Originally published on April 13, 2018

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This is the 15th article in the Profiles in Knowledge series featuring thought leaders in knowledge management. Graham Durant-Law was the principal and director in a boutique consulting company called Knowledge Matters, which specialized in business network analysis (BNA) and knowledge management solutions. He earned his doctorate at the University of Canberra researching “Mapping Social Connectivity and Artefact Relationships to Improve Knowledge Productivity.” His work included:

  • A business network analysis of an organization that has a portfolio of projects valued in excess of 40 billion Australian dollars. This analysis revealed hitherto unknown relationships, enabling senior management to make more informed decisions.
  • The design and support to a knowledge management system, colloquially known as TARDIS, for Capability Development Group of the Australian Defence Force. TARDIS, won the 2004 actKM combined cultural and technological silver award the first time a combined award of this type was presented.

Graham’s personal web site, now devoted to bagpiping, used to host his blog and many papers and presentations on knowledge management and BNA. That rich content is no longer available there, but I retrieved it through The Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive and made the links available here.

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Profiles

Content

Knowledge management is a subject that fascinates me — so much so that I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Canberra. My topic is ‘A knowledge productivity model for the public sector’. I am a knowledge practitioner and currently I am assisting in the design, development and deployment of a knowledge management system for the Australian Defence Force, colloquially known as TARDIS. I am a director in a small company called HolisTech® Pty Ltd, which specialises in problem projects and knowledge management. Accordingly much of this web site is devoted to knowledge management.

Inside you will find some theory on knowledge, and in particular knowledge models, which I trust will be of interest to you. There is also a growing list of books and journal articles, and some links to papers and presentations I have presented at conferences with a knowledge management theme. I have also included a page that will take you to my favourite websites. However, knowing that I am interested in knowledge management only tells you part of the story. You will also find information about who I am, what I am doing at the moment, and what I have done in the past — just surf through the pages using the navigation bar, or follow the hyperlinks on the pages.

2. Discipline

I think the missing element in the knowledge management is the notion of discipline. Discipline is the means by which organizations do things at the right time, in the right place, to the right quality, using the right processes. There are at least five types of discipline, all of which are essential if a knowledge management initiative is to succeed.

Discipline is not about punishing people, but rather about engendering the right culture and skills, so that things are done at the right time, in the right place, to the right quality, and using the right processes, all with limited assistance. That said, management should not be afraid of holding people to account, and to discipline them appropriately if necessary. Hopefully this is a rare requirement, but it is requirement managers should not be afraid of enacting.

Following standard processes is a discipline, and requires discipline. It allows freedom of movement and decision, knowing the base is solid. It requires individual discipline and commitment to follow a process that one may not completely agree with, or to use corporately-supplied tools that may not be intuitive to some individuals. It takes individual discipline to think about the corporate need and share their knowledge in the first place.

Discipline does not mean that people are not free to criticize or to do things as they see fit — the right to criticize is one of the foundations of improvement. However, when deviation from the norm occurs, and then reasons and approval should be provided, always remembering the paradigm that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. That said, when acting outside the norm, one must do so with skill and a complete understanding of why it is necessary to do things differently. To do otherwise is a mark of a lack of discipline.

Discipline does not require a hands-on approach by managers and leaders, but it does require that managers and leaders remain connected. Discipline starts at the top. It is a given that executives must maintain discipline in their own actions. Only then they can expect discipline from their staff. In this case it is a matter of ‘doing as I do.’

In short, any knowledge management journey requires people to exercise individual discipline to constantly look to the collective good. It requires group and cultural discipline to work to a common cause. It requires process discipline to follow mandated corporate requirements, and it requires technology discipline to work with what you have and not constantly seek the technological silver bullet.

I trust you find my answer to be interesting, useful and different!

Documents

  1. Discipline is Not a Dirty Word!
  2. Knowledge Productivity™ in a Project-Focused Government Department: What Works and What Doesn’t
  3. The TARDIS Knowledge Productivity System
  4. TARDIS: A Journey Through An Enterprise Knowledge Space
  5. TARDIS Final Presentation
  6. TARDIS: An Australian Case Study in Applied Knowledge Management Focusing on Non-Technological Implementation Issues
  7. Dreams, Wants, Needs and Realities: A Three Year Review of TARDIS
  8. Logical Thinking
  9. Using Business Network Analysis™ Techniques in Project Management
  10. Corporate Amnesia, Discipline, and Knowledge Management
  11. Knowledge Management in a Public Sector Organisation
  12. A Knowledge Productivity Model for the Public Sector: PhD Research Proposal
  13. SNA Survey
  14. Knowledge Survey
  15. Research Paradigms, the Philosophical Trinity, and Methodology
  16. A Knowledge Management Research Approach?
  17. The Tacit Knowledge Advantage
  18. Knowledge Management Models or Models of Knowledge?
  19. Network Project Management
  20. Soft Systems Methodology and Grounded Theory Combined — A Knowledge Management Research Approach?
  21. Specifying a Knowledge Management System
  22. The Knowledge Conundrum. Unraveling the Knowledge Component on Knowledge Management Models
  23. The Knowledge Level of Maturity (KLOM) — A Knowledge Approach to Identifying Risk in Projects
  24. A Network Analysis of the actKM Community of Interest
  25. An Introduction to Network Analysis as a Research Technique Seminar slidesWorkshop slides
  26. An Introduction to Social and Organisational Network Analysis
  27. Introducing Network Analysis as a Research Technique
  28. Business Network Analysis™
  29. actKM KeyNote
  30. Knowledge Management Models or Models of Knowledge? A Critical Review of the Literature
  31. Social, Organisational, and Business Network Analysis™ as Research Techniques
  32. Managing Project Interdependencies: Exploring New Approaches
  33. Applying the RAAAKERS™ framework in an analysis of the command and control arrangements of the ADF garrison health support
  34. An Introduction to Network Analysis as a Research Technique — 2010 Version
  35. Using SNA for organisational and personal improvement
  36. Network Numerology: Demystifying Numbers in Social Network Analysis

Blog Posts

  1. Black Art Definitions
  2. Surfaces and Gaps, Killing Grounds, Strategy and Conversation
  3. From data to wisdom
  4. On Wisdom
  5. The Knowledge Conduit
  6. Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives
  7. Sometimes a Picture is Only Worth a Few Words!
  8. Connected
  9. Connectivity is Enabling Pavlovian Work Practices
  10. Is the Pyramid to Wisdom Model Useful?
  11. Knowledge Management Is Still A Dirty Phrase
  12. The Knowledge Productivity Target
  13. The Six Knows Knowledge Model
  14. Using Network Analysis to Solve Hunger and Poverty
  15. Mapping Website Differentiation
  16. Brokerage and Closure
  17. Structural Holes
  18. Hogmanay, Paulatim and Knowledge Management
  19. Deconstructing Complexity
  20. 2007’s Top 50 Websites?
  21. Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek
  22. Meet Tertius Iungens, the True Knowledge Broker
  23. Which Knowledge Management School Do You Belong To?
  24. Knowledge Management Lessens Crime
  25. Knowledge Productivity Thesis
  26. Black Leaders and the Dog Syndrome
  27. Social Network Analysis in Program Evaluation
  28. Social Networks and Organizations
  29. Who is the Most Important Person?
  30. Knowledge Management Is On The Rise But Fails To Deliver
  31. Knowledge Is Whatever We Believe It To Be!
  32. Is the Word “Knowledge” Content-Free?
  33. Knowledge Management Schools?
  34. Microsoft Excel Network Analysis Add-In
  35. Methodological Pitfalls in Social Network Analysis
  36. The Philosophical Trinity
  37. Stupid Surveys
  38. New Knowledge Management Principles?
  39. Defence BNA™ Case Study
  40. Knowing Projects
  41. Connectivity Paralysis
  42. Does Knowledge Management Need A Maturity Model?
  43. The Power of Number Visualisation
  44. Happy Flu Network Diffusion Experiment
  45. TNT Connectedness
  46. Is Knowledge Representation Becoming More Visual?
  47. Dollars or Links? Visualising Collective Knowledge
  48. The Father of Knowledge Management?
  49. 4-Pane Achromatopsia
  50. Idea Thieves
  51. Seeking the Silver Bullet
  52. Do Even More With Less
  53. Seven Steps from Everyone
  54. Archetypes Still Don’t Matter!
  55. Catnets
  56. A Billion Dollar Knowledge Transfer Mistake!
  57. Conference Week in Australia
  58. The Shadow Organisation and Network Analysis
  59. Theories of Communication Networks
  60. The Clean Child Indicator
  61. Organisational Restructuring
  62. Social Network Analysis and Smoking Behaviour
  63. Website Personality
  64. The Definitional Conundrum
  65. Working Wikily
  66. The SMART Framework
  67. The Invisible Discipline
  68. Research Question, Central Idea, Assumptions and Propositions
  69. Research Contributions and Value
  70. Blogging a Thesis
  71. Knowledge Management and Network Analysis Bibliography
  72. Knowledge as an Artefact
  73. Social Network Analysis and the Dynamic Spread of Happiness
  74. Database Failure and New Beginnings
  75. Blood-Sucking Consultants and Proprietary Databases
  76. Meet Tertius Iungens, the True Knowledge Broker
  77. Critical Mass
  78. Who is Tertius Gaudens?
  79. Where Would You Allocate Your Priorities?
  80. Collaborate for an Ethical Cyberspace
  81. Don’t Let Cyber-Vandals Beat You!
  82. Genocide Knowledge Management
  83. Visualising Organisational Efficiency
  84. Net Work
  85. Senior Officer Interest Lights (SOILs)
  86. Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL
  87. Network Power
  88. Understanding the Complexity of a Program of Projects
  89. Understanding the Complexity of Program Management
  90. Understanding the Complexity of Program Management 2
  91. Visualising Project Programme Risk?
  92. Where Would You Allocate Your Priorities?

Directories

1. Knowledge Matters Index

  1. Collaboration maps
  2. Information flow maps
  3. Interface maps
  4. Policy relationship maps
  5. Project interface maps
  6. Social capital maps
  7. Doing an analysis
  1. Knowledge models
  2. Knowledge theory
  1. Interests
  2. Doctorate

2. Categories

3. Site map

  1. Collaboration maps
  2. Information flow maps
  3. Organisational interface maps
  4. Policy relationship maps
  5. Project interface maps
  6. Social capital maps
  7. Doing an analysis
  8. Presentations
  9. Book reviews
  10. Blog-posts
  11. Visualisations
  1. Knowledge models
  2. Knowledge theory
  3. Papers
  4. Presentations
  5. Book reviews
  6. Blog-posts
  1. KM posts
  2. Network posts
  3. Other posts
  1. KM news
  2. BNA news
  3. PM news
  4. Sources

4. Graham Durant-Law

  1. Toolset
  2. Original approach
  3. Research progression
  1. Peer reviewed
  2. University
  3. Other
  1. Knowledge management
  2. Network analysis
  3. TARDIS
  4. Other

Other Content

Videos: How to Do a Business Network Analysis™

Books

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  1. Brokerage and Closure by Ronald Burt. It’s no secret that I am a fan of Professor Ronald Burt’s work. His book “Structural Holes: the Social Structure of Competition”, is a seminal publication. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for “Brokerage and Closure”, although I would still give it four stars. Read in sequence and in conjunction with each other they offer the knowledge management practitioner and network analyst some useful insights.
  2. Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another by Doctor Philip Ball, who is a physicist by education and a science writer for Nature. I read it because of my interest in networks and complexity, and this book promised some insights. It was an entertaining read, but was hard going in a lot of places. Despite this the book was well written and flowed naturally.
  3. Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek by Wouter de Nooy, Andrej Mrvar, and Vladimir Batagelj. Pajek means spider in Slovenian. Pajek is also a software program for the analysis and visualisation of very large networks; networks with thousands if not millions of vertices. It is a program I use occasionally, however I prefer UCINET and NetMiner 3, because I find these programs to be easier to use.
  4. Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World by Patti Anklam, who is a recognized practitioner in network analysis circles. The central theme is we work through informal and formal networks, which may be tangible or intangible, but all have value. Her primary assumption is that all networks can be mapped. These maps serve to describe the network and provide a diagnosis of the health of the mapped entity, albeit the map is a snapshot in time. Patti’s premise is if the network can be mapped and described then the network can be managed and weaved — a premise I largely agree with, and which is an underlying assumption in my research.
  5. Weak Links: Stabilizers of Complex Systems from Proteins to Social Networks by Peter Csermely, who is a Professor of Biochemistry at the Semmelweis University of Budapest. The central theme is weak links are the determinants of system stability and diversity. Csermely defines a link “as ‘weak’, when its addition or removal does not change the mean value of a target measure at a statistically discernible way”.
  6. Structural Holes: the Social Structure of Competition by Ronald Burt. This is a seminal publication and a must read for anyone interested in network theory. The book has an academic flavor but is well written, with many easy to understand examples. Burt’s central thesis is that structural holes in business networks are very important. A structural hole is a gap between two individuals. When the two are connected through a third individual important advantages accrue for the third individual, who may employ a tertius strategy.

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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