Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tacit Knowledge and Social Networks

I've always tended to hang my KM hat on the value of tacit knowledge and helping organizations leverage that mostly untapped resource.  Those that have been readers of KM News for any length of time are aware of my definition of KM - KM is about connectedness; connecting people to people and people to information to create a competitive advantage. 

Clearly we have a revolution taking place with respect to social networks.  What are social networks doing?  Creating and extending connections of course.  The context (business, pleasure, ...) of those connections varies but still allows for developing relevant connectedness. 

Do social networks allow us to find out what we don't know, do they allow us to share our knowledge with other people, do they empower and leverage the collectives knowledge?  The answer to all those questions is YES.  So why are structured organizations so slow to adopt social networking and collaborative tools like Wiki's within their "walls"...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Microsoft Buys Credentica U-Prove

It was announced today that Microsoft has purchased Credntica's U-Prove technology.

Trust (and privacy) is a key aspect of connectedness. We share more with people we trust and less with those we don't. As Kim Cameron puts it, U-Prove works on a "need to know" basis. If a web site proves worthy we might share more details and the Info Card with U-Prove will make that easier to accomplish.

We will eventually see adoption of Info Cards as a mechanism. Adoption is slow but this bit of news will undoubtedly move things along.

Does Daylight Savings Time Save Energy

Daylight savings time kicks in here in the United States this weekend.  That's almost a full month earlier than in the past.  Does this really save energy?

A recent study conducted by Matthew Kotchen and Ph.D. student Laura Grant from UCSB indicates that it costs Indiana residents approximately an additional $8.6mm in utilities when they started observing DST.  That's a pretty significant cost.

What's the KM angle?  Maybe there are not cost benifits to Daylight Savings Time, but some people think there are social benefits; less crime, fewer fatal auto accidents, and more outdoor recreation time. 

What do I think? I just don't want to lose that hour this weekend.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Empower the followers

WSJ: Management Leaders Turn Attention to Followers (subscription may be required)

I suppose it is encouraging to see a Harvard lecturer and the Wall Street Journal focusing attention on what many (most?) of us in the KM space have known for ever....that it's is the little guy, the masses, the worker bees in an organization that make or break that organization. Can the 'C' level staff make an organization successful. No. It's really the lower-ranking employees in an organization that make it successful or kill it off. Keeping the rank-and-file informed can make a company successful, not keeping them informed can kill.

This is true for every aspect of an organization; from sales, to customer service. If organizational change is to happen the lower ranking staff need to be informed and enabled so that change can be made. Without staff buy-in organizations will not be successful. Sure, the sheer inertia of large organizations keep them going but eventually things become so tangled, the staff so demoralized that a wall is hit and success becomes failure.

web site updates

The KM News web site is being updated to help make it easier to manage and provide timely content.  While the update is taking place some of the old trusty content is not available.  It will be back, really it will.


Knowledge to do what?

Can your organization answer the question; knowledge to do what?  That should be the starting point for any organization embarking on a new ...