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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


President’s Message

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 Singapore’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

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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.

K

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.

M

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.

K

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.

H

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.

B

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.

E

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.

S

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.

K

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.

R

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.

W

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.

D

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.

V

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

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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


Do You Have services that would benefit the KM Community? Member!

join us as a Commercial MEMBER!

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Enjoy member discounted rates @ annual conference and master-classes

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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:

1.

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.

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REFRAMING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: AN ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VIEW

by Karuna Ramanathan INTRODUCTION Knowledge remains critical to organisations, given today’s increasingly

complex

uncertain

and

operating

environments.

Managing

it

often yields limited success; its challenges often caused by challenging multigenerational, global and contract workforce arrangements. Knowledge management (KM) solutions today involve macro level

organisational

issues

such

as

communication, engagement, experience and expertise. These areas are now more inter-twined with how knowledge is strategized, optimized and managed. As such, KM for KM’s sake, or KM as just about technology, or KM as just about conversation, are extremely narrow views.

better

seen

from

Development (OD) lens.

the

Organisation

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

and

transformation

over

The KM community is familiar with the term knowledge worker, first credited to Drucker

(1969).

The

terms

KM

manager

and

KM

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

believe

in

and

actively

promote

KM

practices, such as Communities of Practice (CoPs), storytelling, and so on.

One such enlarged view suggests that KM could be

MANAGER OR PRACTITIONER

time.

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 [1].

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,

oriented.

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,

white

elephants,

knowledge

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.

This is

challenging enough, and more so when the next step

involves

an

inside-in

phase,

to

be

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

Failure

GROWTH REQUIRES

knowledge

supply

channels

within

organisations. Many knowledge managers often lament that a larger and more sustained view of KM is necessary, and that many a CEO has demanded

that

organisation's

KM

be

business

aligned

with

landscape.

the From

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,

profit,

outcomes,

capability,

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,

and

many

an

experienced

KM

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.

Naturally,

the tacit

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 [2].

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.

though

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

in

the

visioning

discussions at the highest levels of the organisation. The KM manager needs to be present, to develop a deeper

understanding

and

nuancing of where the organisation needs to head to, in its quest for survival..

there

are

several

well-established

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.”

takes

place

in

educational

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,

given

extremely

dynamic

several levels, including the individual, team

environments. Increasingly, there is little that

and

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

organisational

activities.

levels.

The

The

design

military’s

and

the

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

lens.

know, as relationships are critical for obtaining information, solving problems and learning to

Organisational Learning (OL) (Senge, 1990)

do work [3]. 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 [4].

cognitive

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,

have

whether

knowledge culture purely on the basis of the

as

a

student,

researcher

or

practitioner. Human behaviour cannot be

tools,

successfully

then

expecting

deeply

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,

learning.

Learning,

as

and

2013). Identified as an enabler within shared

designed

process,

creates

at

context, involving shared experiences, shared

a

disciplined knowledge

19


REFRAMING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: AN ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VIEW tasks and shared outcomes (Watanabe et al., 2011), how these aspects relate to KM strategy,

and

consequently,

CHANGE

increased

knowledge exploitation capability for the firm is lacking

(Anooshiravan

and

Bo,

2013).

Therefore the examination of the potential relationship

between

how

knowledge

is

LEADERSHIP

KM’s NEW FOCUS AREAS

GROWTH

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,

and

includes

tacit

knowledge

(Collins, 2010).

knowledge cycle

PRACTITIONER

Leadership cannot materialize without learning, just as learning cannot be successfully sustained Both

are

required

for

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

CHANGE

leadership.

KNOWLEDGE

CONCLUSION : THE KM

LEADERSHIP REQUIRES

without

LEARNING

below.

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 – 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.

20


REFRAMING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: AN ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VIEW REFERENCES [1]: 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 [2]: W.J. Rothwell, The Workplace Learner (Amacom: New York, 2002). [3] T. Allen, Managing the Flow of Technology (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1977). [4] B. Flybjerg, “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research.” Qualitative Inquiry 12, no. 2 (2006), 219-245. [5]: 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." .

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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

managing

organisational

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

successful.

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

of

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

to

address

their

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

it

and

can

(4)

be

stored

retrieved.

Somebody who might benefit from the

that a particular issue had surfaced

needed

multinational who could not locate the

A few examples will illustrate this

resources

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

to

executive.

make

decisions

about

policies

and

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

chief

were never made clear to the KM team much less to us.

executives

who

want

Rome

built

“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

Another

area

chief

executives

tend

to

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

participate

in

and

evidence gathering, drafting and testing and were

knowledge

sharing

performance

at the cusp of implementing the taxonomy in their

indicators

loom

activities

like

when

large.

key

There

learning aren’t

many

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

senior

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

the taxonomy.

management

team

who

in

general

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

finally,

embed

KM

interventions

into

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.

24


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

(e.g.

Singapore

University

of

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

economy.”

“software” of knowledge management (KM).

Among vendors or solutions providers, IBM’s 3i looks

into

instrumentation,

integration

and

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

Sulivan,

knowledge. Cohen defines smart cities as “places

introduced by the technology industry, cities are

that

and

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

following

environment,

indicators based on Quality of Life and City

people, government, mobility and living. A smart

Services (Global Cities Institute, 2014). With 200

make

better

indicators:

use

of

information

economy,

2014).

Aside

from

best

practices

25


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

importance of

provides a key

involvement of KM professionals. It is not

foundation for shared learning amongst the cities.

restricted to the codification and transfer of

The

knowledge

World

data which

Bank

has

worked

on

urban

through

the

establishment

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

smart cities.

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

identified

stories and lessons of developed economies? 2)

framework

From a KM perspective, is it feasible to use

Advanced and Innovative. Core is knowledge to

benchmarking

for

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.

and

good

practices

three

types

of

knowledge

in

a

that

leads

to

innovation:

Core,

smart city so that economic exchanges and cooperation may take place?

Thus, smart cities are about software and the hardware

that

allow

societies

to

develop

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

valuable

than

having

non-networked

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

relevant;

and

experiment, practice and learn.”

the

ensuing

analytics

to

manage

and

small

enough

to

transportation, utilities and liveability. Next comes various social networks for harnessing collective

The effective management scarce resources such

intelligence

as water, energy, land and people in an

and

crowd-sourcing

that

would

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

press/3768-

promoting environmental awareness an action

$39.5+Billion+Will+Be+Spent+on+Smart+City+Tec

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

from http://www.umass.edu/digitalcentre/research/

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

www.fastcoexist.com/1680538/what-exactly-is-a-

be the first smart nation anywhere in

smart-city

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.

28


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?

team.

There were two major factors that significantly

BRINGING THIS INTO THE

contributed to this success:

ORGANISATION

1. Diagnose: Critically diagnose its weak areas

Can

organisations

learn

and

apply

from

(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

the

context.

Mullers

of

2.Application of Data Analysis:

today. Embrace

Diagnose then act – The Germans realized,

data and innovation through the development of

after their failure in the 2004 UEFA European

its 12

th

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

instance,

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.

it

was

diagnosed

that

talent

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

level

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

movers

its

aligned to the theories of learning as developed by

before

Lave and Wenger for “situated learning” (Lave &

in

the

organisational

organisation

health

for

diagnose

learning

embarking on any change or action to

of

collaboration

between

teams

or

Wenger, 1991).

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

understand

the

current

learning climate?

“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

(2006)

indicate

an

increasing focus within both areas on the importance of employees’ opportunity

to

participate

in

organisational practice as the basis for learning and development, for the

Embracing

data,

analysis

and

individual

as

well

as

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

knowledge

processes will and should not be limited by formal

management

within

the

organisation. Let us look at two questions in an

or

informal

organisational

boundaries,

and

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

provide

the

from 20 Norwegian organisations [1], 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

an

understanding

of

where

organisations. Employee-driven innovation (EDI) is another opportunity for more sustainable development in

Current findings indicate that the systematic

many

introduction

organisations.

EDI-practices

trigger

of

EDI-practices

increases

an

learning processes which result in a general

organisations’ 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 organisation’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

external

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,

CHALLENGES FACED

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

that

I

often

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.”

1. Survey

Treadmill in

There seems to be an inescapable fear of doing

the course of my work

more and this fear often inhabits the minds of

Culture. in

Firstly,

providing

survey

staff tasked with the role of managing such

and

organisational surveys especially if the data

administering, I often

impacts them directly through additional tasks

encounter what I term

generated.

designs

as “Survey Treadmill Culture” – a working

3.

culture

that

challenge that I often encounter is when there is

seems to result in the

uncertainty in the course of action for the

“trap”

degradation

of

the

Running

development

before

of

Walking.

Learning

and

The

KM

third

in

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

assumed

its

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

without

any

measurement

of

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

to

capturing

and

analyzing

their

company data, developing the right employee feedback management

processes,

right performance

systems and the

correct

organisational structure.

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

the

an

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.

key

staff

on

the

importance

of

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.

Improve

employees

by

the

experience

consistently

for

your

collecting

their

“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. [1]: 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.

LinkedIn http://sg.linkedin.com/pub/salleh-anuar/12/4a6/65b/

35


GAMES AND GAMIFICATION TOOLS FOR CREATING INNOVATIVE LEARNING SOLUTIONS

by Karl M. Kapp Technological

innovation

is

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

management

Innovation

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.

role-play

(KM) and

learning.

that

provide

instant,

personalized

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

reality-based

PC.

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.

decisions

instructions

via

a

tablet

with

the

consequences

clearly

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 [1]. 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

require

video before a

games

put

competence.

learner

to

do

something, to take action, to make decisions

before

the

learner

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

is

presented with an explanation. Action and activities provide instruction, not text, words,

diagrams and explanations. This translates into “learning by doing.� 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

making,

critical

concentrated

thinking

learning.

and Unlike

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.

THE WORLD

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 — that’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.

zombies.

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

non-player

retail

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

characters

within

the

38


GAMES AND GAMIFICATION TOOLS FOR CREATING INNOVATIVE LEARNING SOLUTIONS requirements, they recommend a certain device

REFERENCES

to the hospital administrators. If they gathered all the necessary requirements and recommend the right

device,

the

players

win.

If

some

requirements are missing or the wrong conclusion was

drawn

from

requirements,

the the

players lose.

[1]

Tremmel,

P.,

In

Virtual

World

Real-World

Behaviour and Biases Show Up. (2008, September, 11) Retrieved May 30, 2009, from Medical News Today

at

www.medicalnewstoday.com/

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

transferring

critical

knowledge

to

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."

39


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. – 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 – 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 Wipro’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: Wipro’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 Wipro’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.

45


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 government’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 “Open Data Readiness� 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

Strategy

Advisory

Committee

of

the

HKSAR

government.

49


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.

50


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.

2.

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.

52


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.

53


KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT: KNOWMADIC TRIBES OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR

by David Williams knowledge

INTRODUCTION Capture

and

managers

inflicting

a

range

of

strategies on organisations and individuals with a the

variety of outcomes. Many ineffective strategies

baby

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.

knowledge

externalisation

held

of

by departing

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

those

accepting

redundancies are remaining in

the

workforce

and

the

opportunity exists to leverage off their

skills,

knowledge

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

experience.

what

we

are

now

observing

(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,

contextual

information,

and

expert

insights that provides a framework for evaluating Towards the end of the 20th century, strategic-

and

thinking managers in the Australian Public Sector

information” (Davenport and Prusak, 2000)

incorporating

new

experiences

and

started being concerned about the impending loss of intellectual capital once the ‘baby boomers’ start to retire (those people born between the

DISCUSSION

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

boomers

sought

to

remain

active

in

the 54


KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT: KNOWMADIC TRIBES OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SECTOR community or to travel extensively, earning them

existing members.

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

contractors

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

educated

economy. We call them Knomads.

educations and higher levels of skills, knowledge

or

consultants.

professionals

with

Many

post

are

well

graduate

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,

who

moves

from

workplace

to

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,

information

managers,

security, engineering, accounting and general

management.

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

generally

have

Despite this, many professional

associations are yet to enjoy a significant increase in numbers as many Knomads are

adequate

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

project

them staying in the family home longer when their

Despite this,

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

organisations.

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,

there

is

sporadic

strategies. employee

This

application is

surprising

retention is

regarded

of

retention

considering as a

key

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.

But

these

revolving contractors are not true Knomads as they do not

yet

have

the

experiences

and

networks

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,

thugs,

bullies,

cutthroats

and

wandering vagrants. Pastoral nomads in Africa

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER FROM

made their living raising livestock, such as

KNOWMADS

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

different strategies.

at a significantly higher rate than that paid to them

boundary-spanners for those agencies that have

when they were government employees.

the

foresight

to

They are highly effective

take

advantage

of

their

experience and social capital. The

practice

of

voluntary

redundancies 56


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

market

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,

of

Knomads

available.

Government

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.

of interest.

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

arrangement unattractive.

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

money.

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

expanded

to

This concept is

include

key

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

public

to complete the business model and

move

targeted

the

focus

consumer

groups. If Government agencies want to

take

better

intellectual

advantage capital

of

external

use

The

government

more

Australian

has

yet

to

effectively address this issue creative

and in

be

leveraging

more this

resource. Organisations need to

the to

could

effectively.

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.

to

sector

their

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

are

coupled

with

an

appropriate

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

BIBLIOGRAPHY

expertise and maintain a current understanding of

1. Australian Government (2007) Baby boomers,

the situation within the client’s organisation. Part

[accessed 20 July 2014] Available at:

of this responsibility also lies with the client

australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/

agency to ensure that the potential knomads out

baby-boomers

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

http://

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 – 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 today’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 everyone’s demand. It is the purpose of co-creation, its mission. Co-creation is one of the variants to deliver value in consumers’ 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

constantly

throughout history. However,

competitive.

its

importance

has

reinvent

themselves

to

stay

grown

exponentially in recent times

as a means to further innovation to achieve key

HOW DOES KNOWLEDGE

business priorities and create customer value.

MANAGEMENT DRIVE

The need to effectively manage an enterprise’s

INNOVATION?

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.

whole

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

siloed,

innovate not just in terms of new products or

collaboration

is

a

challenge,

and

knowledge sharing does not occur naturally.

picture.

When

innovation

is

deeply

entering new markets, but also in every aspect of its functioning -- logistics, supply chain, business

Another key factor is that today’s business

models,

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

adaptable

and

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

the organisation.

to

changing

market

trends

processes,

and

practices.

Another

computing, cloud computing, big data, and 63


CONNECTING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & INNOVATION: THE UNISYS EXPERIENCE Large amounts of data can offer a wealth of information

and

valuable

insights.

However,

processing overwhelming amounts can get in the way of effective decision making. According to

Mail

Online

reporter,

David

Derbyshire,

“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

Further,

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

an

idea

generation

workshop

followed

by

preliminary review to shortlist ideas. These ideas were presented to a panel of technologists and senior management in a venture capital model

today’s

dynamic

business

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

connections.

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,

Unisys

An automated process for any employee to

enabled

and

harnessed

such

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:

64


CONNECTING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT & INNOVATION: THE UNISYS EXPERIENCE INCREASED SOCIAL

1. Creating a conductive environment 2. A culture of thought leadership

COLLABORATION

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.

driven

by

company-sponsored,

strategic

communities. While organic communities have a

CUSTOMER-CENTRIC

role to play in knowledge sharing, strategic

INNOVATION

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

and

Innovation

insights, Program

we

offer

which

aims

a

Strategic to

deliver

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

business

cases

and

implementation

roadmaps for the most promising opportunities identified. Unisys has developed an Innovation Portal and

Innovation

Database

to

capture

existing

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,

creating

a

model

for

strategic

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

help

them

understand

the

value

of

community participation.

In order to sustain and attract new members, communities

must

provide

ongoing

value.

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

engine,

social

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

business.

NewsGator,

that

provides

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 organisation’s ecosystem

location or time zone. This results in greater productivity customer

and needs,

agility, and

faster

response

innovative

ideas

to and

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 “areas of

Effective

KM

systems

help

build

learning

organisations by making learning routine. This creates a culture where everyone continuously exchanges experiences,

information and

and

upgrades

ideas, their

shares

skills

and

expertise. It also encourages employees to regularly assess themselves, their teams, business units, and the organisation as a whole, looking for ways to improve.

strength� 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,

social

computing,

mobility,

Java

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

of

as mobile apps, open source ports, modernization,

competency, standardizing frameworks, thought

automation

customer

leadership and mentoring, and research on Unisys

focus. Such contests have not only served to enhance

products and solutions. We encourage and actively

collaboration

employees,

and self-management and

but

knowledge

ultimately

and

system

thinking,

growing

technical

sharing

among

pursue academic collaboration on research topics

generated

several

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

products.

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.

contests, that

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 [1]: http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/km-knowledge-management/ [2]: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-opportunities/indian-companies-face-high-attritionrates/article4783119.ece [3]: 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.

68


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

Activities

Idea-driven leadership

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 – 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.

AUTHOR PROFILES

A

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.

D

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.

72

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