as a 14-page, 254 KB PDF file
* Go to Creative Knowledge Environments in the Innovative System, published by REMAP - “a research partnership between Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP, Copenhagen Business School), Danish Institute for Studies in Research and Research Policy (AFSK), RISØ National Laboratory and six research based Danish companies.”
* You may also be interested in:
- WP 10/2001 - Dealing with Knowledge Sharing Hostility - Snejina Michailova & Kenneth Husted
- WP 14/2001 - Knowledge Assessment in the Agora - Frode Frederiksen, Finn Hansson & Søren Barlebo Wenneberg
* Source: Originally encountered on the excited utterances weblog

Friday, September 13, 2002

Article : Everything Is Obsolete Except Ideas : By Matthew Herper - "What does it mean for a technology to become obsolete? Are there devices that cannot be improved upon? Maybe. But, increasingly, it seems that even the most mundane tools, such as hammers and table forks, have been as subject to the constant churn of innovation as bleeding-edge computer algorithms and genetic engineering … Everyday items, it turns out, are not immune to innovation. Forks, hammers and nails have suffered through a lot of redesign. In his book The Evolution of Useful Things, Duke University engineering professor Henry Petroski tracks the development of everyday items and finds the fork has had a long and varied history, only settling into its current, four-pronged design in the past 200 years. There are hundreds of different types of hammers and numerous nails, each of which could be argued to be, in its way, an innovation."
* Go to Everything Is Obsolete Except Ideas, published in the September edition of Forbes
Book : Building the Knowledge Management Network - Best Practices, Tools, and Techniques for Putting Conversation to Work : By Cliff Figallo and Nancy Rhine; Published August 2002 - "A complete set of best practices, tools, and techniques for turning conversations into a rich source of business information … Many organizations are now recognizing that the untapped knowledge of their members can be used to benefit every aspect of their business, from making smarter and faster decisions to improving products and efficiency. This book offers a clear-cut road map for building a successful knowledge management system to capture and fully exploit the knowledge exchanged in conversations … Written by two of the foremost experts in online communities, this book covers a set of best practices, tools, and techniques for using conversation and online interaction to provide affordable and effective knowledge-based benefits and solutions. With a unique and invaluable perspective, the authors offer guidance for collecting, capturing, and cataloging knowledge so that it can be used to improve efficiency and reduce costs in areas ranging from internal procedures through customer relations and product development … This book provides step-by-step solutions for developing an effective knowledge network, including how to: Formulate strategies and create action plans Select the right tools for peer-to-peer networks, interactive communities, and events Work with legacy systems Train staff and stimulate participation Improve productivity and measurement criteria … The companion Web site contains templates, checklists, a discussion board, and links to software."
* Go to this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo
Report : EU Policies for Innovation and Knowledge Diffusion - First Report :
By P. Bianchi, R. Iorio, S. Labory and N. Malagoli; Published April 2002 - "A team from the University of Ferrara report that EU policy-formation is hampered by lack of understanding of intangibles … We outline the fundamental trade-off of RTD policy, namely providing incentives to innovate, which requires the appropriation of the returns to innovation, and ensuring the diffusion of knowledge, which is larger, the less knowledge is appropriable. Traditional policies assumed that knowledge could be reduced to information, that is, codified knowledge. The result was that diffusion was not a problem and policy could focus on providing the incentives to innovate, via subsidies, a property right system, and so on. Recent developments in economics have stressed however that knowledge is not composed of information only; it also comprises tacit knowledge, that is, know-how, competence. The latter kind of knowledge is not easily transmissible, essentially because its acquisition requires to incur learning costs (trying out, observing, adapting the existing knowledge base, etc.). Such literature has contributed to a shift in emphasis of policy, from one side of the trade-off to the other, namely from the focus on incentives to innovate to a focus on diffusion. The main idea of policy is now to create an environment favourable to innovation and knowledge diffusion. For this purpose, networks should be developed within the economy: in particular the relationships between firms and universities or other knowledge institutions have to be intensified … while the shift in emphasis has helped point to some previously neglected problems in innovative activities, it has also led to a lack of precise policy recommendation. It seems that all actions that favour relationships have to be adopted; networks have to be developed but the adequate type, size and institutional context of networks does not appear to be much discussed. In addition, the motivation for agents to take part in networks seem to be neglected, while this is essential for such networks to be created in the first place. In other words, the incentives to take part in innovative activities, and in particular the possibility to appropriate some of the returns from the innovation arising in the network, have to be specified … We think that the consideration of intangible assets brings new insights into the debate. The third section of the report discusses the nature and effects of intangibles, and show that they might be the key determinants of the nature of the networks most appropriate to innovation and knowledge diffusion. We point to the issues that will be analysed in more depth in the next stages of this research project and that will lead to some precise policy recommendations on such networks; in particular, on the role of innovative SME clusters relative to networks dominated by large firms; and on the distribution of property rights (between the various economic agents involved in innovative activities, and the public and the private sector in particular) that provide the right incentives to innovate while not precluding the diffusion of technological knowledge."
* Downloadable as a 37-page, 129 KB PDF file (PRISM Reports section)
* Go to EU Policies for Innovation and Knowledge Diffusion - First Report, published by PRISM – “a multi-disciplinary European initiative aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding the management and measurement of intangibles in the modern economy”
Webinar (Upcoming) : The Future of Learning, Technology, and Human Capital - New Process Models for Enhanced Productivity : To be held Thursday, November 7, 9:00-10:00am Pacific Time; Presented by Wayne Hodgins - Strategic Futurist, Director of Worldwide Learning Strategies, Autodesk Inc. - "For many organizations, the value proposition of investments in people and technology is typically improved performance and productivity. In the first phase of technology, this most often means automating known existing processes. Today, however, having largely finished the codification of the known processes with such tool sets as databases, word processors, computer aided design, or accounting, there is a growing sense that productivity is not to be found in technology's 'next big release'. Instead, according to Wayne Hodgins, future productivity gains will come from our discovery and invention of whole new processes and models - to which technology will be applied so they too are automated and become part of the 'system' or infrastructure. Herein lies the future of learning as well. Please join us to explore, challenge and expand on these provocative issues and ideas."
* Go to The Future of Learning, Technology, and Human Capital, sponsored by Saba

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Article : Knowledge Management - The Road Ahead for Success : By Hemamalini Suresh - "The new millennium is in the midst of explosive change witnessing intense competition amongst the domestic as well as the international players. Little wonder then, knowledge management is fast emerging as a core strategy, that organizations worldwide are adopting to manage and leverage organizational knowledge, for sustainable business advantage. In this world of rapid change, we have to create new knowledge and ideas constantly. We get that by looking at what we know, and applying it to what we do not yet know … The changes taking place in the world economy have made knowledge management a business necessity, at least for large multinationals that operate on a global scale, or hope to. Managing your company's knowledge more effectively and exploiting it in the marketplace is the latest pursuit of those seeking competitive advantage … The organizations that are driven by knowledge are the ones that will succeed. The combination of global reach and speed compels organizations to ask themselves, “What do we know, who knows it, what do we not know that we should know?” … This paper describes in a nutshell, that the organizations can attain maturity in KM only through healthy coexistence of technology, processes and people."
* Downloadable as a 12-page, 233 KB PDF file
* Go to Knowledge Management - The Road Ahead for Success
Article : The Essence of Business Agility : By C.K. Prahalad, M.S. Krishnan, and Venkat Ramaswamy - "Looking at the line manager as a consumer of business technology will yield a nimbler company … It's true that companies have to be agile to compete effectively. Implicitly, agility is about improving the cycle time for managerial action. But why has this capability suddenly become more important than in previous years? Consider the traditional alternative: Often, managerial procrastination has led to additional capital spent and missed opportunities. For example, if managers can't react expeditiously to sales declines and continue to produce to forecasted numbers, the result is an inventory buildup. Or, if managers can't scale fast enough, the result is lost sales."
* For a more detailed treatment of this material, download ‘Manager as Consumer - The Essence of Agility’ (link posted at the end of the article)
* Go to The Essence of Business Agility, published in the September issue of Optimize Magazine
Book (Forthcoming) : Leveraging Communities of Practice for Strategic Advantage : By Hubert Saint-Onge and Debra Wallace; Publication expected October 2002 - "combines theory and practice to outline a model for developing successful communities of practice and proposes a direction for establishing communities of practice as an integral part of the organizational structure. Saint-Onge and Wallace relate what worked, what didn’t, and why as they tell the story from inception through implementation to assessment. Whether you’re developing communities of practice or want to learn how to leverage existing communities for strategic gain, this book provides you with everything you need to launch successful communities of practice in your organization."
* Table of Contents – Introduction / Setting the context for communities of practice: Increasing capabilities in the knowledge-driven organization / Communities of practice: high-trust vessels for increasing capabilities / Situating communities of practice in a strategic context / A Blueprint for Building Communities of Practice / Building communities of practice as a strategic tool: The community development process model / Phase I: community design and launch / Phase II: community implementation and growth / Establishing community value: measurement and reflection / Creating communities: a course of action / Community design and launch: illustration of activities / Community implementation and growth: illustration of activities / Communities as catalysts for change / Appendix: Community development: quick-start toolkit
* Go to this book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Report (Final) : Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy : Report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights; Published September 2002 - "Our tasks were to consider: how national IPR regimes could best be designed to benefit developing countries within the context of international agreements, including TRIPS; how the international framework of rules and agreements might be improved and developed – for instance in the area of traditional knowledge – and the relationship between IPR rules and regimes covering access to genetic resources; the broader policy framework needed to complement intellectual property regimes including for instance controlling anti-competitive practices through competition policy and law … Although appointed by the British Government, we have been given absolute freedom to set our own agenda, devise our own programme of work, and come to our own conclusions and recommendations."
* Chapters include: 1. Technology and Development / 2. Health / 3. Agriculture and Genetic Resources / 4. Traditional Knowledge / 5. Copyright, Software and the Internet / 6. Patent Reform / 7. Institutional Capacity Issues / 8. The International Architecture
* Read the report in your browser or download individual chapters in Word of PDF formats
* Go to Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy
* You may also be interest in associated Conference Minutes, Study Papers, Workshops Background Documents & Transcripts
Report (Special) : Futurology – The World in 2012 : - "Gazing into the future of politics, economics, cyberspace & Society"
* Content is organized into the following sections:
- WORLD (Special Report: Futurology, The Power of Europe, The Dole Loses Its Job, Life In 2012: Capitalism Reconsidered, War Zones Of 2012, Rebel Rich, Storm Clouds, and Peace Be Upon Us)
- SOCIETY (Young at Heart, Life In 2012: The Green Airport, Death of the Male, Future Imperfect, and Land of the Future)
- INTERNET (Life in the Grid, Crime Online, What's in after greed?, and Life in 2012: The Next Ice Age)
- SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Mad Science, Me-Too Medicine, Life in 2012: Goodbye, Cousin, and The Real Star Wars)
* Go to Futurology – The World in 2012, published September 2002 by Newsweek in collaboration with the World Economic Forum

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Article : A Stages of Growth Model for Knowledge Management Technology in Law Firms : By Petter Gottschalk - "A law firm can be understood as a social community specialising in the speed and efficiency in the creation and transfer of legal knowledge. Knowledge management was introduced to law firms to help them to create, share, and use knowledge more effectively. Information technology can play an important role in successful knowledge management initiatives. In this paper, information technology support for knowledge management is linked to stages of growth. A Stages of Growth model is proposed consisting of four stages. The first stage is end user tools that are made available to knowledge workers, the second stage is information about who knows, the third stage is information from knowledge workers, and the final stage is information systems solving knowledge problems."
* Go to A Stages of Growth Model for Knowledge Management Technology in Law Firms, published in Issue 2 – 2002 of the Journal of Information, Law & Technology - which contains other KM-related entries
* Source: Originally encountered on the excited utterances weblog

Article : Knowledge Partnerships for a Sustainable, Equitable, and Stable Society : Malone, Thomas F. and Gary W. Yohe. 2002 (forthcoming). Journal of Knowledge Management 6(4). - "Continued exponential and asymmetrical growth in both population and individual economic productivity would propel world society along a path that is environmentally unsustainable, economically inequitable, and hence socially unstable. Terrorist activity in September 2001 may be vivid evidence of that instability. Revolutionary developments in communications technologies can, however, enable partnerships among scholarly disciplines and among societal institutions to harness rapidly expanding human knowledge (broadly construed) to pursue goals in both population and individual economic productivity that would lead to a sustainable, equitable, and stable world society. Such a knowledge-based strategy could enable us to pursue the vision of a global society in which all of the basic human needs and an equitable share of human wants can be met by successive generations while maintaining a healthy, physically attractive, and biologically productive environment. Several scenarios are presented to illustrate the promise of cooperative efforts to pursue this vision, and to highlight some obstacles to that pursuit."
* Go to Knowledge Partnerships for a Sustainable, Equitable, and Stable Society
Article : The Social Life of Legal Information – First Impressions :
By Paul Duguid - "law schools, libraries, and universities are complex systems, not simply information containers and conduits. We should not expect such complex systems to change as a single unit. Then, to explain some of the university's complexity, I introduce a theory of learning - one which seems particularly congenial to legal education. I also point to some of the problems inherent in acquiring knowledge commercially. I use these arguments to explain why legal education might lag behind most other schools on a university campus in responding to digital technologies. And finally I suggest what law schools might learn from their libraries. For while law schools lag their campus peers, law libraries are in significant ways ahead of theirs."
* Go to The Social Life of Legal Information – First Impressions, published in the September edition of First Monday
* NOTE 1: Paul Duguid is the co-author (with John Seely Brown) of the widely acclaimed ‘The Social Life of Information
* NOTE 2: You may also be interested in The Network Society: A Shift in Cognitive Ecologies?
Award : The European E-City Award : "is the first European Benchmark Study, in which 130 European cities are being evaluated. The Cities` Internet portals were thereby strictly analysed from the view of the different user groups (citizens, tourists, companies) … As an aspiring technology location, Vienna annually stage-manages this European competition for the best internet city-portal. The climax of the competition was the presentation of the overall winner in the ball room of the City Hall of Vienna on 5th September within the framework of the awarding of all the prizes … The analysis on which the ECC-Award is based was carried through by Eckart & Partner Consulting, Munich, in cooperation with the Institute of Marketing (Prof. Dr. Anton Meyer) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. The evaluation of the portals is being carried through by operationalised, verifiable, and internationally comparable criteria."
* Go to The European E-City Award
* Source: Originally encountered on the VoxPolitics weblog
Working Paper : The New Operational Dynamics of Business Ecosystems - Implications for Policy, Operations and Technology Strategy : By Marco Iansiti and Roy Levien; Published August 2002 - "Many industries today behave like a massively interconnected network of organizations, technologies, consumers and products. Perhaps the most dramatic and widely known example is the computing industry. In contrast with the vertically integrated environment of the 1960s and 1970s, today’s industry is divided into a large number of segments producing specialized products, technologies and services. The degree of interaction between firms in the industry is truly astounding, with hundreds of organizations frequently involved in the design, production, distribution, or implementation of even a single product. And because of this increasingly distributed industry structure, the focus of competition is shifting away from the management of internal resources, to the management and influence of assets that are outside the direct ownership and control of the firm. This shift has very significant implications for both academics and practitioners and requires an evolution in our approach to industrial organization, technology management and operations strategy, since these theories were primarily developed and tested in traditional environments … The implications for managers are important. In networked industrial environments like the computer industry, the performance of any organization is driven in large part by the characteristics and structure of the network, which influence the combined behavior of its many partners, competitors and customers. This makes an enormous difference in both strategy and operations. As we saw with dramatic effect in the case of the recent .com and telecom implosions, strong, capable firms like Cisco Systems and Yahoo! suffered sudden and dramatic losses when their massive network of partners and customers faltered. Could Cisco and Yahoo! have prevented these problems? Did their behavior in previous years do anything to cause them? How should their technology and operations strategies evolve in the future to help their business networks remain healthy? Are there ways in which leading firms can encourage innovation and productivity in their networks? And how should some of the less prominent firms focus their capabilities in the future, given these complex dynamics? In order to answer these types of questions, we need a better way to understand the complex operational dynamics of highly interconnected networks of organizations, or ‘business ecosystems’ … The dynamics of innovation and operations in highly interconnected organizational networks also have very significant implications for policy. One need only think of the recent Microsoft anti-trust trial, where the arguments around the evaluation of remedies were often hampered by the lack of established theories and frameworks with which to evaluate the role and value of central platforms like those provided by Microsoft, or the potential damages to the broader business ecosystem caused by remedies that might render the same platforms unstable. Other policy implications include the debates around public policy support for distributed, networked initiatives like Open Source or ‘free’ software, or for current legislation around the best way to leverage, protect and distribute intellectual property in a networked environment … The operational dynamics of network industries therefore have very significant implications for managers, academics and policymakers, in fields ranging from product design to antitrust law. In this paper, we introduce a framework for understanding the implications for the management of innovation and operations in business ecosystems … We draw heavily from the fields of complexity theory and especially evolutionary biology, which provide a motivating framework and a source of inspiration for understanding the behavior of large, loosely-connected networks. We combine these insights with the research tradition in the fields of operations and technology strategy to synthesize the initial stages of a theory for analyzing operations and innovation in business ecosystems. We first focus on the broad operational characteristics of the ecosystem as a whole, and define specific indicators of ecosystem structure and ecosystem ‘health.’ We then focus on the behavior of individual organizations and develop specific operational implications for different ‘types’ of ecosystem strategies, which we identify as dominator, keystone, and niche firm, touching briefly on some of the essential capabilities that underlie the successful implementation of each of these strategies. In a set of appendices we extend this discussion by examining some specific examples of ecosystem strategies pursued by Wal-Mart and NVIDIA in detail, and by illustrating an application of our framework through an evaluation of the role played by Microsoft Corporation in the computing ecosystem. We conclude by summarizing some of the most important consequences for strategy, operations and policy in networked industries. Throughout this discussion, our ideas are motivated and illustrated by our empirical research and practical experience in the computer industry, which is extended by examples from other environments, including semiconductors, retail, internet services, and telecommunications."
* Downloadable as a 115-page, 635 KB PDF file
* Go to The New Operational Dynamics of Business Ecosystems, published by the Harvard Business School – Division of Research and Faculty Development
* Track newly-released working papers via the Alphabetical Listing

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Book : Extending the Radar - Knowing What's Coming in Breakthrough Technology-- and How to Use It for Competitive Advantage : By Nicholas D. Evans; Published September 2002 - "Once, new and disruptive technologies were restricted to the reckless-or those with nothing to lose. No more. In an era where agility has become utterly crucial to success, every business must effectively exploit emerging technology. In the wake of the Internet bust, it's far more challenging to identify technologies that offer true business value. But the rewards are enormous-as are the risks of failing to do so, or of making the wrong choices … In Extending the Radar, Nicholas D. Evans presents a systematic framework for choosing emerging technologies, making investments, limiting risk, measuring ROI, and delivering results. Evans reviews the key drivers of the next wave of business and technical innovation, and reviews key technologies now poised for mass-market adoption. He then assesses long-term technology trends-from ‘software as a service’ to next-generation human-computer interfaces-helping you understand and account for their likely implications … Look elsewhere for ‘gee whiz’: Extending the Radar is relentlessly business-focused, with real case studies, real metrics, and serious strategic guidance. Whether you're an executive, board member, line-of-business leader, strategic planner, technical manager, system architect, investor, entrepreneur, or consultant, you'll find no better guide to achieving competitive advantage via the next wave of disruptive technology-and the waves that will follow in its wake. * Not ‘first mover’: smart mover - Intelligently applying the right technologies to the right challenges
* Extending your radar: Detecting disruptive technologies sooner - Scanning the horizon for breakthroughs that can transform your business
* The new technology adoption lifecycle - Why yesterday's approaches to emerging technology are no longer adequate
* Leveraging new technology in a ‘back to basics’ era - Refocusing new technology investments on the fundamentals: delivering real and enduring value
* Next-generation technologies that are ready for prime time - Web services, real-time computing, P2P, business process management, m-business, and enterprise security: achieving real ROI right now
* Delivering on the promise of the Internet-finally - The ‘missing links’ that'll help you realize the productivity gains and cost reductions the Internet promised
* The future: It's closer than you think - Three, five, ten years out: planning for the revolutions that still lie ahead”
* Go to this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo
Interview : Beyond Numbers :
"Martha Amram on the current economics of technology investment.
UBIQUITY: Why would our readers -- most of whom are highly involved in information technology -- be well advised to read your book?
AMRAM: Many people in information technology (IT) must justify their IT project to finance types, those who control the budgets. Right now, they lack a way to communicate the value of the project, to identify the most important risks for business managers and to easily determine the monetary consequences of those risks … The purpose of my book is to help close these communication gaps. It suggests simple quantitative frameworks, and the key features to describe to business managers. The book also highlights the importance of the storyline -- How will this project be successful? … For information technology, the storyline is really important. Information technology projects never take just one investment; they are done in stages. The projects also span technology and business issues. The storyline connects the many, many steps and the many audiences together into a single vision … So one of the messages in the book is very important for information technology managers: IT valuation is not just the numbers, it's also the story …"
* Go to Beyond Numbers, published in Ubiquity – a Web-based publication of the ACM
* Go to her book ‘Value Sweep - Mapping Growth Opportunities Across Assets’ at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo
Ranking : The 2002 e-Readiness Rankings : By The Economist Intelligence Unit - "E-business is taking root just about everywhere -- but some countries are pioneers, others laggards. The new edition of the rankings -- the third since their launch in 2000 -- shows steady improvement and increasing convergence among the top-tier countries, where heavy investment in Internet technologies is bearing fruit. Many less-developed countries lag behind, however, their e-business readiness hindered by a range of factors, including poor infrastructure, inadequate protection for intellectual property, lack of finance and unfavorable business environments. The new round of rankings affirms two conclusions suggested by previous editions."
* Downloadable as a 19-page, 228 KB PDF File
* Go to The 2002 e-Readiness Rankings
Report : Informal Routes to Innovation - Stealth and Trickery? : By Peter Andrews - "Finding stories of abandoned ideas, missed opportunities and under-used talent is usually not a difficult task in a large organization. Business texts are filled with tales of projects abandoned or starved, that were subsequently picked up by upstarts or competitors and turned into successes -- sometimes growing big enough to eclipse the original firms … While these are exceptions and many ideas are not worth pursuing, few people question that good ideas are sometimes not nurtured to fruition. This isn't just a loss in intellectual capital; it can also discourage and de-motivate good employees when they see valid proposals get passed over. Luckily, the "official" path to innovation is not the only one. By using creative methods, people can find ways to initiate, nurture and establish projects, even in an atmosphere where return on investment drives decision-making. These creative people can combine an understanding of decision makers' needs with an array of unconventional approaches to help their firms gain competitive advantage and market leadership."
* Downloadable as a 6-page, 143 KB PDF file
* Go to Informal Routes to Innovation - Stealth and Trickery?
Toolkit : Human Capital Framework : "Comprised of 4 sections:
- Human Capital Scorecard: What is it?: The Human Capital Scorecard provides a way for agencies to achieve green status on the Executive Scorecard for human capital by improving their management and deployment of human resources. It looks at how well a Federal agency can deploy the skills, communications, leadership and teamwork that are required and provides specific goals and measures to assess progress. It was developed in collaboration with agency HR directors and draws heavily on private sector practices … It also provides a set of objective measures to assess and report progress on overall Federal human capital management, and allow comparisons and benchmarking with high performing government and private sector organizations … The scorecard has four columns … Dimensions of Human Capital … Performance Goals … Measures … Operational Application of Measures (Downloadable as a x-page, 97 KB PDF file)
- Human Capital Scorecard: [1] Strategic Alignment - Align human capital policies to support the accomplishment of the agency's mission, vision, goals and strategies (which define its direction and its expectations for itself and its people); [2] Strategic Competencies (Talent) - Recruit, hire, develop, and retain employees with the strategic competencies for mission critical occupations; [3] Leadership - Ensure leadership in the agency inspires, motivates, guides others towards goals; coaches, mentors, challenges staff; adapts leadership styles to various situations; models high standards of honesty, integrity, trust, openness, and respect for individuals by applying these values; [4] Performance Culture (Strategic Awareness) - Create a culture that motivates employees for high performance, based on their contribution to the work of the organization, and common values while ensuring fairness in the workplace; [5] Learning (Knowledge Management) - Promote knowledge-sharing culture and a climate of openness; promote continuous learning and improvement."
- Human Capital Standards for Success (Downloadable as a 2-page, 85 KB PDF file)
- ‘Strategic Management of Human Capital’ The President's Management Agenda (Downloadable as a 64-page, 634 KB PDF file)
* Go to the Human Capital Framework, part of the Accountability System Development Toolkit from the US Office of Personnel Management

Monday, September 09, 2002

Article : Information and Communications Technology, Virtual Offices and Telework : By E.C. Hoffman - "The managing editor of Career Success, a national subject journal for administrators, commissioned this applied research project with a special request to investigate the concept virtual office (VO). During the investigation, a completely new concept of work emerged that is closely related to the VO, namely telework. This new administrative scenario emerged in enterprises owing to the influence of technological developments that drastically changed the traditional office environment. The interrelation of the two concepts led to the investigation of both. In this article the focus is on a demarcated selection of findings, namely basic information on the VO and the facilitative role of information and communications technology (ICT) with special reference to a remote or flexible workforce and relevant training needs."
* Go to Information and Communications Technology, Virtual Offices and Telework, published in the June 2002 issue of the South African Journal of Information Management
Article : Project Analysis? Climb the Decision Tree : "When used as a strategic planning tool, decision analysis can help managers address issues such as how to allocate resources to ensure that the project meets specific deadlines, when to scale up or delay investments, and when to exit a project."
* Go to Project Analysis? Climb the Decision Tree, published in the September 9th edition of HBR Working Knowledge
Book : The Emergence of the Knowledge Economy : Edited by Zoltan J. Acs, Henri L. F. De Groot, Peter Nijkamp, and Anil K. Jain; Published September 2002 - "Knowledge has in recent years become a key driver for growth of regions and nations. This volume empirically investigates the emergence of the knowledge economy in the late 20th Century from a regional point of view. It first deals with the theoretical background for understanding the knowledge economy, with knowledge spillovers and development externalities. It then examines aspects of the relationship between knowledge inputs and innovative outputs in the information, computer and telecommunications sector (ICT) of the economy at the regional level. Case studies focusing on a wide variety of sectors, countries and regions finally illustrate important regional innovation issues."
* Go to this book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
eZine : Education and Culture at a Glance : "published bi-monthly by the Communication unit of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture."
* Content is organized into the following sections: Calls for Proposals, Civil Society, Culture & Audiovisual, Education & Training, Fairs & Exhibitions, Publications, Sport, Youth
* Go to Education and Culture at a Glance
Tool : Gallup’s StrengthsFinder Center : "Below are the 34 themes of talent in Gallup's taxonomy of strengths, as highlighted in Now, Discover Your Strengths ... Gallup Management Journal members can select any of the theme names to read their definitions and to find Action Items that may prove helpful in cultivating these themes and transforming them into strengths. Scan the theme names to choose those that you find appropriate to yourself; almost everyone will find some will reflect their talents better than others. The Action Items can be printed to serve as a reminder to develop a theme."
* Go to Gallup’s StrengthsFinder Center

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Book : Knowledge Management and Organizational Memories : Edited by Rose Dieng-Kuntz and Nada Matta; Published August 2002 - "The task of Knowledge Management (KM) is to capture explicit and tacit knowledge of an organization in order to facilitate the access, sharing, and reuse of that information. KM must be guided by a strategic vision to fulfill its primary organizational objectives: improving knowledge sharing and cooperative work inside the organization; disseminating best practices; improving relationships with the external world; preserving past knowledge of the company for reuse; improving the quality of projects and innovations; anticipating the evolution of the external environment; and preparing for unexpected events and managing urgency and crisis situations. One approach for KM is to build a corporate memory or organizational memory (OM), for which several techniques can be adopted. The choice of a solution depends on the type of organization, its needs and its culture, and must take into account the organization's people and technology. Knowledge Management and Organizational Memories presents models, methods, and techniques for building, managing and using corporate memories. These models incorporate knowledge bases, ontologies, documents, FAQs, workflow systems, case-based reasoning systems, multi-agent systems, and CSCW. The book is divided into five parts: methods; knowledge-based approaches; ontologies and documents; case-based reasoning approaches; and distributed and collaborative approaches."
* Go to this book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Guides : Fast Company Online Guides : "Navigate Fast Company's articles by topic. We've created an index of our most popular web-exclusive articles, combined with classic Fast Company archives and resources, and organized them according to your most-requested topics. Use these guides to make your efforts bolder, your team better and your company faster."
* Content is organized into the following sections: Career, Education & Resources, Human Resources, Internet & Technology, Leadership, Marketing and Branding, Sales & Customer Service, Strategy & Innovation (with extensive sub-categories)
* Go to Fast Company Online Guides
National Broadcast (Archived) : Living Innovation – Learning from the Best : Held July 18, 2002 - "Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas. It's the proven ingredient of business success … On 18 June business people across the country took part in Living Innovation 2002. In a national broadcast linkup from the Eden Project in Cornwall, they discovered how to Inspire, Create and Connect … Three highly successful innovators from very different businesses explained how they did it - and are still doing it … Some of the key messages to come from the debate were: - If you've got an idea and you believe in it, you've got to drive it through, it's as simple as that; Everybody needs to have a dream, everybody needs to have something to buy in to; Give the time and the space within your business....to try and invent what you want your business to be … But for innovation to have its maximum impact it must happen all day – every day … Living Innovation is a way of life. It can be thought of as comprising three components – Inspire, Create and Connect."
* Content is organized into the following sections: About Living Innovation, Archive, Create, Connect, Inspire, Links, Regional Events, and Video & Transcript
* Go to Living Innovation – Learning from the Best
Project : Project 540 : "was created to give students a greater voice in their schools and their communities. You don't need a #2 pencil to participate, and there won't be any tests or grades. This program is based entirely on students' insights, ideas and dreams. This is your chance to imagine a better world. And with 100,000 students participating nationwide, Project 540 is your turn to make a change … Project 540 kicks off in fall, 2002. During student dialogue sessions both on campus and online, young people from diverse backgrounds will be challenged to share their opinions, listen to their peers and figure out the issues they want to address. … Do students have a voice in school policy? Are teacher-student relations as good as they could be? Is racial tension a problem in your community? Are you satisfied with the way things are, or are there things you'd like to change? … This is your forum. Your words and thoughts won't be sugar coated to please anyone else … Once you've zeroed in on the issues that are most important, Project 540 will help you turn your ideas into action. In each school, students will create a Civic Action Plan that outlines the students' key concerns, and specific action steps to address those concerns. The Civic Action Plan will be presented to the entire school and surrounding community so that students, teachers and community leaders can work together to make the Action Plan a reality … Think big. Think outside the classroom. Think outside the box."
* Go to Project 540
Report : Reality IT - Technology and Everyday Life : By James Crabtree, Max Nathan, and Richard Reeves; Published July 2002 - "Looking at a range of different digital devices and functions, the report challenges the conventional assumption that technology changes lives in and of itself. Instead the authors argue that to understand the impact of ICT, we need to look at the way users and consumers ‘tame’ technology to fit into the patterns of their own lives. The report also contains latest figures for ownership and use of all major interactive technologies among the UK population … The relationship between information technology and how it affects our behaviour in the way we live and work is the single most critical social and economic issue of our time. Designed to assess the genuine effects of new technologies, iSociety is an independent, definitive analysis of the impact of ICT on our lives, today and in the future. Run within the Research Department of The Work Foundation, and supported by Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers, it aims to establish the ‘deep-impact’ changes caused by the widespread diffusion of ICTs on work and society."
* Downloadable as a 68-page, 863 KB PDF file
* Go to Reality IT - Technology and Everyday Life, published by the iSociety project at The Work Foundation
* While you are there, checkout ‘Reforming Work, Transforming Delivery’ - a new Policy Perspective (located in the ‘New’ section on The Work Foundation home page)