posted 21 Jun 2010 in Volume 13 Issue 9
AND THE WINNER IS…
Coverage of the inaugural KMUK Awards 2010, including details of the winning entries
Hosted by the change studio’s Dillon Dhanecha,
The ceremony and drinks reception was held at the end of the first day of KMUK in
Introducing proceedings, Dhanecha paid tribute to some of the ‘fantastic’ names that had appeared in the nominations, saying that “KM has come on leaps and bounds”. The awards, therefore, would set the standard for future KM initiatives – inspiring others and providing a fitting memento to the category winners.
The results of the awards and descriptions of the successful entries, reactions from the winners themselves and feedback from the judges – are detailed in the following pages.
Lifetime achievement award for services to KM
Winner: David Gurteen, Gurteen Knowledge
The lifetime achievement award was presented to the expert who the judging panel felt had made outstanding contributions to the field of KM, over a sustained and substantial period of time.
The founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community, website and newsletter – and creator of the Gurteen knowledge café – David Gurteen this year celebrates his 10th year working in KM this month.
Having worked as a professional software development manager in the high-technology industry, and held the post of international czar at Lotus Development, David originally set up his community to connect people who strive to see the world differently It now has 17,000 members in 168 countries around the world.
A regular speaker and facilitator on the global KM conference and workshop circuit, David also works within organisations, helping them to run their own knowledge cafés.
In the past 18 months alone, David has held open cafés in
Receiving his award, David commented on his ‘amazement’ at having been publishing his newsletter for such a long time (120 issues over a period of 10 years) and thanked the audience – adding that he hoped that many of them would still be in KM in another decade.
“In terms of my ‘contribution’ to KM, I hope that with my knowledge cafés, my website and my community I have helped people – helped promote KM and provided access to much of what has been going on in the KM world,” he said.
“I hope I’ve given it some traction. KM had a bit of a shaky start and many people still ask whether or not it’s here to stay. I think it is and look forward to seeing how it has evolved in 10 years time.”
Comment from the judges:
“We wanted to recognise David’s 10 years of achievement in KM and to celebrate him as a thought leader in collaboration, through techniques such as his knowledge café concept. An excellent manager and willing sharer of his own personal knowledge, David has been instrumental in showing KM managers what social media can do for them.”
Best advance of KM as a scientific discipline
Winner: Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge
This award was presented to the KM expert who, in their work, has promoted KM as a scientific discipline, thus enhancing the profile of KM in both the academic and business communities.~
Introducing the category, host Dillon Dhanecha referred to the fact that many of us tend to shy away from the application of scientific thinking in a KM context, despite the obvious similarities. The same could certainly not be said of the winner himself.
Dave Snowden, founder and chief scientific officer at Cognitive Edge has spent much of his career applying natural science methodology to social systems.
He pioneered the development of narrative approaches to KM and understanding cultural and other social systems.
His work now extends to the capture and rapid recall of experience in narrative form and has high applicability to case history, the serendipitous discovery of connections and precedents and capturing knowledge from soon to retire staff.
A frequent and well-respected keynote speaker, he is known as a formidable realist, and for his iconoclastic style and pragmatic cynicism. He holds various academic appointments in Europe, Asia and
David was sadly unable to attend the ceremony, but his colleague – Tony Quinlan of Narrate – stepped in to accept the award on his behalf, joking that attendees should tweet that David hadn’t been successful.
Speaking to IK after the conference, David said: “It’s always nice to get recognition. The fact that it’s a scientific achievement is something I’m particularly proud of, because I’ve tried to apply a natural science approach over the past 10 years – so to realise that people understand that gives you a good feeling.”
Comment from the judges:
“Dave Snowden is a pioneer who has succeeded in demonstrating that KM is a scientific discipline, as important as any other science. He continually keeps up to date with developments from the world of science to determine how new ideas can feed in to KM and enhance everyone’s understanding of the subject.”
Best KM presentation at an
Winner: Nick Davies, The Really Great Training Company (KCUK 2009)
A difficult category to judge, this award was presented to the individual who the judges felt had delivered the most engaging (and popular) conference presentation over the past 12 months.
It was perhaps quite fitting, therefore, that the successful nominee had also wowed the Awards audience with two presentations earlier in the day.
Nick Davies, who describes himself as tall, very well-dressed Mancunian and Blue Peter badge winner owns The Really Great Training Company and made his KM debut for Ark at last year’s KCUK event.
He occupied the most difficult session at the end of the conference, but did a great job of turning a difficult audience around – starting by getting everyone to move to the front of the room. His feedback after the event was hugely positive – so
As a trainer and coach in a range of communication skills, he travels the country, teaching and coaching groups and individuals from the professional service sector, senior civil servants and organisations in the oil and gas industry and business.
A visibly surprised Nick still managed to crack a couple of jokes while collecting his award and told IK: “I am really shocked and surprised at winning this award. I'm relatively new to the world of KM, having first come across it when
As well as training, Nick also performs stand-up, delivers after-dinner speeches and hosts award ceremonies. Over the past few years he has worked and shared stages with a buffet of “reasonably well-known people”, including: Michael Portillo, Sir Digby Jones, Jenny Bond, Kate Adie, Roger Black MBE, Max Clifford, Alan Hansen and Alastair Campbell.
Comment from the judges:
“Nick’s presentation at KCUK 2009 wowed the audience, even though he had a difficult slot at the end of the day and during a tube strike too! He got the highest feedback scores of any speaker at a KM conference in the year 2009 to 2010 for his lively presentation and we were strongly urged by our delegates to book him again for KMUK 2010 which we duly did!”
Best KM initiative or implementation in a professional services firm
Winner: Environmental Resources Management
The knowledge sharing team at Environmental Resources Management (ERM) has demonstrated both tangible and intangible results in using collective intelligence from its staff to co-create a new business strategy.
Over a seven-month period, the director of knowledge sharing and communications worked alongside the CEO and senior leaders in an advisory communications role and mobilised her team to implement a range of interactive 2.0 tools and KM approaches – including blogs, forums, Twitter and a ‘CEO Jam’. These online and face-to-face tools were used to gain insights from staff, which were directed to senior management. The KM team worked overtime as required to meet tight deadlines, demonstrating its commitment to how KM can add value to the company’s future and are willing to overcome all problems with a smile.
The initiative has enabled ERM to strengthen its internal culture across all levels of the organisation, reduce its carbon footprint (as well as unnecessary travel costs) and has also connected the senior management team with staff.
Debora Rustemeyer Brown, who now leads the Knowledge Sharing and Communications Program at ERM, said: "Winning this award recognises the approach ERM as a company has taken to use the collective insights and knowledge of all our employees to shape our new business strategy.
Co-creating the new strategy with all staff is a bold step our CEO, John Alexander, and the senior leaders took to embrace a global collaborative culture, which is the way we want to bring our best expertise and knowledge to our global clients as we move forward.”
A delighted Bonnie Cheuk and Samantha Bouzan collected the award on behalf of ERM. Full details of the project can be found in IK Volume 13 Issue 5, p14.
Comment from the judges:
“What stood out to us most about this project was the innovative use of new social media techniques such as internal micro blogging to improve knowledge sharing; the high level of overall staff engagement in the programme and the acknowledgement that Web 2.0 is not the be-all and end-all of KM and needs to be supplemented with effective offline collaboration too.”
Best KM initiative or implementation in a government organisation
Winner: Welsh Assembly Government
The Welsh Assembly Government overcame significant working issues by successfully implementing an innovative contact directory enabling networking and the sharing of expertise and knowledge.
Thousands of staff had joined from different organisations, located in more than 40 offices across Wales. The team needed to develop a way of working that enabled all these different cultures and specialists to undertake their work and connect together.
The existing phone directory was manually updated and couldn’t cope with the influx of staff. Users also needed to know the name, or even perhaps the department where someone worked. The cultural issues from bringing together staff from more than six different organisations who had their own ways of working and didn’t want to change were also challenging. Those who had worked in the civil service for many years had very different practices to external organisations who joined.
The team realised that that there were various existing directories in pockets of the organisation and that the HR system held a lot of information about staff – therefore, a solution could be developed in-house.
A new system was built drawing on information from the HR system and photos from the security system. Staff were also encouraged to add information about their own work and expertise.
This project got a special mention from the judging panel (see Comment from the judges, below) and was accepted by Anne Cutress and Alison Kitchener.
“We are thrilled to accept the award on behalf of all our colleagues who have made the Business Directory a success,” said Anne. “We entered without any real expectation of winning, but as an opportunity to benchmark ourselves against other government work and it is great to be recognised.
The Business Directory has become the primary, business-critical tool used throughout the Welsh Asssembly Government to connect staff.”
Comment from the judges:
“At a time when the public sector is under pressure due to reduced public spending, we were delighted to see an example of a government organisation using a KM initiative to deliver both a reduction in the amount of time and money spent on internal phone calls and an improved, more collaborative working culture.”
Best KM initiative or implementation in a corporate enterprise
Another project that was presented as a case study at KMUK, pharmaceutical company Pfizer demonstrated innovative use of technology to build a knowledge-sharing solution for its research and development (R&D) team.
The team developed an infrastructure providing project teams with the means to share information in a seamless, efficient and easy-to-use manner, using Microsoft Office OneNote 2007® in conjunction with a SharePoint® server to create a ‘notebook’ that users could connect to and use as a collaborative work space.
The team worked hard to develop a culture of adding metadata to describe the content of attached files and designing the format of a notebook in a way that makes sense to project teams and allows individuals to efficiently navigate the notebook to find content.
Chris Barber, Nuzrul Haque and Ben Gardner worked together to road-test the initial solution, adapt it to suit the needs of a growing number of ‘trial users’ and to develop an in-house training course for new recruits. This work was undertaken in addition to their normal ‘day-job’ over a six-month period.
“It was fantastic to receive the KMUK award and have the impact of this solution recognised by the wider KM community,” said Ben Gardner – who collected the award. “Hopefully this award will help to encourage others to adopt this simple solution and help us all to realise a more open and collaborative working environment.”
As well as improving team effectiveness and information exchange across the organisation, e-mail traffic within projects has been significantly reduced and the project has proved to be incredibly versatile and popular among staff.
Comment from the judges:
“We were impressed by Pfizer’s innovative use of two different technology formats to deliver an integrated knowledge sharing solution for scientific R&D teams. It was clear that the project had delivered both productivity savings (an estimated 45 minutes of each employee’s time) as well as cost savings for Pfizer, both very important in the current economic climate.”