Innovation and KM

Better and faster innovation is one of the benefits of having a good knowledge management system in place. When the guys who invent the new stuff have access to all existing knowledge and experience, they will do a better job.

In his book ‘Group Genius‘, Keith Sawyer explains ‘…the unique power of collaboration to generate innovation …’

He claims that inventions are the product of complex organizations and interacting teams.

I already commented on some benefits of a knowledge management system :
 – reinventing the wheel

 – knowledge walking out of the door

 – if we only knew what we know

Better and faster innovation is number 4 in this shortlist of knowledge management benefits. (More efficient organizational learning is number 5)

I will add this book to my summer reading list.

How many networks are you in ?

Having friends and knowing people is a basic social activity (probably a basic human need !).
It is a very natural process, and without consciously realizing it, we join groups, connect to people … we network.
Most of these networks are informal and invisible, some are deliberate (ex business clubs)
But the internet is changing this or … is adding to this. Today, you need to use internet tools for your networking.
These are the online networks where you can find me :

LinkedIn (

75 connections – I manage 2 groups here : SuperCop – Exbev, and I am a member of 11 groups
My personal favourite, and a reco if you want to start using these online social tools. 
It is very straightforward : create a profile with your personal information, search for people you know and make a connection
Downside is that it is rather static : not much interaction. 
Can be troublesome to find and connect to someone you know if you do not have a mutual connection.
The only place where I keep my official profile fully updated.

Ecademy ( )
8 connections … but growing 😉
I recently joined this network.
Ecademy is a business network, stimulating business interactions between it’s members.
Local ‘chapters’ organize regular face-to-face meetings.  This encourages connecting with ‘new’ people and enhances trust building.
9 connections
Similar to Ecademy, but less local activity here, a lot more activity in Germany.
I get a lot of job offers matching my profile (mostly in Germany) and found a friend I lost a couple of years ago.
Facebook (
5 connections (friends) … you get the picture
Probably the most famous networking tool around.  Very informal.  Not very usefull for me personally.
 I think the greatest benefit of Facebook is that it educates people in using online social tools.
Plaxo (
26 connections
Somewhere between the serious LinkedIn and the informal Facebook.
Has a great news page of all the changes all the people in your network have made, including their blogposts.
Easy to connect and send messages across.
I do not use this network actively.  I have a lot of open connections here, mostly doubles from other networks … and since I do not like double work.
Hope to see you somewhere and … let’s connect  Glimlach

Web 2.0 at Work

When talking about the new Web 2.0 tools in an enterprise setting, I often refer to the new generation of employees.  They will be used of having social networking, blogging and publishing tools available.  They will not accept an IT department banning these from the workfloor.

Just look at the number of school and university groups in Facebook and the like.  All of these will (very) soon evolve into professional work related groups, following the live path of the group members.

And today, I came across of this gem :




And this one, on how blogging and reading blogs spreads passion :





Weekly Knowledge Management blog by Stan Garfield

My weblog features in Stan Garfield’s Weekly Knowledge Management blog by Stan Garfield.  Look at ‘Why start doing knowledge management’.


Time for a small celebration 😉

Wikis not ideal for external customer collaboration « The Diving Board

This post (Wikis not ideal for external customer collaboration « The Diving Board) illustrates my previous blogpost : allways use the correct tool.

A wiki was created to ‘… to distribute information on their company and/or product …’   Use wiki’s only for the collaborative editing of structured information (documents, web pages, meeting agendas, brain storm or idea lists, …).  The distribution functionality is not the core functionality of a wiki.

PS for the collaborative editing to work properly also some ‘soft prerequisites’ need to be in place : engagement of the editing group, mutual trust, common ground/language, …

Using the correct tool

When introducing a knowledge management project, it is important to select the correct tool for each issue which needs to be resolved.  This will be highly context specific, related to the specific needs of the company/department.

A few examples :

Use a document management system to manage (edit, approve, distribute) high amounts of documents. 

Use a wiki for the collaborative editing of structured information. 

Use a community of practice to connect a group of practice experts to exchange and create knowledge relevant to their practice.

Use a forum for capturing the question-answer interaction between experts and novices.

A weblog can be used for the social reflection by a group of experts on a specific topic, but also as a powerfull knowledge sharing tool, an easy project status communication tool, a profile/expertise builder.

Social tagging is ideally suited for the exploration and structuring of an unknown expertise area. 

Use after action reviews to formalize the social learning process of a team, when they mainly learn from themselves, during the execution of their project activities

The list can go on …



The lesson to remember :

To correctly solve an issue, the correct tools should be used.


So, always make sure you :

– analyse the problem or issue at hand

– choose the correct tool

– implement it properly

Characteristics of a wiki champion

This is a good post on the characteristics of a wiki champion
To complete a succesfull implementation of a wiki in an organization, one needs these characteristics :

  1. Be a Clear Communicator: It is important to keep things simple …

  2. Be A Coach: You will need to coach some of the early users …

  3. Be Patient: Be patient with your early adopters …

  4. Be Enthusiastic: People will react to your enthusiasm …

  5. Be Engaging: Be available to discuss or help …

  6. Have Fun!: This is one of the most important characteristics …


It is a great set of characteristics.  Not only applicable for a wiki implementation, but for any KM project … or even any change project for that matter.

Read the full post !!