Arthur Shelley : Clever Synthesis of Knowledge to Drive Actions Workshop
How do we move from what is to what is possible ?
ACTKM 10 Workshop Abstract
An international fast moving consumer good company commissioned an organisational network analysis to determine how the knowledge flows and network connection influenced the performance of their business. This interactive exercise provides the research data to the audience and asks them to formulate a series of projects to enhance the performance of the organisation. Groups will be given 15 minutes to formulate their ideas based on the data and make recommendation around 5 priorities they believe should be implemented in the short and long term.
During 1990‟s and early 2000‟s many organisations expanded rapidly through acquisition. This rapid growth was often not accompanied by structured assimilation of knowledge assets and resources. Often some of the most valuable knowledge resources in the acquired organisation were not leveraged as they were not recognised or lost in the process. Some organisations deployed Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) as a means of determining the network infrastructure and knowledge flow through the organisation. This case study is an example where ONA provided a mass of data and a report with recommendation on what to act on as a priority to create value and enhance performance across a variety of knowledge based initiatives.
This exercise provides the participants with a summarised version of the data and asks them to formulate a knowledge strategy with 5 prioritised initiatives that address a portfolio of long and short term activities which will enhance individual, team and organisational performance. Each team will then play the role of the knowledge leader and pitch (five minutes) their knowledge based strategy to other participants playing the role of the Executive board whilst other groups look on. A general discussion of all groups will be done at the end to assess the collective ideas and compare with what was recommended and done in the real case.
Asked 10 people who knew the key knowledge area which generated a list of 40 other people – then they did an online survey & asked who do you know -> generated 247 names & included 58 who didn’t work for the org – eg suppliers, past employees, etc
Exercise : Arthur provided us with 6 ONA network diagrams & then stated : So you have same data as they did : what would you do to address the knowledge management block situation : 10 minutes to look at data – ie what questions would you ask …
Each table at the ACTKM10 launched in to quick conversations on possible solutions - 10 minutes too short really to generate comprehensive action proposals
- it is the Conversations that matter : generating divergent thinking – seeking something more - aligning with the view that it is relationships that matter in Knowledge Management not the iT Tools proferred by so many vendors
· Is that person a broker of a bottleneck ? : Command & Control – South American head of ops – so limits the options – can be a cultural issue – need to work on Trust issue – KC approached Country Presidents to nominate members to join a COP
· If you don’t get the answer first up where do you go next – don’t give them answer – send them to someone else who knows it all better than you do
· How do we get boundary spanners engaging ?
· To what your existing networks correlation with innovation or profitability to the organization – there was no network connections – the core 40 had worked in several different countries and so had developed networks
· What limitations to communicate exist & what are the significant communication channels
· What is the isolation factor and how does that affect knowledge flow ?
· Does head office facilitate & coordinate knowledge flow ?
· Is specialisation concentrated in the centre and could it be better shared by engaging participants in the network
· Wanted to know why head office was the centre of focus dealing with complex issues ?
· Why aren’t the right people talking to each other ?
The Next Exercise – to develop solutions to get around bottlenecks ... suggestions ..
· Set up community of practices or projects – supported by head office & involving people across the business globally given permission to participate – builds connections Set up a competition where significant prize given – need to have engagement
· Giving people something specific to work on – develops more relationships & outcomes
· Red dot – global expert who was about to retire – asked what work he had to finish – then told that he had wouldn’t finish these himself – but he would mentor projects around the world - outcome was lots of younger project manager became capable – he had to travel around to
· Mention of Fluor – global competition – knowledge based projects that they were working on – judged
· Build centre of expertise in each region and then have these interact with each other
· Beef up the induction program during its acquisition phase
Arthur Shelley - KM – we often get clever about ideas & options but don’t always carry it forward to develop solutions
My Insight on Arthur's Workshop : The Power of Conversation & How to Use Content to get better value from the conversation