Thursday, January 29, 2004

In the same edition of Guardian Society was an advert for the UK government's KM system: - 30,000 in local government sharing knowledge it claims.

Anyone can sign up, and so far the posts on the KM discussion board are high quality.

Social Ties in Britain
Interesting Social Ties article in Society Guardian Wed 28 Jan 2004 07:24:01

The Government Office for National Statistics does an annual household survey. From 2004 they want to assess social capital to build up picture over the years about 'neighbourliness'. Finally we can see if Yorkshire really is more friendly than the south!

Questions include groups people belong to, voluntary work, how often they see friends and relatives, liking for their area etc. The ONS is keen to avoid tieing this to physical space becasue, for example, in the young social capital is strong around school and town centres whch may be many miles away [sodding car culture!]

The survey diffrentiates between compares bridging "help you get on in life" and bonding "friends and family". Questions about contacts and friendships across ethnic divides were dropped as they annoyed people [ can you imagine? "So, do you know any foreigners?"]

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

When CoPs Go Bad II

Imaginatik's Corporate Innovation Blog picked out another goodie on networking and innovation. We all know that weak ties - friends of friends - are most likely to spark real innovation. But as Boris at Imaginatik points out, this calls into question the claim that CoPs are innovative structures because what they do is take weak ties and strengthen them.
However, this isn't necessarily the end of CoPs in the corporate sense, because often the barrier to innovation isn't the bright idea - triggered by weak ties - but the ability of the organization to see it through to product (the 'amplification' of that idea through the various functions). If the CoP is aware of this, it can focus on keeping feelers in the outside 'world' for useful ideas to bring in and then nurture. Unlike the entrepreneur who is free to take an idea and run with it, the corporate innovator needs to roam in gangs.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Lori Wizdo VP Business Development at Kamoon contacted me about an earlier post on Expertise Management software November 19th. She's been looking into profession networking tools out there like Ryze, Linked-in and Spoke. She comments "I am very skeptical about the concept that people will be willing to broker introductions through more than one 'degree of separation'". This does question the claim that such sites give you an advantage when building networks, beyond an initial chat-up line of "I see we both know X". More than one degree away and it hardly seems worth mentioning (e.g. "Hey, what a coincidence: we've both seen a Kevin Bacon movie").
Lori goes on to say that we will start to see the same patterns of protecting relationship capital that we've seen around intellectual capital. Oddly, I see this most in people in corporate environments contemplating self-employment, whereas I know several actual consultants that put a lot of effort into opening up their network (Mick Cope probably being the best example, to the extent that he recently published a book on networking)

Lori agreed to let me quote her if I added that that Kamoon was just as worthy of mention as Askme & Sopheon("Any warm, approbative comments about Kamoon are both wise and welcome."). So I did.