My compiled Tweets: KM India 2012
#KMindia 2012 kicks off in Bangalore! Lots of topics on social media and knowledge sharing – but no free WiFi at venue! #clueless
*All* conference organisers, please read my blogpost on use of #Twitter, #WiFi during knowledge sharing events: http://km.techsparks.com/?p=42
Ashok Soota: Loose, open-ended customisable work procedures are conducive to collaboration and innovation. KM needs encouragement, but avoid winner-take-all incentives
Ashok: Thomas Jefferson: Knowledge is power, safety, happiness. Only now are organisations catching up with what societies knew about knowledge all along
Keynote: Roopa Kudva, CRISIL. Order of the day: “Partner or Perish.” India examples: Amul (cooperatives)
Roopa: Bharti (focused on strategy and marketing, outsourced the rest to Nokia, IBM; call centres). Reduced capex, opex. IT-led transformation, strong KM
Roopa: CRISIL rates 8,000 Indian companies. We project what Indian companies may look like in 2015. Top 15 companies will have 30% of revenues from overseas. Indian companies will need KM, intercultural collaboration for globalisation
Roopa: KM success depends on extraction of business insights from information and communication. Organisational info has gone from meg (1980s), gigs (1990s), terabytes (2000 onwards) and more.
Roopa: Indian educational institutes (and overseas) don’t produce people with adequate statistical skillsets for analysis of Big Data. Knowledge industry must groom such talent
Arun Maira, Planning Commission of India: Tech and HR have different views of what is knowledge. IT view: info, documentation, tools. HR view: collective sense-making, learning.
Arun: I talk about framework of knowledge in my book “Remaking India.” Four levels of depth: data (superficial; routines – know what), processes/concepts (know how), beliefs/theories/ideologies (know why), cares/values/aspirations (know wants).
Arun: ‘What’ and ‘how’ are above the waterline (explicit), rest are tacit. Theories of management: compliance (carrot and sticks); commitment (very different measures: community, aspiration, energy)
Arun: Planning Commission of India has masses of data! Need broader consultation – but how can the eight members of the Commission consult with a billion Indians? One way – social media, NGOs
Arun: IT industry has brought glory to India worldwide, but need to bring SMEs on board now, make them more networked and effective. Create a “swarm of fireflies”
Arun: Creativity, innovation is sparked not by teams of similar members, but divergent and different backgrounds
QUOTE OF THE DAY! Arun Maira: Argumentative Indians need to become Collaborative Indians!
QUESTION OF THE DAY: David Coleman, Collaborative Strategies: How can you leverage the crowdsourcing potential of a billion Indians to make business more effective?
David: Crowdsourcing is being leveraged in the US for micro-tasking, eg. fundraising: raising money for movie projects, startups, books.
Arun: CSIR has used a platform (developed by Infosys) to collaborate in the pharma domain. Conventional industry asks: who owns the IP? Desire for money v/s joy of collaboration – different belief systems
Ashok: We crowdsourced the design of the logo of our company, Happiest Minds! We got 2,500 responses from around the world; winner was from New Jersey
Ganesh Natarajan, Zensar: KM can help companies weather storms better. Change management, consolidation.
End of opening panel; up next: KM Impacts on Business
David Coleman, Collaborative Strategies: A collection of knowledge is not wisdom, a collection of wisdom is not truth
David: KM has moved from “content and collect” to “connect and context.” Integrate KM processes into business processes. Focus is knowledge flows, not management. Not a task, but work.
David: I did a case study of IDEO; they use KM to connect 600 employees, 34 nationalities, 8 offices. Designers, sociologists, ethnographers. Rebel culture.
David: IDEO’s five knowledge sharing principles: 1. Build pointers to help connection. 2. Reward individual contributions, but everyone has responsibility. 3. Demand intuitive interfaces. 4. Go where the people already are and trust them. 5. Build adaptive systems; things change!
David: I have seen over 2,000 collaboration tools. Key for success – two clicks to get anything done; no training needed.
Kishore Poduri, HR Head, eClerx Services (fin/banking, analytics services): Knowledge has to be usable for KM to succeed; like oxygen. Involve users in creation.
Anuradha Rajanna, Solution Delivery Head, Wipro Technologies: KM Vision: Be a globally admired learning organisation.” Decade-old KM practice: Phase 1 – content, Phase 2 – collaboration, Phase 3 – efficiency+delivery.
Anuradha: KNet statistics: Project+team contributions. Reduce dependency on individual persons, helps deal with attrition. Helps customers leverage applications better.
Anuradha: KEDB – for productivity (track, document, deal with errors). SHINE – for learning, in dynamic teams. Enterprise Konnect – for queries (expert profiles, forums). Enterprise Reuse – for effort saving (components repository). Enterprise KS2 – for expertise sharing.
V. Sridhar Subramaniam, Finacle Infosys: KM for business users – how can all the KM tools be used and leveraged? Give users diverse tools and mechanisms, eg. project database.
Sridhar: Services context and product context have different needs. Need to remember decisions taken in the past; that is where KM helps.
Vijaya Deepti, VP, TCS: We have had KM for 10+ years, won MAKE awards. 200K+ people, wide range of services.
Vijaya: Tata group used business excellence models across all its companies; KM was integrated into them for different user groups, eg. tools for marketing, innovation.
Vijaya presents case study of KM in the context of a large UK Pension Programme. Captured four years of discussions, RFP, 170 contractual documents, builds, decisions, implications for capabilities.
Q: The panellists have defined success metrics through productivity, efficiency. What happened to happiness as a metric?
Sridhar: What you measure can get distorted. Look not just at activity but impacts, spirals. SMEs can get overloaded if you require all Qs to be answered in 4 hours. Make sure the way you define metrics does not have detrimental effects.
David Coleman: SAP developer community metric – you can get 6 good answers to any question within 7 minutes.
Q: Has KM changed your company’s culture, or has your company’s culture changed KM?
A: Both! TCS: KM helped break silos. Wipro: KM has become a way of life, not just a tool/portal. Infosys: no one questions rationale for KM today. eClerx: KM helped our company in its rapid growth environment.
Sridhar: We have come so far in 10 years, with blogging, Wikis – they did not exist even 10 years ago.
David: I notice that companies hire people for their degrees/experience, but don’t often look at how collaborative they will be when they join the company. Cisco knowledge-sharing communities – you can get good answers to questions within a minute.
Q: KM seems to have helped companies do things faster – but has KM helped companies do the right thing at the right time? eg. see Apple v/s Kodak
Sridhar: KM focuses a lot on people in day-to-day execution, not so much on decision-making, strategy, forecasting, etc.
Sridhar: Your KM tools should allow the person with the softest voice in the room to be heard
Padma/Infosys: What is the role of communication in a KM programme?
Kishore/eClerx: Involve users in the design of the KM and communication tools, that helps get buy-ins from the beginning
DowJones: How do you weave in fresh news updates from the outside within your knowledge flows?
David Coleman: We use collaborative filtering.
Kishore/eClerx: If KM is designed for strategy managers, then yes you need to weave in external info
Q: What lessons can the training community learn from KM?
Coffee+lunchtime chatter: catching up with #KM colleagues from Bombay, Poona, Chennai; US! #KMindia rocks…
Up next: panel on #KM in Business Domains
Ganesh Natarajan: CII National Knowledge Council is broad-basing #KM in India now, extending it beyond IT/BPO sectors to mainstream business and SMEs
Ganesh: My #KM interest is more in enabling business growth; my books and PhD are in KM (eg. maturity models)
Arun Gupta, CTO, Shoppers Stop: We started #KM ten years ago, had 3 failed implementations. Realisation: focus on people, not tech! Knowledge sharing happens through conversations, meetings, processes – not just tech tools
Arun: We had 5-6 per cent attrition per month during our high-growth phase. #KM was key for fast effective training, and retention.
ArunL Started with floor engagement: collecting and publishing stories about customers and employees: Chicken Soup for the Shoppers’ Stop Soul! Created positive impact, created mini-heroes.
Arun: We started a programme called Baby Kangaroos (mentorship programme). Babies themselves then became mentors!
Arun: For retail to succeed we had to make a difference for the 30 million customers who come through our stores. Low-tech high-touch #KM programme, for capturing customer insights
Arun: We look at what people say about us in social media. We are still looking at effective ways of monetising social media and using it for business change
R. Mukundan, MD, Tata Chemicals: We have three cultures in our organisations – those dealing with farmers, industrial organisations, consumer mass market.
Mukundan: Early repository (‘Gangotri’) was flooded with info; there was lots of stuff but we had to pause to see if it was really effective. Changed approach to focus on conversations.
Mukundan: We trained our engineers to write stories. Some published in newsletter, with pictures and photos. Induced others also to write; virtuous cycle. Tech (bandwidth, tools) has improved KM. We created a TED-like feature internally: 3-minute videos!
Mukundan: KM is a Level 3 process in our organisation. After internal KM, we shifted focus to knowledge needs of our customers, eg. how to use knowledge to increase salary of farmers
Mukundan: Indian heritage contribution to our KM journey: we learned from Gurukul system, made it more effective via tech; also Mela – have fun as groups. Advice: bring social aspects into tech focus of KM.
Ganesh Natarajan: The late great CK Prahalad was a mentor for CII, authored a book on “India at 75”
Ganesh: CK Prahalad: Gurukul system is the best; till the age of 12 you study by rote and get stuffed with data, then you interpret it and digest it! Kids were not asked if they liked what they learnt
Ganesh: Q: When does rote process work, when does open-ended bloom approach work for organisational learning?
Mukundan: You need a balance of both, Gurukul + Mela. We have been using Yammer; people refer to docs ‘out there’ – more effective than just uploading to Intranet.
Mukundan: We have innovated even for basic products like salt, eg. iodisation of salt. In Orissa we have double-fortified salt, with iron (to tackle anaemia); worked with National Institute of Nutrition. Products are not uninteresting; we have even written a book called “Romancing the Salt,” starting with Gandhi’s dandi march!
Ganesh: We once used a Bollywood movie format to train people how to stick to ISO processes (“Baban ban gaya ISO Man!”). Games/entertainment are a great way to teach KM! Make it engaging, participatory, collaborative.
Sandhya Shekhar, CEO, IIT Madras Research Park: Let me trace my KM journey, using Gartner hype cycle. Tech trigger was e-learning tools.
Sandhya: Then came over-inflated expectations, mushrooming of experts. Every KM system seemed to be same, and no one was asking the so-what question. People were asking RoI question, just like IT RoI earlier
Sandhya: I took ‘leave of absence’ from KM and studied globalisation and virtual organisations. Research question: “When should companies establish an office in another country, or outsource?” I discovered that a key success factor was effective knowledge transfer. And thus KM came back into the picture!
Sandhya: Distance, culture, tools affect knowledge transfer. We need academia and industry to work more closely to help organisations understand KM and come up with business outcome metrics, map out value partnerhips. Look at open innovation.
Sourav Mukherji, Associate Professor, IIM Bangalore: Takes a dig at Arun who took a dig at KM “academics” and “experts” earlier! Retail sector should use KM also for competitive intelligence, not just consumer behaviour. Capture transactional data + interaction data. Tap “consumer communities”
Sandhya: You must learn to believe what your data can teach you, it can be counter-intuitive. I have learnt that co-location is key for innovation.
Ganesh jokes that the answer to the question “What is 2+2?” is “What do you want it to be?”
Next panel: KM in Globalising Companies
Uma Ganesh, CEO, Global Talent Track: In my PhD I looked at how knowledge determines organisational strategy, growth. Studied 100 orgs in different stages of growth.
Uma: Knowledge sources: employees, customers, tech, processes, industry ecosystem, info sources (events, media), vendor relationships
Ramesh Mangaleswaran, Director, McKinsey: We are 14,000 employees, 107 countries, 250 docs added+deleted daily from a repository of tens of thousands of docs. Objective of KM: link to organisation’s life, not just to make people more knowledgeable. It is an obligation for each of us to find and share knowledge for our client’s benefit.
Ramesh: What to share: not everything is valuable or shareable; need judgement. Levels of knowledge sharing: employee, customer, expertise, regular interactions. Balance: de/centralisation.
Ramesh: Two years ago we moved to a very easy searchable user-friendly interface for our knowledge assets. Now we have mobile apps for KM also (on my Blackberry), since we work in a distributed manner. Granular presentation of info.
Ramesh: Our KM incentives – Knowledge Olympics. 6-month process. Top 20 finalists flown to a special location to meet top management.
Ramesh: 7 KM steps: 1. Start with objectives of your organisation. 2. Define what/how of knowledge 3. Find balance between de/centralisation 4. Design knowledge processes 5. Determine role of tech 6. Design incentives for KM culture 7. Work out implementation strategy (pilot, test, scale)
Q: Is KM a science or an art?
William Filler, VCIES: KM is a discipline and an art – just like music, dance. Build the foundation through long periods of hard work, then you get the freedom to explore and innovate.
Uma Ganesh: In the initial stages KM is a science, then becomes an art.
Ramesh: Need to find the balance between the two – science (foundation layers) and art (flexible layers). It is not either/or
Q: What may not be valuable today may become valuable tomorrow – how to guard against discarding of potentially valuable knowledge?
My question to the panel: How are organisations of today globalising with a younger workforce? Youth today are more global in exposure and consumption than previous generations.
Uma Ganesh: Tata Group CEO said he wants younger CEOs. Not just experience but ability to access information and convert that into knowledge is important; young managers have a huge advantage there.
Ramesh: Expectations of young generation are different: accelerated learning, accelerated growth, global exposure. Organisations need to break away from dogmas of the past, only based on experience.
Ravi/Unisys: Q: Are there trends you are seeing of ‘reverse mentoring’ – eg. youth training senior managers on aspects like social media?
Ramesh: I have seen a few organisations offering reverse mentoring, but it is not a major trend.
Last panel of Day One: Creating Knowledge Space
Edward Rogers, NASA CKO: “Exploring Knowledge Space.” I like coming to India, it formed me in many ways, I studied here. I have gray hair because I took my daughter to buy an Indian sari, and after three hours and many photographs she still did not buy a sari! And I have a ponytail because I have bought a Harley now!
Edward starts off with a short history of the stars. Societies created artificial pictures, named constellations, used them as navigational aids, and are now exploring them. I think KM is the oldest of professions!
Edward: Adam starting naming and collecting animals. Human beings began as creatures who collected and named stuff. The stars that we see represent only 5% of the universe. What makes a nebula look beautiful is the space around it.
Edward: Value of knowledge is found in the recombination opportunity (eg. car + van = minivan)
Edward: Your KM program should be like a good pair of shoes – they should fit your organisation well and they should take you someplace interesting.
Edward: Value of KM in the project organisation – anyone team member must have access to entire group’s knowledge
Edward shows 2X2 matrix – right/wrong decisions/outcomes -> right/wrong lessons learned. Learn from decisions, not just outcomes. Package lessons for learning. Use KM to augment learning. We learn from stuff, from what people do, and from what we do.
Edward: Analogy: Infrastructure gaps in India are like the Dark Matter in space, that is where the opportunities for new value are.
Edward: We don’t really know what is out there. Shows videoclip of fisherman on icecap – being swallowed up by a giant whale! Too often we just sit and wait. Look beyond just the routine of your daily life.
Edward: People like to learn, but not be taught, told or controlled. Inspire people with knowledge and you will prosper.
Edward: Dilbert cartoons made most of their money poking fun at KM!
Edward: Managers need to have humility to change; if their rules are wrong, they should admit their mistake and ask for suggestions for better rules.
Edward: The NASA Web site has a 25-year KM roadmap, but that is more of a good thinking tool from 10 years ago. My centre has a different KM agenda.
My question: What are some KM challenges NASA has faced? I have been to other KM conferences where speakers have taken potshots at NASA for the Space Shuttle failures.
Edward: Yes, it is easy to take potshots at failures. We are looking beyond government reports, NASA is taking other approaches. That is why they hired me, a non-space guy, for KM.
Shubha Ashraf: Q for Bijou Kurien, CEO, Lifestyle Reliance Retail – have you employed KM for analysing customer purchase behaviours?
Bijou: Our systems gave us lots of data, and a little information. Rich knowledge is in stores, emphasis is on sharing stories. This gives pointers, guidance (eg. dealing with customers who have foreign currency). Challenge – a lot of this kind of knowledge walks out of the door.
Up next: Special Address by SV Ranganath, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka
SV Ranganath: 65 years after independence, India’s economy crossed the trillion dollar mark, by 2025 it may cross 4 trillion. If we get our act together!
Ranganath: Inclusion, entrepreneurship are the only way for India to meet its challenges and needs. Indian industry is moving beyond cost advantage to quality, innovation. Jack Welch: India’s intellectual capital is the best value for money globally.
MAKE India award winners 2011: Wipro, eClerx, Infosys, Tata Chemicals, TCS, MindTree, L&T Hydrocarbons (overall winner)
Ganesh Natarajan jokes that the dabbawalas of India and the IT industry made presentations to Prince Charles; the dabbawalas were invited for his wedding, but not the IT industry speaker, me!
Ganesh Natarajan: Knowledge is the baton which will take India to supremacy. Must keep up with the aspirations of the people, which have changed so much since my childhood years. Gen Next demands more, we have to deliver to them. Karnataka/Bangalore is the capital of the knowledge industry of India. Next year we should start an innovation/mentoring programme.
And now a “lightning enlightening” panel with the MAKE India award winners 2011! 50% of the winners are from the non-IT sector; KM is spreading to other sectors now.
Q: What did you do which is different and innovative in KM?
Wipro KEDB (Known Error Data Base): app maintenance and support. Better ticket resolution, addressing incidents, bug fixes. CTI classification. Role-based workflow, social media features. Leverages structured and unstructured knowledge.
eClerx: KM is the biggest enabler for our business. KM works with L&D; cross-leverage each other. Learning and KM are embedded in each other. HR processes build KM into the competency structure; included in appraisals and promotions.
Infosys KM approach: INSPIRE – Induct, eNable, Share, Partner, Integrate, Recognise, Evaluate. Customised programs for freshers and laterals. Gen Y programs should be attractive for them; classroom + cafes, fun approach to KM exposure, online + physical, with games. Create avenues for knowledge flow right down to project level. Partner with other groups (eg. planning, strategy); even using flashmobs.
Tata Chemicals: KM journey over the past 6 years = insights + intelligence + innovation. KM fulcrum: people, process, technology. Framework: Titli ( = butterfly; metaphor: no two are the same, cross-pollination spreads ideas!). Portal: formerly called Gangotri, now re-named K-Connect. Performance dialogues around KPIs. iCare: corporate venturism – suggestions for how to take the company to go to the next level. In sum, KM = LASER: learn, apply, share, explore, re-use.
TCS: Over the years, our aim has to be to embed KM into the organisation, not keep it separate. 1,200 processes identified; mapped them on to KM platform. Benefits – better decision-making, reduced deployment overheads. Integrate KM in delivery (100 meta-data attributes). COIN: Co-Innovation Network (eg. with VCs). In 5 years, nobody should talk about KM separately!
MindTree: Innovate, Collaborate, Reuse. Open, vibrant, thriving culture, built on principles of transparency, trust, volunteerism. Expertise-led, Culture-backed. Key KM thrust: business alignment. Focused KM interventions, community knowledge infrastructure. 70% of MindTree is GenY, 80% in another five years. KM infrastructure for GenY has to be social and technical. We got the order for the Adhar platform. 2009: internal tech show Osmosis showcased; sold a product called Momentum, now in Adhar. Our Intrapreneurship program aims to create $50M value in 5 years. Learnings: Innovation and KM are inseparable. KM uniquely suited for GenY. New focus area: business enablement.
L&T Hydrocarbons: KM used in proposal making, engineering, procurement. Portal: KnowNet. Learning tool – eVidyalay.
Day One wraps up; cocktails and dinner next; mercifully Bangalore traffic will be much less after this late hour…