Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Like banning clocks to save time...
Couldn't resist sharing this with you from the editor of an e-mail discussion group I subscribe to.

"Today I received a nice note from a member who explained that he had to unsubscribe from all [name of discussion group] email because: Unfortunately new company policy dictates that out 'Inboxes' must be drastically cut down, which means I only have room for internal emails (and maybe not even that!)."

Seems and odd reaction to an even nuttier edict. My recommendation would be to immediately delete all e-mails beginning with the letters A-M... or perhaps those received after 2pm as they're clearly from slackers :-)

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Unleash the Grouchy Person!
The Imaginatik Blog references an interesting article titled Why innovation happens when happy people fight. It covers the need for constructuve conflict, but also the evidence for using humour and optimistic people for creative roles. What I really like though is that it advises you to hire a few grouchy people - they tend to be better at identifying risk and weaknesses. But becasue their misery is contagious you should only let them out of their office at tactical moments. I worked with such a person once - he had a brilliant analytical mind and when something failed we often realised he'd been telling us for 6 months, but to follow his thinking took hours so few people had the patience.... that really got him down.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Ultimately, a CKO's job should be to fire himself ...
In his weblog Dave Gurteen has an entry on the role of the Chief Knowledge Officer. It relays the popular view that this should be a temporary role to help organizations migrate to a new way of working. I think this is misguided.

The CKO should champion the knowledge-based perspective of the organization and defend it against all the other perspectives that confront managers e.g. financial, legal, marketing etc. A CKO's first job may well be to bring about substantial KM change, but the organization will always be in flux and you need somebody to keep an eye on the intangibles through any subsequent organizational change.

If you get the place just how you want it from a KM point of view you can bet your dog that the next wave of changes due to e.g. legislation will start to undo half of them as an unplanned side-effect. You wouldn't change your accounting practices and then tell the CFO he was no longer needed for 'business as normal' would you?

Thursday, January 09, 2003

It was ME!
Apparently ICI did an interesting exercise where they took their most successful products and traced back through the organisation to find out where they'd originated. They found that the majority had come from just four people, and they'd never been properly recognised for it. I hope they were promoted to a cubicle with a window as a result.
[Source: Talk by Richard Potter of QintetiQ]

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Happy New Year to all my reader

Forthcoming Conference Presentations
There's a couple of conferences coming up where I'll be presenting. If you're there please come and say "hello" \ "is your talk worth going to because there's another at the same time that looks more interesting" \ "is that soup on your tie?"

  • Braintrust 2003 in San Francisco, Feb 9-12. Great lineup of speakers with John Seely Brown giving the keynote. Braintrust is widely viewed as being the best KM networking opportunity and works hard to keep things intimate. There's a limit of 200 delegates and lots of peripheral activities to keep people connected. I'll be hosting a dinner discussion one evening - a lively debate is promised (especially once we have to split the check between us)
  • Exploiting knowledge management in R&D London 19-21 March. A more targeted conference with empahsising innovation and exploring what it is about R&D that makes its needs different from mainstream KM. download brochure