Change Management, Etienne Wenger, Matt Moore Visits America, Auditing the Lessons Architecture, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

24-Mar-08 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Question of the Week

Q: I am working on standardizing the Management of Change (MoC) methodology used within our KM group. I am interested in:

  1. Any existing MoC community
  2. Any articles on defining measures for MoC

A: See:

  1. Change Management Process
  2. Change Management Learning Center
  3. 10 Principles of Change Management
  4. Change management articles
  5. Change Management Articles, Webcasts, Blogs, Forums, Wikis, and Polls
  6. Change Management Resource Guide
  7. Communication in Change Management
  8. All Talk, No Action? A 5-Step Guide to Make Change Happen Within Your Organization
  9. Organizational and personal change management, process, plans, change management and business development tips
  10. Change Management Forum
  11. Change Management Blog

KM Thought Leader of the Week

John Hovell wrote to me, “I’m very excited to have an opportunity to eat breakfast with Etienne Wenger — might there be any question or message that I could pass along for you?”

To which I replied, “My question for Etienne is ‘what does he see in the coming 1–2 years for communities of practice (CoPs) — more of the same, or one or more new developments?’ In some ways, nothing is really new with CoPs, but at the same time, with the growing interest in Web 2.0, it can result in new energy for tools which have been around for a long time such as discussion forums. Is anything really new, or is the main thing to continue applying approaches which are tried and true with more and more people?”

Here is what John sent back after the breakfast meeting with Etienne.

“I thoroughly enjoyed a conversation with Etienne this morning. We discussed social learning theory, game theory, developmental theory, the nature of the firm — free agent nation, CPsquare, and of course communities of practice.

I asked the question that you posed and his answer was twofold — first, he mentioned that the growing popularity and ease of blogs has the potential to slightly change the way community of practice practitioners interact. Second, he mentioned the hope for an increased social focus on the combination of individual trajectories and the care for domain within the next 2 years.

I had 3 favorite moments during our conversation. First, as we discussed social constructivism and social learning theory, I questioned the dichotomy of authoritative teaching (‘teacher knows best and teaches their knowledge’) versus social teaching (‘teacher enables students to learn’). I thought it was brilliant the way Etienne called that an unnecessary forced dichotomy because ‘best’ teaching is usually driven by the passion of the teacher, not the teaching method. It’s the passion of the leader that tends to drive the students to want to learn/know more. This was a moment for me because I immediately thought about the movie ‘Dead Poets Society’ (and all of my personal favorite teachers), where I thought I loved them because of their innovative teaching methods, but in actuality, it was probably their passion that motivated me most (and their passion probably drove those innovative styles).

Second, when I questioned the age-old ‘how do we incentivize/reward participation in CoPs, especially for folks that treat knowledge as power’ — Etienne responded with the view that CoPs are not necessarily knowledge-sharing approaches as much as they are functional groups that produce and provide value, so when viewed in that light, participation is driven by the shared understanding of providing business and personal value.

Finally, back to social learning theory, Etienne mentioned that social learning theory is currently lacking a relationship to developmental theory. In other words, at an extreme, social learning theory says nothing about the fact that a 5-year old cannot learn to be a rocket scientist — now maybe that is or is not true, but he believes that there is enough research out there to find synergies between social learning theory and development theory. I thought that was interesting and it came up after I mentioned that I think there could be synergies between social learning theory and game theory (how an individual acts based on how he/she expects others to react).

And I have to mention the funny paradox we briefly discussed — how employees tend to remain in a company for as long as the company enables them to leave. In other words, as long as a company is providing growth and learning opportunities, folks tend to stay (of course coupled with many other factors) all the while they are becoming more valuable in the market.”

Thanks to John for sharing his conversation with Etienne, and thanks to Etienne for his thoughts.

KM Blog of the Week

America by Matt Moore

I have decided to go to the United States of America in May. I plan to be in Washington for this and this and then it’s fair game. So far, I plan to see Nancy in Seattle, Vincent & Bruce in San Fran, Jenny & Rashid in NYC, Stan in Michigan, Jack in either Chicago or Boston.

Do you want to meet? Is there someone else you think I should meet? Or attend? Or just gawk at?

Detours into Mexico & Canada cannot be ruled out at this stage.

N.B. Engineers without Fears believes absolutely in whim and kismet.

KM Link of the Week

From Daan Boom in KM4dev

Auditing the Lessons Architecture


  • Learning Organizations 3
  • Organizational Learning 6
  • Organizational Culture 8
  • Learning for Change in ADB 10


  • Definition and Purpose 15
  • Deliverables 16
  • Constituents of Knowledge Audits 17



  • Survey Definition 23
  • Survey Results 24
  • Associated Initiatives 26



  • Appendix 1 Organizational Competence for Knowledge Management 34
  • Appendix 2 Perceptions Survey Results by Interface and Area of Organizational Competence 36
  • Appendix 3 Perceptions Survey Questionnaires and Responses 41
  • Appendix 4 Knowledge Management Gaps Identified by Perceptions Survey Respondents 72
  • Appendix 5 Knowledge Management Tools 73

1. Strategy Development

  • Knowledge Audit
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Most Significant Change
  • Outcome Mapping
  • Scenario Testing and Visioning

2. Management Techniques

  • The SECI Approach
  • Blame Versus Gain Behaviors
  • Force Field Analysis
  • Activity-Based Knowledge Mapping
  • Structured Innovation
  • Reframing Matrix

3. Collaboration Mechanisms

  • Teams: Virtual and Face-to-Face
  • Communities of Practice
  • Action Learning Sets
  • Six Thinking Hats
  • Mind Maps
  • Social Technologies

4. Knowledge Sharing and Learning

  • Stories
  • Peer Assists
  • Challenge Sessions
  • After-Action Reviews and Retrospects
  • Intranet Strategies
  • E-mail Guidelines
  • Taxonomies for Documents and Folders

5. Knowledge Capture and Storage

  • Exit Interviews
  • How-to Guides
  • Staff Profile Pages
  • Weblogs
  • Shared Network Drives

KM Book of the Week

I recently shared my presentation slides on How to be an Authentic Leader with colleagues and received this suggestion from Harry Tobin: “Here’s my favorite leadership book of the moment.”

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter

Goldsmith, an executive coach to the corporate elite, pinpoints 20 bad habits that stifle already successful careers as well as personal goals like succeeding in marriage or as a parent. Most are common behavioral problems, such as speaking when angry, which even the author is prone to do when dealing with a teenage daughter’s belly ring. Though Goldsmith deals with touchy-feely material more typical of a self-help book — such as learning to listen or letting go of the past — his approach to curing self-destructive behavior is much harder-edged.

For instance, he does not suggest sensitivity training for those prone to voicing morale-deflating sarcasm. His advice is to stop doing it. To stimulate behavior change, he suggests imposing fines (e.g., $10 for each infraction), asserting that monetary penalties can yield results by lunchtime. While Goldsmith’s advice applies to everyone, the highly successful audience he targets may be the least likely to seek out his book without a direct order from someone higher up. As he points out, they are apt to attribute their success to their bad behavior. Still, that may allow the less successful to gain ground by improving their people skills first.

Publisher’s Site

America’s most sought-after executive coach shows how to climb the last few rungs of the ladder

The corporate world is filled with executives, men and women who have worked hard for years to reach the upper levels of management. They’re intelligent, skilled, and even charismatic. But only a handful of them will ever reach the pinnacle — and as executive coach Marshall Goldsmith shows in this book, subtle nuances make all the difference. These are small “transactional flaws” performed by one person against another (as simple as not saying thank you enough), which lead to negative perceptions that can hold any executive back. Using Goldsmith’s straightforward, jargon-free advice, it’s amazingly easy behavior to change.

Executives who hire Goldsmith for one-on-one coaching pay $250,000 for the privilege. With this book, his help is available for 1/10,000th of the price.

Table of Contents

The Trouble with Success

  1. You Are Here 3
  2. Enough About You 11
  3. The Success Delusion, or Why We Resist Change 16
  4. The Twenty Habits That Hold You Back from the Top
  5. The Twenty Habits 35
  6. The Twenty-First Habit: Goal Obsession 99

How We Can Change for the Better

7. Feedback 111

8. Apologizing 136

9. Telling the World, or Advertising 142

10. Listening 147

11. Thanking 157

12. Following Up 161

13. Practicing Feedforward 170

Pulling Out the Stops

14. Changing: The Rules 179

15. Special Challenges for People in Charge 199

16. Coda: You Are Here Now 221

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager

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