Thursday, June 04, 2009

#IeL09 Knowledge Sharing

Presentation: Knowledge Exchange Strategy for Enterprise
Presenter: Aaron Silvers

Had a strategy - eGov

In the 3 - 4 months since invited to speak, stuff happening rather than just history.

Focused primarily on social media and how involving users exchanging info into community of practice.

About Aaron
- Employed full-time by Fortune 500 company
+ Maintenance, repair and operations
- LETSI Member
- Independently consulting

Job 5 - content developer ADL
- Most known for sheparding SCORM
- How SCORM worked from content development perspective
- Background in classroom teaching

Knowing about the person is as important as knowing the information
- Provenance - relating the credibility of information to its source

Key to successfully assimilating
- Seek first to understand
- Leverage and cherish human connection - esp first contact
- Doesn't hurt by the first 5 weeks.

Dysfunction vs. Moving Forward
- Service disruptions
- Critical Skill Gaps
- Waste

Group think gets in the way of everything
- LEAN / 6sigma effective, but only if can guide the entire culture

Alignment is not bought by donuts.
- A shared vision of continuous improvement is not food in a meeting.
- LEAN and 6sigma tactics, not strategies

Tactics are ways to navigate strategy
- Strategy must be simple enough to be shared. Big enough to do.

No more silos - anyone can work with anyone
- Still have org charts - but repurposed for leader-led coaching

Organization feels more automic.

Getting people talking enables continuous improvement.
- Is an actual ethic.
- Individual concurrent with workflows and customer service etc

Knowledge Exchange Cycle - continuous improvement
- Social Network - sharing
- Communities of Practice - collaborate
- Knoweldge Management (librarian-type people) - community-authored
- Performance support
- Formal Learning - fills gaps not addressed in any other capacity [note where this is....]
- Evaluation
- Social network can then potentially be used as a form of evaluation.

Organizations are going to have to get better at gut-making decisions rather than just metrics.

Social Networking and Communities of Practice
- Twitter - a network for sharing
+ Tough to understand what is going on.
+ Something important happening in Twitter with profound impact with org.
- For past year - reading a lot. Connecting.
- Flow of information - not just about each other, but about learning and trade has been invaluable.

Use to collect new ideas.

All employees need and crave a medium to connect with each other.
- People like working on teams and projects (just maybe not the project they are actually on)

How do you sift signal from noise?
- the noise is necessary. If it was ALL signal - couldn't cognitively handle it.
- If too much noise - unfollow.
- Already filter by choosing who to follow.
- Some tools allow you to filter that group even more!

Some organizations really hip to this (IBM, CISCO)
- Others - not so much.....

Twitter probably not the tool the enterprise needs.
- Maybe a tool like it - that could be somewhat secured
- Yammer - a company twitter / network. - open-source install behind firewall
+ Launch in sept 08
+ Only people with or whatever can see the network
+ Any time add people - can get invite.
+ Invited 5-6 people to play
+ Eventually 100 people - most log in first time, looked around, never came back. Like Twitter.
+ Mid april this year - Ashton Kucher and CNN, get 1mil followers. Lots of information. Got to middle managers and VP and ask "what's this twitter thing." Connected the dots - yammer. Saw people in company using it.
-- They sign into Yammer. Poke head. Saw same 5 nerds. Not critical mass. no adoption or buy in.
-- They at least talk about it
+ 1 week after seeing mid mgrs sign in - see President interest. Logs in - pokes head around. Not much going on. But blogs about it on company blog.
-- Lots of interesting stuff. No strategy around it. Let's try something.
-- President encourages people to join.
+ 5 users beginning May 1. 106 users May 1. 300 users May 2.
-- It sat underground for almost a year
-- Without any meetings or formal implementation - someone at the top made it legit.

Imagine the conversations that have happened since then,

Day 1 - President live tweets shareholder meeting.
- Anyone in system in the know!

Week 1 - Ecommerce team can test new features and UI changes with more hands on more platforms. Employees excited to be asked!!!!! Quality and integrity of testing improved.

Week 2 - training programs tap into field employees. Advance cycle time 2 months - without formally assigned SMEs!

Week 3 - Sales programs engage with ecommerce and IT about collaboration and re-use vs. pursuing different solutions to similar challenges.
- People starting to talk to each other.
- Build solutions to work for all.

It's been 5 weeks.

What hasn't happened.
- We didn't "buy" Yammer. Still using the free service.
- Seeing community policing - "nudging - hey not appropriate" among each other!
- File sharing may be an issue - webinars, podcasts, tips in system. Just guideline to not share company sensitive information. That nudge working too.

It is really only beginning of the conversation.

Inside Yammer - they are starting to form groups
- partly as filters
- also because across organizations - social groups developing as well
- Interest groups developing organically - across organization. Flash, Enterprise 2.0.
- How to build augmented reality - tool kit with tutorial for Flash/Flex/3D

What's compelling is that someone in the organization took the link and did something with it. Even more surprising - a BRANCH MANAGER did something with the link. Not IT or Web Services.
- People are becoming more self-motivated.

Lots of talent the organization can harness once you determine what discover the affinities.
- Not quite mature enough in use yet to figure out how to leverage this information
- Beginning anecdote collection
+ People using to help each other
- Finding this is a way to discover who the experts are!
- Still may have some difficulty figuring out how to pull metrics to help leverage.

Asked about archive and retrieval in Yammer
- Given nothing untouched - everything infinitely retrievable
- Tough to get to the actual post. Esp. if its old.
- If pay for admin privileges - allow you to delete older posts en masse

This or any other sharing social network. Can have watercooler experience - kinda fun.
- For others, way of connecting.
- Tools are text heavy
- Document exchange is difficult
- Scheduling mass meetings tricky

Yammer is unlimited in character count. Longer posts tend to be skipped.
- NOT for external. Internal only.

Communities of practice
- The groups are organically developing
- This is where knowledge actually generated.
- From "I" to "we". More compelling when more heads.
- Can enable with Sharepoint

Clay Shirky - Here comes everybody
- Sharing (twitter, yammer, flickr, lastfm)
+ Requires nothing on your part in regards to effort.
+ Just type in brief info. Upload. That's it.
- Cooperation (you are going to synchronize with someone else and vice versa)
+ You have to wait for someone else.
- Collaboration (bigger system. Add negotiation with others)
+ Successful collaboration - everyone gets what they NEED, not what WANT.
+ Negotiation makes it trickier.
+ Not group think - not constant argue

Theme in conference - What is the key for success (games)
- Failure
- Design

Design matters
- collaboration is not simple!!!!!
- Try to clear up the paths.

Tools for collaboration and things people want to do
- Creation of something (documents most corporate-likely)
- Coordinate / scheduling
- Messaging - status
- Who's in the same system at the same time.

Right now - lots of ways to to that in the workplace!!!!
- But the tools are not really integrated.
- Shared drives, project servers, email thread
- Goal with integration

Communities of Practice - Leadership
- Using this to pilot SharePoint
- Currently have few ways to collaborate
- Bosses don't want to talk about "boss stuff" in open network. Needed place to discuss and build a shared ethic of how things work.
- They are also trying to develop themselves. This org is one where people moved their way up.
- In military - know what steps people took to get there. In corporate - not true.
- Also asking to take over employee development.

Why change - shift from central training to support
- Cost
- Effectiveness
- Sustainability (flying people around the country - not sustainable)

Using asynchronous eLearning now (expensive to maintain)

Beginning to look at more academic learning. Blended learning with domains - places where people can continue discussion.

Risk - how plays into this.
- They are still doing risk assessment on Yammer,
- President advocated for it - so can't say "no" anymore outright.
- Finding in case of Yammer that short of file exchange - there is not a lot of other risk.
- Likelihood vs practice. In practice - very self-policing.

Policy put in place will be equivalent to the risk.
- OSD and services. Not developed.
- this is the problem area in the space.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Wendy, your write-up is the best evaluation I have that the talk was successful. You definitely absorbed everything I wanted to talk about.

FYI: Original slides are on my blog ( with the transcript I prepped in advance (and then went, for the betterment of all, off script).

Thanks for sharing. I'm glad we got to connect and I look forward to talking and tweeting with you more tomorrow!