Bridging the Generation Gap, Web 2.0 Framework, Reinvention Prevention, Laws of Simplicity

06-Jun-07 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Question of the Week

Q: How do you suggest tackling some of our big issues?

  • 40% of our workforce up for retirement in the next 5 years
  • Retaining our new college hires and bringing them up to speed
  • Bridging the gap between our new college hires and our veterans
  • We just had a consolidation that is making a lot of people unhappy. The employees from one location moved in with those in another, and the two groups don’t like each other.

A: Here are some suggestions.

  • 40% of our workforce up for retirement in the next 5 years

Pair senior people with junior people to serve as mentors/apprentices, compensate retirees for remaining active in communities of practice, and provide incentives to senior people to tell their stories by writing anecdotes and giving community presentations which are recorded.

  • Retaining our new college hires and bringing them up to speed

Pair senior people with junior people to serve as mentors/apprentices, provide Web 2.0 tools with which new college hires are comfortable, and provide communities for new hires — some for learning from others with more experience in their specialty, and some for fellow new hires to bond and provide moral support to one another.

  • Bridging the gap between our new college hires and our veterans

Pair junior people with senior people, have the junior people show the senior people how to use Web 2.0 tools, encourage community participation to embrace all age groups, and develop fun promotions and rewards to recognize outstanding examples of bridging the gap between age groups.

  • We just had a consolidation that is making a lot of people unhappy. The employees from one location moved in with those in another, and the two groups don’t like each other.

Pair people from the two locations to work on joint tasks, encourage community participation to embrace both locations, and develop fun promotions and rewards to recognize outstanding examples of bridging the gap between people from both locations.

KM Blog of the Week

Launching the Web 2.0 Framework by Ross Dawson

The intention of the Web 2.0 Framework is to provide a clear, concise view of the nature of Web 2.0, particularly for senior executives or other non-technical people who are trying to grasp the scope of Web 2.0, and the implications and opportunities for their organizations.

Web 2.0 Framework

Web 2.0 is founded on seven key Characteristics:

  1. Participation
  2. Standards
  3. Decentralization
  4. Openness
  5. Modularity
  6. User Control
  7. Identity

Web 2.0 is expressed in two key Domains:

  1. the Open web
  2. the Enterprise

The heart of Web 2.0 is how it converts Inputs:

  1. User Generated Content
  2. Opinions
  3. Applications

through a series of Mechanisms:

  1. Technologies
  2. Recombination
  3. Collaborative Filtering
  4. Structures
  5. Syndication

to Emergent Outcomes that are of value to the entire community.

Web 2.0 Definitions

As referred to in the Framework, we define the Web 2.0:

  1. Characteristics
  2. Domains
  3. Technologies

Ten definitions for Web 2.0 are provided, including the one I use to pull together the ideas in the Framework: “Distributed technologies built to integrate, that collectively transform mass participation into valuable emergent outcomes.”

Web 2.0 Landscape

62 prominent Web 2.0 companies and applications are mapped out across two major dimensions:

  1. Content Sharing to Recommendations/ Filtering
  2. Web Application to Social Network

The four spaces that emerge at the junctions of these dimensions are:

  1. Widget/ component
  2. Rating/ tagging
  3. Aggregation/ Recombination
  4. Collaborative filtering

Collectively these cover the primary landscape of Web 2.0.

KM Link of the Week

Reinvention Prevention

A podcast interview by Dan Keldsen at BizTechTalk.com, with Stan Garfield, who led the Worldwide Knowledge Management program in HP’s Services arm.

HP’s tagline is “invent” — but in the quest to invent, are cycles, resources, time, and money being wasted reinventing existing solutions?

Stan’s longtime drive is to ensure that information becomes knowledge, and that knowledge is shared, to explicitly enable application of existing inventions, and as needed, new inventions, in the services/consulting work that he and his global team are involved in.

This conversation came about as a result of a recommendation that I speak with Stan after I’d posted a question on LinkedIn Answers wondering whether Innovation Management and Knowledge Management were the same, a subset, or superset of each other.

KM Book of the Week

The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) by John Maeda

MIT Press Book Description

Finally, we are learning that simplicity equals sanity. We’re rebelling against technology that’s too complicated, DVD players with too many menus, and software accompanied by 75-megabyte “read me” manuals. The iPod’s clean gadgetry has made simplicity hip. But sometimes we find ourselves caught up in the simplicity paradox: we want something that’s simple and easy to use, but also does all the complex things we might ever want it to do. In The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda offers ten laws for balancing simplicity and complexity in business, technology, and design — guidelines for needing less and actually getting more.

Maeda — a professor in MIT’s Media Lab and a world-renowned graphic designer — explores the question of how we can redefine the notion of “improved” so that it doesn’t always mean something more, something added on.

Maeda’s first law of simplicity is “Reduce.” It’s not necessarily beneficial to add technology features just because we can. And the features that we do have must be organized (Law 2) in a sensible hierarchy so users aren’t distracted by features and functions they don’t need. But simplicity is not less just for the sake of less. Skip ahead to Law 9: “Failure: Accept the fact that some things can never be made simple.” Maeda’s concise guide to simplicity in the digital age shows us how this idea can be a cornerstone of organizations and their products — how it can drive both business and technology. We can learn to simplify without sacrificing comfort and meaning, and we can achieve the balance described in Law 10. This law, which Maeda calls “The One,” tells us: “Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.”

Table of Contents

  • Law 1 Reduce: The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.
  • Law 2 Organize: Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.
  • Law 3 Time: Savings in time feel like simplicity.
  • Law 4 Learn: Knowledge makes everything simpler.
  • Law 5 Differences: Simplicity and complexity need each other.
  • Law 6 Context: What lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral.
  • Law 7 Emotion: More emotions are better than less.
  • Law 8 Trust: In simplicity we trust.
  • Law 9 Failure: Some things can never be made simple.
  • Law 10 The One: Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.
  • Key 1 Away: More appears like less by simply moving it far, far away.
  • Key 2 Open: Openness simplifies complexity.
  • Key 3 Power: Use less, gain more.

John Maeda interviewed by tompeters.com

Endorsement from Tom Peters: “I planned to skim/sample John Maeda’s book, then decide to endorse it — or not. I quickly found myself mesmerized — and thence the only issue was deciding what were the strongest words I could muster in support of The Laws of Simplicity. The book is important; and Maeda has made an absurdly complex subject — simplicity — approachable and usable. Bravo! I hope the people who design the products I’ll acquire in the next ten years take this book to heart.”

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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