KM for Marketing, Bill Ives, 4 Paradoxes of KM, Enterprise 2.0 Revisited, Tools for Communities Wiki, Pleased but Not Satisfied

09-May-08 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Question of the Week

Q: What can knowledge management processes and tools do for corporate marketing?

A: Traditional marketing communications methods include:

  1. Direct mail, email, and voicemail messages
  2. Web sites
  3. Links from other web sites
  4. Conference calls and virtual meeting rooms
  5. Periodicals and publications
  6. Meetings, events, tradeshows, conferences, seminars, and training sessions
  7. Audience surveys and focus groups
  8. Advertising
  9. Public relations and analyst relations
  10. Interviews, news stories, and published articles

Using tools often associated with knowledge management, corporate marketing can better engage with both employees and customers. Here are ten ways to do so:

1. Threaded discussions: forums for carrying on discussions among subscribers on a specific subject, including online and email posts and replies, searchable archives, and discussions grouped by threads to show the complete history on each topic

  • Internal: Allow employees to collaborate with one another, ask and answer questions, and share information.
  • External: Encourage customers to help one another, suggest products and services, and engage with each other. Example: HP IT resource center forums

2. Social software: a range of tools that facilitate social networking, typically personal web pages including bios, interests, links, photos, videos, personal networks, posts, and comments; web and mobile applications used to turn communication into interactive dialogue, sharing, and assistance

  • Internal: Allow employees to have similar functionality to what they are used to externally. Encourage them to gain experience in using these tools.
  • External: Encourage customers to build networks built on products and services, interests, preferences, etc. Example: Facebook

3. Bookmarks and tags: information about information — data fields added to documents, web sites, files, or lists which allow related items to be listed, searched for, navigated to, syndicated, and collected

  • Internal: Allow employees to bookmark their favorite sites.
  • External: Encourage customers to tag their favorite company-related sites. Example:

4. Community spaces: Collaboration sites to share files, hold meetings, conduct polls, and maintain lists

  • Internal: Allow employees to collaborate on topics of interest.
  • External: Encourage customers to collaborate on company-related topics. Example: Yahoo! Groups

5. Portals: Unified user access interfaces and repositories of documents and information

  • Internal: Allow employees to interact with a single site which integrates content from multiple sources.
  • External: Encourage customers to visit a single site for all of their support needs. Example: HP Customer Support

6. Wikis: Web pages which can be edited by any user for interactive content development by multiple people

  • Internal: Allow employees to create and collaboratively edit their own content pages.
  • External: Encourage customers to collaboratively edit community pages. Example: IBM Public Wikis

7. Webcasts and webinars: Web-based broadcasts of video, audio, and slides; allow questions to be entered anonymously

  • Internal: Communicate useful marketing information to employees to help them better do their jobs.
  • External: Communicate useful marketing information to customers to help them better understand company offerings. Example: Deloitte Dbriefs Webcasts

8. Blogs: Web logs to post news updates, solicit comments, and take advantage of RSS syndication capability

  • Internal: Give employees a voice, solicit their inputs and suggestions, and make executives more approachable and real.
  • External: Communicate useful information to customers with a personal face to build credibility and increase engagement. Example: HPE blogs

9. Podcasts: Recorded broadcasts available on demand or by subscription for those who prefer audio, like to listen while performing other tasks, or who are not usually connected to the network and subscribe for automatic downloads of the broadcasts through RSS syndication

  • Internal: Allow employees to receive communications in a way which is more convenient for them.
  • External: Encourage customers to subscribe to receive audio communications on a regular basis. Example: Deloitte Press Room podcasts

10. Videos: Recorded videos available on demand for those who prefer video, when there is important visual content, or for special occasions

  • Internal: Allow employees to record and upload their own videos to share information, create excitement, and emulate YouTube.
  • External: Encourage customers to view product and service videos to learn more about offerings in an appealing way. Example: HPE Video Gallery

KM Thought Leader of the Week

I posed the following question to many KM thought leaders. “If you were invited to give a keynote speech on knowledge management, what words of wisdom or lessons learned would you impart?” This week’s answer is from Bill Ives, who has been blogging for a long time at Portals and KM.

“I would say that some principles still hold. Align your KM efforts with business processes and measure them by the impact on these processes. Do not create disconnected document libraries. I would add now to explore the opportunities that social software brings to the table. There is the potential for creating searchable knowledge bases as a byproduct of working in the new transparency offered by these tools.

However, I would not abandon the first two principles as you explore these tools. Some of the newest generation tools for business use behind the firewall have gone beyond blogs and wikis to create workflow applications that incorporate this new transparency. This allows for better teamwork AND a searchable, archived window into to what the organization is doing for all who need to know, should know, and can benefit from this knowledge.

Now, when I say workflow or work process, I do not mean the static inflexible workflow of old-style content management or project management tools. The advantage of these new tools is that they allow work processes that are more organic and dynamic. They allow the users to control the workflow or process, build it up from tasks and make changes as needed. And, to repeat, they allow for transparency and archiving, and thus KM, to be a byproduct of work, rather than an added requirement.”

KM Blog of the Week

Posts by Andrew Gent

The Four Paradoxes of KM

The four paradoxes of KM are the following:

  1. Tacit vs. Explicit
  2. Local vs. Global
  3. Open vs. Closed
  4. Quantity vs. Quality

Enterprise 2.0, Revisited

The two basic facts that need to be accepted are:

  1. A business is not a democracy. It cannot be run by the wisdom of the crowd. You can delegate responsibility, but ultimately management is responsible (legally and financially) and will dictate the direction of the company.
  2. Employees are individuals and will decide for themselves whether they believe a decision, a direction, or an activity is good or bad.

So, very pragmatically, the following actions are needed at specific points of intersection:

  1. Search & User-Generated Content
  2. Employee Directory & Social Networking
  3. Corporate Intranet Banner & Tagging, Bookmarks, Etc.

KM Link of the Week

Tools for Communities Wiki

This wiki is a companion piece to a book Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technologies for Communities by Etienne Wenger, Nancy White and John D. Smith. Like all wikis, this was a work in progress. It collected knowledge about how Communities of Practice use different tools. The vision was to provide a community perspective on these tools and their key features.

KM Book of the Week

I attended the 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting on May 3 in Omaha, Nebraska. It was an enlightening experience to hear Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger answer questions for hours on end.

Some of the most challenging questions were answered by David Sokol, whose book was on sale at the meeting and is featured this week.

Pleased, but Not Satisfied by David Sokol

The former chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company explains that Pleased, but Not Satisfied is a state of mind and that running a business is a journey never finished. He emphasizes that business basics are fundamental to creating long-term value in any enterprise. Conservative economic analysis and disciplined, detailed management practices may not be flashy, but they consistently deliver high quality results.

Table of Contents

Preface by Walter Scott, Jr.

Foreword by Warren E. Buffett

1. Background — Good Judgment Comes from Bad Experiences

2. Core Principles — The Six Commandments of Business

  • Customer Commitment
  • Employee Commitment
  • Financial Strength
  • Integrity
  • Environmental Respect
  • Operational Excellence

3. Goal Setting and Budgeting — Simple Concepts That Create Uncommon Outcomes

4. Plan, Execute, Measure and Correct — The Four Steps to Achievement

5. Acquisitions/Business Expansion — A Pro Forma Is Not a Business

6. Individual Improvement — How to Get Noticed the Right Way

7. Balance in Business and Personal Life — A Successful Life’s Journey Must Be Individualized

8. Conclusion — Get the Basics Right and Success Will Follow

Addendum — The Power of Brands — A Speech by Kenneth I. Chenault

Sokol’s book sees brisk sales by John Keenan and Steve Jordon of the Omaha World-Herald

David Sokol may no longer be chief executive of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., but the Omaha businessman has a new title: published author. “Pleased But Not Satisfied,” a slim business volume published by Sokol’s company, has been selling briskly at the Bookworm at Countryside Village.

Manager Diana Abbott said she expects the book to be a huge seller at this year’s Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. Sokol said his book stemmed from an internal training program at MidAmerican that is part of the company’s overall succession plan.

“I saw it as an opportunity to put down our general business philosophy,” he said. “I wrote it last spring, just to have it for our internal use.”

All proceeds from the bookstore sales are going to the MidAmerican Charitable Foundation.

Written by

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

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