Saturday, October 12, 2002

Article : Spanning The Globe In Real Time : By William Mougayar - "Global business agility relies on information flow. By using a digital dashboard, managers can track critical business metrics--and act on them--much faster … For global corporations, business agility is not the same as speed. Anyone can move quickly, but at what financial and organizational cost? Truly agile companies are like star athletes. They move fast while maintaining a lower heart rate at higher levels of fitness and endurance. They adapt to any rhythm without becoming "tired" after a demand for sudden acceleration … The key to lowering the corporate heart rate is the availability of real-time information that discloses the status of the business more frequently to a wider employee audience and empowers it to immediately act on the information. Suddenly, results seem within reach; their status is continuously monitored and reported back, enabling earlier actions that directly impact the company's bottom line and competitiveness to be carried out … in the complex, internetworked, overlapping, and multitier reality of today's global business environment, information is routinely delayed, distorted, incomplete, or simply never reaches its destination … Enter the digital dashboard--also called the digital cockpit--for global management. It's a graphical depiction of real-time business performance from far-flung operations … A true digital-dashboard implementation is much more than a fancy interface on a global-business management application … it's the tangible result of a new way to manage globally"
* Go to Spanning The Globe In Real Time, published in the September 2002 edition of Optimize
* Source: Originally encountered on the ManyWorlds web site
Book (On-line) : Trust - Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations :
Edited by Diego Gambetta - "This collection was originally published by Basil Blackwell in 1988. The complete text is now available online in Word97/98 and PDF formats"
* Table of Contents: Part I: Trust Considered // 1. Formal Structures and Social Reality, by Bernard Williams / 2. The Biological Evolution of Cooperation and Trust, by Patrick Bateson / 3. Individuals, Interpersonal Relations, and Trust, by David Good / 4. Trust as a Commodity, by Partha Dasgupta / 5. Trust and Political Agency, by John Dunn / 6. Familiarity, Confidence, Trust: Problems and Alternatives, by Niklas Luhmann // Part II: Trust Observed // 7. Three Ironies in Trust, by Geoffrey Hawthorn / 8. The Destruction of Trust and its Economic Consequences in the Case of Eighteenth Century Naples, by Anthony Pagden / 9. Trust, Cohesion, and the Social Order, by Ernest Gellner / 10. Mafia: The Price of Distrust, by Diego Gambetta / 11. Kinship, Contract, and Trust: the Economic Organization of Migrants in an African City Slum, by Keith Hart / 12. Neither Friends nor Strangers: Informal Networks of Subcontracting in French Industry, by Edward H. Lorenz // Part III: Conclusion // 13. Can We Trust Trust?, by Diego Gambetta
* Go to Trust - Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations
* Source: Originally encountered on the matt jones | work & thoughts weblog
Interview : Rethinking the GUI for the Big Picture : Published October 10, 2002 - "Computer scientist and entrepreneur David Gelernter believes computers should imitate life. That means rethinking what it means to manage knowledge—and replacing the current PC and Mac desktop with a ‘narrative structure.’ … One technologist who believes fervently in alternatives is David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale University and a cofounder and chief technologist at Mirror Worlds Technologies Inc. Gelernter and his team have developed a software program intended to revolutionize how personal computers save and display information … The goal: to present all information—word-processing documents, e-mail, pictures, music, everything—as a stream of time-ordered files that can be reorganized instantly into substreams by topic … Executive Editor Edward H. Baker recently chatted with Gelernter about the technological and philosophical basis for his software, and his belief that the computing public is being shortchanged by the myopic views of today's post-Internet IT industry."
* Go to Rethinking the GUI for the Big Picture, in CIO Insight
Perspective : Meeting the Challenges of Tomorrow's Workplace (CEO Perspectives) : "Among the host of challenges chief executives face at the start of the 21st century, none rank higher than issues relating to the workplace of the future. In survey after survey, CEOs rate high-quality employees as the most important factor in their companies' success, while simultaneously acknowledging that finding and keeping qualified workers is their most daunting task … The challenge is a multifaceted one, the issues involved numerous and complex. Demographics, psychographics, educational and skills gaps, technology, worker mobility and globalization all play a role. Solutions must also be multidimensional, reflecting both the broader realities of the labor marketplace, particularly in the U.S., and the specific needs of individual companies. They will draw on a variety of 'new' sourcing strategies, including full-blown business process outsourcing, employee leasing, services contracting, non-traditional work arrangements such as job-sharing and telecommuting, creative compensation plans and more … This is, literally, a make-or-break issue for many companies - and their chief executives - and it's one that does not afford the luxury of a long-term time horizon to craft a strategic solution."
* Go to Meeting the Challenges of Tomorrow's Workplace, published as a supplement to the August/September edition of Chief Executive
* While you are there, checkout the sidebar items:
- Case Study: Harland
- Case Study: IBM
- The Next Great Value Driver
* You may also find the following items to be of interest:
- The Leigh Advisor: Fall 2002
- Innovation Delivered
- Survey Report: Innovation: Closing the Implementation Gap (Direct PDF Download)
- Survey Report: Leading Indicators: The Development of Executive Leadership (Direct PDF Download)
Webinar (Forthcoming) : Credibility, Vision and Courage - What it Takes to Lead in Dangerous and Chaotic Times : Delivered by Jim Kouzes on Tuesday October 15, 2002 from 9 – 10 AM (Pacific) - "In celebration of the publication of the third edition of the best-selling book, The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, tompeterscompany! and Placeware are pleased to present one of the business world's leading authorities on leadership, Jim Kouzes. Seize this rare opportunity to hear Jim for free! … Only challenge produces the opportunity for greatness. Personal, business, and social hardships have a way of making us come face-to-face with who we really are and what we're capable of becoming. And given the daunting challenges we face today, the potential for greatness is monumental. The question for each of us is ‘When opportunity knocks am I prepared to answer the door’ … So, what's it take to lead in chaotic, even dangerous times? My co-author, Barry Posner, and I have researched this for over 20 years, and our research clearly indicates that personal credibility is the foundation of leadership. If people don't believe in the messenger, they won't believe the message. Just check the gyrations in the stock market to understand how true this is — people won't invest when they don't trust those handling their money … The leaders we most admire are also are those who have the courage of their convictions. They have a clear set of principles and a vision that guides them, and they stand for those beliefs especially during times of intense challenge and radical change. It's all about having the courage to do what you say you will do … Stuff happens in organizations and in our lives. Sometimes we choose it; sometimes it chooses us. It's unavoidable. People who become leaders don't always seek the challenges they face. Challenges also seek leaders. Prepare yourself for the challenges that await you!"
* Register for Credibility, Vision and Courage

Friday, October 11, 2002

Article : Beyond the Data Warehouse - Practical Knowledge Management :
By John Ladley; Published October 2002 - "It is easy to espouse the value of information and knowledge. It is quite difficult to deliver that perceived value efficiently and accurately. Information and knowledge are abstract concepts. Knowledge is perceived to live only between people’s ears. Information is data with meaning, but the meaning is difficult to quantify, and few organizations have managed to place the value of their information on a balance sheet. In spite of the abstractions, 21st century organizations that "manage" their intellectual capital will succeed where others will fail. Intellectual capital management will differentiate companies as other supporting technologies become commoditized (ERP, data warehouse, SCM and CRM packages)."
* Go to Beyond the Data Warehouse - Practical Knowledge Management, in DM Direct
Article : Communities of Practice - A Strategic Approach for Generating Knowledge Capital : By Debra Wallace; Published October 2002 - "Furthering the research on communities of practice as organizational structures that support capability generation through knowledge exchange and collaboration, the work of Saint-Onge and Wallace at Clarica Life Insurance Company position communities of practice as a strategic resource - a key structure for increasing capabilities that contribute to an organization’s knowledge capital … Building on the concepts of naturally forming, organic structures identified in the seminal work of Lave and Wenger (1991) and expanded on in the continued research of Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder (2002), the authors were responsible for developing, supporting, and leveraging a community of practice for Clarica’s independent agents. The analysis of the process and outcomes resulted in:
- Identification of a spectrum of community of practice types, grouped by characteristics
- Identification of communities of practice as a strategic tool for building capabilities, the value proposition and business case
- Development of a process model for creating and supporting communities of practice
- Creation of maturity models: of a community of practice from inception to expansion into sub-communities and participation in a network of communities and of an organization from the initial recognition of communities of practice as an organic form to complete integration of communities of practice as a key organizational structure … In this case study, the authors tell the story of one organization’s successes in implementing a key component of a comprehensive knowledge management strategy from three perspectives:
* Procedural - the process or steps taken in order to meet objectives.
* Descriptive - the resources required to accomplish the process steps and the corresponding deliverables.
- Reflective - the identification of best practice through an analysis and discussion of key issues and lessons learned."
* Go to Communities of Practice, from Konverge and Know
* See Also: The Book / Community citings here
Book : Leveraging Communities of Practice For Strategic Advantage :
By Hubert Saint-Onge and Debra Wallace; Published October 2002 - "How can you build a successful community of practice that is integrally linked to your company’s strategic vision? … Learn from the first-hand experience of Hubert Saint-Onge, recognized by Fortune magazine as a leader in the field of knowledge capital, and co-author Debra Wallace, the people responsible for a recent project to establish a community of practice for independent agents at Clarica Life Insurance Company— voted one of the most admired knowledge enterprises in the world by practitioners and researchers."
* Content is organized into the following sections: Book Synopsis, Debra Wallace Bio, Download Chapter 1, Hubert Saint-Onge Bio, Order the Book, Reviews, Speakers Bureau, Table of Contents and Videoclips
* Go to Leveraging Communities of Practice For Strategic Advantage
* See Also: The Article / Community citings here
Community : Ask the Author : Hosted by Hubert Saint-Onge and Debra Wallace - "The thoughts, ideas, and perspectives presented in our book [Leveraging Communities of Practice For Strategic Advantage] are only a starting point - a beginning to a conversation about situating communities of practice in a strategic context. At the end of each chapter, we posed questions that we hope will stimulate your thinking about how communities could be leveraged in your organization – ‘Will It Play in Peoria?’ Here's an opportunity to continue the conversation that our book started. By continuing the conversation, we'll extend our learning about how communities can be used to create a strategic advantage in any organization … If you want to join a discussion group led by Deb Wallace and Hubert Saint-Onge, please send the following information …We will email you a user name and password within 24 hours. We do not make our mailing list available to other organizations."
* Go to Ask the Author
* See Also: The Article / Book citings here
Resource Centre : Knowledge Management (eGovernment Resource Centre – Victoria, Australia) :
* An annotated list of useful material
* Updated regularly
* Go to Knowledge Management
* While you are there, checkout some of the other eGovernment Research topics
* Source: Originally encountered on the Column Two weblog

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Book : From Certainty to Uncertainty - The Story of Science and Ideas in the Twentieth Century : By F. David Peat; Published in 2002 - "Early theorists believed that in science lay the promise of certainty. Built on a foundation of fact and constructed with objective and trustworthy tools, science produced knowledge. But science has also shown us that this knowledge will always be fundamentally incomplete and that a true understanding of the world is ultimately beyond our grasp … In this thoughtful and compelling book, physicist F. David Peat examines the basic philosophic difference between the certainty that characterized the thinking of humankind through the nineteenth century and contrasts it with the startling fall of certainty in the twentieth. The nineteenth century was marked by a boundless optimism and confidence in the power of progress and technology. Science and philosophy were on firm ground. Newtonian physics showed that the universe was a gigantic clockwork mechanism that functioned according to rigid laws—that its course could be predicted with total confidence far into the future. Indeed, in 1900, the President of the Royal Society in Britain went so far as to proclaim that everything of importance had already been discovered by science … But it was not long before the seeds of a scientific revolution began to take root. Quantum Theory and the General Theory of Relativity exploded the clockwork universe, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that our knowledge was, at best, incomplete—and would probably remain that way forever. There were places in the universe, such as black holes, from which no information at all could ever be obtained. Chaos Theory also demonstrated our inherent limits to knowing, predicting, and controlling the world around us and showed the way that chaos can often be found at the heart of natural and social systems … Although we may not always recognize it, this new world view has had a profound effect not only on science, but on art, literature, philosophy, and societal relations. The twenty-first century now begins with a humble acceptance of uncertainty … ‘From Certainty to Uncertainty’ traces the rise and fall of the deterministic universe and shows the evolving influences that such disparate disciplines now have on one another. Drawing on the lessons we can learn from history, Peat also speculates on how we will manage our lives into the future"
* Read ‘From Certainty to Uncertainty’ On-line or Purchase a print copy
Key Note Address (On-line, Forthcoming) : Leadership in Difficult Times : To be delivered by Rudy Giuliani on October 16, 2002 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (Eastern Time) - "What does it take to rise to today's immense security challenges? Who can you rely on when the success of your business is at stake? On October 16, Novell will present this engaging live Web conference on meeting the security challenges your company faces today, featuring Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City. His speech, ‘Leadership in Difficult Times,’ is an insightful look into the qualities that inspire confidence and success-qualities at the heart of Novell's secure identity management solution."
* Register for Leadership in Difficult Times, hosted by Novell
Report : Constructing Knowledge Societies - New Challenges for Tertiary Education : Published in 2002 - ”Developing and transition economies face significant new trends in the global environment that affect not only the shape and mode of operation but also the very purpose of tertiary education systems. Among the most critical dimensions of change are the convergent impacts of globalization, the increasing importance of knowledge as a main driver of growth, and the information and communication revolution. Knowledge accumulation and application have become major factors in economic development and are increasingly at the core of a country’s competitive advantage in the global economy. The combination of increased computing power, diminishing prices of hardware and software, improvement of wireless and satellite technologies, and reduced telecommunication costs has all but removed the space and time barriers to information access and exchange.
* Although this report expands on many of the themes developed in the first World Bank policy paper on tertiary education, Higher Education: The Lessons of Experience (1994), it emphasizes the following new trends:
- The emerging role of knowledge as a major driver of economic development
- The appearance of new providers of tertiary education in a ‘borderless education’ environment
- The transformation of modes of delivery and organizational patterns in tertiary education as a result of the information and communication revolution
- The rise of market forces in tertiary education and the emergence of a global market for advanced human capital
- The increase in requests from World Bank client countries for financial support for tertiary education reform and development
- The recognition of the need for a balanced and comprehensive view of education as a holistic system that includes not only the human capital contribution of tertiary education but also its critical humanistic and social capital building dimensions and its role as an important global public good
* Briefly, the main messages of this document are as follows:
- Social and economic progress is achieved principally through the advancement and application of knowledge.
- Tertiary education is necessary for the effective creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge and for building technical and professional capacity
- Developing and transition countries are at risk of being further marginalized in a highly competitive world economy because their tertiary education systems are not adequately prepared to capitalize on the creation and use of knowledge- The World Bank Group can assist its client countries in drawing on international experience and in mobilizing the resources needed to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of their tertiary education systems."
* Downloadable as a 232-page, 1.1 MB PDF file
* NOTE – This link opens the PDF file in your browser
* Open Constructing Knowledge Societies, published by the World Bank Group
Short Note : Knowledge Management Has Many Facets : By Karl M. Wiig; Published in 2002 - "The field of knowledge management (KM) is large, complex, and in constant development. KM includes management and operational practices and philosophies, technologies, strategies, and human behavioral traits just to name some the areas that are involved. Hence, both complexity and the many reasons for working with KM result in different ways in which to view the field. The different perspectives are also influenced by the situation at hand. When KM is discussed, considered for adoption by an enterprise, or viewed as a subject for education and training, parties coming from different premises tend to focus on dissimilar facets of KM. The result often is disagreement or confusion … In our various pursuits of KM, to avoid confusion and disagreements, we must stand back and be clear as to which particular KM facet is considered and what that facet involves. In particular, we suggest that there are at least four distinctly different KM facets:
1. KM as a Technology,
2. KM as a Discipline,
3. KM as a Management Practice and Philosophy, and
4. KM as a Societal and Enterprise Movement."
* Downloadable as a 3-page, 146 KB PDF file
* Go to Knowledge Management Has Many Facets (located in the ‘Short Notes’ section)
* While you are there, be sure to also checkout the Reports & White Papers and Diagrams
Technology (Wire-free Power) : MobileWise : "Freedom of mobility … More and more people are going mobile. They enjoy the freedom and productivity of wire-free connectivity -- being able to work whenever and wherever they want, untethered by wires and cables. However, mobility has been hindered by the 'Last Wire™' problem -- the need to regularly charge a mobile-computing device by plugging into an electric power source … MobileWise provides a safe, wire-free electric power technology that solves this Last Wire problem. MobileWise revolutionary patented technology and its associated family of products finally deliver the freedom to be fully mobile. No more wires, no more cords, no more plugs!"
* Go to MobileWise
* Source: Originally encountered in Rafe Needleman's What's Next column in
Business 2.0

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Article : The Art of Multitasking :
By Alison Overholt; Illustrations by Chip Wass - "Feeling overworked? Overwhelmed? The dirty little secret of the slow-growth economy is that most of us are busier than ever: We're doing our jobs, plus the jobs of one or two gone-but-not-replaced colleagues -- and doing it all with less support. How do we manage to stay sane in the face of such crazy demands? Action item number one: Follow the savvy, reality-tested advice of some of the most effective executives we know. It's all in our ultimate guide to successful multitasking."
* Go to The Art of Multitasking, published in the October 2002 edition of FastCompany
Article : Work Groups and Knowledge Sharing in a Global Organization
(Revise and Resubmit) :
By Jonathon N. Cummings; Published October 4, 2002 - "Work groups in organizations must exchange information, know-how, and feedback among members and with the outside to be effective. However, organizations are increasingly likely to create work groups with diverse structures – members who are dispersed across different locations, who represent different functional areas, or who report to different managers. As a result, knowledge sharing among members can be more difficult for work groups. For example, when members reside in different countries, they often experience lags in task coordination due to time, language, or technology barriers. Despite these problems, structural diversity can also increase the value of knowledge sharing through exposing the group to novel sources of external information. For example, members who reside in different countries also have access to unique local knowledge outside of the group, such as current market conditions. Building on social network theory, this paper reports evidence from 182 work groups in a global organization to suggest that structural diversity can be beneficial for performance – but only when members share knowledge externally."
* Read the abstract on-line
* Request delivery of the full paper by e-mail
* Go to Work Groups and Knowledge Sharing in a Global Organization
* NOTE – There is an interesting selection of material available here
Book : Understanding the Brain - Towards a New Learning Science : Published September 2002 - "Over the last ten years, advances in non-invasive brain scanning and imaging technologies have opened up new methods of work for researchers. More has been learnt about the functioning of the brain in the last decade than in all the preceding centuries. Among other areas of analysis, research into the brain’s capacity to develop, learn and change throughout the lifecycle has made promising progress. These developments will have profound implications for learning and education … The new ‘science of learning’ sheds light on how the brain produces perception, memory and language, and on the importance of the early and late years in successful lifelong learning. It provides, among other things, insights into how to improve reading and mathematical skills, and highlights the significance of the distinction between nature and nurture in learning and brain development."
* NOTE: Purchase or Browse for free
(not printable)
* Downloadable as a 110-page, 955 KB PDF file
* Go to Understanding the Brain, released by the OECD Online Book Bookshop
Column (Barely Managing) :
The Globalization of Talent :
By Thomas A. Stewart; Published October 9, 2002 - "A free flow of smart people across borders benefits both sides. Too bad security concerns are cutting into that flow … Human capital has never been more mobile. It's not just that people fly around a lot. At the top of the heap, business culture is becoming stateless. "You can see the beginnings of a worldwide market for managerial talent," says one of the beneficiaries of that market, Tom Glocer, the American-born CEO of Reuters, who lives in London with his Finnish-born wife. Chinese and Indian CEOs lead 24 percent of Silicon Valley's high-tech companies, and a score of Fortune 500 CEOs are foreign-born. When Englishman John Quelch recently became associate dean of Harvard Business School, his successor as dean of London Business School was American Laura Tyson, former dean of the Haas School at the University of California at Berkeley. As multinationals open not just sales offices or factories but also research centers in Bangalore, Buenos Aires, Palo Alto, and Prague, they plant not only their flags but the seeds of their ideas. Frenchman Carlos Ghosn has used American-style management to turn around Japan's Nissan (NSANY). "No one cares if I'm a foreigner," says Ghosn, so popular in Japan that he has become a comic-book hero. "A turnaround is about performance." That's an American mind-set: The United States doesn't care where you come from so long as you're going someplace interesting. That performance ethos may be as important a U.S. export as Windows, Wal-Mart (WMT), or Walt Disney (DIS) World. "
* Go to The Globalization of Talent, on Business 2.0
Tool : Open Space Technology :
"An Open Space Forum is a new kind of meeting or conference in which the participants create their own programme of self-managed discussion groups, experiential workshops and planning sessions. Open Space allows diverse and often very large groups of people to get together, discuss issues of heartfelt concern, pool their knowledge and develop plans for collaborative action. Participants in an Open Space Forum create their own programme of self-managed sessions (discussion groups, experiential workshops, ideas sessions and planning meetings) related to a central theme, such as: What are the issues and opportunities facing the XYZ Corporation? There are no invited speakers, and just one facilitator to explain the procedure and facilitate the plenary sessions … Open Space Forums are particularly effective when complex or conflict-ridden issues must be resolved very quickly, and when people need to work together as equals to decide how they will bring something new into being or bring about a mutually-desired change … A prerequisite is that the focal issue or theme must be of genuine concern to all those involved, as participation is normally voluntary … The participant group can be of any size, from twelve people to a thousand or more, and the Forum is usually held over one, two or three days."
* Content is presented in three sections:
- Basic: What is an Open Space Forum?, When might I use one?, Who has used them?, How do I answer people's concerns?
- Advanced: Structure, Planning, Logistics, Implementation, and Resources
- Related methods
* Go to Open Space Technology
* Source: Originally encountered on the km4dev-l mail list

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Article : Creating Value in Government Through Human Capital Management - Integrating Workforce-planning Approaches : By Maria T. Gresham and Jeremy Andrulis; Published September 2002 - "An organization's people define its culture, drive its performance and embody its knowledge base. People are the ultimate drivers of success in any organization -- and yet current, government, workforce-planning approaches are often lacking. Recruitment practices attend to exigent needs and do not align with training strategies. Career management programs are not effective. Employee retention often focuses more on compensation issues than education and flexible work arrangements. Departing employees take with them valuable knowledge. And lessons learned are not regularly captured or integrated into decision-making. This workforce-planning environment produces fragmented practices that hinder the ability for governments to achieve optimal outcomes. A new workforce-planning approach is needed -- an approach that strives to ensure that employees have the right information at the right time to make the right decisions."
* Downloadable as a 27-page, 435 KB PDF file
* Go to Creating Value in Government Through Human Capital Management, from IBM Global Consulting
Encyclopedia : Knowledge Management and Information Technology - Know-IT Encyclopedia : By Neal Pollock; Published September 2002 - "As knowledge management (KM) and information technology (IT) have developed and grown, they have evolved numerous technical terms and phrases that those not intimately involved in these disciplines may find difficult to understand. These terms are useful in efficiently communicating among professionals, but they can be difficult to absorb in a rapid manner, and it can be difficult to obtain consistent definitions. There is a spectrum of tools to address different aspects of the jargon development phenomenon. At the low end of the range are lists that define each letter of an acronym but do not usually provide much else—they are essentially data-level tools. Many glossaries provide short definitions of terms and phrases; they are essentially information-level tools. Unless one has an idea or context already, it is difficult to truly understand when only provided with information. This encyclopedia addresses a void in the present spectrum. It is an attempt to create and distribute a knowledge-level tool, although it is not as voluminous as a full-boat encyclopedia (which would be impossible to adequately distribute). This encyclopedia was constructed using a number of different sources. Much of it, however, is tacit knowledge taken from my experience on-the-job at the Program Executive Office for Information Technology (PEO-IT), the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Office (CIO), and from courses taken at the Information Resources Management College (IRMC) to achieve certifications (CIO and National Security Telecommunications and Information Systems Security Instruction [NSTISSI] 4011)."
* Downloadable as a 384-page, 1.9 MB PDF file
* Go to Knowledge Management and Information Technology
* Source: Originally encountered on the IKMF mail list

eZine (New Edition) : Fall ASAP - Feed Back – We Have the Technology to Know Everything - Now What? :
"It is emerging as the defining metaphor of our time. Like other great scientific phenomena discovered over the past two centuries--natural selection, genetics, relativity, nuclear fission, DNA, digital--feedback is about to burst out of the theoretical stage and into everyday life. ‘Feedback is what has been missing from science since Newton,’ says British scientist Steve Grand, who is trying to develop artificial life forms. ‘We thought it was a rare phenomenon--now it's hard to name anything in the universe that isn't feedback. Life itself turns out to be feedback.’ … We are starting to rethink science in light of feedback. It is at the heart of the most compelling new inventions. And now we are seeing the first signs that it is beginning to reorganize both corporations and national economies … ‘We don't even have the words yet to describe this,’ says Grand. ‘We don't yet have the names. Before this is over, we're going to need a new mathematics, a new physics, and a new ontology of the world.’ … Welcome to Feedback Universe"
* Go to Feed Back, published by Forbes
Guide : Strategic Assessment Guide :
By Mark Smith - "More than 75 products scored for their ability to meet business requirements … Many companies don't know what they truly need in order to achieve business intelligence (BI) enterprisewide. Conflicting information and terminology about BI have resulted in chaos and a disproportionate focus on the technology and features. As a result, software overpurchasing has prevented companies from realizing the full potential of their BI investments. This state of affairs runs counter to the basic premise of BI, which is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations … This Strategic Assessment Guide for BI Products introduces a methodology, DecisionCycle, that you can use within your organization, and also illustrates how this methodology can be used in real-world Business Scenarios. The DecisionCycle methodology can help you more quickly define user requirements and translate these requirements into a list of software capabilities that support your business goals … In the Interactive Product Grid (PDF, 307K), we reviewed vendors' products against the DecisionCycle Methodology to map vendors' capabilities to potential user community needs and provide insight into their functionality. A set of more than 200 Capability Questions that align to the predefined functional requirements were distributed to the vendors and formed the basis for scoring a vendor's overall support for a requirement subcategory … This Strategic Assessment Guide for BI Products focuses on the platform and tools (such as query, reporting, analysis, planning, information delivery and data mining) and is independent of subject- or vertical-area applications (such as CRM, supply chain, or telecommunications). The intent is not to give any weight to or detract from the value of a buy approach for packaged analytic applications, but to give you insight into the build or deploy approach to meet your business requirements. This approach lets any vendor demonstrate its support for the breadth and depth of functionality required for optimizing decision-making throughout the organization … The Strategic Assessment Guide for BI Products was conducted completely independently of vendors."
* Go to the Strategic Assessment Guide, hosted by Intelligent Enterprise Magazine
Report : The Future Series - Ready or Not, Here It Comes -- High-tech 2005 - The Horizontal, Hypercompetitive Future : "Certainly, the current economic climate has had a deep impact on profitability. But if that were all there was to it, results would not differ as sharply as they do from company to company. For example, since mid-2000, while the economy has stumbled, revenues at IBM and Dell Computer have remained flat or declined by single-digit percentages. In contrast, sales at some other companies have plummeted by 40 percent and more … There's more at work than just the economic downturn. The very basis of competition is changing. The time has come for a fundamental rethinking of business models … The future will be horizontal. This means that the proprietary and vertically integrated business models of the past will be unbundled into their component layers -- layers that can be assembled more cost-efficiently by others. The integrated solution stack will break apart into separate but compatible layers of software, operating systems and hardware -- and within hardware, into standardized semiconductors and components … The future will also be hypercompetitive. Enterprise value propositions play on three dimensions of customer value: price/value, customization/integration and innovation/performance. Web-based technologies enable quantum jumps in all three kinds of value at once. Companies that can exploit this capability will be able to create winning value propositions that don't just offer tradeoffs -- for example, greater performance at a higher price. … Instead, they will be able to offer higher performance, lower price and greater customization at the same time. From the customer's standpoint, this has to be good news. But from the vendor's standpoint, this unleashes a dangerous new state of hypercompetition, in which the unwary can be completely overwhelmed by their competitors' superior propositions … The horizontal, hypercompetitive world that is emerging will look radically different and will require very different responses."
* Downloadable as a 28-page, 148 KB PDF file
* Go to The Horizontal, Hypercompetitive Future from IBM Global Consulting

Monday, October 07, 2002

Article : Dialectic-Synthetic Logic - A Logic of Transformation : "Whether we choose to love or hate science we cannot escape the reality that it has a profound impact on the way we think and act - that is, it shapes our world-view. The beginning of last century saw the emergence of the school of scientific management, however, this was based on a 400 year old mechanistic view of the cosmos. As we move into the new Millennium, a new form of scientific management is emerging, however, now it is informed by such fields as neuroscience (the 1990s was the decade of the brain - using MRI and similar technologies, we began to understand the workings of the brain as never before), quantum theory, complex systems theory, chaos theory, and so on."
* Go to Dialectic-Synthetic Logic - A Logic of Transformation, published in the October issue of Minessence Group eZine
Book (Forthcoming) : Assumption-Based Planning - A Tool for Reducing Avoidable Surprises : By James A. Dewar; To be published October 2002 - "Unwelcome surprises in the life of any organization can often be traced to the failure of an assumption that the organization's leadership didn't anticipate or had 'forgotten' it was making. Assumption-based planning (ABP) is a tool for identifying as many as possible of the assumptions underlying the plans of an organization and bringing those assumptions explicitly into the planning process. This book presents a variety of techniques for rooting out those vulnerable, crucial assumptions. The book also presents steps for monitoring all the vulnerable assumptions of a plan, for taking actions to control those vulnerable assumptions where possible, and for preparing the organization for the potential failure of those assumptions where control is not possible. The book provides a variety of examples and practical advice for those interested in carrying out an application of ABP in the fields of business, management, strategic planning, engineering, and in military applications.”
* Table of Contents - 1. The essence of assumption-based planning; / 2. A taxonomy of assumptions; / 3. - Step 1: identifying assumptions; / 4.- Step 2: identifying load-bearing, vulnerable assumptions; / 5. - Step 3: identifying signposts; / 6. - Step 4: developing shaping actions; / 7. - Step 5: developing hedging actions; / 8. The art of conducting ABP; / 9. Beyond ABP as a post-planning tool.
* Go to this book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Conference Proceedings (Partial) :
The Next Step in Communities of Practice - Communities as a Strategic Organizational Resource :

Held September 23 to 25, 2002 - "A Forum for understanding how to Find, Create, Support, Maintain & Derive Business Value from Communities of Practice … Succeeding in today’s business world requires you to have an evolving focus on what your organization knows. Chances are, if you don’t have the answer, your competitor likely does. Communities of practice are deliberate collaborations to expand the capacity for organized people to acquire, produce and apply knowledge for business benefit allowing your organization to accelerate decision making, improve business performance, foster innovation, drive competitive advantage and ultimately increase profits"
* Available Presentations:
- CoP Public Sector Case Study: SafeCities Network, by Michael Seelman and Ellen Scrivner (15-page, 2.1 MB PDF file)
- Stepping Back: Year Seven Update on Communities of Practice, by William Snyder (19-page, 2.1 MB PDF file)
- Community Leadership & Architecture at Johnson & Johnson, by Michael Burtha (35-page, 1.1 MB PDF file)
* Go to The Next Step in Communities of Practice
Interviews : Executive Dialogue -
The Power of People :
"Our newest series of Executive Dialogue interviews asks leading executives how they improve relationships among the people they care most about—employees, customers and partners … The leaders speaking in this round of Executive Dialogues have wrestled with the question of valuing people—customers, partners, employees—from different angles."
* Leaders include:
- Rick Haythornthwaite, CEO, Invensys [24 min.] – “We are now going through a process where by talking to the customers, by continually trying to stimulate new thinking . . . they in turn are making increasing demands of us. And that allows us to pull together disparate strands of the company in an effort to solve their issues.”
- Steve Kerr, Chief Learning Officer, Goldman Sachs [17 min.] – “The oldest equation in psychology is ability times motivation. Which means if you want people to change, you have to make them able—and, of course, a lot of knowledge transfer is about making them able—but you also have to make them want to. A lot of times change doesn't take, not because people don't understand it, but that they're still wedded to the old ways, and that because they're still rewarded.”
- Stephen R. Mercer, Vice President of Learning and Leadership Development at Boeing [17 min.]
- Robert Norton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Human Resources, Pfizer Inc [24 min.]
- Paco Underhill, Founder and Managing Director, Envirosell [24 min.]
* NOTE – Audio is available in RealAudio and Windows Media Player formats
* Go to The Power of People, hosted on Economist.com
Literature Review : Leading Network Development Practices in 2002 - A Literature Review :
* Introductory e-mail - "BHP Billiton have given me permission to share this report with you. Have posted it on the KM Framework site … I know many of you have an interest in CoPs and who's doing what … Happy to engage in some discussion on the content"
* Literature Review – By Laurie Lock Lee (CSC), Ross Parslow and Gillian Julien (Hatch Consulting) - “Communities of Practice (CoP) is a term used to describe groups that form informally around a particular discipline or skill to enable their members to share and learn from each other. Informal CoPs have always existed in the modern organization … Networks” refer to a broader collection of like-minded people. They can describe a looser, more broadly scattered CoP, or a more formally supported group of people who’s job it is to facilitate and align CoP activities, which is the case at BHP Billiton. In the past five years we have seen an explosion of activity around CoPs, Networks and more generally, Knowledge Management. Most of the activity has been led by the large global organizations, with a majority of the global Fortune Top 10 companies prominent in the literature. Benefits to the business have been expressed in a variety of ways. They range from savings attributed to sharing a best practice, receiving quick advice for pressing operational problems, right through to generating innovative products or services … Perhaps the most compelling findings are around how organizations are trying to balance the desire to more formally harness the power of these informal, cross enterprise CoPs, without destroying them or driving them further underground. Several different models were evident in the literature, with no single approach surfacing as yet as a “best practice”. For the more industrially focussed businesses, there is a clear trend to embed formal support for CoPs in the organisation’s business improvement or operational excellence programmes (e.g. Xerox, Raytheon, BP, Ford, DaimlerChrysler). For the more service oriented companies there has been greater attempts at having CoP particpation embedded in personal job descriptions and goals (Ernst & Young, IBM, Schlumberger) … These models however are being continually adapted. Most of the best practice companies with CoPs have now had to withstand a significant business disruption, whether it be a major market downturn or a major merger or acquisition. Largely these Company’s CoP programmes have remained in tact and moving forward, though the level and means by which they have been formally supported have had to adapt to the business cycle at hand. In most cases the level of formal support never returns to the levels experienced at programme launch … Overall the literature was abundant with both experiences and suggested practices for the profitable use of CoPs. A number of these have been compiled into a suite of “good practices”, organised against the BHP Billiton Way nine foundation elements.”
* Downloadable as a 29-page, 1.0 MB PDF file
* Go to Leading Network Development Practices in 2002 (direct PDF link)
* NOTE – You must be a member of
KM-Framework to access the file (membership is free)
* Source: Brought to my attention by Denham Grey. Be sure to checkout Denham’s KmWiki
- “the largest collaborative KM repository on the web - join us”

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Article : Fad or Future? : By Angela Abell et al - "With the publication of the BSI guide to good practice in knowledge management, it could be argued that KM has entered the mainstream. The early adopters — organisations which are always ready to try new theories and management techniques — are already intrigued by complexity theory, customer relationship management (CRM) and attention management. So perhaps KM is set to become yesterday’s management fad for some, part of established management speak for others, and quietly ignored by any who judged it would pass if they kept their heads down … However, what people know, who knows what and what they do with that knowledge has become the stuff of high-profile media reporting. Enron and other corporate scandals, for example, have not only exposed questionable accounting practices but also demonstrated how the secret management of knowledge can devastate the lives of many, bring down organisations and have adverse effects on economies. The pressure brought to bear on GPs by patients clutching internet printouts about their ailments illustrates that people are ready to participate in decisions that matter to them when given access to relevant information. The development of the electronic campus and student-centred learning have seen academic librarians becoming facilitators of the knowledge development process rather than guardians of resources … If the level of interest still evident in organisations of every type is indicative then KM is much more than a fad. The term has become shorthand for a change in the way that societies, organisations and individuals compete and survive in a networked world."
* Go to Fad or Future?, published in the October 2002 edition (focused on Knowledge Management) of Library + Information Update
* NOTE – Other KM articles (available only in the print edition) include:
- New opportunities: How David Rigglesford created a KM culture in a firm of solicitors
- Feed your mind: Bryony Milner on the knowledge centre at QCA
- Who owns KM? David Haynes
Article : From Knowledge Economy to Knowledge Ecology? : Reported by Andrew Everest - "IBM's David Snowden Maps a 'Third Way' for KM at Open University Seminar [Held July 8, 2002] … The Cynefin approach rests on three tenets, paraphrased here from David Snowden's talk (the text after the maxim is the my paraphrase/interpretation of David's comments): 1. Knowledge Can Only Be Volunteered; It Cannot Be Conscripted - Unless the conditions are right, people will only let slip what they wish to disclose, and will often only provide the minimum amount or inferior grade 'knowledge' required for compliance when forced to 'share knowledge' as the KM mantra often exhorts. 2. We Can Always Know More Than We Can Tell, And We Will Always Tell More Than We Can Write Down - The amount of knowledge that can be codified into abstractions (e.g. a textbook or written procedure, a know-how database or best practice) is restricted by time and the ability to express complex instincts in a common language understandable to an audience. 3. We Only Know What We Know When We Need To Know It - Knowledge is contextual, i.e. it only rises to the surface or can be captured when required or in reaction to an appropriate stimulus or set of conditions, which may relate to a shared history, environment, or situation. Thus 'knowledge' or useful knowing will often only present itself in reaction to an event and can remain hidden or dormant unless prompted by techniques that mimic or somehow tap the factors that elicited its manifestation and creation in the first place. The Cynefin Centre and its programme of seminars and 'action research' aims to promote: * Descriptive self-awareness - creating the conditions where new meaning, understanding and insights emerge by looking at things in a new light. * Diverse response - turning things on their heads; not settling too quickly into a comfortable solution or one way of doing things (i.e. no recipe). * Embracing paradox - refraining from artificially resolving contradictions because contradictions are often rich sources of meaning and new insights."
* Go to From Knowledge Economy to Knowledge Ecology?, published in the October 2002 edition of the Free Pint Newsletter
Book (Forthcoming) : Working Across Boundaries : Making Collaboration Work in Government and NonProfit Organizations : By Russell M. Linden; Published in October 2002
* Table of Contents: Part I: Working Across Boundaries // 1. Why Collaborate? And Why Now? / 2. One Example of Collaboration That Makes a Difference / 3. The Challenges of Successful Collaboration / Part II: A Framework for Collaboration in the Real World // 4. A Framework for Collaboration / 5. Getting the Basics Right / 6. Forming Open, Trusting Relationships Among the Principals / 7. Developing High Stakes / 8. Creating a Constituency for Collaboration / 9. Building Collaborative Leadership / Part III: Key Collaboration Issues and Tasks // 10. Phases in the Collaboration Journey / 11. More Keys to Successful Collaboration / 12. Collaboration Within a Single Organization / 13. Toward a Collaborative Culture / Resources // A. Four Methods That Promote Collaboration / B. Some Questions and Answers Concerning Collaboration / C. Collaborative Assessment Tool / D. The Research Base for This Book
* Go to this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indigo
Presentation : Show Me The Money - A Practical Framework for KM Metrics : Delivered by Sue Hanley at Braintrust 2002 (February 2002) - "… Objectives for KM Performance Measures: To help make a business case for implementation; To help guide and tune the implementation process by providing feedback; To provide a target or goal; To measure, retrospectively, the value of the initial investment decision and the lessons learned; To develop benchmarks for future comparisons and for others to use; To aid learning from the effort and developing lessons learned"
* Downloadable as a 21-page, 341 KB PDF file
* Go to Show Me The Money
Technical Report : Patterns of Participation in Two Communities of Practice - Community of Engagement vs. Community of Reference : By Michael J. Muller - To appear in the ‘Proceedings of CSCW 2002’ (November 2002) - "This report begins a characterization of participation patterns in on-line communities, examining records from two communities of practice that used a web-based collaborative environment for storing documents and discussions. Patterns of activity for the two communities were very different, reflecting their different needs and different missions – despite the fact that 79% of the members of one community were also members of the other community. Organizations and researchers may benefit from planning for appropriate patterns of participation in communities of practice."
* Downloadable as a 4-page, 157 KB PDF file
* Go to Patterns of Participation in Two Communities of Practice
* NOTE – You’ll find other Community of Practice reports on the Public Technical Reports page on the IBM Watson Research Center website