Karen Huffman, Manager, Knowledge Initiatives, Libraries and Information Services, National Geographic Society, shares her conference notes on the recent 2007 KM World & Intranets with Government Info Pro readers. She also posted them out on the SLA KM Wiki, which you can access directly if you are an SLA member.
Read Karen's takeaways...
"We can always know more than we can tell, and we will always tell more than we can write." ~David Snowden
- Social media and collaborative tools are on the upswing in public and private sectors.
- Later half of Gen Y and Millennial Generation: Communicate more through IM and text messaging than email. Growing a workforce that will be more comfortable with non-linear, virtual world learning/interactive environments. Implications for the corporation/organization of today.
- Consumers driving the IT wave with quick adoption of the social media applications (bottom-up approach).
- 3D visualization tools being used to facilitate conversations between technical and non-technical constituents to reduce language barrier, exchange knowledge, accelerate decision making, and reduce/mitigate risk management.
Summary of "nuggets"/insights from the presentations
- "Wisdom of Crowds" - Groups of people are smarter than the smartest person in the group. Implications for selecting a cross-section of people with differing ideas/opinions to aggregate collective of ideas and reduce the possibility of mistakes. Cognitive diversity is key to a crowd becoming wise.
- Important to align intranet's vision/strategic goals with company's vision/strategic goals.
- CxOs of companies don't truly understand the social media playground and potential of harnessing these tools. It is our responsibility to teach upwards through concept prototypes, creative education, and coaching. Get senior executives to start a weekly blog or wiki page.
- B2B opportunities with virtual worlds such as Second Life and Areae for adults and the Kid-friendly worlds such as Penguin, Whyville, Mokitown, etc. Also has implications for training, lectures, conferences. Benefits: Zero infrastructure; zero travel costs, zero physical/in-house logistics, and 100% green.
- A lot of organizations talk about innovation but lack the resources to measure it. BrightIdea.com is an innovation pipeline management system that offers the ability to quantify ideas and can give executives a report, or picture, in real-time by business unit, group, geo location, etc. Reasons Laura DeSoto, SVP of Synergy and Innovation, Experian.com, selected the product: Very flexible, customizable, hosted solution, easy-to-implement/add new partners to the tool, great service received from BrightIdea.com group.
- Think radical/reduce security risk: Ban all email attachments. Force the use of linking to internal documents managed within a document management system.
- Although organizations "talk" about a flatter organizational chart, most companies, in fact, look the same (or have many more layers) as 100 year's ago.
- Although consumers are driving Web 2.0, one speaker did not believe some of the manual processes (such as tagging) do not translate as well within the enterprise. The Enterprise needs to build automated systems rather than loading more work onto its people.
- Information perceived through filters of culture and language. Building a global taxonomy involves a diverse team of subject experts. Terms can be culturally specific; need to have a global understanding. Example in history: In an effort to build unity among the Germans and the United states, John F. Kennedy said in June 1963, "Ich bin ein Berliner." What he didn't realize, however, was that the masculine noun for "Berliner" can also mean "jelly donut." So, most Germans were probably laughing about the fact that our U.S. President was refering to himself as a jelly donut!
- Many organizations are capturing the explicit knowledge but are failing to capture the tacit knowledge. Sharing culture is vital to an organization that wants to promote knowledge management. Need to build automated bridges to tacit and explicit knowledge.