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  • Enrique Dans 9:00 am on July 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , knowledge management   

    We are what we share 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Editor’s noteEnrique Dans (@edans) has let us republish this article from his blog where he talks about the importance of sharing. 

    We are what we shareMy column in Expansión, Spain’s leading financial daily, is called “You are what you share” (pdf in Spanish), and asks some questions about what lies behind a very common activity among consumers of online information, but is not so natural for people who have simply transferred their habits from the analogical world: sharing.

    Sharing information is a much more interesting and complex activity than one might at first imagine. More than a mere gesture, it is actually a different way of managing information in an environment within which managing information efficiently has become a major challenge. It’s a very simple thing to do, and really only involves installing a button on your navigation bar and then acquiring the habit of using it regularly, but it has enormous potential. In the first place, it marks a step from being a mere consumer of information to taking a more participative approach: from unidirectional to bidirectional. And it also marks a change in attitude toward being somebody who uses information efficiently, given that the habit of sharing involves creating an archive. In many cases, the reason for sharing is not simply to give something useful to those on the other side of the screen, but provide benefits to oneself in the form of feedback and information management.

    But something subtler is going on as well: what we share says a great deal about us. Somebody who only shares news about certain topics will inevitably become associated with them. Somebody who only shares jokes will be seen as jokey—or worse—depending on the quality and the quantity.

    Creating an archive to share information on the social networks or information management tools can become a way to establish a personal brand, a way of being associated with certain topics and trends. Information sharing can be a powerful tool, and although it is still misunderstood by many—who see it simply as a way of attracting attention—it has huge potential benefits. Below, the text in full.

    You are what you share

    Sharing is an inherent part of living in society. Considered a basic function associated with the development of language, sharing turns us into active entities in the way that we treat information: we don’t just “find ourselves with it” in some passive way, but instead we can consciously decide to circulate it, or at least to store it for later use.

    (More …)

     
  • Sergio Ríos 9:00 am on January 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , knowledge management,   

    How to Start Knowledge Management in an SME, Taking Advantage of Internal Knowledge and Knowledge that is Possible to Find on the Internet 

    Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

    Note from the Editor: Today we welcome to our blog a new author. Sergio Ríos is a Consultant, Trainer and Director at Biable, a consulting firm specialized in innovation in management. He begins a series of articles talking about how to construct effective knowledge management processes in businesses. Welcome Sergio!

    Knowledge management as an element within organizations diluted between a multitude of ideas, processes and concepts. Normally, it gets confused with innovation, creativity, document management, and even it can be inferred as merely a software tool.

    Managing the knowledge of an organization is a complex and delicate task, full of interactions and interpretations between internal processes. However it can be summarized into three phases: 

    1. Manage human capital talent: which is contained in the people who make the organization. It is necessary to know them, organize them, extract their talent and communicate with them.
    2. Manage the capital of the organization: this is the organization’s own knowledge, how they can be processed, work guidelines, documentation, libraries, good practices, etc.
    3. Manage relational capital: shared knowledge with other organizations, such as clients, suppliers and other interest groups. For example: conferences, current events or benchmarking activities.

    In this post, we will focus on what concepts are there to take account for and know, and how do you take advantage of technological means to give a push to knowledge management. In the next post, I will explain how the initial use of knowledge is coordinated, for a services start-up business, and how to supervise human capital from the beginning.

    (More …)

     
  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on August 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , knowledge management, ,   

    The importance of communication in project management 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    We already spoke about the benefits of using an Enterprise Social Network in project management. From a project manager, communication is one of the key skills you need to nurture and encourage. Communication represents an important part of our day-to-day and we need to give it the attention it deserves.

    What can we do for our communication?

    • Plan and prepare communication. We can’t leave communication to improvisation. We need to be clear about what we want to transmit, when, how to do it, what medium we will use, and who our interlocutors are. Limit improvisation as much as possible to avoid running the risk of saying what we shouldn’t.
    • Use simple language. This is very important in a highly specialized environment. Often we tend to use a language that we only understand in our scope of work (engineers, etc.). We need to communicate thinking in who receives the message, not who issues it.
    • Get feedback from the recipient. This point strengthens understanding of the message. We need to ensure that our interlocutor has understood what we want to transmit.
    • Establish multiple channels of communication. We need to define what the main lines of communication in our project are, and formalize/control them: reports, enterprise social networks, intranets, etc…
    • Determine the sensitivity of the recipient regarding the information to be transmitted.
    • In face-to-face communication, pay attention to the recipient’s body language. This will give us clues on whether the information is being received correctly.
    • Communicate at the right time, with the right format and means.
    • Strengthen words with actions. Avoid attitudes like “do what I say, not what I do”.
    • Listen actively. We need to listen and understand communication from the point of view of who is speaking.

    Carlos González Jardón (@cgjardon) is Consultant and Trainer in Project Management with more than 18 years’ experience in the IT sector. y Formador en Dirección de Proyectos con más de 18 años de experiencia en el sector TI. He holds a computer engineering degree from the Universidad de Vigo, an Executive Master’s from ICAI/ICADE and PMP certification from the Project Management Institute. He is currently consultant in Project Management at Tecnocom.


     
  • Virginio Gallardo 9:00 am on July 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , knowledge management, ,   

    Social learning driving business competitiveness 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Editor’s note: Virginio Gallardo has give us permission to post this article from his blog where he talks about how Enterprise Social Networks are creating the scenario necessary for learning of the future: social, practical, natural and daily.

    The increase in complexity of the business environment and the evolution of knowledge mean that professional learning is gaining important. However learning of the future will be different to what we know at the moment, it will be social learning. A way of learning that is more related with daily work. We will learn without being conscious of the fact that we are learning. New social technologies, enterprise social networks, will build this new environment.

    Learning 2.0.

    Social learning is a “natural” learning without effort, focused on resolving problems and enhancing our professional competency. It is a learning that happens through conversations, examples or observation. Social networks mean that these conversations are fast and omnipresent (dimensions of space and time don’t matter).

    Social learning is an organizational learning that accelerates organizational development or cultural change and has major transforming power.

    The executive as community manager

    Accelerating personal learning to achieve productivity is not a simple task. It requires organizations being willing to create these new work systems. It requires giving importance to collective intelligence, collaboration and sharing.

    (More …)

     
  • Jose Miguel Bolívar 9:00 am on May 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , knowledge management,   

    Knowledge Networks: Life After the Organizational Chart 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: The new ways of the enterprise 2.0 transform companies and mean a change that affects even hierarchies and organizational charts. Today we’d like to share with you this post that José Miguel Bolívar posted a few days ago on his blog which we think is highly interesting. Thank you, José Miguel, for letting us share it.

    In a recent post, Ximo Salas asked himself where is my organizational chart? and, among other things, he stated that “organizational charts haven’t died” and suggested the need to invent an organizational chart 2.0. Unfortunately, it’s true that organizational charts aren’t dead… Yet.

    However, without knowing exactly what Ximo understands as being “organizational chart 2.0” and what type of organizations need one, I think the concept “organizational chart”, or at least in its traditional sense, has no place in the type of organizations we talk about and that we undoubtedly will become, no matter how slow we are in becoming one or how far away they seem at present.

    On the other hand, the death, present or future, of the organizational chart is not a new topic. Much has been written, and well done at that. Like for example this post by Manel Muntada and this other one from Pedro Muro.

    However, apart from the above, the big question for me continues to be: are organizational charts necessary or not in post-industrial organizations or, as I prefer to call them, in knowledge organizations?

    The model used by organizations in the Industrial Era as the backbone is the hierarchy, in other words, a structure that arranges its elements according to criteria of superiority or subordination between people.

    This structure starts from a model, bureaucratic administration, that assumes the division of work as its principle of efficiency, expressed as the division of roles and responsibilities and that hence, seeks as its primordial objective to optimize the transmission and execution of orders or instructions.

    If we think about the traditional assembly line, the model makes sense. There are people whose responsibility is to think, assess the alternatives, find solutions, assess the risks and propose options. Other people are responsible for making decisions and taking risks. Others are responsible for transmitting those decisions quickly and effectively and supervising that they are carried out to the letter. And others, finally, are responsible for carrying out those instructions.

    What’s more, to make it easier, the information travels in a single direction, without return.

    But what happens when, apart from “doing”, all people in the organization must also “think” and “decide”? What happens when we want the information to travel in multiple directions and in real time?

    In these circumstances, the organizational chart is not only no longer useful, but it becomes one of the main obstacles for organizational performance.

    Anyone who knows how a knowledge organization works “from the inside” knows that nowadays the organizational chart has become a decorative and costly element; an organizational relic serving the ego of a few; a bastion of the paradigm of control that perpetuates mediocrity and hinders innovation.

    Today, having a specific position on an organizational chart does not indicate how much you know nor how valuable you are as a professional. It only indicates how much you can manage to bother the rest of the organization if you set your mind to it.

    Organizational charts today are Snow White’s looking glass of a management class in the process of extinction. The carrot of “some day this will all be yours” for too ambitious newbies. And little more.

    The future is going elsewhere. In a world with an overabundance of information, of knowledge in transit, organizations will become progressively more complex while, paradoxically, more flexible and dynamic.

    After some years “leveling out” the organizational charts, it turns out that the organizational future is multi-dimensional. Knowledge networks that cross over and superimpose each other, in constant mutation over time.

    Knowledge networks that are generated from a shared interest, like for example learning (sharing and generating knowledge) or a project (applied knowledge). What’s more, a single person can play not only one but many roles and these roles can be the same or change according to the network. Different roles in different networks… The antithesis of the organizational chart. And of course, all in constant change.

    I’m talking about a future focused on people and not on structures, unlike current organizations, in which people are dependent on the structures (and the processes and technology).

    A not-too-distant future in which the most important thing is not how much power you have, rather what you know (you personally and also through your networks), and above all, what you know how to do with all that knowledge and how you are demonstrating it.

    In that future, and the need for tools that help tonavigate knowledge networks fluidly becomes evident.

    Be it a profile directory, a social search engine, or any other technology solution, we need tools that tell us in real time what people know about a specific subject, in which networks they are operating, on what projects they are working, and how to contact themto in turn weave new networks.

    An image that produces vertigo in anyone allergic to change, in organizational zombies, in those addicted to the predictable. But that’s life. Diverse, complex, unpredictable, and constantly evolving.

    Fortunately, there is much life after the organizational chart. What’s more, I’d say that the future is ahead of us…

    Jose Miguel Bolivar (@jmbolivar) is Artisan Consultant, ICF coach, lecturer, researcher, speaker and author of the blog Óptima Infinito, in which he has been writing about Innovation in Productivity and GTD methodology since 2008. With a degree in Social Psychology and Political Analysis from the UCM, a master’s in HR from the Centro de Estudios Garrigues, José Miguel has extensive experience as an executive in highly competitive environments such as HP or Life Technologies. Currently, as Artisan Consultant and Coach, he works to increase competitiveness in organizations, improving individual and collective productivity of its employees.

     
  • Billie Lou Sastre 9:00 am on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , knowledge management,   

    3 ways an Enterprise Social Network can change your company 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Possible

    Most companies face the challenge of implementing an Enterprise Social Network from a technology perspective and can fall into the error of understanding that when they incorporate this new work system they are creating new social relationships, and that this will bring the great value to be business. We must think about the approach to follow when rolling out Enterprise Social Network projects, as this should be based on the four pillars that will really help to create value for your business:

    1. Encourage people to share.
    2. Capture knowledge in your organization
    3. Allow members to take actions, make decisions
    4. Give greater importance to the employees

    Having an Enterprise Social Network means that operations and processes within your company also start to change. This happens when the day-to-day processes change because your Enterprise Social Network allows your organization to establish new relationships, new behaviors in employees and key groups in your company.

    Here we have 3 ways in which an Enterprise Social Network like Zyncro can change the way you work in your company:

    1. Resolve problems faster and more efficiently. In your Enterprise Social Network, knowledge in your organization is captured, and it also enables you to find that knowledge easily, as we already told you in a previous post on how to perform searches in Zyncro. Over time and proper implementation, employees discover that they can resolve their queries and doubts in the Enterprise Social Network itself, breaking down language and geographical barriers.

    2. Involve external people in your organization. How many times have you heard that a project you are working on or leading is being held back because you don’t have fast, up-to-date feedback from your suppliers or customers? This problem can be solved by creating specific work groups for each project and inviting your suppliers, customers, stakeholders, providing access to up-to-date documentation and real-time feedback. Inviting people outside your company to certain work groups enables you to work in a completely innovative manner with your stakeholders.

    3. All the information in the same place. Many processes and operations work perfectly well in some companies, but when that is not the case, they usually generate an endless number of emails, calls, meetings, etc. Your Enterprise Social Network can help you to improve these processes by keeping all documentation centralized in one place, converting it into an “object” with an Activity Stream, going from chaos to order. You can check out our Activity Stream infographic and discover all the information you can manage in your Enterprise Social Network.

    Thought of any more? Are you working in an Enterprise 2.0? You can try Zyncro free and enhance productivity and knowledge in your company.

     

     
  • Ana Neves 9:00 am on March 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , knowledge management, ,   

    What are organizations doing regarding Knowledge Management? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    A few days ago, Doroteo Quiroz wrote here a post about “The importance of Enterprise Social Networks in Knowledge Management”. In his post, he felt necessary to provide a definition of what knowledge management is about. That’s because although key to organizational success, this management discipline is still obscure to many.

    Some consider it is a waste of resources; others believe they are too small to benefit from KM; others explicitly say they do not know what it is about or what returns it might produce. Well, guess what? All organizations can benefit from KM. And all organizations already “do” knowledge management.

    Yes, I do believe all organizations already have some kind of knowledge management initiatives and tools going on. It might be regular meetings to share good practices, or “yellow pages” with personnel’s known skills, or communities of practice, or an enterprise social network, etc..

    The key thing about knowledge management, though, is that it will produce much better returns if it is treated strategically by the organization, and not just as a set of randomly devised tools and initiatives.

    In 2010, I carried out a study in which I realized that, out of 220 Portuguese organisations, 42 have a strategic approach to knowledge management, i.e., 42 have a KM strategy and a person responsible for leading it.

    I am currently carrying out the same study to understand the state of knowledge management, but this time in Portugal AND Spain.

    The study is based on data gathered through a short online questionnaire. The questionnaire is done in such a way as to make it fun and easy to fill in (so far, in Spain, 55 answers with a 100% completion rate).

    The questionnaire was also designed as a communication mechanism. It is a way of enlightening organizations on what knowledge management is about, offering ideas of things that can be done, and daring organizations to realize that they all do knowledge management in some shape or form.

    I am extremely curious to see how organizations in Portugal and Spain compare :-)

    So far, out of the 55 organizations that have completed the questionnaire in Spain:

    • 18 have a KM sponsor at Board level
    • 17 have a person responsible for leading the KM efforts
    • 12 have a KM strategy
    • 10 have a KM budget

    Out of the 99 that have answered the questionnaire in Portugal:

    • 39 have a KM sponsor at Board level
    • 30 have a person responsible for leading the KM efforts
    • 22 have a KM strategy
    • 18 have a KM budget

    Do take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire. Help create a better picture, get some ideas, have a bit of fun, and you may even get a prize as a “thank you for your time”.

    Questionnaire for organizations in Spain
    Questionnaire for organizations in Portugal

     

    Ana Neves (@ananeves) specializes in knowledge management, organizational learning, social networks and social tools for the organization. She is the founder of Knowman and the mind behind Cidadania 2.0 and Social Now.

     

     
  • Doroteo Quiroz 9:50 am on February 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , knowledge management   

    The importance of Enterprise Social Networks in Knowledge Management 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Enterprise Social Networks After two months of meetings with external suppliers, when you realize the guy from the Marketing Department, that same one you always find at the water cooler, is capable of developing that software component you need so dearly, you start to think maybe the knowledge in your organization isn’t being utilized or isn’t being distributed like it should.

    Of course, in changing and competitive times like these days, it is impossible to survive without knowing how to manage knowledge correctly in our organizations. Part of that knowledge implies guaranteeing that everyone has fast access to that knowledge. This is where Enterprise Social Networks can lend us a hand.

    Taking the example given in the first paragraph of this post, correct corporate knowledge management would have shortened the time-to-market considerably in the project in question. It probably would have improved the quality of the result too.
    Part of the definition given in the Wikipedia on Knowledge Management refers to the need to distribute knowledge, through insights or experience, within our organization:

    Knowledge Management comprises a range of strategies and practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organization as processes or practices.

    One way of aiding the discovery and distribution of knowledge within our organization is by having users with a “rich” profile.

    If everyone in your enterprise social network spent 10 minutes in filling out the information on their profile page, like for example: ask me aboutprevious projectsskills… discovering people who can drive or help the completion of a project would be much simpler or at least would improve greatly.
    This in turn would bring us closer to the basis of all Knowledge Management: Ensuring that people convert implicit knowledge into explicit knowledge.

    This exercise could be later applied to different circles of action. For example, we could offer detailed information on projects and the information generated at Department level, which for a start would allow us to see the Departments not as Cost Centers and start to see them instead as Results Centers.

    Once again, Enterprise Social Networks, like all IT tools, are only mechanisms or means that enable companies to achieve their goals. With this, I mean that before implementing an Enterprise Social Network to share and distribute knowledge, companies need to reconsider their Knowledge Management strategy on which this tool will be based. But that’s another story…

    Still haven’t discovered all the advantages that Zyncro, your Enterprise Social Network, can bring you? You can try it free and manage the knowledge in your company more productively.

    Doroteo Quiroz, a Mexican living in Barcelona for almost 7 years. A loyal believer that the correct implementation of technology can help to change the way people collaborate and work in companies. Currently he directly collaborates in the design and definition of IT solutions at MRW. My philosophy: Live like you are going to die tomorrow, learn like you are going to live forever (M. Gandhi).

     

     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on January 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , knowledge management, , workshifting   

    5 HR 2.0 trends for the new year 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    We have no idea what 2013 holds in store for us, but here is a summary of emerging HR 2.0 practices that may become more prominent this year, together with some trends that the latest advances in people management indicate, to give us an idea:

    WORKSHIFTING: 37% of businesses worldwide offer options for teleworking according to the Global Workshifting Index survey. In the interests of better productivity and a work-life balance the option of “working regardless of where you are” gains relevance. Other advantages of workshifting are that it contributes to environmental sustainability and reduces infrastructure and personnel costs by 45%, by enabling the recruitment of employees in cheaper zones.

    CAREER SITES: HR sections on corporate websites, where companies publish their employment offers and professional career possibilities, are reappearing. According to Ascendify, a career site could become a social talent community if there is two-way communication with candidates, if recommendations about the positions are provided and other contents of value, if internal and previous employees get involved, etc.

    CLOUD COMPUTING: Hybrid networks (private virtual networks fused with public networks) allow professionals to work from anywhere and share data with external agents in applications created for the organization. In 2013 more than 60% of companies will have adopted one or other type of cloud computing, according to a Gartner report.

    B.Y.O.D (bring your own device): 66% of professionals use two or more personal mobile devices for work according to a Forrester report. Virtualizing work systems using cloud computing enables employees to choose their own work tools for better mobility, satisfaction and productivity from any location. As a result of this and of the workshifting culture, it has become increasingly more necessary for organizations to supply different mobile devices to their employees.

    KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: Training has fled the HR departments finding refuge on social networks and networking spaces. Therefore, if companies want to continue providing continuous training to its employees they must lead internal knowledge management and the creation of the organization’s collective intelligence . At the same time this positively affects internal engagement, that must form part of the strategy of any good HR department.

    These are just some of the trends for this year, but without a doubt, with the rapid evolution of these 2.0 environments new trends will appear throughout 2013. How about you… Do you know of any that haven’t been mentioned? How do you think HR will evolve over the following months?

    Sara Jurado is a psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development. She currently works as a Professional Counselor at Barcelona Activa.

     

     
  • Mila Nikolova 9:00 am on July 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , knowledge management,   

    Zyncro interviews Christian Kuhna: Enterprise Social Networks are true learning platforms 

    Estimated reading time + video: 4 minutes

    Today we’ve got an interview for you that we conducted with Christian Kuhna from Adidas when we participated in the event Advanced Intranet and Portals 2012 in Amsterdam. Christian works in the Human Resources department at Adidas where he is responsible of Future Learning, which includes developing a social intranet and the “Adidas Group University”.

    Christian shared his vision on Enterprise Social Networks with us, in which we highlight that businesses need to strongly commit to their implementation, involving all generations of the organization in the process, so that no one is left out of the company’s social evolution. In fact, at Adidas they think that Enterprise Social Networks need to become a true learning platform for the entire organization: building on collaboration, knowledge management, providing everyone with access to whatever they need at the right time and at the right place across any device. We’ll let Christian tell you more in his own words:

    Thanks for talking with us, Christian! It was a pleasure to hear your vision of social learning through an Enterprise Social Network 😉

     

     
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