KM and Sports, Dave Pollard and Bruce Hoppe, Regional Knowledge Resource Kit, KM Toolkit, Managing Knowledge-Based Initiatives
KM Question of the Week
Q: Can the world of sports teach us anything about knowledge management?
A: Yes. An example is the 2008 NCAA men’s basketball championship game between Memphis and Kansas.
At the end of the game, Memphis led Kansas by 3 points. This situation is a much-debated one in basketball — should the team which is leading by 3 points commit a foul to prevent the other team from making a 3-point basket to tie the game?
My son Roger, a former college basketball player and sports journalist, called me during the 2004 NBA Finals to emphasize that our hometown Detroit Pistons should foul the Los Angeles Lakers in this situation. Detroit failed to do so, even though they could have fouled Shaquille O’Neal, one of the worst free-throw shooters of all time. Their failure to do so allowed Kobe Bryant to make a tying 3-pointer, and the Lakers went on to win the game in overtime.
Near the end of the game on April 7, 2008, I called Roger to point out that Memphis had the same chance but did not take it (he said he was expecting my call). For more on the debate, see Memphis Doesn’t Foul with 3-point Lead and C(h)alm in the Clutch.
Late in the game, Memphis showed three examples of the knowing-doing gap: “why knowledge of what needs to be done frequently fails to result in action or behavior consistent with that knowledge.”
- Joey Dorsey of Memphis committed his fifth foul when he knew that he shouldn’t have. This stopped the clock, allowed Kansas to score two easy points, and removed a key player from the game due to Dorsey fouling out.
- After Kansas missed a layup, Memphis had a two-on-one fast break with time running out. They should have tried to run out the clock, but instead, Derrick Rose attempted a shot and was fouled. This stopped the clock and set up the 3-point lead scenario when Rose missed one of two free throws. Players know that running out the clock is more important than scoring, but their instinct to score sometimes takes over, as in this case.
- Memphis coach John Calipari said in a post-game interview that his team was trying to commit a foul to prevent the tying 3-pointer. So they probably knew what to do, but were unsure or unable to carry out the strategy.
What can be learned from this, both for sports and other settings?
- Regularly spend time explaining, discussing, and practicing key strategies. Repetition is important.
- Review examples and stories from important precedents to reinforce the point you wish to make. For example, in the 2007 tournament, Ohio State forced overtime when Xavier failed to foul with a 3-point lead. A video replay of the end of that game could have been shown regularly to the team to demonstrate the impact of not fouling.
- Coaches should not assume that their players will be able to carry out previously defined strategies in the heat of the moment. They should take timeouts at key points in the game to explicitly remind the players what is at stake, what the strategy is, and the roles of all team members in implementing it.
KM Thought Leader of the Week
I posed the following question to many KM thought leaders and will be featuring their answers in this section. “If you were invited to give a keynote speech on knowledge management, what words of wisdom or lessons learned would you impart?”
KM is simply the art enabling trusted, context-rich conversations among the appropriate members of communities about things these communities are passionate about. Most of this KM 0.0 stuff is inexpensive and ubiquitous, so enterprising information and IT professionals can introduce it without having to get permission and resources from management. Here’s a walk-through of what it comprises:
- Personal content management tools
- RSS-publishable and subscribable personal web pages, blogs and small-group-created wikis
- Communities of passion
- Stories and visualizations as the principal formats of content
- Open access
- awareness alerts (what’s new that’s important to our organization?)
- research (what does it mean?)
- guidance (what should we do about it?)
7. A simple set of connectivity enablers
- virtual meeting tools
- organization and facilitation of real & virtual events
- people-finding and community-creating tools
8. Public site geared to what the customer wants to know
These eight components of KM 0.0 / PKM are the antithesis of what most large organizations provide as Knowledge Management resources. Most of them are quite simple and inexpensive to implement. They simply enable trusted, context-rich conversations among communities that care. Imagine that.
Those who want to support Dave’s “KM 0.0” notion will do well to notice how 1920’s anthropological study of archaic societies anticipates this 2006 MIT Sloan Management Review cover on “Enterprise 2.0.” The good part of the article is McAfee’s list of six components of Enterprise 2.0, which conveniently yields the acronym SLATES:
- Search — keyword search is becoming increasingly powerful
- Links — density of links is increasing, providing ever richer context
- Authoring — more and more people are creating both content and links
- Tags — emergent categories make content easier to navigate
- Extensions — generate useful recommendations based on other people like you
- Signals — RSS and news aggregators protect users from information overload
My main complaint about the article is how McAfee associates SLATES with “the dawn of emergent collaboration.” People have been practicing emergent collaboration ever since we dropped out of the trees and learned how to walk and make tools.
Dave’s poem also deserves more consideration:
- Content, collection;
- Context, connection.
I interpret this poem as a tribute to Amazon.com and other exemplars of the Long Tail phenomenon — digital hosts who provide not only content but also ways for users to interact through their experience of that content. It’s an amazingly successful network recipe cooked with equal measures of centrality, clustering, and structural equivalence.
KM Blog of the Week
My good friend Nerida Hart, who is now working at Land and Water Australia, has pointed me on a number of occasions to the Regional Knowledge Resource Kit. I have had some cursory looks at it in the past but over the past couple of days I have looked at it in more detail and it is an incredibly valuable KM resource. The work that they have done with the various regional bodies is amazing, brokering conversations amongst local practitioners to share knowledge and build connections.
The Kit itself is full of great information and links to valuable resources. It does not just have utility for regional land managers but for anyone who needs to work with a community to find out their particular needs, develop trusted relationships and develop strategies for implementing concrete actions that will create value for them. One of the key insights for me from the conversation with Nerida and delving into the site is that anecdote circles work best when the group knows each other a bit — so therefore it’s best to have anecdote circles during the middle of the process rather than at the start.
KM Link of the Week
Here we present methods and tools for knowledge sharing and learning. The aim is to help people getting familiar with methods and tools for planning and reflecting own activities, drawing lessons and sharing insights and applying them. The full toolkit comprises a number of useful methods to be applied at personal, team and organizational level.
The method descriptions are provided in four languages (English, French, Spanish, and German). To make the transfer to daily life attractive, the methods are presented in two forms: a calendar sheet with a concise description and a credit card size short summary. For each method, a comprehensive description is provided in English only, with links to websites where you can find more information about the respective method.
- After Action Review (AAR)
- Collegial Coaching
- Yellow Pages
- SWOT (Strengths — Weaknesses — Opportunities — Threats)
- Good Practice
- Knowledge Fair
- Exit Interview
- Story Telling
- Experience Capitalization
- Peer Assist
KM Book of the Week
Keeping the unique challenges of knowledge-based work in mind, Stacy Land explores what knowledge managers/project managers must know to effectively navigate within their organizations, position their work in a value-based framework, and publicize their work to increase buy-in. Topics include avoiding common sand traps, working with committees and multiple departments, compliance, entering a new world of politics and funding, achieving organizational alignment, developing and executing on a value proposition, negotiating executive sponsorship, and more.
- Step-by-step guide on how to successfully move your knowledge-based initiative from pilot to enterprise deployment
- Covers how to develop and implement your value proposition to align with organizational objectives and values
- Shows how to prepare for an executive meeting, how to work with IT and how to navigate through levels of committees and bureaucracy
- Chapter 1: Baseline Points of Understanding
- Chapter 2: Before You Get Started
- Chapter 3: Understanding and Mapping
- Chapter 4: Executive Sponsorship and Network Building
- Chapter 5: Executive Sponsorship from the
- Chapter 6: Value Prop 101
- Chapter 7: Using Your Value Props
- Chapter 8: Committees, Committees, Committees
- Chapter 9: Working with PMOs
- Chapter 10: Making Sense of Dollars and Cents
- Chapter 11: IT Friend or Foe?
- Chapter 12: Expert Q&A With Brandon Goldfedder
- Chapter 13: Engaging the Help Desk
- Chapter 14: The Corporate Red Carpet
- Chapter 15: Selling Knowledge-Based Work in Real Life