Oct 24, 2010

Arthur Shelley - KM in The Organizational Zoo - my first encounter at NSW KMRt August 2007

One of my favourite Knowledge Management Speakers & Conversationalists is Arthur Shelley, RMIT & formerly of Cadbury SchweppesAuthor of various books including “The Organizational Zoo – A Survival Guide to Workplace Behaviour”.

I first encountered Arthur, face to face at a NSW KMRt session in August 2007, and then again in October in 2008 where he shared his thoughts on Wiki's in Education at RMIT at ACTKM08. Shortly after ACTM08, I was asked to share thoughts on KM in Project Management with postgraduate students at University of Wollongong. Arthur Shelley allowed me to use his work one of the key inspirations in my guest lecture to the mostly International Cohort of Postgraduate Students (with appropriate attributions to his work). Subsequently we have remained in periodic contact via the ACTKM discussion forum and Twitter convo's.

My notes from his inspiring August 2007 NSW KMRt presentation on The Organizational Zoo : 

  • Getting collaboration in an organization with 800 scientists across 36 sites globally
  • 3 years ago started tossing over bits & pieces of past failed initiatives
  • focus cultural attitudinal change
  • The 30 second elevator pitch to management – business benefits of KM
  • Organisational Charts with different types of animals – strategy – know the type of animal to understand how they operate & how to influence them (lions, eagles, hyenas, mice- eg lions are good for competing with other organizations but may create too much fear in their own team)
  • Triangle : Connect ->Collaborate-> Capitalise – used the 3 C’s Logo
    • Connect groups &  people with each other to Share
    • Get them Socialising so that they are more likely to Share
    • Then work out what they need to actively Collaborate – identify a mutual important project area
    • Get a small group together to Collaborate on a specific project (like AT & GW’s  FOG project) – their 5 day Turkish project – staff from around the globe – production line problem needed fixing – key executive past positive experience ->20% increase & they continued to work on other projects – alternative sweeteners – all working on it individually – pooled their ideas by e-technology & came up with a new alternative sweetener – no real costs to doing this extra bit of work
    • Create virtual environments to enable them to share what they know
    • To continue to add value need to close the loop – Capitalise – communicate the business benefits of the projects widely  in different ways to different stakeholders
      • Kudos for team members
      • Make their boss look good & you’ll get all the project funding that you will need
      • Get your elevator conversation right
      • Financial benefits for accountants
      • Storytelling for scientists & technology
      • Do not rabbit on about tacit, explicit & taxonomies
      • Pull approach not push – interested in how the organization could be far more productive???
  • Analogy given between Scientists and Newspaper editors –
    • Scientist’s need to know all the background , detailed analysis of the facts
    • Newspaper editors lead with a headline (doesn’t have to be true) that pulls in a reader to read the next paragraph and then the next etc
    • KM functions like newspaper editors – start off with an idea and build.

 Basics of Collaboration in Cadbury Schweppes

  • Create the right environment – focus on specific measurable outcomes (SMART goals)
  • Develop the right mix of Behaviours & Platforms – not just best technical experts

(persistent, praise, participation, support interactions & encourage fun!!)

  • Stimulate & encourage socialising & encourage fun

(ferment the zoo to mature interactions & participation)

  • Secure the Support of all Stakeholders – manage up, manage down, manage sideways

(align with business goals & generate regular results)

KM in Cadbury Schweppes – Why?

  • Increase productivity – increase quality
  • Increase innovation – reduced errors – solve issues
  • Increase creativity – increase adaptability
  • Motivate the workforce – attract & retain talent
  • Build relationships, trust & positive attitudes – ( Hong Kong  DBA Knowledge Yum Cha)


Understand Team Motives & Team Dynamics – the right behaviours to deliver skills needed for optimal collaboration

Set up a Candy Network – monthly international phone conference - with 5 people – well connected, well respected, right balance of behaviours & disciplines  – this grew to 50 people in a year – had to cap participants – people busting to get in – they need to participate

Sometimes you need face to face contacts – showed a really good slide on Delivery Platforms to embed KM into projects & processes – Discover, Leverage, Learning, Knowledge (– need to get a copy of this)

Innovation – making the most of what you’ve got to help others

Stealing ideas with pride from sites from other countries in the organization – sometimes best to make a product at one site – sometimes it is best to take a basic product & modify it slightly to suit different markets – flexible approach not rigid one size fits all

S.M.A.R.T. objectives vital

 Answer to Kerrie Ann Christian’s Measuring Business Benefits of KM Question 

  • No. of unique visitors to portal
  • No. of items uploaded
  • No. of items downloaded
  • What do they do onsite
  • Who do they talk to
  • How many COP’s
  • How active are these COP’s
  • How many people turn up to a monthly international phone conference meeting
  • Measures of people interactions
  • Turkish project measures – $’s
  • New alternative sweeteners project – $’s


“Four Frogs on a Log & One Decides to Jump Off” Story – followers, adopters, change resisters  – bit like “Who Moved My Cheese?”

 My August 2007 Conclusion : tangible benefits from networking opportunities with Arthur Shelley of Cadbury Schweppes - 3 years on, in 2010, I am happy to say that fortunately that has been possible via ACTKM & Twitter convo's.

Posted via email from kerrieannesfridgemagnets's posterous

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