Day Two, KM India 2012

My compiled Tweets: Day Two, KM India 2012
Knowledge Summit: KM for Successful Collaborative Enterprises

by Madanmohan Rao, Editor, The KM Chronicles

Day Two, #KMindia 2012 kicks off in Bangalore!

Keynote: David Coleman, Collaborative Strategies: “The Future of Collaborative Work.” Founder, Formerly with Oracle; wine taster/maker. Author of 4 books on collaboration, two more coming

David: Next book – Collaborative Tools for Learning; I am crowdsourcing some of the content for the book; send me your tweets!

David: After that – book on Crowd-based Business. India has tremendous strength – huge population, leverage that with crowdsourcing.

David: Metaphors for collaboration: Black Hole (dark matter which holds the universe/org together), Toilet (everyone uses it but no one notices till it is broken!)

David: I have access to pretty much every collaboration tool out there. We also did scenario planning for the workplace in the year 2020 if price of oil becomes $20 per gallon.

David: I look at people, process, technology – and space. Tech is only 20% of the solution. First figure out what you want to do, how, what are your expectations from each other, level of trust, what is the expected outcome. Activity metrics is not enough; only rough measures. Address what value people get from tools.

David: As commitment and level of purpose increase, we move along the scale: Conversation, Communication, Coordination, Cooperation, Collaboration.

David: Tool evolution for collaboration: phone, fax, email, P2P/distributed teams, Web 3.0, crowd-based business.

David: Some roles in collaboration: stealth ninja, social, skeptic, dinosaur, student, expert, ringleader.

David: Don’t let CIO strangle your business growth. It can even affect talent retention; GenY may leave in a few months if you only have Lotus Notes as work environment. Some CIOs have BYOD strategies – Bring Your Own Device!

David: P&G gets half their ideas from outside their workplace.

David: “No smart asshole rule” – remove the assholes except if they are smart! “50 foot rule” – If you are more than 50 feet away from me, low chance of collaboration.

David shows images of what future workspaces may look like. Greenhouse, round tables, trees; skylights. Emerging techs: 3D printer, nano-tech, driverless cars (imagine what that could do to Bangalore traffic!), private spaces in clouds.

David: DARPA had contests for driverless cars – bumpy roads, LA traffic.

David: Teams will be augmented by crowds. Future companies will have a cross between long-term commitment and free agent. Structures will evolve from hierarchical and matrix to ‘fishnet’ – with temporary hierarchies.

David: Critical processes for business survival: R&D, training, decision support, sales/marketing, customer support, value network management

David: People can deal with max 150 relationships; hard to engage with more. Goal-driven crowds – value increases as per Metcalfe’s Law.

My question to David: What is the connection between culture and collaboration? Douglas Hofstedte published work on national cultures and perceptions of authority.

David: Culture is the most important part of collaboration. Local context is key: personal context, company context, country context, project context. Even if you want to focus on collaboration, begin with culture.

David: What is going on today is ‘half collaboration’ – tools give them only half of what they want, that is why there is such a proliferation of tools.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What do all these collaboration tools and KM methodologies offer to small/medium sized organisations?

David: It helps small/medium organisations work even with employees across regions and time zones – same as to a large organisation. Creates new networks and clusters of SMBs.

Ganesh: We do that with NASSCOM’s Emerge session for SMEs – how to network with one another.

Ganesh on social media: Periodically I delete 400 friends from Facebook. I have 10K+ connections on LinkedIn, too much! I do not use tools which crosspost on Facebook and Twitter; the messages get truncated on Twitter!

Next panel: Tech Trends for the Collaborative Enterprise

Rajan Anandan, MD, Google India: Key business trends: localisation/globalisation, personal productivity, speed. Key tech trends: mobile, social, cloud. Work in the future – today: any team, any time, any place, any device.

Rajan: Pace of change: 10 billion dollar companies were created in the last three years alone.

Rajan: If you miss one wave of innovation, you can survive; if you miss two, you are gone

Rajan: Cost of collaborative techs is dropping. Cost of cloud apps will be cost of giving your employees three cups of tea/coffee per day. My phone is now my videoconferencing tool, no need of expensive tools.

Ganesh Natarajan, CEO, Zensar: Employees who want to waste time will eventually find ways to waste time, even if you block social media. Ankit Phadia, Pune, wrote a book on “How to Unblock Everything on the Internet.”

Ganesh: The expensive tools enable high-quality multi-screen videoconferencing, but many people would be happy with cheaper tools even with less quality.

Ganesh: You have to embrace new tech because Gen Y is using it and bringing it into your organisations

Jeby Cherian, VP IBM India: IBM was formed in 1911. In 2002, three values of IBM were defined by thousands of employees via collaboration. HR recruitment has changed so much today as compared to 10 years ago, eg. using LinkedIn profiles.

Jeby: Tech changes processes + dynamics of organisations. Thanks to telecommuting, we pay employees more if they work from home or elsewhere. But we think should be blocked on the enterprise network!

Ashok Krish, TCS Innovation Labs: Even if is blocked in the enterprise, employees will create their own version of it!

Krish: When the printing press was invented many intellectuals thought it was the worst thing that could happen to knowledge

Krish: Textmining tools will make the knowledge manager irrelevant. If your company thinks you are relevant then your company will itself become irrelevant!

Krish: Big flip – consumers on external Web have better collaboration tools than you in the enterprise have. They don’t want the junk you have. Today’s generation does not know what the world was like before Internet/mobiles. New behaviour – continuous partial attention, work-life blurring.

Krish: Gamification can make people work better (rather than just extrinsic factors like salary) – satisfaction of recognition, contribution, winning.

Krish: A driver for TCS’ KM initiative was how to find out the right expert/manager at the right time. Tough when there is so much churn in the company. Started a Q&A forum. But unless you get gamification right it just becomes a game! It works for GenY better than other generations. Challenge is how to design different environments/models when there are different generations involved. The workplace of the future will be gamified, will look like dashboard of World of Warcraft!

Jeby: Great example of gamification as organisational culture: the company TopCoder uses competitions to get the best coders. Some consulting firms also have this, eg. you must become a thought leader at the national level to become a partner.

Aniruddha Desandikar, Microsoft India: In 10 years, we went from dialup Internet to NetFlix movie downloads. Can we even imagine what will happen in the next 10 years? It’s like moving from 20X20 glasses to 3D glasses, and more.

Q: Should we be even talking about KM “systems?”

A: Yes, you do need systems to get to what the organisation needs. Some companies may not have formal KM systems, but they do have systems and tools for activities like collaboration, etc. which are a part of KM. Focus should be on flows, not ‘managing’ knowledge.

Ganesh/Zensar: There are CKOs between GenX and GenY! 90% of employees still need some guidance.

Ganesh/Zensar: We used animated female character (ZenZ) to show how to use ZenLounge (knowledge repository). 40 winners demanded a date with ZenZ – so we asked 40 women to volunteer to be ZenZ!

Q: Is too much multitasking and too many tools going to get in the way or productivity?

Jeby: There is good multitasking and bad multitasking! Distinguish between the two.

Krish: Many people have always been criticising new technologies and their impacts (printing press, radio, TV, Internet, mobiles). Disruptive technologies have a phase shift in the way in which they affect societies. It takes times for protocols to get established, eg. muting phones in the cinema.

Krish: There is no information overload – only filter failure. Filters will evolve

Aniruddha: Some people start work (eg emails) at home before they come to work, so they don’t see anything wrong if they check Facebook when they come to work

Ravi/Unisys: What changes will be needed in labour laws, eg. working hours are 9-6 pm.

Ganesh: That is not a government law; the HR people must have set it because that is when they come to work!

Jeby: Actually IT companies in India come under the Shops Act where specific hours are specified.

Krish: Some German companies ask employees to switch off Blackberries after 6 pm because otherwise they can bill for extra time!

Krish: Governments don’t understand technology, just the way parents don’t understand why their kids are on Facebook!

Q: What about parts of the world which do not have mobile broadband?

Ganesh: Yes, there will be phase shifts between regions, age groups, etc.
Krish: India has gone from zero to 800 million mobile phones in 10-15 years.

Up next: panel on Intelligent Computing and Knowledge Seeking

S. Sadagopan/IIIT-B jokes that computers are good at doing things which are painful for human beings; hard for other tasks. Artificial intelligence has come a long way in the last 5 decades

Kavi Mahesh, PESIT: What has changed in intelligent computing in the last ten years? Early AI has moved on from keyword matching, stats, syntax. Other approaches – social methods. Today I = AI + BI + CI + SI (business, community, swarm)

Kavi: “Algorithms of the Intelligent Web” book: search, recommendation/personalisation, clustering, classification. Elements of intelligent apps: aggregation, reference, dealing with uncertainty

Kavi: Changes in knowledge-seeking behaviour over the last decade: more independent, yet more social, more arrogant/assertive, less trust on traditional channels. Because of generation gap + technology.

Great to see P.Anandan on stage next – my kind host for my first week of grad school in the US at UMass/Amherst in 1985!

P. Anandan, Microsoft Research India: I used to teach AI, will take a more optimistic view. AI will arrive in bits and pieces and consumers won’t be aware of where it is.

Anandan: Criteria for AI success: natural interaction in the workplace, awareness (context/location), ability to learn/adapt.

Anandan: Machine learning has achieved success in the last two decades, eg. search queries (learning user intent), BI. Microsoft Kinect has some of the three elements above.

Sridhar Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Xurmo Technologies: Key role of AI is informed decision making, eg using Big Data

My question: What new tech trends are emerging in tools for knowledge workers who are differently abled, or assistive techs for senior citizens?

Anandan: Industry has not done enough in this area; less market pressure. Emerging trend: mediated technology.

Kavi: We have GPS, speech recognition/narration. Big gap – inadequate Indian language support on smartphones. Skew towards English.

Up next: Knowledge Café; Valedictory Address

Day Two wraps up; see you all at #KMindia 2013 next year!


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