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October 24, 2011

Using social network analysis for organisation and personal improvement

By guest blogger Sarah Jansen

A Defence man from way back, Graham Durant-Law now works at Hyperedge and talked about the idea that each organisation is made up of a formal organisation and an informal organisation. He says that the formal organisation has its place but 90% of the work gets done inside the informal organisation.


Although Graham has worked in knowledge management since 2001 and built KM systems for Defence, he has some issues with the term and the industry. His main criticism is that KM professionals don’t know what exactly they’re talking about; it’s all a bit trial and error because we haven’t played with KM theory enough. His view is that more discussion of KM theory would get the industry to a shared understanding and common meaning.

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October 11, 2011

Parsons Brinckerhoff wins actKM's Gold Award

Last night Parsons Brinckerhoff Asia Pacific was awarded actKM’s Gold Award for excellence in knowledge management.

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Unknown unknowns: presentation and exercise

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For presenter Sha Reilly of Origin Energy, talent and expertise management came to mind immediately as one of the things that keeps CEOs awake.

She said it’s an important topic for CEOs because:

  • post-GFC growth is a priority

  • they are concerned about skills shortages especially in growth industries like mining

  • skills shortages lead to knowledge loss through poaching

  • the retirement of baby boomers is also threatens knowledge loss

  • they are concerned about the generational gap between baby boomers and new recruits and don’t think it will be resolved easily or quickly.

The first step is identifying expertise. This is very hard to do because we don’t know what expertise looks like half the time.

Sha took the group through an approach for finding experts within organisations, applying it to KM and helping people to figure out if it was an approach they could apply to their organisations.


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Using IS to promote KM at the Australian Army

By guest blogger Sarah Jansen

Here’s an overview of Matthew Cain’s presentation on what the Australian Army is doing in knowledge management.

A brief history of knowledge management in Army

People seem to manage knowledge differently from how they manage anything else, in a very piecemeal way. For example, Navy and RAAF are both good at capturing lessons but not good at sharing findings. They’re both working hard on their systems but are also sitting back and watching what Army is doing. Everyone is working towards reducing the gap between the information available and the information needed.

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Preparing your organisation for the future

Matthew Tukaki of the Sustain Group presented on change management using as a case study a succession project he conducted for Drake. The presentation notes will be available on Slideshare and here are some snippets from the Q&A session at the end.

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October 10, 2011

Is Good Enough Knowledge Management OK?

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By guest blogger Sarah Jansen

Ian Fry’s presentation came out of a discussion that happened at actKM 2010 in Canberra and its theme was “toughen up”. He says knowledge management professionals aren’t hard enough on themselves, especially regarding measuring their results. Apparently it’s common to say that knowledge and its management is immeasurable. Ian says that is weak.

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Michelle Lambert’s social media roundtable

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By guest blogger Sarah Jansen

Michelle has been talking about social media since 2006. Her experience (and I'm sure a lot of people’s) is that there are lots of consultants out there doing social strategies although a lot are not doing it well. When she couldn’t find any good guidelines, she and her team made their own which is a huge spreadsheet called the Social Media Field Guide.

In 45 minutes, she attempted to give us a high-level overview version of her usual full day workshop thing. Here’s my overview of her overview.

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First activity of the day

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By guest blogger Sarah Jansen

Arthur Shelley facilitated an ongoing inter-connected conversation where attendees split into six or so groups and each was given two discussion topics to explore. The full list of topics was:

• Performance
• Staff turnover
• Lost knowledge
• Aging workforce
• Constant change
• Work-life balance
• Relationships, stakeholders and networks

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What keeps CEOs awake at night?

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The conference’s keynoter, Phil Ruthven, is CEO of IBISWorld, an Australian market research company that specialises in long-range industry and business forecasting. So he was a good person to get to speak about, well, industry and business forecasting. His presentation was based on decades of experience (he founded IBISWorld in 1971) and an ability to see the big picture and the detail of a business and a market.

He is a personable and gently charismatic speaker and that combined with some of the points he made about employees made me wonder if he really is good to work for or if it’s a really good act. I’ll see if I can suss him out at dinner tonight (if he’s there) and get back to you.

The presentation slides (also basically Phil’s notes so lots of info) will be available online shortly and in the meantime here’s what jumped out at me as the most interesting.

  • Managing the net generation (people under 28 years old) is one of the things that has caused him some sleepless nights as a CEO.
  • His description of the economic history of Australia: when white settlement happened, we were in the hunting age and the GDP of the indigenous population was way better than the boat people from Britain. Then there was the agrarian age of agriculture, mining, banking, and commerce. He pointed out that the industrial age finished in Australia in 1960s—about 80 years after it did in Britain. And since about 1965 we have been in the infotronics age. Apparently the enlightenment age is next but he didn’t explain what that’s going to be.
  • The most important shift from the industrial age to the infotronics age is that business has reversed from being production oriented to being market oriented. Meaning that until 1965, producers dictated the rules. Prices were fixed. Consumers had no say whatsoever. Then with market orientation, the power has moved to the consumer.
  • The whole idea of being an employee will disappear (yay!) and future generations (today’s children) will see employeehood as being the last vestige of slavery. This was probably the point that I found the most interesting.
  • There’s no such thing as a bad industry; only bad companies. Some industries are filled up with bad companies but that’s a good opportunity to go in there with a good company. If you’re smart in what you do, there’s no industry that you should be frightened of.
  • Mature industries are stable. Growth industries are cool and sexy and attract everybody and become overcrowded quickly. (Social media start-up anyone?)
  • Cross-posted on Opinionate

    Follow actKM 2011 on Storify

    October 04, 2011

    Primed for #actkm11

    All systems go for the 2011 actKM Conference being held next week (10-12 Oct) at the RMIT Business School in Melbourne.

    Limited tickets are still available for the premier KM practitioner event of the year (Online Registration Form).

    We look forward to catching up with fellow KMers but for those who can't make it, we will be leveraging the power of social media to keep you informed and engaged in the conversation.

  • Follow the full story.
  • Updates on happenings following @actkmevents on Twitter.
  • Follow the event hashtag #actkm11 on Twitter.
  • Check out the event Facebook Page.
  • We will also be setting up a slideshare event (presentations) and utilising the actKM LinkedIn Group where necessary.

    Overkill? Maybe. Covering all our bases? Definitely.

    Enjoy the show!