Quarter 4 Edition | iKMS 02/14
Karuna Ramanathan Reframing KM: An Organisational Development View
Dr Karl M Kapp Games & Gamification Tools for Innovative Learning Solutions
Krithika B / Nilesh Naik / Srivathsa N S Connecting KM & Innovation: The Unisys Experience
At the organizational level, how public as well as non-public entities harness internal and external knowledge is critical for Singapore’s continued workforce competitiveness. What this means is that leveraging on employee experiences is becoming more important to sustaining Singapore’s success. In a narrow sense, this is what knowledge management (KM), promised to do in the late 1990s, but ended up with limited success. At the ground level, KM remains everybody’s problem but no one’s direct responsibility. There are very few organisations with dedicated KM departments. Yet KM success is still hinged on both structural and behavioral change. The latter, often referred to as the human or people factor, is complex, and requires purpose, process and practice. The schools and higher institutions do not teach these skills. At a higher, strategic level, knowledge is the driver as well as the product of productivity, learning and innovation. Knowledge capability involves information and knowledge strategies, knowledge management systems, processes and practices. Knowledge Managers, Practitioners and workers will need to develop awareness, understanding and application. It is no longer just about managing knowledge, like it used to be. 2
These issues will be presented and discussed by academics, practitioners and managers during the Information and Knowledge Management Society of Singaporeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (iKMS) Annual Conference (KMSG) from 01-03 Oct at the SUNTEC CITY Convention Center. Unlike other conferences, this event is deliberately designed in participative format, with only one third of the conference in seminar style. The majority of the sessions are workshop and discussions, around a range of topics based on the theme Leveraging on Knowledge for Learning and Innovation. Last year around 140 delegates attended the 03-day event and many have since feedback to us that they found the sessions useful as they navigated the many KM issues and challenges that they face daily.
This year we expect around 120-150
participants. As a non-profit organization, we have strived to keep the pricing to half of what similar conferences cost, if run commercially. Registration details are at www.ikms.org. I look forward to the opportunity to welcoming you and your colleagues at KM Singapore 2014! Karuna Ramanathan President iKMS
EDITORIAL Knowledge, Ideas, Learning and Innovation: The Virtuous Cycle
By Madanmohan Rao It is with pleasure and pride that I present iKMS members with the second edition of the IKMS news magazine, GLOBE! As with the first edition, we have a star cast of contributors for this issue -- from across Asia, Europe, the US and Australia. The inaugural issue featured articles on KM and productivity by Tom Stewart, KM strategy by Jeff Stemke, best practices by Nick Milton, knowledge assets by Arthur Shelley, change management by Carla Sapsford Newman, organisational learning by David Yea, social learning by Michelle Lambert, public sector KM by Rusnita Saleh and Niall Sinclair, KM in SMEs by Andrea Bencsik, visualisation techniques by Bernie Quah, and my review of a book on Open Data by Joel Gurin. KM has focused extensively on areas such as best practices, expertise directories, project management, community forums, retention strategies, storytelling, on-the-job learning and knowledge maps for better productivity. As the contributors in this issue show, KM is now fulfilling an
expanded mandate for improved innovation and idea generation in connected ecosystems, and is going beyond traditional tools, frameworks and boundaries. The theme of learning and knowledge is addressed in greater detail in this second issue of Globe. More specifically, the articles in this issue cover cross-border learning networks, organisational development, learning via gamification and video games, idea-driven learning, and surveys to assess learning cultures. Related topics addressed include leadership support for KM, knowledge workers, cultures of innovation, smart cities, open data, and co-creation.
aruna Ramanathan provides a compelling and practical view of KM through the lens of organisation development (OD). Organisation growth is 4
EDITORIAL powered by knowledge, and understanding the context for growth requires KM leaders to be in synch with the CEO. Knowledge and learning are key for individual and organisational success. This calls for a stronger focus on leadership in the KM team and synergy with key decision makers. Leadership and learning are thus important determinants of explicit and tacit knowledge.
ok Chee Hong shares the three key founding principles of the recently formed KM Global Network: sharing, learning and collaborating. Founding members include iKMS (Singapore), iklub (Thailand), HKKMS (Hong Kong) and ACTKM (Australia). A number of benefits accrue to members, practitioners and researchers in all four networks, whole also opening the door to new kinds of collaborative initiatives. Plans have also commenced to incorporate KM networks from India, Middle East and USA into the network next year.
arl M. Kapp makes the compelling case that video games and gamification are innovative learning solutions. Widespread use of mobile phones and the Internet make them useful platforms for interactive video games. Such training environments are
safe and risk-free, and allow for development of skills in particularly hazardous domains such as warfare. Other successes through media-rich videos have been reported in domains as varied as sales and healthcare.
ariprasad Reddy highlights a number of ways in which gamification has accelerated knowledge transfer in Wipro. Gamification can be applied in three KM settings: collaboration, mentorship and knowledge sharing sessions. Success of gamification depends on how well the organisation understands the psychology of its employee teams and designs relevant games for promoting learning at individual and group levels. Wipro’s SHINE learning framework has used games like KMKricket, and reduced induction time for new employees, brought employees up to speed for projects much faster, and speeded up project execution.
ill Proudfit provides fresh perspectives on storytelling in the learning organisation. He connects Peter Senge’s work on personal mastery and mental models with Stephen Denning’s frameworks for springboard stories and personal narratives. Fact-based stories help retain interest in the listener and can convey factual material as well as 5
EDITORIAL business principles in decision making.
dgar Tan raises a cautionary note on the common belief that KM will succeed as long as there is support from the top. It certainly helps to get the top decision maker on board – but they may sometimes underestimate the amount of time and resources needed to create a knowledge-sharing culture. Government stipulations on CEO rotation and the politics of new leaders can also throw a spanner in the works of ongoing KM initiatives. Getting broad-based support and truly embedding KM in organisational work are some ways of sustaining KM in the long run.
alleh Anuar draws on examples such as Germany’s stunning FIFA World Cup victory to highlight the importance of proper diagnosis before addressing and developing winning solutions for an organisation. Any attempt to create a learning culture should be preceded by a diagnostic test to determine the current climate for learning. This helps employee-driven innovation (EDI) achieve better results via more engagement and acceptance. The chapter identifies typical obstacles to effective surveys, and highlights the importance of organisational leadership involvement in survey design.
rithika B. and her team at Unisys show how the pressure for innovation is particularly strong in the technology sector. Unisys has incorporated specific events, frameworks and initiatives which connect KM and innovation. The five pillars of KMsupported innovation are: nurturing new product ideas; support patents and protecting IP; customer focus; online social collaboration and a long-term focus on innovation
culture. This has helped augment the idea pipeline and file more new patents.
avi Sharma and Bernedette Chua posit that KM is an important success factor in the growth of ‘smart cities,’ which leverage ICTs to improve the efficiency of city operations, the quality of life for citizens and growing the local economy. Best practices, benchmarks and standardised metrics are actionable indicators in such initiatives, and city planners will need to harness core, advanced and innovative 6
EDITORIAL knowledge to stay ahead of the game. KM professionals can play a significant role in harnessing SMAC technologies and processes in this regard, and developing forward-looking policies.
altraut Ritter traces the rise of the global Open Data movement, and the potential for Asian countries in this regard. Open Data has changed the mindset of public information creators and administrators. Challenges arise in developing data markets in each domain, and other organisations such as civil society need to step in some cases to drive products and demand. Broader cultural issues include citizen attitudes towards their information rights. The KM community needs to take a more active role here.
avid Williams provides valuable insights into the market for knowledge workers in developed economies. In Australia, conditions have been created for the rise of the knomad: a person with extensive skills knowledge and experience who moves from workplace to workplace. Knomads prefer to stay as individual service providers, and are making the most of government provisions of voluntary redundancies. The author calls for collaborative
arrangements for such knowledge workers that are flexible, efficient, responsive and free of conflicts of interest.
adim Shiryaev addresses the role of inter-organisational KM in Russia via co-creation, to deal with the competition is changing the economic scenario for companies and countries around the world. Competition is emerging on all fronts, and not just on a single frontline. Boundaries between markets and sectors are blurring, business leaders need to tap internal expertise, external connections and joint product development structures. Co-creation is a key to innovate and manage business value. Members of IKMS will also be delighted with the other content profiled in this debut issue of GLOBE: an outline of the annual KM Singapore conference, highlights from the masterclasses and workshops hosted by IKMS, a calendar of upcoming events, and profiles of the hardworking IKMS team! We look forward to feedback and discussion from you in future editions of GLOBE, and to articles and advertisements from our members. Please tell your friends and colleagues in 7
EDITORIAL Singapore and overseas about this issue, and invite them to join IKMS to regularly receive such world class content. Happy reading! ABOUT OUR EDITOR
Dr Madanmohan Rao
is an author and consultant in creativity, innovation and
knowledge management. Based in Bangalore, he is the editor of five book series spanning over 15 books, including three titles on KM. He graduated from IIT Bombay and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and has spoken at conferences in over 80 countries around the world. Madan is a prolific blogger as well, and can be followed on Twitter at @MadanRao
IN THIS EDITION
The Global Knowledge Management Network MOK CHEE HONG
Reframing Knowledge Management: An Organisational Development View KARUNA RAMANATHAN
Sustainable Knowledge Management: Challenges & Enablers EDGAR TAN
Smart Cities and Knowledge Management DR RAVI SHARMA & BERNADETTE CHUA
Organisational Surveys: Diagnosis of Innovation, Learning & Knowledge within the Organisation SALLEH ANUAR
Games and Gamification Tools for Creating Innovative Learning Solutions DR KARL M. KAPP
Knowledge Management and the Learning Organisation: Opportunities For Gamification DR HARIPRASAD REDDY
Emerging Frontiers in Knowledge Management: Open Data WALTRAUT RITTER
Storytelling to Capture Knowledge: Mobilizing The Learning Organisation BILL PROUDFIT
Knowledge Management in Government: Knomadic Tribes of the Australian Public Sector DAVID WILLIAMS
Inter-organisational Knowledge Management in a Changing World: Co-creation for Developing Competitive Products VADIM SHIRYAEV
Connecting Knowledge Management and Innovation: The Unisys Experience KRITHIKA B., NILESH NAIK AND SRIVATHSA N.S
Book Review — From Ideas and Knowledge to Impacts and Success: Principles of Idea-driven Organisations MADANMOHAN RAO
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Upcoming KM Clinic SOLVING BUSINESS PROBLEMS USING A KM TOOLKIT 11 Nov 14, Tuesday One of the biggest challenges the KM team faces is Top Management Support. In forum after forum, the same question gets asked:
‘How do we get the attention and support of top management?’ The issue is that KM is treated more as a library or archival system – to be used for reference or to be brought in to do the documentation post an event. Performance Metrics also reflect the attitude measuring downloads and user testimonials of putting KM Artifacts into their actions. A way to address this dilemma is to actively seek out opportunities to use KM Tools to address business issues. This is what Rudolf has been doing effectively when he was working with an organization as the Head of KM and now as a KM Consultant. In this session, Rudolf will share with you actual cases where the KM team tackled intractable business problems. He will present 5 caselets of 15 minutes each where a different KM technique was used. Each caselets would provide a background to the problem, why the technique was selected, how the program was developed and implemented, and the outcome. The techniques include Archetype Extraction (Sales Organization), Best Practices Sharing (Service Organization), After Action Reviews (Construction Company), Lessons Learned (Infrastructure Company) and Knowledge Capsules (across various categories of industries). Through these case studies, you will get the flavour of using a KM Toolkit for solving business issues, thereby generating positive disposition towards KM. After 1 or 2 successful interventions the KM function will be welcomed by business functions. After a few more interventions KM will be seen as a vital component of all strategic decisions.
About the Presenter Rudolf D’Souza
is the Founder and CEO of In-Kno-Win Consulting (www.inknowin.com). He firmly believes that the success of KM lies in addressing Business issues. He set up In-Kno-Win Consulting in 2012 with this objective. He counts among his clients India’s leading Corporate Businesses. Rudolf pioneered the use of Gamification in KM when he created the Knowledge Olympics back in 2004. He successfully led the organization to the Hall of Fame in KM where he was at the helm of KM for almost a decade, through innovative and path breaking programs.Rudolf is keen on pushing the agenda for KM in India and has been part of the CII Knowledge Council. He conducts an elective paper on Knowledge Management at one of the leading Management Institutes in India. Recently he has set up a Circle of Excellence on the subject. Rudolf is trained on Creativity and Innovation methods as well as Cognitive Edge methods of Complexity and Sense Making;
KM GLOBAL NETWORK: SHARING, LEARNING, COLLABORATING
by Mok Chee Hong Aristotle’s famous quote: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” best sums up the motivation as well as the envisaged value behind establishing the KM Global Network. Just as in the story “Unity is Strength,” where an olda father demonstrated to his children the power of sticking together in order to harness the collective strengths of each other, the synergistic and collaborative nature of the KM Global Network provides the platform for practitioners and enthusiasts to unite and advocate KM for the betterment of the community as a whole. An added advantage is to accentuate the great work that the respective network entities have already accomplished.
The KM Global Network is rooted in the spirit of collaboration and sharing - in the form of knowledge, experience and innovative ideas - to achieve cross-fertilization among the multi-disciplines of KM. It is guided by three key principles:
Sharing with No Boundary –
The network promotes responsible sharing facilitated via both
electronic and face-to-face channels, breaking down geographical and time barriers. 2.
Learning from Everybody – The
network promotes individual as well as collective learning among members in a respectful and cordial manner. 12
KM GLOBAL NETWORK: SHARING, LEARNING, COLLABORATING 3.
Collaborating with Expert Bodies – The network promotes collaboration among
members, leveraging on individual as well as experts embodied in the network. It is also the vision to continually identify and grow the expert pool to serve its members and community.
It is a privilege to have iKMS (Singapore), iklub (Thailand), HKKMS (Hong Kong) and ACTKM (Australia) on board as the founding members of the KM Global Network. The network strives to uphold the following 7 benefits to its members: 1) Reciprocal Membership – When a member subscribes to membership with any of the participating network entity, he or she will automatically be a member of the network. 2) Reciprocal Read-access to Online Resources – Members get to enjoy access to online resources in the forms of articles, tools, best practices, etc that are published by the participating society/club in the network. 13
KM GLOBAL NETWORK: SHARING, LEARNING, COLLABORATING 3) Special Privilege to Events – Members get to enjoy free as well as memberpriced events across the network. 4) Usage of Intellectual Property (IP) Within Network – Members get to utilize tools, materials, whitepapers, advice, and other resources published in the network. In return, it is expected that members attribute appropriate recognitions to IP owners and give due credit as required. 5) Sponsorship of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for Key Events – SMEs will receive sponsorship for knowledge sharing and transfer during events organized by a respective society/club within the network. 6) Cross-network Collaboration on Projects/Initiatives – Members can participate in projects or initiatives of their interests posted on the network. By doing so, it enables
The KM Global Network is rooted in the spirit of collaboration and sharing - in the form of knowledge, experience and innovative ideas - to achieve crossfertilization among the multi-disciplines of KM
the network to identify and grow the SME pool, as well as provide opportunities for members to contribute their knowledge and expertise to grow the practice. 7) Network Expert Locator Listing – Members can have access to a list of SMEs whom they can consult or seek expert advice. In a nutshell, the KM Global Network value adds to the member society/club in the following manner: 14
KM GLOBAL NETWORK: SHARING, LEARNING, COLLABORATING
Increasing membership outreach by leveraging on the multiplier effect through network nodes expansion.
Enhancing membership profile and branding of respective society/club.
Extending knowledge and shared resources to members.
Extending platform for cross-discipline collaboration and advocacy by leveraging on the knowledge, expertise, and SMEs collectively made available via the network alliance.
Tapping on theoretical (academic) and industry practical (private and public) knowledge as well as experiences, contributed in the spirit of free sharing and learning.
iKMS looks forward to welcoming more societies and clubs on board this exciting KM Global Network journey, based on the principles of sharing with no boundary, learning from everybody, and collaborating with expert bodies. Plans have also commenced to incorporate KM networks from India, Middle East and USA into the global family in 2015.
About the author:
MOK CHEE HONG Mok is the Sustainability Ambassador/Business Consultantin Fuji Xerox Singapore. Having played an instrumental role in the company’s journey of transforming into a leading sustainable knowledge management solutions provider, he has a new mission to help companies cultivate sustainability mindset, as well as evangelize and lobby for sustainable solutions to solve real world business problems. He has more than 17 years of professional experience in the field of Information Technology and Knowledge Management in both public and private sector. He obtained his Master of Science in Knowledge Management from Nanyang Technological University in 2010. He has a keen interest in exploring the integration of KM and Sustainability practices to create a more sustainable environment that not only benefits current, but also future generations to come.
REFRAMING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: AN ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VIEW
by Karuna Ramanathan INTRODUCTION Knowledge remains critical to organisations, given todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s increasingly
often yields limited success; its challenges often caused by challenging multigenerational, global and contract workforce arrangements. Knowledge management (KM) solutions today involve macro level
communication, engagement, experience and expertise. These areas are now more inter-twined with how knowledge is strategized, optimized and managed. As such, KM for KMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sake, or KM as just about technology, or KM as just about conversation, are extremely narrow views.
Development (OD) lens.
OD is two words:
organisation here refers to a group of people and resources to form a working unit in pursuit of one or more shared goals. And development simply means a process of change that leads to improvement
The KM community is familiar with the term knowledge worker, first credited to Drucker
practitioner are more recent, and could hold different meaning to different readers, and therefore need qualification. As used in this paper, KM manager refers to organisationally appointed individuals who bear responsibility for coordinating KM systems and
processes (e.g. intranets and documentation workflow). KM practitioners refer to employees who
practices, such as Communities of Practice (CoPs), storytelling, and so on.
One such enlarged view suggests that KM could be
MANAGER OR PRACTITIONER
The KM manager should ideally be a KM practitioner, though there have been reported examples on non-belief and poor role modeling. Put simply, if a manager has been dragged into the KM portfolio, then KM becomes a burden, and a cost and resource overhead.
Combine the two and you will have organisations
SURVIVAL REQUIRES GROWTH
that become more effective over time .
The business value for knowledge, and by extension KM, has been well established in both
This paper argues that it is in the interest of KM
academic and popular literature. Challenges
managers and practitioners to become more OD
remain: how to identify what it is, look for it, use it,
keep it, move it around within, and ultimately grow 16
REFRAMING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: AN ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VIEW it. These are KM problems many organisations are facing today, arising from multiple sources; the external environment, the internal bench strength, the desired future and current reality.
of critics: those who dispute the need and its practical value. In fact, because of the rapid rate at which KM has found its way into management jargon, and based on the plethora of products, tools and methodologies that are now available, there are often major doubts cast over the implementation and the sustainability of KM. rates,
markets, knowledge stickiness, CoP failures, and generally a lack of motivation to share knowledge are just some of the more visible retorts from KM cynics.
A good place to start with any KM strategy is manager must be able to work the KM plan to respond to the external environment.
challenging enough, and more so when the next step
undertaken for the internal workforce, that is, the KM plan must accommodate and overcome gaps and distractions in knowledge flows within the organisation. These issues invariably challenge the KM manager. Simply role modeling KM practice is not going to result in sustainable KM
effort. The start points for OD could be the same. To better appreciate how KM could be seen from the
Cynicism aside, the serious knowledge manager and/or practitioner has realized that often it is not enough to just build knowledge warehouses, or design
KNOWLEDGE really from the outside-in. This means that the KM
As in everything else, KM has grown its fair share
organisations. Many knowledge managers often lament that a larger and more sustained view of KM is necessary, and that many a CEO has demanded
experience, building an IT system does not mean that employees will use it. The more experienced knowledge manager will agree that the contextual
and cultural aspects of organisations are far more complex than what IT systems and one-pop solutions can offer.
OD lens, it will be useful to start from the outsidein, from the growth demand for organisations. Whether,
competitiveness or new markets, survival is
almost always about growth. Management will almost always be seeking the growth differential. Commercial and non-commercial organisations have different growth considerations, but similar challenges, especially in the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity increasingly inherent in the operating environments. Growth is the focus, and survival requires growth. This is CEO language,
manager will agree that CEOs will tend to lean forward in their chairs at meetings when the KM 17
REFRAMING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: AN ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VIEW strategy is clearly articulated in growth language.
organisation. Explicit knowledge by itself is insufficient for learning.
OD thus starts with the growth mandate, as it
knowledge store is much bigger than we think.
dictates what needs to change, and why, to
Most scholars agree that learning occurs when an
achieve what. This will be the CEO’s focus, and
individual acquires new information, skills or
understanding the business focus is critical to
attitudes, and is inherently an internal process .
successful OD, and by extension, KM. So the
Interestingly, there is very little consensus in
starting point for KM is often found in the
academia on what exactly constitutes learning,
definition and construction of the growth mandate.
This is what is meant when KM initiatives are often criticized as not aligned to the business drivers. The starting point for successful KM is therefore
discussions at the highest levels of the organisation. The KM manager needs to be present, to develop a deeper
nuancing of where the organisation needs to head to, in its quest for survival..
approaches to describing how learning
“As in everything else, KM has grown its fair share of critics: those who dispute the need and its practical value.”
environments. The earlier section explained that growth invariably is constituted by, and is often about, knowledge. Sometimes, knowledge is presented in the form of relevant information or data. Usually, available data and information will have to be made sense of, such that they present themselves as useful,
timely and of value to the decision maker within The KM manager is therefore increasingly an OD
the given point in time, to gain necessary
practitioner, as he/she begins to appreciate
advantage. Information superiority, a state that
growth and the corresponding need for change.
many organisations actively seek, is not quite the same as knowledge superiority. The latter is key
KNOWLEDGE REQUIRES LEARNING
to decision superiority, which is needed in order to seize an opportunity, to outdo a competitor or any other competitive reason. There are cognitive
Knowledge is multi-dimensional. Tacit knowledge
and behavioral issues involved in decision
is undocumented and, accordingly, is difficult to
superiority, affecting knowledge superiority.
transfer to anyone else. On the other hand, explicit knowledge is objective and formal by
The simple fact of the matter is that the CEO
nature and can be transferred to others within the
does not, and can no longer profess to know 18
REFRAMING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: AN ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VIEW everything,
several levels, including the individual, team
environments. Increasingly, there is little that
can be safely predicted, or predicated, based
entrenched use of After Action Reviews (AARs)
on the past. This does not negate the value of
substantiate these claims. The only way an
understanding the past – however all this will
organisation is going to be sustainable in its
do is increase the understanding of context,
continued efforts to learn is through the careful
and not insulate the decision outcomes.
design and habituation of learning within its daily
The notion of learning within an educational
implementation of such learning is therefore
paradigm is limited when applied to the
part of the knowledge manager’s emerging
workplace. Research repeatedly surfaces that
responsibility, requiring he/she adopt an OD
who one knows impacts what one comes to
know, as relationships are critical for obtaining information, solving problems and learning to
Organisational Learning (OL) (Senge, 1990)
do work . Marsick found that only 20% of
remains at best a pipe-dream for many
what employees learned was from formal and
organisations who are unwilling or perhaps
structured training, and that they were more
even unable to comprehend the mindshift
likely to resort to personal learning strategies,
necessary for the learning and knowledge
to taking time to question, listen, observe, read
transformation. Simply teaching employees
and reflect on their work environment .
Contrary to what is insisted upon in education,
entrenched behaviors to change such that
analytical rationality is limiting and inadequate
learning is manifested is rather naïve. To date
in the examination of issues pertaining to
there remain few, if any, organisations that
knowledge and learning within a profession,
knowledge culture purely on the basis of the
practitioner. Human behaviour cannot be
built a learning and
purported OL movement.
meaningfully understood as simply the rulegoverned acts found at the lowest levels of the learning process.
LEARNING REQUIRES LEADERSHIP
Faced with this dilemma, many organisations
Within KM literature, leadership remains one of
grapple with how to better capitalize on
the least researched areas (Ribieri and Walker,
2013). Identified as an enabler within shared
context, involving shared experiences, shared
REFRAMING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: AN ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VIEW tasks and shared outcomes (Watanabe et al., 2011), how these aspects relate to KM strategy,
knowledge exploitation capability for the firm is lacking
Therefore the examination of the potential relationship
KMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s NEW FOCUS AREAS
created, and how this might involve leaders, especially in the decision making requirements, is lacking. Such knowledge includes, but is not limited to, the conscious surfacing of relevant information based on past experience and/or insight gained from training, education and/or education,
Leadership cannot materialize without learning, just as learning cannot be successfully sustained Both
knowledge to be created in organisations:
leadership as it defines the requirements and the conditions for knowledge transfer and integration; and learning as it defines the methodology for the creation of knowledge. Both leadership and learning are also important determinants of explicit and tacit knowledge. These concepts are illustrated
Figure 1: Leadership and learning in the
PRACTITIONER IS AN OD
CONCLUSION : THE KM
OD is a confluence of leadership, learning and knowledge. These three are outcomes as well as drivers of OD. Leadership development, learning and development, and KM are therefore essential areas of attention to help people to help their
organisations become better and stronger. One unique selling point of internal OD practitioners is that they have the benefit of an intimate, detailed, hands-on knowledge of the organisation. This is the new requirement for the knowledge manager â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the need for change, as against the requirement for growth, and thus the need for knowledge created through learning and often
requiring leadership to influence.
REFRAMING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: AN ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VIEW REFERENCES : Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge and Linda Holbeche. ‘Organisational development – what’s in a name?’ http://www.quality-equality.com/fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/ IMPACT_Whats_in_aname.pdf : W.J. Rothwell, The Workplace Learner (Amacom: New York, 2002).  T. Allen, Managing the Flow of Technology (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1977).  B. Flybjerg, “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research.” Qualitative Inquiry 12, no. 2 (2006), 219-245. : William J. Rothwell and Roland Sullivan, eds. Practising Organisation Development: A Guide for Consultants (San Francisco: Pfeiffer, 2005), 621
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KARUNA RAMANATHAN "Karuna Ramanathan is the current President of iKMS, and has been intimately involved in KM as a student, teacher, practitioner and advocate for more than a decade. His current research interests areas include on leadership, learning and knowledge." .
SUSTAINABLE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: CHALLENGES AND ENABLERS
by Edgar Tan Senior management support is in important enabling factor for
We can consider one box checked when a KM
team enjoys the support of their chief executive or
knowledge. So when we as
even chairperson, but we have seen that this
KM consultants, architects and
alone will not guarantee that a KM project will be
facilitators meet prospective clients for the first
time, we try to assess the extent of senior management support that they are getting for
Chief executives can underestimate the amount
their KM project. It is not uncommon for the chief
executive or even the board chairperson to be the
organisation’s knowledge issues. Let us take the
one calling for something to be done to manage
example of the chief executive of the Singapore
the organisation’s knowledge.
People, process, technology and habits, all take time to change even where there is a recognised need.
priority, as described below. A KM project was initiated because the chief executive of a
lesson that he was sure had been
learnt. In order for a lesson learnt to be retrievable, it has to first be (1) properly elicited, then (2) documented, (3) named (or meta-tagged) before
Singapore multinational recalled
Somebody who might benefit from the
that a particular issue had surfaced
multinational who could not locate the
A few examples will illustrate this
before in their China operations. It had been
lesson has to know (or guess) that it exists and
solved then, but yet no documentation on the
then go looking for it. The seemingly simple
lesson learnt could be found.
lifecycle of a lesson learnt needs the right people,
A chief executive of a government agency
process, technology and habits to bring it to bear.
commissioned a major KM project because
If any of these enablers runs askew, then one can
she could not get the information she needed
expect a predicament similar to that of the chief
programmes, even though that information
existed across scattered locations.
Chief executives can also underestimate the
In another public sector agency, the KM
amount of time needed for change to take place.
project was initiated by the board chairman
We have encountered on numerous occasions
himself although the underpinning reasons
were never made clear to the KM team much less to us.
“yesterday.” People, process, technology and habits, all take time to change even where there 22
SUSTAINABLE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: CHALLENGES AND ENABLERS is a recognised need.
out every two to three years. The incoming executive will have certain priorities, and tackling
For example, instituting a lessons learnt process
the inherited knowledge challenges usually is not
may require the training of a team of in-house
at the top of the list or even one of them.
facilitators. If a culture of finger-pointing exists, it will take time to change people’s attitudes and
Often, new chief executives have limited time to
behaviours during a lessons elicitation session.
impress their own agenda, and the pet project of
Upgrading to a new document management
their predecessor can fall by the wayside. As in
system can take six months to a year or even
the examples given earlier, the motivation to
more, from drafting the requirement specifications
manage organisational knowledge usually comes
to identifying the right vendor, to developing,
from not being able to obtain the necessary
testing and finally commissioning the system.
knowledge. The break in support from the top
underestimate is the structural support that they
person sometimes means that the end of KM in that organisation is in sight.
will need to give in order for KM to work. The most common barrier to knowledge sharing in our
Take the example of a public sector agency that
experience is not so much unwillingness to share
had commissioned a large KM project with a
but rather not having time to share. People we
corporate taxonomy as one of its deliverables.
survey often tell us that they do not have time to
We had gone through the usual process of
evidence gathering, drafting and testing and were
at the cusp of implementing the taxonomy in their
document management system when the chief
companies like 3M and Google who give their
executive left. The new executive consulted his
employees the latitude to set aside 15 and 20
percent of their time, respectively, to pursue non-
preferred to stick to their old ways of organising
core activities. Paradoxically, it is during these
knowledge and a decision was made to shelve
unfettered times when innovation breeds. Post-it
notes, Gmail and Google Earth are famously the results of such ‘free’ time.
In another example, after the new chief executive of a Singapore multinational had been briefed on
While the support of the chief executive is a key
the KM strategy and plan, he asked why
success factor, it also has its attendant risks, one
information had to be re-organised and made
of which is that chief executives do leave. The
more findable in their intranet when all he had to
turnover is higher in some cases than in others. In
do to get information was to call the right person
the Singapore public and government-linked
and ask for it.
sectors, for example, chief executives get rotated 23
SUSTAINABLE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: CHALLENGES AND ENABLERS The new chief executive of a Singapore public
replacement rather than leave it to you to do the
sector agency put paid to all innovation projects
convincing. A message coming from a peer will
including KM. Her people were to focus on
have more traction.
delivering core services only. And
At a transnational non-governmental organisation
mainstream work processes instead of positioning
the new director general removed almost all KM
them as add-on activities, so that even if the
roles and functions, essentially erasing the bulk of
support from the chief executive should evaporate
the work that had gone on before.
it will continue to generate value for your organisation.
They say fortune is fickle but organisational KM can be as fickle if it relies solely on the support of the chief executive or chairperson. So what can we do to hedge against the fickleness of such support? Here are three suggestions: One, cultivate support from other senior managers. Take the time to build relationships with them and find ways to show how KM can bring value to their respective functional areas. Two, contract the outgoing chief executive to sell the KM vision to the board and his or her
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EDGAR TAN Edgar Tan is Managing Partner of Straits Knowledge and is Managing Director of its sister company Straits Knowledge Digital. He has been in the KM field for over a decade, and is past President of iKMS.
SMART CITIES AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT by Dr Ravi Sharma & Bernadette Chua The World Health Organisation estimates that 70% of the world’s population will live in cities by the year 2050 (World Health Organisation, 2010). 60% of the population of the world’s most
populous country – the People’s Republic of China – will be housed in urban centres by 2020. The government of the next most populous country - India - has launched plans to develop in excess of 100 “smart cities.” The provisioning of smart cities has therefore generated considerable interest within industry (e.g. IBM), government (e.g. the Jurong Lake District, Singapore) and academe
Technology and Design’s Centre for Innovative Cities).
Source: (Cohen, 2012)
There has also been longstanding
academic and public interest in the architecture
city, thus, has “a broad, integrated approach to
and development of knowledge societies. In this
improving the efficiency of city operations, the
essay, we posit that the implementation of a
quality of life for its citizens, and growing the local
smart city will not be impactful without the
“software” of knowledge management (KM).
Among vendors or solutions providers, IBM’s 3i looks
The Smart Cities Wheel introduced by Dr. Boyd
intelligence as best practices of smart cities. By
Cohen in 2012 is a useful framework for
bringing together and analysing large amount of
assessing how smart a city really. By “smart” we
data across the city, insights and trends can
mean producing better outcomes using fewer
enable cities to make smarter decisions (Frost &
tangible resources through the application of
knowledge. Cohen defines smart cities as “places
introduced by the technology industry, cities are
adopting benchmarking tools such as Global City
communication technology (ICT).” For Cohen,
Indicators. In May 2014, the Global City Indicators
what makes a city ‘smart’ is measured by the
Facility was published to provide standard sets of
indicators based on Quality of Life and City
people, government, mobility and living. A smart
Services (Global Cities Institute, 2014). With 200
SMART CITIES AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT city members to date, each city is seeking ISO
It follows from the above that the development of
37120 certification. This benchmark highlights the
smart cities will provide opportunities for the
provides a key
involvement of KM professionals. It is not
foundation for shared learning amongst the cities.
restricted to the codification and transfer of
development projects in over 120 countries. This
benchmarks and identification of best practices
allows other cities to know what works (good
and lessons learnt.
practices) and what does not and apply these
“knowledge and ingenuity” are valuable assets of
lessons learnt across contexts.
the leading economies in recent years and “not oil
Spence (2008) noted that
or minerals”. The effects of globalization negates Best practices, benchmarks and standardised
local advantage of tangible assets, therefore,
metrics are therefore actionable indicators for
competitive advantage derived from intangible
assets through innovation meets current and/or
The key questions are: 1) Is it possible for less
latent demand of global consumers. Zack (1999)
developed societies to learn and benefit from the
stories and lessons of developed economies? 2)
From a KM perspective, is it feasible to use
Advanced and Innovative. Core is knowledge to
stay in the game. Advanced is knowledge that
development? 3) Is a knowledge society the
allows differentiation as an advantage. Innovative
required “software” for the infrastructure of a
is knowledge that changes the rules of the game.
smart city so that economic exchanges and cooperation may take place?
Thus, smart cities are about software and the hardware
sustainably. Castell’s Networked Society (2005) argued that a community where individuals of each particular skill are networked such that it allows them to leverage the skills of others is more
individuals with multiple skills across domains. In networked society, culture and context plays critical roles. This implies that, that from a policy
standpoint, the technological advancements in Source: (Global Cities Institute, 2014)
our society should be considered in maximizing the collective capabilities of the network society. 26
SMART CITIES AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Using a KM lens, smart cities are about the
and small enough – big enough to be
effective exploitation of technologies for big data
experiment, practice and learn.”
transportation, utilities and liveability. Next comes various social networks for harnessing collective
The effective management scarce resources such
as water, energy, land and people in an
promote inclusion and innovation.
environment of public participation and ownership will create the conditions for sustainability in
The main driver of this project is the scale of
growth and development. KM professionals must
urbanization today. Never before have so many
seize the opportunities presented by smart cities
people moved to cities, from farm to factory, in
as living laboratories of knowledge societies and
such a short period of time. With the projected
contribute to the urban solutions with classic as
growth of urban population, we will see an
well as emerging KM tools and techniques.
additional one million new residents added to cities every week between now and 2050. The
effect of this great movement is evident today. In Singapore alone, there was a 65% rise in the
REFERENCES 1. ABI Research (2011). “$39.5 Billion Will Be Spent
electricity consumption among residents in the
on Smart City Technologies in 2016”. Retrieved 1
past decade. Meeting city-wide goals require
January 2012 from http://www.abiresearch.com/
collective action from its residents. The city is
promoting environmental awareness an action
among more than two million Singaporeans through community-based programs (CDCs). A
hnologies+in+2016 2. Castells, M. (2005). Chapter 1: The Network Society from Knowledge to Policy, 3-22. The
city can become a catalyst for collective action
Network Society from Knowledge to Policy.
that leverages all of its assets, not just those
Washington, DC: Johns Hopkins Centre for
within government to solve public problems. As
Transatlantic Relations. Retrieved on 1 July 2014
Steve Leonard of the Infocomm Development
Authority (IDA) of Singapore stated recently:
pdfs/JF_NetworkSociety.pdf 3. Cohen, B. (2012). What exactly is a smart city? Fast Company, FastCo.Exist. Retrieved from http://
“Singapore has a unique opportunity to
be the first smart nation anywhere in
the world… to lead the world in the use of analytics to improve people’s lives. To do this, we have to be big enough
4. Florida, R. (2013). Why San Francisco May be the New Silicon Valley, Atlantic Cities, August. http:// www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-andeconomy/2013/08/why-san-francisco-may-be-new27
SMART CITIES AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT silicon-valley/6295/ 5. Frost & Sulivan (2014). IBM: 2014 Best-in-Class Smart City Integrator Visionary Innovation Leadership Award. Retrieved on 1 July 2014 from http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/global/files/ us__en_us__cities__FS_IBM_Award_Report.pdf 6. Global Cities Institute (2014). Global City Indicators Facility. Retrieve on 1 July 2014 from http:// www.cityindicators.org/Default.aspx 7. Spence, M. (2008). ―The Growth Report – Strategies for Sustainable Growth and Inclusive Development‖, Commission on Growth and Development. Washington: The World Bank. 8. Tran, O. & Silva, C. (2013). The collaborative economy. Altimeter, 1-51 9. World Health Organisation (2010). Bulletin of the World Health Organisation: Urbanization and Health. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/4/10-010410/en/ 10.World Bank’s Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM) and Annual World Development Report Zack, M. H. (1999). Knowledge and Strategy. Woburn,MA: Butterworth-Heinemann. 2008 Digital Print available from http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=q49YUNknUcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
ABOUT THE AUTHORs DR RAVISHANKAR SHARMA Ravi S Sharma is an associate professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at the Nanyang Technological University. He is also the principal investigator of the NRF-funded Special Interest Group on Interactive Digital Enterprise (SIGIDE). Ravi had spent the previous 10 years in industry as Asean Communications Industry Principal at IBM Global Services and Director of the Multimedia Competency Centre of Deutsche
BERNADETTE CHUA After 5 years of experience in the corporate world, she decided to take a break to pursue Master of Science in Knowledge Management at Nanyang Technological University. She immediately joined a European pharmaceutical firm as a Regional Business Analyst in Singapore, implementing a corporate application that aligns the regional process and enables the APAC knowledge workers. For her leisure time, she enjoys hiking and runnin
Telekom Asia. Ravi’s teaching, consulting and research interests are in knowledge and digital economic strategies. He has authored over 100 technical papers and his work has appeared in leading journals, conferences, trade publications and the broadcast media. He has also co-authored a graduate level text on KM Tools and Techniques.
ORGANISATION SURVEYS: DIAGNOSIS OF FOCUS ON INNOVATION, LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE
by Salleh Anuar “The best place to succeed is where you are with what you have.”— Charles M. Schwab Germany's winning of the FIFA World Cup 2014
on how data was collated and used for analysis.
was validation for a ten year transformation that
The German players had instant access to how
took it from a defensive, tactical team to the
they performed and also the playing details of
world's fastest, most lethal and efficient attack-
their next opponents. Through its use of Match
minded one. How did the Germans, with players
Insights, a user-friendly app, and a mobile-first
from diverse roots such as Africa, Poland and
approach, Germany is probably the world's
Turkey, operate so cohesively and devastatingly
leading data and knowledge based football
as a single unit?
There were two major factors that significantly
BRINGING THIS INTO THE
contributed to this success:
1. Diagnose: Critically diagnose its weak areas
(talent development and nation-wide coaching
Germany’s success? Is there a possibility of
methods). These shortcomings was addressed
transferring the lessons learnt here? Let us for a
by the overhaul of the talent development
moment focus on these two areas that the
system 10 years ago which subsequently
German team and German Football Association
played a major part in developing the Ozils and
(DFB) did well and relate it to an Organisation
2.Application of Data Analysis:
Diagnose then act – The Germans realized,
data and innovation through the development of
after their failure in the 2004 UEFA European
Man on the Pitch. The belief and
Championships, that it was critical to diagnose
dedicated application of utilizing analysis of
and identify their areas of weakness. In this
match data to apply learning at individual, team
and organisational level reaped dividends. The
development at the grassroots levels was
development of such analysis involved top level
lacking and resulted in low levels of young talent
leadership with the General Manager of the
coming through the system.
National Team, Oliver Bierhoff, providing inputs 29
ORGANISATION SURVEYS: DIAGNOSIS OF FOCUS ON INNOVATION, LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE KM within the company itself. Similarly, before embarking on any major action plans, it is crucial that organisations take a first
The above two questions seek to tease out the
step to diagnose and identify the current
situation and challenges within itself. In the area
departments. As put forth by Evans et al. (2006),
of innovation, learning and knowledge, any
Høyrup (2010, 143) suggests that learning is
attempt to create a learning culture should be
“rooted in action in the organisation and
preceded by a diagnostic test to determine the
culture of the workplace.” In this context,
current climate for learning. Just as in a medical
learning is conceptualized as processes by which
scenario where doctors diagnose first before
human capacities are expanded through action,
attempting to treat a disease, so too must key
experience and social interaction. This view is
aligned to the theories of learning as developed by
Lave and Wenger for “situated learning” (Lave &
embarking on any change or action to
develop a learning culture. How often do we encounter excitable staff from organisations sharing about how they want to address learning within their organisations before even taking steps to diagnose and
“Workplace learning” and “organisational
“...before embarking on any major action plans, it is crucial that organisations take a first step to diagnose and identify the current situation and challenges within itself.”
learning” as discussed by Elkjær and Wahlgren
increasing focus within both areas on the importance of employees’ opportunity
organisational practice as the basis for learning and development, for the
innovation – Just as the German team used
organisation. This is in line with the view that
thousands of data points to analyse their
innovation is a social process, in which participants
players and opponents, organisations are able
reiterate and transform ideas as part of the same
to tap on data that are readily available from
process (Aasen, 2009; Ellström, 2010). It is
their current organisational surveys to assess,
worthwhile to note that one of the implications of
evaluate, and improve innovation, learning and
this approach of thinking is that innovation
processes will and should not be limited by formal
organisation. Let us look at two questions in an
Employee Opinion Survey (Figure 1), which
therefore, in practice, are never “closed.” As such
may provide insights to the state of learning and
identifying the level of collaboration between 30
ORGANISATION SURVEYS: DIAGNOSIS OF FOCUS ON INNOVATION, LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE
Figure 1: Employee Opinion Survey individuals and teams in an organisation will
qualitative interviews with employees and leaders
from 20 Norwegian organisations , leads
organisation is and to design and inculcate the
towards a position that EDI is an underexplored
right cultural practices for learning to take place.
opportunity for sustainable development in many
organisations. Employee-driven innovation (EDI) is another opportunity for more sustainable development in
Current findings indicate that the systematic
learning processes which result in a general
organisationsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ability not only to exploit internal,
interest for improvement among employees,
but also external knowledge sources, and that
reduces opposition to change and increases
this has a favorable impact on an organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
engagement in innovation processes.
capacity for innovation. The introduction of diverse EDI-practices at the organisational level
Employees play an essential role in innovation,
triggers learning processes which, in turn, result
and currently research tends to be focused and
in greater interest for improvement among
biased towards the importance of
employees, increased engagement in innovation
knowledge sources. Recent findings based on
processes in and across skill areas, and reduced 31
ORGANISATION SURVEYS: DIAGNOSIS OF FOCUS ON INNOVATION, LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE opposition to change.
process. Many a time, my offers to relook at the way their organisations design and analyze data,
and provide them with the opportunity to diagnose the innovation, learning and knowledge culture in
What then prevents us from looking deep enough at the organisational survey data that we so often generate? Here I would like to present four main challenges
encounter: There is also a need to raise awareness among the key staff on the importance of an organisation’s data as a barometer of the cultural state of the organisation in terms of its innovation, learning and knowledge.
their organisation are rebuffed with the following common replies:
“Let’s just follow the previous template.” “My Boss only wants this format.” “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”
There seems to be an inescapable fear of doing
the course of my work
more and this fear often inhabits the minds of
staff tasked with the role of managing such
organisational surveys especially if the data
administering, I often
impacts them directly through additional tasks
encounter what I term
as “Survey Treadmill Culture” – a working
challenge that I often encounter is when there is
seems to result in the
uncertainty in the course of action for the
importance of organisational surveys into one
that becomes an annual task, focused on “doing it for the sake of doing”, especially to meet people developer requirements and an annual HR checklist to be ticked off. 2. Whodo Loop and Not Ooda Loop. The second challenge is when the key staff possesses what I term as a WhoDo Loop thinking process.
Taking a spin from COL. Boyd’s OODA loop, some of the staff in charge of organisational surveys develops a WHODO loop thinking
©2014 sallehanuar 32
ORGANISATION SURVEYS: DIAGNOSIS OF FOCUS ON INNOVATION, LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE organisation. For example, due to the missing first
Finally, what often influences success in such
step of diagnosis, appointed staff will develop
endeavors is pure and straightforward leadership.
action plans in isolation, which are not based on
It is common to note that organisational surveys
actual current learning cultures, but on the
tend to take less or no priority among a number of
intuitive feel of what actions are needed to
corporate leaders. Too often, the design of such
develop such a culture. This in turn may be a key
valuable surveys are left in the hands of staff who
factor as to why certain proposed “solutions” do
may not value the importance and benefits that
not gain traction on the ground, especially when
such data and insights provide on the health and
culture is an important factor for success. For
status of the company.
example, the institutionalizing of COPs and the inherent belief that it has solved the transfer of
The CEO tends to look through the data only after
tacit knowledge within the organisation cannot be
the survey and report is done, not being involved
in the key design phase. An employee survey is
effectiveness on the ground. There is also a need
the most powerful business tool a CEO can use
to identify and remove performance barriers. For
businesses to ensure that the staff is empowered, motivated and learning well, it is vital to have the correct emphasis by the company’s leadership. It is to no surprise then that the top performing companies are those whose leadership play close attention
company data, developing the right employee feedback management
systems and the
WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS? ©2014 sallehanuar
To ensure that the benefits of organisational
to identify and determine any impediments of the
surveys are harnessed fully and data analyzed
successful transfer of tacit knowledge.
appropriately, corporate leaders need to be actively involved in the design phase, providing leadership and guidance on
4. Lack of Leadership Involvement.
the areas of
concerns that they want to be measured. 33
ORGANISATION SURVEYS: DIAGNOSIS OF FOCUS ON INNOVATION, LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE There is also a need to raise awareness among
organisation itself. Since learning is crucial and
important for the success of today’s knowledge
organisation’s data as a barometer of the cultural
workers, it is important to make sure that an
state of the organisation in terms of its innovation,
innovative, learning and knowledge culture is
learning and knowledge. This requires breaking
attended to. With surveys, the feedback is
down the ingrained “Survey Treadmill Culture”
immediate and allows you to make decisions
and the “WhoDo Loop” thinking process.
quickly and effectively.
The traditional approach of engaging survey
In conclusion, emphasis from top level leadership,
consultants or doing in-house ones will also limit
and utilizing survey data and analysis effectively
the benefits of such surveys unless there is an
will provide an organisation with the opportunity to
engagement of experts in survey design who
score that winning goal into the goalpost of
possesses the necessary expertise in Learning
innovation, learning and knowledge, as Mario
and KM. This requires moving away from the
Götze did against Argentina, that magical night of
common consultants who tends to be too HR-
the World Cup finals in Rio.
centric in the approach towards survey design, and to one that espouses a more holistic approach to the use of organisational surveys in order to determine with greater accuracy and depth an organisation’s overall health and culture.
CONCLUSION There is a common misconception that survey
research initiatives are reserved only for the HR department. Surveys get to the heart of your employee and illustrate how to better engage and serve them. Understanding what your employees want and responding to their needs increases employee engagement, loyalty and attracts new talent.
“Since learning is crucial and important for the success of today’s knowledge workers, it is important to make sure that an innovative, learning and knowledge culture is attended to.”
feedback. Ask specific questions to understand the way your employees learn within themselves, their teams or departments and within the 34
ORGANISATION SURVEYS: DIAGNOSIS OF FOCUS ON INNOVATION, LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE REFERENCES 1. Rosenberger, Jack. (July 18, 2014). “Germany's Secret World Cup Weapon: Big Data”. CIO Insight. 2. Boyd, John R. (September 3, 1976). “Destruction and Creation”. U.S. Army Command and
General Staff College. 3. Tone Merethe Aasen, Oscar Amundsen, Leif Jarle Gressgård, Kåre Hansen. “Employeedriven innovation in practice – Promoting learning and collaborative innovation by tapping into diverse knowledge sources”. LLine (Lifelong Learning in Europe) Issue 4/2012 4. Mario J. Donate and Fa´tima Guadamillas. “The Effect of Organisational Culture on Knowledge Management Practices and Innovation” Knowledge and Process Management Volume 17 Number 2 pp 82–94 (2010) Published online in Wiley InterScience. : Tone Merethe Aasen, Oscar Amundsen, Leif Jarle Gressgård, Kåre Hansen. “Employeedriven innovation in practice – Promoting learning and collaborative innovation by tapping into diverse knowledge sources”. LLine (Lifelong Learning in Europe) Issue 4/2012
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SALLEH ANUAR Salleh Anuar is Senior Consultant at Rezmik Scientech International, an organisational consultancy. His work includes the ground implementation of the Action Learning Process (ALP), for the Singapore Armed Forces.
GAMES AND GAMIFICATION TOOLS FOR CREATING INNOVATIVE LEARNING SOLUTIONS
by Karl M. Kapp Technological
new players to learn long, complex, and difficult
constant and highly visible. Sixty
games? The answer, I believe, is this: the
years ago, no one had access to
designers of many good video games have hit on
the Internet — now access is
profoundly good methods of getting people to
available via a phone. Ten years ago there were
learn and to enjoy learning.”
no smartphones, no app store and no “cloud.”
Innovation allows for faster, easier and more
Contrary to popular belief, not all video games are
effective methods of communicating, knowledge
a “waste of time.” In fact, video games provide an
innovative and ideal learning solution for teaching
drives change and moves organisations forward.
high-stakes decision making and reinforcing
Innovation occurs when a new technology is
desired behaviors among learners. In some ways,
invented and when existing technologies are used
video games are like an elaborate and detailed
in a new or unusual manner.
feedback to the learner. The fields of learning and KM are bursting with innovations such as the use of smartphones for
In many video games, the player becomes a
distributing learning content or the augmented
character on screen and interacts within the
environment in a manner similar to how he or she
Suddenly, things that did not seem possible only
would react in the physical world. Video games
a few years ago are occurring at a rapid rate
are immersive and force the player to make quick
within the learning and KM professions.
displayed through immediate feedback. If a player One exciting and promising development is the
does something wrong in a video game, they
use of video games for learning. While the
don’t have to wait until the teacher grades and
concept may seem strange, it is an innovation
returns the test, the learner knows immediately by
that has merit as organisations scramble to
activity on screen whether the decision they made
provide relevant, effective learning that is retained
was correct. If wrong, the player can correct his
and applied as it is needed. Within video games
or her actions and try it again.
are many elements that make them effective for teaching new skills.
Researchers at California State University in Los Angeles, California, and Northwestern University
VIDEO GAMES FOR LEARNING As learning and video games researcher James Paul Gee at Arizona State University postulates, “How do good game designers manage to get
in Chicago, Illinois, have found that individuals
controlling an on-screen character in a 3D virtual environment, such as a video game, behave in a manner consistent with their behavior in the 36
GAMES AND GAMIFICATION TOOLS FOR CREATING INNOVATIVE LEARNING SOLUTIONS physical world and that interactions among people within a virtual world are similar to interactions between people in the physical world. In a video game, people behave as if they were the avatar in the 3D virtual space and not simply manipulating a character on the screen . This means that the decision-making and behaviors of the players are the same as they would be in the actual situation. Therefore, the behavior of the player can be monitored and mistakes corrected so that the next time, the person within the video game can exhibit the correct behavior. In other words, video games can serve as effective
COMBAT DECISION MAKING One such example is Decisive Combat, a thirdperson shooter game, designed to teach young military professionals critical thinking and decision making skills. It was developed jointly by the Singapore Armed Forces Centre for Leadership Development , Defense Science & Technology
Agency and Singapore Technologies eSERV. The video game is instructional and provides training in core values as well as critical thinking and decision making. In the game there are eight mission scenarios all taking places as
training environments. Learners can learn from their mistakes in a safe, forgiving environment and try again
and again until they get it right. Well-designed performance They
video before a
something, to take action, to make decisions
different key installations such as an The fields of learning and KM are bursting with innovations such as the use of smartphones for distributing learning content or the augmented realitybased instructions via a tablet PC
presented with an explanation. Action and activities provide instruction, not text, words,
diagrams and explanations. This translates into â&#x20AC;&#x153;learning by doing.â&#x20AC;? It means leaners have a deep, encoded experience which they can recall and remember in the future. A carefully designed video game can articulate tacit and explicit knowledge and present it in an interactive, easy-to-understand format within a training program that teaches up-and-coming professionals.
airport and an oil refinery. The game is an ideal mixture of adventure, decision
commercial video games, the goal of this game is not to shoot first and ask questions later, the goal is to reinforce key values and to help the future commanders make quick and accurate decisions in the heat of battle. This is
accomplished by having the learner take on the role of a Second Lieutenant. As the Second Lieutenant, the learner must deal with chaotic situations while deciding what actions to take first, how to best deal with enemies and how to accomplish missions such as defusing a live bomb. Decisions include whether or not to wait for orders or take independent actions while saving hostages or storming the oil refinery. The video game teaches future military commanders to prioritize one strategic objective over another. 37
GAMES AND GAMIFICATION TOOLS FOR CREATING INNOVATIVE LEARNING SOLUTIONS by responding to the customer inquiries and
GAINING ACCEPTANCE AROUND
questions by clicking on an appropriate response.
In addition to needing to sell products, an
In Mexico City, a large conglomerate has created
additional incentive and one clearly designed
two 3D video games to teach employees valuable
around entertainment-based video games is that
hard-to-explain skills. Both games use the 3D
every wrong answer brings a zombie closer to the
game design product known as Unity. One game
store â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right, a zombie.
teaches warehouse employees how to properly receive and store materials within a warehouse.
The game takes place within an environment
The player begins the game by choosing a male
filled with zombies. A wrong answer to a
or female character. Once the character is
customer request or inquiry brings the zombie
selected, the character appears on a loading dock
closer to the player. A correct answer makes the
and must properly scan incoming materials and
zombie step backwards. The challenge of the
place them on the correct pallet. The player is
game is to make all the sales before being eaten
timed. The more time he/she takes, the lower the
by a zombie. This is a definite acknowledgement
overall score. Once all the items are placed on a
of the fun of video games and provides an
pallet, the player must retrieve a 3D forklift and
interesting environment for the learners but, it has
drive the forklift to the proper location within the
the added benefit of having the learners anxiously
warehouse. Again, time is of the essence. The
discussing how to answer the questions so they
goal is to teach the warehouse employees the
can help fellow learners avoid being eaten by the
proper method of receiving and storing materials.
The employees enjoy playing the game but also
The result is that the game teaches the right sales
learn how to properly receive and store the
techniques and the zombie-element mean that
materials that they receive every day in the
the game is discussed even when the employees
warehouse. This reduces search time and
are not playing the game. The results have been
expedites the manufacturing process which uses
effective with helping the sales associates learn
the stored materials.
the proper sales techniques and with increasing sales.
The second game is designed to teach sales people the proper technique for selling retail
In the US, a medical device company has created
products in an electronics store. Again, the player
a sales game that takes place within a hospital.
chooses a character and then must interact with
The player assumes the role of a sales
representative and travels from person to person
environment. Every person within the store has
within the hospital answering questions and
different needs and requires a slightly different
gathering requirements. It is similar to a treasure
technique to close the sale. This is accomplished
hunt. When the players have gathered all of the
GAMES AND GAMIFICATION TOOLS FOR CREATING INNOVATIVE LEARNING SOLUTIONS requirements, they recommend a certain device
to the hospital administrators. If they gathered all the necessary requirements and recommend the right
requirements are missing or the wrong conclusion was
Behaviour and Biases Show Up. (2008, September, 11) Retrieved May 30, 2009, from Medical News Today
articles/121006.php. And Bower, B., Playing for real in a virtual world. (2009, March, 28) Science News, Vol. 175 Issue 7, p15-15, 1/2p.
CONCLUSION Video games for learning have worldwide appeal and the innovation is beginning to appear in more and more industries and countries. This is because the effectiveness of a well-designed video game for transferring critical knowledge such as operational or sales protocols and for providing an environment in which critical decisions need to be made is tough to duplicate outside of video games. So next time you think about
employees, consider the creation of a video game. It is a learning innovation whose time has arrived.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KARL M. KAPP Karl M. Kapp is a scholar, writer and expert on the convergence of learning, technology and business operations. His most recent book is "Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning: Tools for Transferring
Know-How from the Boomers to the Gamers."
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND THE LEARNING ORGANISATION: OPPORTUNITIES FOR GAMIFICATION
by Dr Hariprasad Reddy Learning gives creativity, Creativity leads thinking, Thinking provides knowledge, Knowledge makes you great. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Former President of India The success of any individual or organisation depends on the rate of learning of new technologies, domains, concepts and then applying some of these learnings into day to day work. Knowledge management (KM) as a function plays a significant role in the learning process and acts as a catalyst by bringing the real tacit knowledge which is beyond data or information to the knowledge seeker or learner. Learning itself can happen at a group or even at individual level. In both these scenarios, various KM practices take the learning process to different heights and reduce the cycle time to bridge the gap between the expert and the learner. Typical KM practices that enrich the whole learning process include learning through collaboration, learning via mentorship and knowledge sharing sessions.
LEARNING THROUGH COLLABORATION Collaboration is one of the key pillars of KM and it ensures seamless knowledge flow by engaging the workforce in various discussions. Through collaboration, thoughts can be exchanged and the quality of innovative ideas can be enhanced. Role based collaboration platforms for project and program managers can help them share their experiences and ways to handle critical or
complex scenarios either for satisfying the customers or delivering good quality products.
KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER THROUGH MENTORSHIP Mentorship is an age-old process for transferring tacit knowledge from one individual to others. The apprenticeship concept has been around for quite some time and majority of knowledge-based organisations have developed various frameworks for accelerating tacit knowledge transfer. But the rate of learning depends on the inquisitiveness of the learner and the type of conversations between both the parties.
KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSIONS Knowledge sharing sessions by experts are also traditional ways of transferring knowledge between learners. Knowledge sharing sessions are interactive sessions where an expert presents a topic and participants get to ask questions. Participants benefit from these sessions as these are quicker and efficient ways of networking and acquiring technical or domain knowledge. Recent advances in technologies like Social Media, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) are helping the learning process and providing much flexibility to the learners. Organisations are adopting to cloud-based KM platforms where video based knowledge sessions can be 40
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND THE LEARNING ORGANISATION: OPPORTUNITIES FOR GAMIFICATION delivered to individuals’ mobile devices and depending on the content - these videos can be pushed to various team members or communities for their learning. These personalization services are redefining the whole learning methodology and KM is playing a vital role in enabling such frameworks.
elements in learning are individual learning, group learning and mentoring. The absorption rate of learning and sustenance of the learnings is very high if an employee goes through various gaming situations rather than simple learning through classroom sessions.
INDIVIDUAL LEARNING The few common but often overlooked traits for Few employees are keen about challenging successful deployment of KM practices in creating themselves and moving ahead in the race by the learning organisation are “Having fun while solving complex tasks. Games like Treasure learning”, “Creating healthy competition” and Hunt, Trekking or Drag Race create the winning “Bringing visibility for both learners spirit amongst such and mentors.” Gamification as a employees. In these Collaboration is one of concept scores well in the key pillars of KM and games, a set of questions is strengthening the urge for it ensures seamless posed and for every correct learning and to sustain learning knowledge flow by enanswer, the employee moves through KM practices. It is a fun gaging the workforce in to the next stage. These games -based learning experience various discussions. can have multiple levels on the designed to drive KM similar lines of competency levels aspects such as knowledge of various technologies in the organisation. sharing, applying or reusing knowledge, and collaboration. The concept uses the fundamentals of gaming which entails fun, an eagerness to do something challenging based on a set of rules, and a competitive spirit with a desire to takeaway not just recognition and rewards but most relevantly, knowledge. One size doesn’t fit for all situations, thus the workforce need to be segmented into multiple groups based on their characteristics; different gamification elements can be applied for different business scenarios. Success of gamification depends on how well the organisation understands the psychology of various segments and designs relevant games for promoting learning.
One game that drew participation from many employees in Wipro is “Himalayan Trekking.” The success of this game can be attributed to multiple factors: 1. Himalayan Trekking could be a dream for many employees 2. Experiences and challenges are involved in this game 3. The level of satisfaction experienced is immense after reaching the highest peak. Gamification takes employees to an imaginary world and provides a wholesome learning experience with psychological satisfaction.
Some opportunities for applying Gamification 41
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND THE LEARNING ORGANISATION: OPPORTUNITIES FOR GAMIFICATION GROUP LEARNING The competition between multiple groups and organizing such events as a carnival creates the whole learning environment within the organisation for a specific period. If these sports events are clubbed along with famous events like FIFA World Cup and Cricket Premier Leagues, then groups come forward to create the spirit.
observe and learn from the questions and answers shared during each round of KM-Kricket. The exercise turns learning into a social experience that brings out the joy of collaboration and friendly competition.
If these games are conducted during our All Hands meetings or Team Offsite, then the whole group will have fun while learning. Another dimension is the entire game can be video KM-Kricket is one of the games that are used recorded and shared through KM systems effectively within Wipro and this game is for future reference or accelerated based on the rules of cricket. As in learning for new members. With SHINE, setting standard cricket, the game up a customized involves two teams, one batting learning plan is simple and the other bowling. However, and easy for a project MENTORING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; SHINE: instead of earning points by manager and it helps KM LEARNING in tracking and timely hitting a ball, the batting team course completion in FRAMEWORK earns points by correctly predictable manner. answering questions asked by the Wiproâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s KM eco-system provides a bowling team. Questions have an unique mechanism for faster knowledge escalating degree of difficulty, ranging from transfer and learning environment to enable new one to six points. The batting teams answer six joiners inducted into account in a structured and questions per over (the cricket term for a round of effective manner. Rge SHINE learning bowling), and each game includes a total of six framework that consists of five tracks, viz., Seek, overs, resulting in a total of 36 questions per Hands-on, Interact, Network and Enrich, to game. If an employee of the batting team cannot induct new members into projects. The main answer a question, he or she is out of the game, concept behind SHINE program is the transfer of and the next employee in the team starts playing. tacit knowledge from senior members of the The team that scores more runs (points) at the project to new joiners through a structured mentor end of the six overs is declared the winner. -mentee program. Project members can do selfThe value of KM-Kricket is that it creates a lot of fun for groups of employees to build and share their knowledge. The bowling team learns as it prepares the most challenging questions to stump the batting team. The batting team in turn increases its understanding of the subject matter so that it can answer more questions correctly. Additional teams, waiting for their turn to play,
learning, receive guidance from mentors and discuss with the surrounding community through collaboration. It also facilitates cross skilling within teams and enables individuals to improve their competency levels in a short span of time.
SHINE enables the project teams to plan different account-specific courses, assign them to members and help them complete the courses 42
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND THE LEARNING ORGANISATION: OPPORTUNITIES FOR GAMIFICATION well in time with support of mentors. Through SHINE, the becomes efficient and effective as it is done in a systematic manner customized to project and individual needs. In SHINE, the new members who undergo the learning take on the role of mentee and are attached to a mentor with time bound activities and assessments for each course. With SHINE, setting up a customized learning plan is simple and easy for a project manager and it helps in tracking and timely course completion in predictable manner. The courseware can be hosted within the SHINE or it can reside outside SHINE if there are no access restrictions. Access to SHINE is available only to the project team members and is monitored by the central team to ensure access is fully secured with the customer account.
the mentee for enriching the learnings and networking.
BENEFITS OF SHINE Our research has uncovered a number of benefits of using such a knowledge transfer program (Figure 1).
Structured pre-defined sequence of learning: tacit knowledge transfer through collaboration
Reduces the dependency on more experienced resources in imparting training
Releases bandwidth of the project manager and experts for more productive tasks
Enables individuals in accounts to improve competency levels in a shorter time span
Ensures traceability and effectiveness of learning
ACTORS IN SHINE
SHINE enables the project members to take different roles during the learning process.
Captures and retains Knowledge of a person leaving a project
Enables cross skilling
Helps in base-lining current skill levels of team, and plans and attains the expected skill levels.
1. Project Manager: The Project Manager can assign existing courses and add new courses and track the status. 2. Mentee: Views all the courses and follows the learning plan as given by the project manager and dynamically updates the completion status. The person can ask questions to the attached mentor for any assistance or clarifications as required. 3. Mentor: Views the work of the attached mentees and provides active support as and when required. 4. Collaboration Platform: In addition to the close mentoring sessions by the mentor, mentees can engage in various discussions threads and start learning new concepts from different groups. This enables different points of view to
Learning through SHINE becomes self sustained model when gamification elements are introduced. There is a specific number of points for every activity by the mentor and mentee, and they can accumulate these points over a period of time and carry them forward from one project to other project. Depending on the points, there are enough visual indicators to create healthy competition between mentees and mentors. This whole philosophy runs like a marathon and winners will be announced during the closure of the project, at the end of every quarter and at the end of every year. The success of the whole program can be attributed to the amount of 43
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND THE LEARNING ORGANISATION: OPPORTUNITIES FOR GAMIFICATION 2. Develop a theme-based knowledge space which many organisations maintain to retain their knowledge. There should be something which attracts every user to this knowledge space. 3. Online games as well as offline games during all-hands meetings will break the monotony and create enthusiasm among the participants. 4. Every communication from the KM team should have some fun elements which should act like a refresher or breather for recipients.
Figure 1: Wiproâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SHINE KM Framework
visibility one is getting through the gamification elements and the real knowledge transfer which is helping the new comers to accelerate their learning.
SUMMARY KM plays an important role for creating the learning organisation in multiple ways. If gamification elements are also added, the
In one of the accounts, the new joinee induction period was reduced from four weeks to one week. In another project, new resource onboarding time reduced from 25 days to 18 days. 60% reduction in the effort was observed per week in one of the projects where workforce was close to 250.
RECOMMENDATIONS Based on the Wipro experience, an number of recommendations can be made for other KM practitioners. Gamification is a powerful tool for driving KM, and all KM practitioners can introduce this concept into their day-to-day KM practices. 1. Introduce fun-based learning games in between the training sessions, workshops or conferences that happen within the organisation.
Figure 2: KM Impacts of Wiproâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SHINE Framework
absorption rate of learning, participation and sustenance of learning initiatives will be on the higher side. At the same time, the probability of applying the learnings in day to day work is significantly higher as the whole learning experience is like participating in a fun and challenging event. 44
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND THE LEARNING ORGANISATION: OPPORTUNITIES FOR GAMIFICATION REFERENCES 1. Using Gamification to Enhance Knowledge Sharing, Collaboration, and Learning - A case study of Wipro Technologies; APQC Case Study, 22nd April 2013 2. Case Study: KM and Gamification at Wipro Limited, Hariprasad Reddy, Zakira Banu, Wipro Limited, Gamification: Engaging your Workforce, Edited by Fiona Prowting and published by ARK group, 2013
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DR HARIPRASAD REDDY Dr. Hariprasad Reddy is the head of KM at Wipro Limited, in Bangalore. He was earlier with GE Capital International Services, and
graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
EMERGING FRONTIERS IN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: OPEN DATA
by Waltraut Ritter In July this year, the Open Knowledge Foundation (www.okfn.org) celebrated its 10th anniversary in Berlin. It is interesting to reflect on how Open Data has become a global movement of a broad range of advocates who believe that open knowledge can lead to more transparency and accountability as well as create the conditions for innovation and better decision-making. This applies to a wide range of sectors: governments, public and private organisations, or simply any organisation that has some form of data.
governments around the world where thinking about how to revive the economy making use of digital opportunities. This was still pre-Snowden internet thinking, where the future of the internet economy seemed bright and full of opportunities for everyone.
As a result of the 2008 Ministerial Meeting of the OECD in Seoul on the Future of the Internet Economy, it was stated that the Internet economy has become a new source of growth, with the potential to boost the whole economy, This article focuses on Open Data in the public foster innovation, competitiveness and user sector. Open Data or “public participation, and contribute effectively to sector information” (PSI) the prosperity of society as a whole. In many ways, knowledge refers to the definition of the Opening public sector information management in the public OECD (Organisation for was considered a way to create Economic Collaboration and sector is now about creating an value from data which can be environment for open data and Development), whereby PSI freely used, reused and empowering the “users” in is: distributed by anyone. As an knowledge-driven decision example, public statistical data, making. weather and environmental data “information, including could be used by a business to create information products and new services and apps based on this data. services, generated, created, collected, processed, preserved, maintained, disseminated, The idea was that public organisations which or funded by or for government or public collect all kinds of data in the normal course of institutions” (OECD 2008). their business can provide this data as a resource to anyone interested. In a digital environment, The definition of Open Data by the Open such re-use of data could be provided more or Knowledge Foundation is much broader, and less at no additional cost but could potentially includes any type of data that is free to use, recreate unlimited new knowledge. From an use and redistribute without any legal, intellectual capital point of view, Open Data is an technological or social restrictions. In many ways, intangible asset which can hardly be exhausted. knowledge management in the public sector is now about creating an environment for open data What is new about Open Data? and empowering the “users” in knowledge-driven decision making. Perhaps one of the most striking characteristics of Open Data is how it changed the mind-set of CONTEXT public information creators and administrators. In the midst of the financial crisis in 2008, 46
EMERGING FRONTIERS IN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: OPEN DATA Before Open Data legislation, many public agencies thought of their data and information as their own, and would only release limited amounts, if any, on request. Many government agencies still develop egovernment strategies which are rather limited to transactional information services. Open public data is also not some half-hearted, halfunderstood social media strategy by a public official, but a new way of knowledge-sharing among all information stakeholders (public, private, civil society and citizens) who need good data to make sense of challenges facing nations, cities and local communities. An example of how Open Data can create an environment for a board range of innovation and research is the spatial data infrastructure of Europe, INSPIRE, which has become a community geo-data resource.
OPEN DATA IN ASIA Open Data is a relatively new concept in Asia; currently few governments in the region include it in their national ICT or economic development strategies. In a recent study I conducted on Open Data policies in East Asia (Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam), the development varies widely. One of the interesting findings is that there highly developed internet economies, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, who are not necessarily leading in Open Data practices. Public Sector Information/Open Data is not a standalone action item as part of a governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ICT strategy, but is embedded in national socioeconomic strategies, policies, practices, and cultures. Open Data can be considered a reflection of the overall knowledge society and internet economy maturity of a country.
The information and communication technology infrastructure of a country and the accessibility of information and services through the internet in that country show the general ability of a country to generate, adopt and diffuse knowledge. There are a number of international organisations and think tanks developing and tracking indicators measuring ICT and e-Government readiness, such as the Knowledge Economy Index (KEI) compiled by the World Bank, which were included in the study. Open Data is a complex issue and the department/agency in charge sometimes has no influence on changing enabling factors, such as copyright and licensing of data, or the training of staff in editing meta-data and creating data catalogues. Data markets need to be developed; the supply of public open data does not automatically create demand; and the value of publicly available data is often not immediately visible nor can it be foreseen as value is derived from its usage. In some of the least developed countries with low internet penetration and hardly any digital information services in place, the concept of open public data is not yet on the agenda of governments. Interestingly, in some these countries, there are active and diverse civil society groups developing their own Open Data sites through scraping public data only available in non-open or proprietary formats, crowdsourcing of non-published data and publishing own data collections. Restricted access to information is not always limited to emerging economies either; a highly developed internet economy does not guarantee a dynamic Open Data community, nor is there a direct correlation between high GDP and Open Data readiness. The wide range of economic 47
EMERGING FRONTIERS IN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: OPEN DATA development among countries in East Asia from Myanmar to Singapore therefore provides interesting insights into these dynamics and the state of information societies' policies and perceptions.
providing courses on data science, data curation or journalism, as well as information science and library studies, which build skills necessary to the use and analysis of data.
An example of a country which is currently taking A common attribute across Asian countries is the some steps towards more accountability through relatively high (information) power distance. Open Data is Indonesia. The country is rich in Power distance according to G. Hofstede natural resources - however, information about “expresses the degree to which the less powerful the public revenue of extractive industries is still members of a society accept and expect that rather treated as state secret. During the recent power is distributed unequally. Open Government Partnership The fundamental issue here is Asia Pacific regional meeting, Creating a dynamic environment how a society handles which was hosted by for an Open Data economy can inequalities among people. Indonesia, environmental People in societies exhibiting a take a long time to nurture as there NGOs discussed topics from large degree of power distance are many different building blocks extractive revenue accept a hierarchical order in management to sustainable which everybody has a place to achieve “Open Data Readiness” natural resources, and several as defined by the World Bank. and which needs no further speakers highlighted that justification.” In cross-cultural Indonesia has not yet studies, differences in power distance can explain committed to disclose data on revenues obtained different attitudes towards right to access from resource exploitation. information. The Power Distance Index lists Malaysia with the highest score (104), followed by Opening budget, income and spending data has the Philippines (94), Indonesia (78), Singapore been a key focus in Open Data activities in many (74), Hong Kong (68), Thailand (64), South Korea countries, and successful sites such as Where(60), Taiwan (58) and Japan (54). does-my-money-go in the UK are also being developed in Asia. Traditionally, the power distance between government and citizens is quite high in many KM AND OPEN DATA Asian countries, often with a culture of secrecy Apart from the trans-disciplinary skills of KM as rather than transparency, and governments listed above, creating communities of knowledge providing citizens with information on a “need-tosharing among diverse and dynamic groups of know” rather than “right-to-know” basis (http:// data users is one of the areas where KM can www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-culturalprovide insights on collaboration between multiple dimensions/power-distance-index/). stakeholders and support changing the There are other enabling factors that contribute to relationship between government and civil society an environment where Open Data can thrive: towards more participatory modes of joint some are related to the regulatory environment, exploration, experimentation and collaboration such as Freedom of Information Acts and open with public data and knowledge. licensing jurisdiction. Equally important are universities or other education institutions 48
EMERGING FRONTIERS IN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: OPEN DATA Creating a dynamic environment for an Open Data economy can take a long time to nurture as there are many different building blocks to achieve â&#x20AC;&#x153;Open Data Readinessâ&#x20AC;? as defined by the World Bank. Given the diversity of experiences, practices and policies across Asia, perhaps more knowledge sharing across countries could support the development. Such channels for knowledge transfer and collaboration already exist through ASEAN and the Asian Development Bank, although overall regional collaboration, in particular institutional collaboration, is still weak. Since open public data has political, economic and technical dimensions, it is a challenge for governments to develop public policies that address all aspects. At the core it is question about a whole new understanding of government and citizen collaboration. Data-driven analysis and decision-making is also about capacity building for an increasingly knowledge-based and participatory society. For those interested in KM in the public sector, Open Data opens a whole new field of research and engagement. However, so far, KM voices are still largely absent in the Open Data community.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
WALTRAUT RITTER Waltraut Ritter is the founder of Knowledge Dialogues. She is also a founder of iKMS, founder of HKKMS, international project coordinator of Open Data Hong Kong, and advisor to the Digital21
STORYTELLING TO CAPTURE KNOWLEDGE: MOBILISING THE LEARNING ORGANISATION
by Bill Proudfit INTRODUCTION Can organisations actually learn? Ever since 1990, with the first edition of Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline (1990, 2006) the learning organisation was born. No one wants to say they personally are not learning or that their organisation is not learning so we have all become learners in learning organisations. Clearly though even Peter Senge believes organisations do not learn very well. He makes the caution that most modern corporations will not live as long as their younger employees. If the organisation were learning, would it die so easily? He also quite quickly concedes that individuals learn best and small groups - the ubiquitous team we are all members of from time to time - may be able to learn only if carefully coached and nurtured. Let us examine how to use story-telling to make the five disciplines meaningful inside an organisation. The following definitions of the five disciplines have been adapted and re-interpreted into a story-telling point-of-view (see SOL website: http://www.solonline.org/? page=Abt_OrgLearning). A story here is defined as something that is deliberately created for a purpose or goal in the organisation that has a strong basis in actual reality for that organisation. See Snowden (2000) and Denning (2004a, 2004b) for their views and definitions of story-telling in organisations. 1. Personal Mastery: The story allows the communication of complex ideas in a simple,
memorable form. It makes it possible to make a more realistic assessment of our current reality. Some of the most complex ideas we have are those about our aspirations and how we intend to achieve them based on our current reality. The tension between aspiration and reality can be better understood thru the use of a story and help us expand our capacity to make better choices to achieve our goals. 2. Mental Models: The story reveals our underlying culture, suppositions and ways things are done in our home, workplace or with friends and family. The story can help us reflect on our attitudes and perceptions and how they influence our thoughts and interactions. The story can show us our internalized picture of the world that can help us understand and control our actions and decisions. A story can show how the ‘ladder of inference’ is working and serve as a cautionary tale when we are about to leap to counterproductive conclusions and assumptions. 3. Shared Vision: The story is about imagining the future. It can nourish a sense of commitment in an organisation by developing shared images of the future and the principles and guiding practices by which to get there. 4. Team Learning: The story involves and often defines the team. The team needs to be able to mobilize collective thinking and recognize they are more than a sum of individuals. The story can help the team to interact better and more comfortably.
STORYTELLING TO CAPTURE KNOWLEDGE: MOBILISING THE LEARNING ORGANISATION 5. Systems Thinking: The story is about disaster, failure and success and how to learn from them. The story helps us to understand interdependency and change and how to effectively deal with the forces that shape the consequences of our actions. It can illustrate how feedback and complexity will lead to a system that changes and is stable over time. The story can use archetypes and provide from realistic to fantastic simulations that help us see how to change systems effectively and work more in tune with the larger processes of the natural and economic world. Let us examine these principles in action through a story from CocaCola. This is a true story, adapted for this article from publicly available sources. (Wikipedia, Max Keith, 2009)
Model of always waiting for instructions from headquarters. This story has been created using a template from Stephen Denning (2003). This is what Stephen Denning calls a ‘springboard story’. It captures the imagination of the listener and takes them to a point where they can say to themselves, ‘imagine if we could do that here.’ The story is much more evocative of what happened but it does not have much detail.
A story here is defined as something that is deliberately created for a purpose or goal in the organisation that has a strong basis in actual reality for that organisation
It was 1943, at a bottling plant near Essen in Germany. Max Keith, head of Coco-cola Germany had no syrup to make Coca-cola and no way of getting anymore from headquarters in Atlanta. He created a new drink made from apple peels and the whey from cheese-making. That drink was Fanta, now one of the most popular non-cola beverages sold by Coca-cola. All of the profits were sent back to Coca-cola USA after the war. Now this is thinking outside of the box!
This story can be used to illustrate the disciplines of Personal Mastery and Mental Models. Max Keith aspired to keep his plant running and he found a unique of doing this. He used his own Personal Mastery to create a new product. The story challenges the listeners’ normal Mental
This is the story of how you can come up with success even when all looks lost: 1. What is the specific change in the organisation or community or group that you hope to spark with the story?
Even when all seems lost, there is no syrup, there are no bottles, the distribution network is a shambles, you can come up with a success. Don't always wait for orders from headquarters. You need to figure it out on your own. Use all of you own skills and the skills of your team.
Think of an incident (either inside or
outside your organisation, community or group) where the change was in whole or in part successfully implemented. Describe it briefly. One of our best sellers today was created in Germany during WWII. That is Fanta. Coca-cola Germany ran out of syrup, which only came from the headquarters in Atlanta. There was no contact with headquarters in Atlanta. It survived the war 51
STORYTELLING TO CAPTURE KNOWLEDGE: MOBILISING THE LEARNING ORGANISATION by creating a new drink made from apple peels and the whey from cheese-making. All of the profits were sent back to Coca-cola USA after the war. 3. What is the date and place where the single protagonist began the story? e.g. “In July 2003, in London, Tony Smith….” It was 1943, at a bottling plant near Essen, Max Keith, head of Coco-cola Germany and he had no syrup and no way of getting anymore from Atlanta… 4. Is the single protagonist prototypical for your specific audience? If not, can the story be told from the point of view of such a protagonist? There is a single protagonist. Max Keith, general manager at Coca-cola Germany. 5. How fully does the story embody the change idea? Are there hidden aspects to the story? The story shows how one man reacted to what looked like an impossible situation. He could have simply closed the plant. Normally not spoken about at Coca-cola is Max Keith was investigated after the war. He was never a member of the Nazi party but concentration camp labour was used in some of the Coca-cola bottling plants. 6. Can the story be extrapolated to embody more fully the change idea? Coca-cola started in Atlanta and is now a global beverage company. How did it get there? It didn’t get that way by people waiting to be told what to do.
7. Does the story make clear what would have happened without the change idea? Yes, Coca-cola Germany would have had to close down. 8. Has the story been stripped of any unnecessary detail? Are there any scenes with more than two characters? Yes, the story is at the bare minimum and there is only one character. 9. Does the story have an authentically happy ending? Can it be told so that it does have such an ending? Yes, a new beverage was made and the profits were returned Coca-cola USA after the war. 10. Does the story link to the purpose to be achieved in telling it? “What if…?” or: “Just imagine….” or: “Just think….” Yes, the purpose is to show how to do something when cut off from headquarters.
CONCLUSION The combination of a story and the five disciplines is a powerful way of illustrating specific examples of the disciplines. The disciplines are abstract concepts and can be difficult to understand. By using a story they become more real and alive for the listener. The soft understanding comes from the story around the facts. The above example shows how to combine the story and the five disciplines for analysis and as a point for further exploration of the problem being illustrated in the story.
STORYTELLING TO CAPTURE KNOWLEDGE: MOBILISING THE LEARNING ORGANISATION A basis in fact makes the five disciplines more believable and less overly idealistic. The story can be completely true or it can be created based on some factual material. However, simply making up stories to illustrate points usually feels false to the listener and they quickly lose interest. The story will be more easily accepted if it is based on some factual material. By combining a factually based story with the five disciplines, the listener can be drawn into the organisational learning perspective.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES 1. Denning, Stephen, 2003, “Template for crafting the springboard story”, from “Organisational storytelling and narrative patterns masterclass 2003” held in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 2. Denning, Stephen, 2004a, Squirrel, Inc.: A fable of leadership through storytelling, San Francisco, California, Jossey-Bass. 3. Denning, Stephen, 2004b, “Telling Tales”, Harvard Business Review, May 2004. 4. Senge, Peter M., 1990, 2006, The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organisation, New York, New York, Doubleday. 5. Snowden, David J., 2000, “The Art and Science of Story or ‘Are you sitting uncomfortably’: Parts 1 and 2, Business Information Review, 17(3) Sept. 2000 and 17(4) Dec. 2000.
6. SOL, Society for Organisational Learning, http://www.solonline.org/. 7. Wikipedia, 2009, “Max Keith”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Keith.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
BILL PROUDFIT Bill Proudfit is Principal at Knowledge Management Services in Hong Kong. He was previously at Galaxy Entertainment, Philip Morris International and Airport Authority Hong Kong.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT: KNOWMADIC TRIBES OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR
by David Williams knowledge
strategies on organisations and individuals with a the
variety of outcomes. Many ineffective strategies
centred on trying to externalise the knowledge
boomers has been a dismal failure in the
held by personnel before they left. The process
Australian Public Service (APS). The
was both onerous and resource intensive.
retirement of highly capable personnel has left many agencies depleting the human and social
Several metaphors are used in this article to
capital required to support important capabilities.
creatively highlight connections between what is
However, many of these intellectual resources are still available to be accessed if an appropriate strategy is developed and implemented. Retirees and
redundancies are remaining in
opportunity exists to leverage off their
already known and the concept of
A Knomad is a person with extensive skills knowledge and experience with no settled employer, who moves from workplace to workplace as a way of obtaining different challenges, validation and remuneration. and
(Shelley, 2012). This enables us to more easily understand what may happen in the future and is not meant to be culturally insensitive. I use the terms ‘knowledge’ and ‘human capital’ in this context
as “a fluid mix of framed experience, values,
insights that provides a framework for evaluating Towards the end of the 20th century, strategic-
thinking managers in the Australian Public Sector
information” (Davenport and Prusak, 2000)
started being concerned about the impending loss of intellectual capital once the ‘baby boomers’ start to retire (those people born between the
years 1946 and 1961). With over 5 million in
30 years ago, the expectation was that people
Australia (Australian Government, 2007) and 1
would continue to seek retirement at the age of
million in New Zealand, the first of the Boomers
55. The archaic superannuation regulations in
became eligible for aged pensions in 2011 and
place for many baby boomers in the Australian
the numbers doubled from the previous year.
Public Sector made it untenable to continue working after the age of 55. This is referred to as
The Knowledge Management (KM) movement
the ‘54/11’ phenomenon. With the increase in
justified much of its early existence on this
health and longevity of older people, early baby
‘creeping crisis’ with some consultants and
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT: KNOWMADIC TRIBES OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR community or to travel extensively, earning them
the label ‘grey nomads’ due to their active touring lifestyle.
However, the later baby boomers in
These knowledge workers have often taken a
developed countries appear to continue working
redundancy package and have set themselves up
well past the age of 55 rather than retiring. The
as small businesses to provide services as
reasons for this are unclear but may be related to
the higher level of education and portability of
resourced and continue to work because they
skills. The number of older personnel still active,
want to or because they wish to maintain an
or seeking to be active in the workforce has
elevated quality of lifestyle. The younger baby
grown significantly and are now considered to be
boomers are on average more likely to be highly
an underutilised resource in the Australian
economy. We call them Knomads.
educations and higher levels of skills, knowledge
and experience. As a result, they have a lower fertility rate and by having children later, still have
WHO IS A KNOMAD? A Knomad is a person with extensive skills knowledge and experience with no settled employer,
workplace as a way of obtaining different challenges, validation and remuneration. The word Nomad comes from a Greek word that means ‘one who wanders for pasture.’ Most nomadic groups follow a seasonal pattern of movements and settlements around a specific district. Nomadic peoples traditionally travel by animal or canoe or on foot. Today, Knomads travel by motor vehicle, carbon fibre bicycle or telecommute from home offices.
aggregate along subject matter lines now based around professional associations such as for managers,
security, engineering, accounting and general
parents are in their late 50s, creating a financial
liability later in their lives. The increasing unemployment rate and cost of housing has exacerbated this issue. Knomads
Despite this, many professional
associations are yet to enjoy a significant increase in numbers as many Knomads are
superannuation, but often insufficient to maintain their acquired lifestyle, driving the need to keep working, even if it is part time (McCallum, 2000). They need about $30,000 a year for 20 odd years
of retirement but the average pension is only $18,000 (Murphy, 2007) and so the shortfall needs to be made up somehow.
Despite their individualism, Knomads still tend to
them staying in the family home longer when their
they tend to pick and choose between short term jobs and have minimal loyalty to their employer or customer. What is interesting to see is that there are fewer Knomads moving into consultancies, preferring to stay as individual service providers and leverage off their network of other ‘Baby
Boomers’ for work. Like the rōnin of feudal Japan (1185–1868), the 55
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT: KNOWMADIC TRIBES OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR Knomad has become masterless from the death
accelerates the rate of knowledge loss as the
of their master (or department), loss of the
people that are attracted to a redundancy are the
master's favour or privilege (cronyism) or a
ones who can walk into another job the next day.
Machinery of Government (MoG) change. During
This further dilutes the intellectual capital of
the Edo period in Japan, the number of rōnin
greatly increased due to the confiscation and
‘revolving door’ where an employee leaves as a
rationalisation of fiefdoms during the rule of the
public servant on a Friday and returns on the
shogun Lemitsu (JREF, 2011).
Monday as a contractor doing the same job for
There are many stories of the
50% greater remuneration. A similar situation is now occurring with the Abbot Government with a number of Government agencies being dis-established. This has resulted in redundancies being offered to thousands of staff with a targeted reduction of 15,000 positions across the APS. Despite the considerable depth of human and social capital within the ranks,
considering as a
management strategy (Prietula and Simon, 1989) and the process of voluntary redundancies creates a risk that further capabilities will be lost to meet short-term objectives.
While this creates a degree
The true Knomad works across multiple agencies and brings a wealth of knowledge of how a range of organisations undertake similar activities with different strategies.
of animosity amongst other employees, it provides the agency with a higher degree of flexibility and business continuity in an environment
that has downward pressure on permanent staff numbers and demands for increased performance.
revolving contractors are not true Knomads as they do not
developed across agencies and are still riding on Because the former samurai could not legally
the coattails of a previous master.
take up a new trade, many rōnin became mercenaries,
wandering vagrants. Pastoral nomads in Africa
KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER FROM
made their living raising livestock, such as
camels, cattle, goats, horses, sheep or yaks
The true Knomad works across multiple agencies
along the side of the road. Knomads in the
and brings a wealth of knowledge of how a range
modern era make their living selling their
of organisations undertake similar activities with
intellectual capital back to government agencies
at a significantly higher rate than that paid to them
boundary-spanners for those agencies that have
when they were government employees.
They are highly effective
experience and social capital. The
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT: KNOWMADIC TRIBES OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR The creeping crises here is that as organisations
Australia is on a medium to long term journey of
downsize and outsource, the staff remaining
austerity and outsourcing. However, the current
become more mobile across the organisation to
protocols and arrangements do not adequately
fill immediate gaps and lose or fail to gain
support staff to take advantage of the intellectual
extensive levels of skills in specific areas. This
creates an increased reliance on the Knomads
procurement continues to seek efficiencies in
operating as contractors and consultants. While
contracting in by establishing panels of providers
this may be sustainable for the next 10 – 15
through Requests For Tender. The disadvantage
years, the extent of subject matter experts being
is that the formal tendering process does not
developed within government are diminishing.
favour the Knomad due to the time, effort,
expertise and infrastructure required to tender. The issue now becomes one of loyalty and knowledge transfer.
Issuing a redundancy can
Most Knomads obtain work through word of
send a message to employees on how much the
mouth and by cultivating specific clients. This
organisation does (or does not) value them as
results in cronyism, lack of competition and poor
people and contracting them back on highly
value for money for the taxpayer due to conflicts
flexible conditions exacerbates this situation.
Contractors and consultants have a vested
sourcing agents to obtain work but this reduces
interest in not transferring their knowledge and
their autonomy and income.
experience to their clients and the value that an
agents in Australia are referred to as ‘pimps’ (a
organisation perceives to hold for an individual
person who manages prostitutes) also makes this
reinforces this. So how can an organisation
Some Knomads reluctantly rely on That sourcing
establish relationships where suppliers act in the best interest of their client?
The Australian Government’s focus is starting to shift from the costs associated with the retiring
The fear held by many Knomads is that clients
baby boomers towards a policy that attempts to
will extract the expertise and IP of the Knomad
leverage off the opportunity for social and
and then no longer have a future use for them.
workforce participation where baby boomers are
Building an ongoing relationship with Knomads
still considered valuable and a force for social
where they are kept up to date with changes and
change (Biggs et al, 2007). However, the policy
initiatives in the organisation is critical to maintain
is far from effective and is limited to the Australian
a healthy market of suppliers that feel secure in
government paying a $1,000 bonus to any
transferring skills and knowledge.
employer who employs someone over the age of 50.
OPPORTUNITIES It is apparent that the Abbot Government in
The private sector, particularly the retail and services industries, have embraced Supplier 57
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT: KNOWMADIC TRIBES OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR Relationship Management (SRM) as an effective
organisation with a corresponding fall in value for
strategy to better manage their suppliers to
ensure cultural alignment and a competitive market (Poirier, 2003).
Corporations peruse key
suppliers to find those willing and able to help in building capability and work collaboratively to construct a compelling business model in the eyes of the targeted customers. sometimes
This concept is
CONCLUSION The nomadic way of life has become less common in Africa and Western Asia but Knomads are increasing in the developed world. The
younger baby boomers are an underutilised intellectual resource that a contracting
customers whose help will be invaluable
to complete the business model and
groups. If Government agencies want to
effectively address this issue creative
resource. Organisations need to
The fear held by many Knomads is that clients will extract the expertise and IP of the Knomad and then no longer have a future use for them.
organisations, they need to re-engineer their approach to managing the relationships with potential suppliers such as Knomads and SMEs to ensure that they can achieve a collaborative arrangement that is flexible, efficient, responsive and free of conflicts of interest. Strategies such as SRM and alumni have yet to be effectively
explored in most government agencies. In order to remain valued and relevant, the
establish trusting relationships where suppliers are encouraged to act in the best interest of their client. This takes both time and resources, something the current government has little of. Unless strategies such as SRM and alumni
contracting model, the public sector will be subject to claims of cronyism as it grapples with its expertise being swept out the door as voluntary redundancies.
Knomad needs to continue building on their
expertise and maintain a current understanding of
1. Australian Government (2007) Baby boomers,
the situation within the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organisation. Part
[accessed 20 July 2014] Available at:
of this responsibility also lies with the client
agency to ensure that the potential knomads out
there continue to encourage development and
ensure that they feel they are still valued as potential partners or suppliers. The alternative is that the encumberant becomes embedded in the
2. Biggs, S., Phillipson, C., Leach, R., & Money, A.
(2007). Baby boomers and adult ageing: Issues for social and public policy. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 8(3), 32-40. 3. Davenport, T.H. and Prusak, L. (2000) Working 58
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT: KNOWMADIC TRIBES OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR Knowledge: How Organisations Manage What They Know; Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA, USA. 4. Greig, M. and P. Crossman (2005) Queensland’s Baby Boomers: A Profile of Persons Born 1946–1965, Australian Bureau of Statistics 5. Japan Reference (2011)Ronin, [accessed 20 July 2014] Available at: http://www.jref.com/culture-society/ronin/ 6. McCallum, A. J. (2000, November). What will we do with the baby boomers? In 10th Biennial Conference of the Australian Population Association – ‘Population and globalisation: Australia in the 21st century', Melbourne, 28 November - 1 December 2000. 7. Murphy, B. (2007) BONZA - The Original Baby Boomer site founded in 2001, [accessed 20 July 2014] Available
at: http://www.bonza.com.au/ 8. Poirier, C. C. (2003) Supplier Relationship Management. Computer Sciences Corporation 9. Prietula, M. J., & Simon, H. A. (1989). The experts in your midst. Harvard Business Review, 67(1), 120-124. 10. Shelley. A. (2012) The Organisational Zoo - Resources. [accessed 20 July 2014] Available at: http:// www.organisationalzoo.com/resources
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DAVID WILLIAMS David Williams is the President of the ACT KM forum, chair of the Information Awareness Committee, Convenor of the ACT Information Governance Community of Practice and director of the Institute for Information Management. He is on the AIIM International KM Standards working group and is currently the chair of the Knowledge Management Global Network. 59
INTER-ORGANISATIONAL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN A CHANGING WORLD: CO-CREATION FOR DEVELOPING COMPETITIVE PRODUCTS
by Vadim Shiryaev Competition is changing the economic scenario for companies and countries around the world. In the Russian market as well, business has become much tougher. Success calls for new kinds of cooperative measures, a re-thinking of organisation boundaries, and new ways of visualizing end users as partners and co-creators.
NATURE OF COMPETITION Many firms in emerging economies have only now begun to understand the meaning of the word "competition" in a global economy, where competitors from overseas are disrupting their business in their own turf. It seems as if even before a new product has been designed, the competitor has already put it on the shelf. And this happens again and again - at lightning speed. Businesses need to tune their strategies, assets and know-how to meet his challenge. Competition is emerging on all fronts, and not just on a single frontline. Boundaries between markets and sectors are blurring, and competition is everywhere. Business leaders need to be able to act and react nimbly and on multiple fronts. Competition is not coming only from traditional players, but from disruptive players in adjacent and remote markets. For example, investors in the restaurant business of Tomsk can be not just from other restauranteers but also from the oil industry. It is hard to anticipate such competitors but business leaders need to be on guard and develop pre-emptive strategies. Top executives need to keep asking themselves: who should be backed - buyer or supplier; who is of higher priority - employee or contractor; whose opinion
to trust â&#x20AC;&#x201C; traditional media or new bloggers? Change is constant, everywhere, always. How should business leaders respond and act?
COOPERATION, COLLABORATION & CO-CREATION Businesses need to constantly look for new resources and opportunities. Today the market is run by the players who come together for a common goal and develop joint agendas. This collaboration can be between a company that knows how to innovate and manage business value, along with a company with big infrastructure and resources. If the two are not able to create a mutually beneficial partnership
then they will not succeed for long. This trend - collaboration - now defines the future of each player. They are either in conjunction with someone or out of the game. This can be manageable for large players in some cases but possibly 60
INTER-ORGANISATIONAL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN A CHANGING WORLD: CO-CREATION FOR DEVELOPING COMPETITIVE PRODUCTS harder for SMEs (small and medium enterprises). Businesses also need to tackle overseas opportunities in emerging markets. For this, they need to sense and anticipate trends and constantly looking for ideas of unique products and services that solve consumer problems. Companies also need to regularly create competitive products. The smartphone industry witnesses new models almost every week. Are there such rates and high levels of innovation products possible in other domains? Regularity and competitiveness will be ensured only if the products are created via collaboration. This approach is called co-creation, as exemplified by companies such as Nike, BMW and others. The best recipe for creating value through co-creation leading to desirable products for the market is tap key customers, suppliers, partners and even well-wishers and co-develop a product. Co-creation calls for effective interaction beyond collaboration.
CHALLENGES TO CO-CREATION Working on the product, co-creators need to visualise and realise unambiguous, profitable differences from competitors. The product can be created via interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-market cooperation - its creation should involve all stakeholders, especially the client. Highly competitive innovative products emerge in this manner and can be pitched in different markets. But this is often easier said than done. In many cultures, the practice is more of competition than coopetition or co-creation. For years, many companies in Russia have tried to cooperate but still work independently or only with media for promotion and research. Many companies are still stuck in the old formula of "active sellers - passive consumers." In todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world, if clients are not involved in the creation of a product, they quickly lose loyalty. In order to go into the business of the joint creation of goods and services with the consumer, companies need dramatic changes: they need to move from industrial-era to knowledge-era thinking.
APPROACHES TO CO-CREATION There are many definitions of co-creation. It begins with business strategy and the creation of shared 61
INTER-ORGANISATIONAL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN A CHANGING WORLD: CO-CREATION FOR DEVELOPING COMPETITIVE PRODUCTS values. This is a joint initiative of a group of interested parties focused on doing what no one else did. Suppliers and customers come together to create product value that meets everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s demand. It is the purpose of co-creation, its mission. Co-creation is one of the variants to deliver value in consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; eyes - simple, unambiguous, profitable
differences over competitors, driven by implementing the positioning strategy. This approach leads to long-term positioning in the market, because the value is created by each of the participants. Such an approach for product creation saves further marketing budgets. After all, the one who created the product has deep market and supplier understanding of customers and competitors - it can become a motive to spread information about the product and achieve market leadership.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
VADIM SHIRYAEV Vadim Shiryaev is a business consultant and thought leader on KM in Russia. He specialises in digital marketing, innovation and knowledge strategies. He is the founder of the
annual KM Russia conference and awards, and has spoken at KM conferences in Singapore, India, UK and South Africa. 62
CONNECTING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & INNOVATION: THE UNISYS EXPERIENCE
by Krithika B., Nilesh Naik and Srivathsa N.S. Knowledge management (KM)
mobility. In light of this fact, employees need to
has existed in some form
throughout history. However,
exponentially in recent times
as a means to further innovation to achieve key
HOW DOES KNOWLEDGE
business priorities and create customer value.
The need to effectively manage an enterprise’s
intellectual assets is driven by multiple factors.
KM provides a framework for connecting people-
Primary among them is the size and scale of
to-people and people-to-information in order to
today’s business operations.
achieve specific outcomes, such as shared intelligence, increased productivity, and more
While knowledge creation and sharing may be
importantly higher levels of innovation.
easier to achieve within smaller organisations, the challenge arises with large, global, diverse
A key point to note is that while innovation in
organisations with operations spanning numerous
products and services is important, it is not the
countries, employees, customers, and products.
Within such an environment, operations tend to
embedded into an organisation’s culture and way
become compartmentalized, information becomes
of doing things, the organisation finds ways to
innovate not just in terms of new products or
knowledge sharing does not occur naturally.
entering new markets, but also in every aspect of its functioning -- logistics, supply chain, business
Another key factor is that today’s business
environment is necessitating continuous, life-long
common myth about innovation is that it is the
learning among employees to be able to do their
domain only of either geniuses or extremely
jobs effectively and stay current, flexible, and
creative minds. In an environment where free flow
of information and ideas is encouraged and open
sophisticated customer demands. While this is
access to the collective knowledge assets of a
true of every industry today, it is particularly
company is provided, anyone can develop an
evident in the technology industry, where new
innovative idea or build upon an existing idea that
innovations are occurring at an unprecedented
could have a major impact in the functioning of
pace driven by disruptive trends including social
computing, cloud computing, big data, and 63
CONNECTING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & INNOVATION: THE UNISYS EXPERIENCE Large amounts of data can offer a wealth of information
processing overwhelming amounts can get in the way of effective decision making. According to
“Scientists have worked out exactly how much data is sent to a typical person in the course of a
year – the equivalent of every person in the world reading 174 newspapers every single day.”
premium on fast access to information and businesses often expect employees to be plugged in around the clock. This information overload can seriously hamper creativity and effective decision making. Similarly, not having access to the right information at the right time can deter employees from making fully informed decisions and taking calculated risks. given
IDEAS New products cannot exist without new ideas. There is a need for each of us to think actively in terms of new product ideas, and invest energy in taking the ideas from concept to fruition. As an organisation, we need to become good at creating forums for encouraging new ideas, evaluating them, providing feedback and support to the
Our instant gratification society also puts a
NURTURING NEW PRODUCT
ideas, and helping these ideas cover the distance to the roadmap. The nurturing new product ideas initiative at Unisys has already created about 35 new product ideas in the year 2014. The approach was to have
preliminary review to shortlist ideas. These ideas were presented to a panel of technologists and senior management in a venture capital model
environment, problems and circumstances have
and the approved ideas were eventually taken up for implementation.
become more complex and do not fit previous patterns. What worked before doesn’t work today.
INCREASED FOCUS ON PATENTS
To make sense of unfamiliar situations and
AND PROTECTING IP
complex challenges, executives must have a grasp of the big picture, including all its variables and unknowns.
frameworks and initiatives which connect KM and innovation. We describe here five ways in which has
submit an idea that they believe has the potential to be patented has helped us protect IP to a great
At Unisys, we have incorporated specific events,
An automated process for any employee to
extent. Focused sessions on protecting IP and brainstorming sessions to spot new ideas have helped us increase patent productivity year-onyear by 5% from 2012 to 2013.The typical
process followed for a seamless integration of KM and IP process is:
CONNECTING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & INNOVATION: THE UNISYS EXPERIENCE INCREASED SOCIAL
1. Creating a conductive environment 2. A culture of thought leadership
3. Evangelization on patenting
Most KM and collaboration strategists will attest
4. Well-knit team with support system
to the fact that successful enterprise collaboration
5. Idea submission system
which adds real value to the business is primarily
6. Evaluation to protection.
communities. While organic communities have a
role to play in knowledge sharing, strategic
communities strengthen knowledge transfer, build
At Unisys, to ensure close alignment with
expertise, and foster innovations in areas that
customer expectations and to gain their valuable inputs
innovative ideas, solutions, and outcomes for our clients. As part of this program, we offer customers innovation workshops which provide a fast–track approach to identify, categorize, and prioritize innovation opportunities within their business. Further, it also helps to develop high– level
roadmaps for the most promising opportunities identified. Unisys has developed an Innovation Portal and
knowledge assets and emerging technologies. UNIVERSE is our premier annual Unisys user community gathering. It brings together clients, alliance partners, Unisys thought leaders, and prospects to network, share best practices, learn, and grow. A series of educational and thought leadership tracks and topics are designed to provide attendees with a better understanding of where the IT industry is heading and how Unisys and its partners can help them achieve their goals.
matter most to the business. This is because, unlike organic, informal communities, strategic communities require an infrastructure that closely integrates company subject matter expertise, authoritative knowledge content, education and
training, as well as external market data in order to be truly effective. However,
communities may require significant investment of time and resources. First and foremost, it requires planning. Positioning strategic communities to support a company’s market areas of strength, target industries, and key employee roles, and aligning them to business objectives is essential. Second, developing a framework for enablement and evolution is critical to sustaining a successful community environment. Effective frameworks must focus on how to attract and retain members and
In order to sustain and attract new members, communities
Community managers play a pivotal role in 65
CONNECTING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & INNOVATION: THE UNISYS EXPERIENCE keeping communities viable and helping them
highly specialized purposes. Beyond strategic and
grow. They engage SMEs who can provide the
self-service communities, the social computing
right answers to questions at the right time and
model has been tightly integrated with our HR
transfer knowledge and best practices to help
system to help easily find SMEs. The corporate
community members evolve their skill sets. They
intranet, Inside Unisys, has been redesigned to
seed content and motivate members to share and
use social media to create a highly immersive and
engage with each other through newsfeeds and
interactive experience on the internal company
community webinars. They also capture metrics to
landing page for employees.
measure community growth and effectiveness. At Unisys, social collaboration has connected At Unisys, our portal is coupled with a social
individuals at all levels from the CEO and
executive team to sales and delivery. The ability to
computing capabilities such as My Site profiles to
ask questions, get answers, contribute ideas, and
build company presence, showcase expertise, and
share feedback has turned individual learning to
to develop a valuable network of colleagues,
organisational learning, resulting in enterprise-
personalized blogs, and microblog newsfeeds.
wide productivity gains and innovation across all
Through the use of My Sites, communities, and
levels of organisation and in every aspect of the
team sites, and by leveraging improved search
and content tagging capabilities, employees now have faster access to the right information and the
Create a culture of innovation through
right people from around the world, regardless of
the organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ecosystem
location or time zone. This results in greater productivity customer
concepts. Kudos and Badges incentives which are part of this system further strengthen the whole ecosystem. Social computing capabilities have enhanced the effectiveness of our strategic communities, in particular role-based communities for architects, project managers, as well as Unisys â&#x20AC;&#x153;areas of
organisations by making learning routine. This creates a culture where everyone continuously exchanges experiences,
expertise. It also encourages employees to regularly assess themselves, their teams, business units, and the organisation as a whole, looking for ways to improve.
strengthâ&#x20AC;? communities based on our portfolio of solutions. We have also introduced self-service,
We have in place a robust learning and development
social computing-enabled communities allowing
program called Unisys University, which provides a
employees to create their own communities for
blended curriculum of instructor-led and Web-based 66
CONNECTING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & INNOVATION: THE UNISYS EXPERIENCE training to suit employee education needed on a range
pre-final and final year engineering students in
of topics including Unisys’ portfolio of solutions,
Computer Science, Information Technology, and
specific industry solutions, role-based, and universal
other related fields. Thanks to the enthusiastic
training. There are multiple Communities of Practice
participation in Cloud 20/20 from universities
(CoPs) dedicated to various areas, including cloud computing,
technology and idea generation.
across India, we created the Unisys Technology Forum India (UTFI) online library. There students can access technical webinars, whitepapers, and
Organisations may also undertake various initiatives
other valuable resources to keep their innovative
such as internal contests aimed at promoting learning,
thinking alive and growing.
boosting innovation, and recognizing and rewarding talent. One such platform is aimed at encouraging
Our Technology Board initiatives are in the areas
innovative ideas and concepts in various areas, such
as mobile apps, open source ports, modernization,
competency, standardizing frameworks, thought
leadership and mentoring, and research on Unisys
focus. Such contests have not only served to enhance
products and solutions. We encourage and actively
and self-management and
pursue academic collaboration on research topics
chosen around Unisys focus areas.
innovative ideas and concepts that have either been patented or even contributed to various Unisys
In sum, traditional KM principles can be augmented to
accelerate innovation via effective idea generation,
We have a long history of collaboration with the academia in promoting talent and driving innovation. In 2009, Unisys launched Cloud 20/20, one of India’s biggest online technical project
smooth collaboration, customer focus, protection
of IP and long-term assurance via cultural foundations.
provides students a platform to showcase their innovative and path-breaking ideas on cloud computing. The Cloud 20/20 contest is open to research students and post-graduates as well as
“The corporate intranet, Inside Unisys, has been redesigned to use social media to create a highly immersive and interactive experience on the internal company landing page for employees.” 67
CONNECTING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & INNOVATION: THE UNISYS EXPERIENCE RESOURCES : http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/km-knowledge-management/ : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-opportunities/indian-companies-face-high-attritionrates/article4783119.ece : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1355892/Each-person-inundated-174-newspapers-worthinformation-EVERY-DAY.html
ABOUT THE AUTHORs Krithika B. Krithika has 13 years of experience and is currently Knowledge Manager for engineering lab at Unisys. Apart from KM she has over 6 years of experience in telecom domain. Her past company includes Wipro. She did her BE from Mumbai University and MBA from Symbiosis
Nilesh Naik Nilesh is the Engineering Director in Global Technology Center, Bangalore. He is responsible for leading an engineering team in the delivery of Forward Fabric Manager (FFM) and File and Storage Manager (FSM) of the Forward/ClearPath Forward program. Nilesh has held a number of roles including development, Product Management and Engineering Management through his 25 years of experience. Nilesh received his Engineering degree from University of Mumbai, India and is an alumnus of London Business School.
Srivathsa Srivathsa has over 19 years of experience in areas like Linux, High Performance Computing, Storage and Systems Management. He is interested in various Business aspects of Open Source. Apart from Engineering Management, he enjoys mentoring and building careers. He works as a Senior Engineering Manager in Unisys at their Global Technology Centre in Bangalore. His past companies include Dell, Sun, DDEORG, etc. He did his MCA from Bharathidasan University and MS from BITS Pilani.
BOOK REVIEW — FROM IDEAS AND KNOWLEDGE TO IMPACTS AND SUCCESS: PRINCIPLES OF IDEA-DRIVEN ORGANISATIONS
by Madanmohan Rao Globalisation, rapid economic growth in emerging economies, and the rise of the Internet are forcing organisations to increase the rate at which they innovate and improve. How to sustain the flow and implementation of ideas is the key focus of the new book, The Idea-Driven Organisation: Unlocking the Power of Bottom-Up Ideas, by Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder. The book maintains that good ideas come not just top-down from managers but also bottom-up in the organisation, keeping creativity and productivity flowing. Having a steady and free flow of ideas helps create a high-performing organisation. “Every day, frontline employees see many problems and opportunities that their managers do not,” the authors begin. Managers may be skilled in aggregate knowledge, but are often shielded from operational and customer-facing innovations. They tend to focus largely on the big numbers, but miss out on the rich sources of insights on the frontlines. Many books address how creative companies such as Apple and Amazon are – but it is another task altogether to become creative like them. The authors recommend that leaders structure their company for ideas, align budgets and rewards for ideas, implement a high-performing idea system via training and piloting, and evolve to become problem-finding organisations. I have summarised some of these key steps in Table 1, with more examples below from a wide range of sectors. Idea management is much more than asking people for ideas – it is about giving employees clues on what kinds of ideas are needed, training them on how to continuously generate new kinds of ideas, having deep conversations on ideas and impact value, training managers on how to facilitate idea implementation, and how to reward departments in a way which cuts across silos. An aligned idea system is more than a voluntary suggestion scheme, which often assumes that ‘management knows best’ and many times is not implemented or accounted for. Ideas can also be included in regular meetings, and idea training can be included in orientation for new employees. Further on down the road, employees can be trained to be aggressive listeners and thoughtful observers. Eventually, frontline ideas can lead to major innovation breakthroughs. 69
FROM IDEAS AND KNOWLEDGE TO IMPACTS AND SUCCESS: PRINCIPLES OF IDEA-DRIVEN ORGANISATIONS Table 1: Creating Idea-Driven Organisations Steps
Hire managers who have humility, keep managers engaged in the frontline, hold managers accountable for idea generation and implementation Align ideas with overall strategy, translate goals in a meaningful manner down the organisation, link departments, implement ideas rapidly
Idea-driven strategy Align management systems Create ideas processes Improve performance of idea systems
Give employees time, budget and support to work with ideas, remove policies which inhibit ideas, give training about ideas, include idea management in performance assessment Use improvements, idea meetings, idea boards; define escalation processes for complex ideas; move away from mere suggestions Conduct ideas audit; form cross-disciplinary idea systems team; design flow and metrics; correct misalignments; conduct pilots; scale; improve
Increase and accelerate idea flow
Continuous re-training in idea generation, find new problems, design idea activators, mine ideas
But top managers are often blinded to new ideas due to the trappings of power â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they listen less carefully, become self-interested, and are unable to think out of the box. Processes and procedures are also often out of alignment; simple changes to workflow are sometimes not implemented due to noncooperative IT or HR departments which are marching to a different beat, and simple equipment is often not purchased due to complex purchasing policies. Pioneering the practice of the idea-driven organisation is Toyota. The company requires managers to
spend time in the frontlines (gemba), and its managers have even helped out other companies adopt this practice, such as Hickory Chair. Subaru has achieved green targets by focusing on ideas for entire recycling processes, and not just individual departments. Many Swedish companies and MNC branches seem to embody the philosophy of bottom-up ideas. For example, the Clarion-Stockholm Hotel routinely collects ideas even from bartenders. Many ideas are small and easy to implement, and improve customer experience, increase productivity, make the hotel a better workplace, and empower employees. Coca-Cola Stockholm improved its bottling line thanks to ideas from frontline workers, which even certified Six Sigma black belt teams could not detect. Swedish truck maker Scania shuts down its entire 70
FROM IDEAS AND KNOWLEDGE TO IMPACTS AND SUCCESS: PRINCIPLES OF IDEA-DRIVEN ORGANISATIONS assembly line for 26 minutes each week to hold ideas meetings. Brasilian can manufacturer Brasilata has special cross-disciplinary teams in each centre dedicated solely to help assess and implement ideas. It gets 150 ideas per person per year, and implements 90 per cent of them. Ideas are approved within seven days and implemented within 45 days. Spanish clothing designer Zara regularly polls sales associates for cues on fashion trends, and its
design shops are physically laid out to enable rapid prototyping of new clothing. Anti-virus software company Softwin expects all employees to spend 25 per cent of their time working on their new ideas. Wilf Blackburn turned around the fortunes of insurance firm Ayudhya Allianz in Thailand via quarterly idea fairs, including idea management in performance reviews, and even removing high cubicle walls in offices to send out the message of easy access and collaboration. Managers of healthcare firm Theda spend several hours each week in the hospital wards and halls
observing the movement of patients and giving inputs even on room and door design; two hours of morning time are designated as ‘meeting free’ so managers can engage with the frontline. Siemens tracks idea outputs of each of its divisions and displays them publicly. Sumitomo Electric does not promote managers unless they can generate a minimum number of ideas per employee per period. A US bank has implemented a ‘Kill Stupid Rules’ policy where employees can suggest changes to archaic old rules which inconvenience customers and do not add value. Textile company Milliken requires that all new ideas be acknowledged within 24 hours and implemented in 72 hours, otherwise the escalation process is clearly documented and explained. US Alpha Mines notices that the more ideas per miner a mine got, the fewer safety problems it had. Whirlpool used idea management to get out of the commodity trap and design a new line of washing machines, dryers and related home accessories. Supermarket chain Big Y sets metrics for number of ideas submitted per employee per month, as well as number of ideas implemented. A UK financial services company and a national lab improved their ideas practices via educational materials, classroom discussions, training, coaching, examinations, and tests of implemented ideas. 71
FROM IDEAS AND KNOWLEDGE TO IMPACTS AND SUCCESS: PRINCIPLES OF IDEA-DRIVEN ORGANISATIONS
In sum, the book offers useful advice and examples to heads of KM and innovation management on how organisations can remain at the cutting edge of innovation by tapping into and implementing the ideas of their employees across the board. It is up to leaders founders to build the capabilities of implementing 20, 50, or even 100 ideas per employee per year.
lan G. Robinson is a professor at the Isenberg School of Management of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has served on the board of examiners of the
United States Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. His research into the best and worst practices in continuous improvement has won a number of awards and has taken him into organisations in many countries around the world. He has advised more than 60 organisations in 10 countries on how to improve their creativity.
ean M. Schroeder serves as the associate dean and director of graduate programs in management and is the Herbert and Agnes Schulz Professor of Management at Valparaiso
University in Northwest Indiana. He has served on the board of examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, is on the board of directors of the American Creativity Association, and has served on several corporate boards.