Sunday, April 1, 2007

KM Asia, SUNTEC Convention Centre, Singapore, Nov 8, 2006

Woke up early as usual and walked over to Suntec at 0845. The highlights for the second day were two live conversation with Tom Stewart from Boston and Dave Snowden from Canada.

Tom Stewart, Live from Boston

Tom started with the question ‘who are we to talk about creativity’? In his assessment KM seems to be fighting creativity. To him conventional KM works are not focusing on codifying what we do not know.

He explained the interesting position he is at, at HBR where he could observe trends, understand them and to share his thoughts on them world wide. Some of the trends he observed are cost of raw materials are going down but wages increase. Sometimes with no real creation of what he called as wage wealth. Another trend, based on observing at the expenditure in US, people pay and spend more on knowledge compared to food. He saw opportunities of creating wealth through innovation using brain power. He believes ideas are Capital and everything else is just money. To him the role of manager is to look at certain continuity and change accordingly which to him means being innovative.

To him the pillars of knowledge economy are.
  • KM a strategy? How you buy and sell Knowledge? Stick in knowledge into products and processes. Turn knowledge into products and services. Selling high-end knowledge services
  • Knowledge asset separate winner and loser. Discover and locate Knowledge Assets in your organization the analyse and invest on them. Understand the structure of your knowledge assets. As an example for us the Human Capital and the importance of Relationship Capital are growing rapidly. So we should strategise and capitalize on them.
  • KM is to understand the jobs involve around these assets and how to deliver knowledge to the right people. Though it is important to store, transfer and share knowledge effectively it is more important to connect high end tacit knowledge.
  • The returns of knowledge - Blue Ocean strategy

In summary he opined that ideas with assets will be the future. He sees KM role as in between ‘the suits’ and creative people. As for measurement he recommended to concentrate on values/measures at the output.

Dave Snowden, Live from Canada

Dave continued on his complexity theme and he delivered it this time with enough emphasis and examples that resulted in clarity that I thought was the best that I have heard from him.

  • Now distributed knowledge and JIT KM – social computing (wiki, blog)
  • Narratives Mgt rather then tacit management
  • Knowledge ecology - Grameen Bank
  • Shift to naturalistic management – Innovation

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