Thursday, June 22, 2006

Blogging not "a nightmare"

Enraged by a potent cocktail of crappy weather & Alan Kohler's article in the SMH as referenced by Trevor Cook, I fired off an intemperate email to author. To his great credit, he replied that he might have been excessively negative...

Apart from the blogging diss, it's an interesting PoV on Aussie TV.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My Headphones...

Success by The Winnie Coopers - downloadable here - catch the video...

Jesus Walks by Kanye West - Yes, yes, I know it's been around for a while but still, it gives me goosebumps...

Pretty much everything from Radiohead's tour...


The joint session with ISPI I referred to earlier went very well.

Robert Perey & John Loty did a fantastic session based on Appreciative Inquiry around the topic of "Marriage".

N.B. Altho everyone walks away from an AI session feeling sunny & happy, it did not lead to me getting hitched. So a 50/50 on the success score there...

Strategic Questioning

The Facilitators Network ran a session on Strategic Questioning. The focus was on big questions about things rather than questions about big things (if you see the distinction).

Fran Peavey asks on the page linked to above: "Were you ever taught how to ask questions?"

If you were a researcher in the social or natural sciences then the answer is "yes". However, you are taught to ask a very specific kind of question - the testing of a hypothesis.

In other walks of life, we are not taught this skill. Which means there are vast tracts of our lives we do not approach properly because we either ask the wrong question or none at all.

Feel free to post questions you find interesting in the comments field. Here are a few to kick things off:
- What would it take to make people as excited about their local environment as their national football team?
- Why do businesses downsize employees & not shareholders?
- Why don't public relation people ever talk to the public?


ISPI Sydney ran a session on sustainability last night. As advertised, it was something of a mixed bag.

Andrew Ashner's talk on green manufacturing was fascinating & depressing. He went thru Industrial Ecology, Cleaner Production, Eco-Efficeny, Lifecycle Management & a host of other initiatives.

Paraphrasing his conclusions:
- If we carry on they way we are going we are screwed.
- There are lots of fine words about sustainability but comparatively little action.
- The methods & frameworks are good but too complicated for business people to get their heads round.

The Megaplanning approach to strategy also looked intriguing.

I suspect that Sustainability will have a similar role in the next decade to the one that globalisation has in this one & technology had in the 90s. Whether we can meet that challenge or not remains to be seen.

Why KM is hard to do

A Green Chameleon posts on why KM is hard to do.

The issue they focus on is that of "infrastructure" - systems & institutions that simultaneously enable & constrain.

The answers they come up with are:
- Consult intensively, but keep decision-making simple
- Establish and maintain clarity of purpose
- Acknowledge the baggage
- Manage the timeline
- Shorten and leverage learning curves
- Use social networks
- Provide for habit-changing strategies
- Demonstrate impact to stakeholders

Now there is some good stuff in the article - esp. observations on the nature of infrastructure. And the recommendations are solid & commonsensical.

KM is simple. Yet KM is hard. Reasons why this might be so have been occupying my thoughts recently.

As practical as the article is, I think it leaves out some key reasons why KM is hard to do:
- We think more is better. More knowledge is better knowledge. This assumption rarely holds.
- We have trained each other to be uncooperative from an early age. There is another word for collaboration at school... cheating.
- Most organisations begin KM programmes because they are responding to a traumatic change in their internal or external environment. However the result often ends up reinforcing the pre-change organisation more than the desired end state. It becomes a conservative part of the infrastructure that Patrick describes, a hindrance rather than a help.