Friday, April 23, 2010

The 'T' word

“Trust is present or it is absent. Grab a nerd and he’ll tell you that even the absence of trust is a measure of trust and that particular measure is zero. When trust is non-zero (which is better, believe me) it is based on one of two methodologies -- empiricism or transparency (the other T-word).”

Trust has been a cornerstone of Knowledge Management from the beginning.  The referenced post resonates with me because it very succinctly describes what trust is and the inherent value of trust to our personal and professional lives.  Trust is also transparency; we have all experienced the breakdown of trust because of a lack of transparency.  The explosion of the social graph is made possible through trust and transparency.  Transparent people engender trust and at the same time foster and facilitate knowledge sharing without even consciously trying to make it happen.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Passion, Curiosity, Learning

If you have never read the book "Hackers" (Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution) by Steven Levy I highly recommend it.  Originally published in 1984 it describes the passion and insatiable curiosity of the pioneers of the personal computer.

[amtap amazon:asin=0141000511]

Now, 25 years on, Levy revisits the "hackers" and how they have changed the world.  Lest you think otherwise, a hacker is someone good, not a rogue criminal as used by the news media.

"...hacking’s values aren’t threatened by business — they have conquered business. Seat-of-the-pants problem-solving. Decentralized decision making. Emphasizing quality of work over quality of wardrobe. These are all hacker ideals, and they have all infiltrated the working world."

The same values described in the quote above from Steven Levy embody the same purity, freshness and altruistic vision that the early Knowledge Management community embodied.  KM, just like the term Hacker was misappropriated and exploited to sell product.  It is OK to make money via KM, but when the outcome becomes all about money and not value creation, that is where I believe a line has been crossed.

As practicioners of KM we should constantly be learning.  Our passion and curiosity should drive us to be leaders within our organizations, to help make connections that generate and add value personally and professionally.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy at Work?

I found the TechCrunch guest post by Vivek Wadhwa - How To Be Happy At Work... to be very enlightening.

Being happy with your work does make a person more productive.  Vivek gives some great advice about looking at the things that are right about your job and not the things that are wrong with it.

Below are a couple of great quotes and things that are truth:

"When workers achieve arbejdsglæd, the business benefits from higher productivity, because happy people achieve better results; higher quality, because happy employees care about quality; lower absenteeism, because people actually want to go to work; and less stress and burnout, because happy people are less susceptible to stress."

"...those who choose to view life as a learning opportunity to take responsibility for their own actions are also the most confident and the happiest."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Creativity Intelligence - CQ

An emerging school of thought is around Creativity Intelligence or CQ.  NussbaumOnDesign had an interesting post about CQ recently that I recommend you read.

There appears to have been a dumbing down of corporate intelligence.  No, people and corporations are not dumb.  What I've seen and experienced is the propensity to try and bring organizational structures and strictures to a common framework.  Often this accomplishes little and actually brings everyone down to the lowest common denominator.  This reinforces and does the opposite of what is intended.  People aren't encouraged to do more then their job requires.  It gets to the point where there is little or no passion around being creative, learning and applying knowledge.  What company's need to do is encourage creativity, not stifle it through HR policies.

One of my pet peeves is the way Human Resource organization in the U.S.A. seem to have accomplished the dumbing down of corporate life through standardization.  The goals were admirable, but the results are a homogeneous blah.    The fallacy of fairness I like to call it.  We hear that "we need to treat everyone fairly" and so HR implemented grade bands, and midpoints, and uniform review processes.  Yet no where do they take into account IQ or even CQ.  There is no flexibility there is no diversity of thought or action.

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 ...