posted 28 Mar 2006 in Volume 9 Issue 7
KM and personal growth
By Stan Garfield
I developed this list after a discussion led by Verna Allee and the Association of Knowledgework: “What, for you, are the tried and true ‘classics’... maxims that you find yourself relying on in your current conversations?”. That question prompted me to write the following list.
Knowledge sharing and re-use
1. We can use better terms than knowledge management when we communicate, such as ‘knowledge sharing and re-use’;
2. Place more emphasis on connecting people than on collecting documents;
3. We aim to learn from mistakes, but keep repeating them.
4. The sooner you try an idea, the better;
5. A pilot project can be useful immediately and you can learn how to improve it from the users;
6. Copious planning is not as good as rapid prototyping and frequent incremental improvement.
7. Be as inclusive as possible;
8. Take some time to stimulate community conversations;
9. Face-to-face knowledge sharing is not a luxury. It is essential to building and sustaining trust.
Killer app’ for social networking
10. Find a killer app’ for social networking within your company;
11. A killer app’ will get people to sign up and maintain their personal information and networks;
12. Link key knowledge sharing and re-use initiatives to this killer app’.
13. Leaders should be open, honest, accessible and responsive. People follow leaders who are straight-forward, inspirational and fair;
14. Bad leaders get what they deserve – eventually;
15. Set no more than three goals. Keep them simple and easy
16. Leaders must command respect through words and deeds.
17. Good communication matters. Use language carefully, correctly and clearly;
18. Avoid buzzwords and jargon;
19. Tell the truth. People can easily tell when you are lying.
20. Most people are reluctant to speak up. They prefer others to lead discussions;
21. People are more willing to enter questions electronically on a conference call than to speak up and ask a question on the phone;
22. People are more willing to talk about a success than they are to write about it. So, find ways to get them to talk about their successes.
23. People jump on bandwagons, follow fads and thoughtlessly use the latest buzzwords;
24. Send out a legitimate message to a large distribution list requesting input and you will receive a limited number of replies;
25. Send an e-mail perceived as spam, including the distribution list in the ‘To’ or ‘cc’ fields, and many will ‘reply to all’ asking to be taken off the list, asking others to stop replying to all or saying “me, too”.
And here is one final maxim: Pundits are usually wrong.
Stan Garfield is the worldwide knowledge management leader at Hewlett-Packard Services, Consulting & Integration.