12 Characteristics of Knowledge Leaders, 10 Tips on KM strategies, Top 10 KM Myths, Net Work

28-Aug-07 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Question of the Week

Following up on last week’s question about community metrics, here is an additional response from John McQuary, Vice President of Knowledge Management and Technology Strategies at Fluor Corporation. In his AOK STAR Series Dialogue on Knowledge Leadership, John talked about the 12 Characteristics of Knowledge Leaders.

Q: How do you measure community performance at Fluor?

A (from John McQuary): The community performance evaluation is a measurement tool we use to help communities determine how they are performing. Here is the full list of characteristics:

  1. People connecting to save time or money, to make a decision or take action
  2. Measurable progress against the community objectives; or creation of new objectives when launch objectives are met
  3. Changes in measures such as member numbers, content numbers and other quantifiable issues
  4. Dependable and responsive answers to forum questions
  5. Activity that demonstrates learning
  6. Work processes being modified to take advantage of knowledge sharing and collaboration capabilities
  7. Taking action on lessons learned, forum topics and comments to knowledge objects to keep community content fresh
  8. Communications to community membership
  9. Shifting focus to knowledge innovation - better answers to new and tougher problems
  10. Articulating community value through success stories
  11. Knowledge sharing behaviors recognized in people development
  12. Active and involved leadership

Scoring is:

0 Nothing observed

1 Minimal activity

2 Few examples

3 Frequent examples

Final scoring is to add the first eleven and multiply by the leadership score. We find that the evaluation is best used in a group setting with leadership from several of our knowledge communities. After the form is completed for each community, we then step through each of the twelve criteria and ask the leaders to share examples of their top scored items. This creates a little community peer pressure and often surfaces ideas that can be leveraged across communities.

We demonstrate the value of our knowledge management capabilities through a combination of success stories and statistics. We have an annual success story collection campaign we call our Knowvember Celebration. As may be surmised, it takes place during the eleventh month. An executive panel chooses the winning stories and in the process gains a better understanding of how knowledge sharing and collaboration is delivering internal and customer value. The statistics then add a volume perspective to indicate the depth and breadth of our enterprise-wide KM capabilities.

KM Blog of the Week

thoughtglue by Stephen Collins

10 tips on KM strategies from Cory Banks

  1. Manage the Change — Undertake any of these activities from a change management perspective, even IT related ones. Don’t just manage the change around the initiatives.
  2. People before Technology — Spend money on travel and socializing before technology.
  3. Behavioral Change — People have to be open to supporting new/different practices. They need to adapt to change. They need to see the value to them/others.
  4. Organizational Culture — Depending on what the corporate and people culture is like will depend on whether KM efforts will survive. Examples could be that reward structures are personally focused and support a competitive environment so people may not be inclined to share.
  5. Strategic Alignment — Activities need to support the direction and priorities of the organization. This also assists in getting things approved/endorsed.
  6. KM in the wild — Find out where knowledge creation and sharing is already happening in the organization and study it. Learn why it has been successful (don’t just copy it) to help design other activities.
  7. Technology is an enabler — Design the process/system and then look for technologies that enable this, e.g., don’t install a wiki and then look for what you can use it for. Work out what you want to do and then see what tools are suitable to support it.
  8. Adopt KM Principles — Don’t introduce separate KM processes. Modify your business processes to adopt KM principles.
  9. Don’t stop at the first solution — Consider different options, methods, and frameworks and see what works. Experiment.
  10. Motivation — It’s not necessarily about reward and recognition. You need to find out how to motivate people to play the game.

KM Link of the Week

The top 10 KM myths by Ed Rogers, chief knowledge officer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Melcrum’s Source for KM Professionals: 1–5 and 6–10

  1. KM is an IT function and should be given to the chief information officer
  2. KM is really about databases
  3. KM is about centralizing knowledge content to use it more efficiently
  4. Communities of practice can be established by the top
  5. KM can be independent of the business process
  6. Knowledge management can be solved with the right software
  7. Anybody (who isn’t busy) can do knowledge management
  8. Knowledge management efforts can be outsourced
  9. Collaboration effort can be “purchased” or “sharing can be rewarded”
  10. Culture change can be mandated from the top

KM Book of the Week

Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World by Patti Anklam


Patti Anklam provides a guide for leaders and participants to work within and lead purposeful social networks “in the world.” Awareness of “networks” and “networked organizations” has reached the mainstream of the business publishing world, as evidenced in the increasing number of articles in such publications as the Harvard Business Review and the Sloan Management Review. Many graduate business school programs now teach social network analysis and network theory.

Networks exist outside of corporations as well — everyone participates in multiple networks, including the informal family, community, work, and their purely social networks of friends. Formal networks include civic organizations like Rotary International, alumni groups, and business and professional groups. The latter have all evolved distinct governance models, norms for joining and participating, legacy databases, membership rolls, and very public identities. There is yet another class of network that is not yet well defined, and for which the norms and governance models are emerging — networks such as inter-company and intra-company learning and collaboration networks; independent consultants who share common interests and passions who want to remain independent but work collaboratively and consistently with like-minded others.

They can be geographically local business networks; web-based virtual learning groups and communities; or global action networks destined to make the world a better place. This book provides a taxonomy and guidebook to these “emergent” networks, with a specific focus on helping leaders and participants to create and sustain successful networks. It addresses the need for articulating a governance model and norms, selecting and using appropriate tools, and expectations for how the network will grow and change over time.

Table of Contents

  1. The Nature of Net Work
  2. The Context of Net Work
  3. Purpose
  4. Structure
  5. Style
  6. Networks and Value Creation
  7. Net Work: Design
  8. Net Work: Examination
  9. Net Work: Change and Transition
  10. The Net Work of Leadership

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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