Community Leader Survey, Learning Lessons or Lessons Learned, The Character of KM, Compete on Knowledge with CoPs

24-Jul-07 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Question of the Week

Q: We are planning an internal Community Development Conference. In preparation for the conference we will survey our community leaders to determine what they want in a conference. The survey will give us information to use in planning conference activities. The survey will also help community leaders recognize the value of communities to the corporation. I would like your input on questions to ask our community leaders in preparation for our conference.

A: If you have not already done so, I suggest that you join the SIKM Leaders Community and also post your question there.

Bruce Karney developed a survey which he sent to community leaders. Bruce summarized the results of the survey:

The “most valuable” option was a world-wide face to face meeting, with a world-wide conference call placing second. When asked which option had the highest ROI, the order was reversed, with the world-wide con call taking first place and the world-wide face-to-face meeting coming in second. Forums and distribution lists were rated as being equal in value, and both were significantly less valuable and lower in ROI than meetings and phone calls.

Here is the actual survey:

The first 6 questions list some ways that members of a Community of Practice for Community of Practice Leaders could interact. Please give your opinion of how valuable each approach would be.

Q1. A public distribution list for sending e-mail to other Community of Practice (CoP) Leaders.

  • High Value
  • Moderate Value
  • Low Value
  • Negative Value
  • No Opinion

Q2. An online discussion forum on the topic of leading a Community of Practice.

  • High Value
  • Moderate Value
  • Low Value
  • Negative Value
  • No Opinion

Q3. A monthly 1-hour conference call with CoP leaders from around the world. Calls would feature a 30 minute presentation and 30 minutes of open Q&A.

  • High Value
  • Moderate Value
  • Low Value
  • Negative Value
  • No Opinion

Q4. A monthly 1-hour conference call with CoP leaders from only your region. Calls would take place at a convenient time during your regular workday.

  • High Value
  • Moderate Value
  • Low Value
  • Negative Value
  • No Opinion

Q5. A 2-day face-to-face WORLDWIDE meeting for CoP leaders to meet and exchange ideas.

  • High Value
  • Moderate Value
  • Low Value
  • Negative Value
  • No Opinion

Q6. A 2-day face-to-face REGIONAL meeting for CoP leaders from the same region to meet and exchange ideas in three regional locations.

  • High Value
  • Moderate Value
  • Low Value
  • Negative Value
  • No Opinion

Q7. Of the six options just presented, which is the ONE that you think would have the highest value for you relative to its cost?

  • Public Distribution List
  • Online Discussion Forum
  • Worldwide Monthly Conference Call
  • Regional Monthly Conference Call
  • Worldwide Face-to-Face Meeting
  • Regional Face-to-Face Meetings
  • Don’t know

Q8. Are you a participant in the KM Community?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Formerly, but not any more
  • Don’t know

Q9. If you answered “Yes” or “Formerly” to Q. 8, how would you rate the value of the KM Community?

  • High value
  • Moderate value
  • Little value
  • Negative value
  • No opinion

Q10. Are you a participant in the Forum Moderators’ Forum?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Formerly, but not any more
  • Don’t know

Q11. If you answered “Yes” or “Formerly” to Q. 10, how would you rate the value of the Using the Forums Forum?

  • High value
  • Moderate value
  • Little value
  • Negative value
  • No opinion

Q12. How likely are you to participate in a CoP for CoP Leaders if it has the feature(s) you rated as highly valuable?

  • Very Likely
  • Somewhat Likely
  • Not Likely
  • Don’t know / No Opinion

Q13. What kind of Community do you lead?

  • Practice
  • Profession
  • Technology
  • Presales
  • Other

Q14. In which Region are you located?

  • Americas
  • Asia Pacific / Japan
  • EMEA

Q15. If you have ideas about other good ways for CoP leaders to learn from each other, please list them.

KM Blog of the Week

Cognitive Edge by Dave Snowden

Learning lessons or lessons learnt?

Five statements:

  1. If you start to talk about creating a knowledge sharing culture, or ask for advice on how to get people to share what they know you are missing the point.
  2. The issue is not to work out in advance what you might need to know, but rather to ensure that you can connect with people and knowledge objects in the context of need.
  3. Lessons learnt systems are not about truth — they are about meaning.
  4. The way people recall the past differs from the actual events.
  5. The more that material is improved, refined, and linked to established practice, the less valuable it is.

There is an underlying assumption here: that narrative material, anecdotes, pictures, fragments of stories is more valuable than structured documents and closer to the way we naturally share and create knowledge and learning.

Four suggested ways forward:

  1. Capture material at the right level of abstraction that’s not too difficult.
  2. Get people to record things as they do them, and then index the resulting material so the raw material is interpreted by those who created it.
  3. Allow people to talk about failure by allowing them to avoid any attribution of blame.
  4. Make capture continuous and a part of the job, not a post-job after-action review.

We need to be learning lessons continuously, not documenting lessons learnt.

KM Link of the Week

July K Street Directions from Chris Riemer of Knowledge Street LLC

  • The Character of KM
  • Neat or Scruffy?
  • Street Smarts 047: Automate your email
  • KM in the Public Sector
  • The Machine is Us

KM Book of the Week

Networks: Compete on Knowledge with CoPs by Carla O’Dell

Two employees, separated by thousands of miles, have each developed one half of a business strategy that would propel your organization to the top of its industry. A rookie engineer is about to make a decision that a seasoned veteran in another country would recognize as the beginning of a costly mistake. A project manager working in a remote location has no idea that a recent advancement could increase his team’s productivity tenfold.

How many opportunities for improvement has your organization missed simply because one employee’s knowledge was never shared?

In her latest examination of knowledge management best practices, KM thought leader Carla O’Dell reveals the new competitive advantage — a special class of communities of practice known as networks. An expansion of traditional communities of practice, networks are organization-wide forums for knowledge sharing among functional practitioners. These networks are integrated into the workflow and produce bottom-line results in industries demanding exceptional speed and accuracy.

Using case examples from Air Products and Chemicals, BHP Billiton, Buckman Laboratories International, Chevron, Fluor, and Halliburton, O’Dell explains how best-practice organizations leverage networks to maintain their industry-leading status and examines the cultural and technological enablers of thriving networks.

Table of Contents

> Opening

  • Communities of Practice

> What Makes Technical Networks Special?

> What is Driving the Formation of Technical Networks?

  • Global Business Models
  • Retirement, New Hires, and Internal Churn

> Case Examples

  • Air Products and Chemicals Inc.
  • BHP Billiton PLC
  • Buckman Laboratories International Inc.
  • Chevron Corporation
  • Fluor Corporation
  • Halliburton

> The Design and Deployment of Networks

  • Organizational Structure
  • Role of SMEs in Networks

> Communication Strategies

> Roles and Resources

  • Network and Community Roles
  • The KM Core Group

> Information Technology: Global Portals to Knowledge and Collaboration

> Next-Generation Networks: What’s Next for Networks

> Risks and Implications of Expanding Accountability

> Conclusion

Appendices

> Case Studies

  • Air Products and Chemicals Inc.
  • BHP Billiton PLC
  • Buckman Laboratories International Inc.
  • Chevron Corporation
  • Fluor Corporation
  • Halliburton

> APQC’s Communities of Practice Framework

> APQC Communities of Practice Resources

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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