KM India 2013: March 7-8, Mumbai

KM India 2013: March 7-8, Mumbai

by Madanmohan Rao
Editor, The KM Chronicles

Logging in now from #KM #India 2013 in Mumbai: Knowledge Summit – KM for Double Digit Growth #KMers
If your city does not yet have a K-Community meetup for KM, please sign on at
If you have a KM case study, please contact me – I am publishing a KM casebook next year!

I. Workshop: Thomas Stewart, Chief Marketing and Knowledge Officer, Booz and Company

“Don’t just manage knowledge, make it a competitive advantage”
I’ve been involved in KM since 1991. Value of intellectual capital. Sausage-maker in Milwaukee: “The assets that aren’t on the balance sheet are more important than those that are.”
The value is in mind, not just muscle.
Traces KM roots from Nonaka, Sveiby, etc. Computing power boom in 1990s led to rise of IT vendors in KM space.
Capabilities drive knowledge and strategy
Audience: L&T, KPMG, iGate, TCS, Mercer, Honeywell, Bharat Electronics, Infosys, E&Y, CapGemini, Unisys, eClerx, SAP, IMRB, GMR, Gunjan, Oracle, Mahindra&Mahindra, ITC Infotech, Wipro, EurekaForbes
Roles: KM, business excellence, tech, marketing, HR, global transformation; PhD
KM is like a baby – nothing but tears and poop for 18 months! Years? ;-)
KM has entered a new phase that promises to bring more value to orgs than ever before.
First 15 years – collection, connection
Next decade: strategic KM. Adding value, differentiating capabilities (“what you do better than anyone else”)
Info + knowledge strategy is equivalent of MBA of 20th century (Columbia programme)
Capable companies combine a clear way to play, a system of differentiating capabilities, and the right offering of products and services into a coherent whole.
KM – hype curve – now onto a new plateau of productivity
After dotcom bust, people asked me if KM is over! It was a bureaucracy, a cost.
We are now out of that. KM World conference is attended a lot.
Five truths about KM strategy:
Knowledge is our most important asset
Knowledge is the biggest part of our value-add
Source of differentiation, builds barriers to entry. Creates our ‘right to win’
Customers chose us because of our capabilities; need to understand what creates them
Real value of knowledge is what it does to our customers
Ben Franklin quote – interest
People think of KM as first internal value, second of the external role. Competitive advantage is ranked secondary!
How to take knowledge to market? Sell it (like a publisher), put it in your products, put it in your people
If you try to fix your culture, it will fix you! Convert it into a tailwind rather than a headwind.
Culture is driven by behaviour. It’s a collective habit, picked up over time.
Develop, deepen, leverage, monetise knowledge
KM is fit-for-purpose, not one-size fits all
KM should focus on the organisation’s defining moments, ‘where the rubber meets the stamp’
KM should look outward (markets, customers), not just inward
We lack robust models to manage the globalisation of intellect
Three kinds of knowledge networks
Internal (corporate memory), expertise networks (connect centre to the field), P2P
KM should create internal and external value. Bi-directional
Content/capabilities (eg. co-creation)
Outside – tools to help customers use our knowledge; concierge services. How easy is it for our customers to do business with us? Knowledge-turbo-charged salesforce
Organise KM to spring into action at key moments when value is created
Serve customers directly, or serve customer-facing employees
Instill/distill knowledge
KM can improve margins
WSJ ad 2001: Deutsche Bank – Ideas are capital, everything else is just money.
Session: Day Two
Success factors: Growth Culture, Aligned Organisation
A growth machine needs intelligent direction, 4-wheel drive and fuel

II. Inaugural Panel

Swati Piramal: India needs to be tuned in to internal and external shifts in knowledge industries, otherwise we will repeat the mistakes of the past, lose out on global opportunities, and be left behind. India should again become ‘bha-rata’ – reveller in knowledge.
Noshir Kaka, McKinsey: Growth comes from talent and KM. Organisations should develop an internal knowledge market. McKinsey KM approach – knowledge assets, seekers, brokers, systems. Harness self-interests of participants to make KM work. People are evaluated based on thought leadership, entrepreneurship, people leadership, client leadership, professional behaviour.
Lessons: Align KM to business goals. Improve quality of knowledge contributions. Leaders should celebrate knowledge. Launch pilots quickly to get people excited then ruthlessly iterate to improve.
Adi Godrej: CII helps KM in India through KM India conference, K-Communities, KM portal.

III. MAKE India Award Winners announced – looking forward to moderating their panel tomorrow!

IV. Panel: View from CEOs

KM helps you learn from failures, and avoid reinventing the wheel. KM is also important for startups, not just large firms. Need a sense of context – you are not just laying a brick but building a wall, a temple.
KM can help organisational transparency.
Case studies cited by Accenture: NYC improving customer service on helplines.
But many CEOs only pay lip service to KM.

V. Panel: BI and Corporate Learning

Jayesh Chakravarthi: Info age characteristics: velocity, volume, variety
Speed is a competitive advantage
Arun Gupta: When you allow knowledge to flow, magic happens.
Leaders must walk the talk, sustain the momentum.
Vadim Shiryaev: Knowledge is created where a tough decision is made. If you look into the future, you will see the future. Bake your bread in a good mode. It does not matter what you think of yourself, what matters is what Google thinks of you!
Q: How to deal with cross-cultural barriers to sharing and using knowledge?
A: Zensar uses Vision Communities to bring participation and alignment across the organisation. Case study: how we acquired a US company.
Q: What skills are needed of knowledge managers these days?
Karuna Ramanathan: problem solving skills, inquiry, advocacy.
My Q: What is the role of mentoring in the midst of all this buzz about CoPs and social learning?
Ganesh Natarajan: We have a mentoring program for students in Tier 2 schools/colleges – it features 2,000 CEOs via a portal. Mentoring is going through some transformation. Online mentoring is becoming big; coaching is important at high levels.

VI: Panel: Unlearning

3M: New Product Vitality Index – design new products which make your own ones obsolete
Higher tolerance for failure needed for innovation. No one gets fired for mistakes – unless you repeat the same mistake twice!
Need to promote a culture of taking risks and learning from failures. eg. FailCamps, Failcon

VII. Panel: Social Media
Some knowledge is perishable anyway
Need to ensure trust in taking inputs from social media – look at exodus to NE India caused by rumours on social media
But don’t be overwhelmed by negativity – planes carry passengers as well as bombs!
Enterprises have to be aware that consumer techs are cooler than enterprise techs; comfort factor has become important, CTOs/CIOs need to keep up to date.
Young employees expect workplace to be tech friendly; companies need to keep up with social media movement.
Social media has empowered employees as well. Increased diversity of opinion and increased tolerance for different views. Helps get ideas for new business much faster.

VIII. Panel: Highlights of KM Practices from MAKE India 2012 Award Winners
TCS: social quizzing as a knowledge sharing platform
L&T Hydrocarbon: KM is embedded in all project management
Infosys: blend of social and professional networking
Wipro: 5 Ss (share, standardise, simplify, sustain, segment): metrics for engagement and effectiveness
Tata Steel: blending KM with innovation, KM for executives as well as shopfloor workers
MindTree: storytelling for knowledge sharing; publishing book on project learnings
MahindraSatyam: KRAs on KM for managers; reusability as a key KM metric
EurekaForbes: Mobiles for knowledge mobilisation among travelling salesforce

IX. Panel: Consumerisation of IT and BYOD
L&T IT introduces app usage via apps about menus and bus schedules – later for travel arrangements and leave applications
Knowledge is the only asset which grows when you share it. – Thiruvalluvar
Consumer adoption of smartphones/tablets is staggering and will only increase

X: Panel: Building Knowledge Societies
B V R Mohan Reddy: I recall first using computers 40 years ago at IIT Kanpur!
D.B. Phatak: IIT is using “distance-less” teaching for not just students but also to create excellence in teachers. Need to promote many more apps for educational sectors. Need to re-use best lectures from best of students, make classrooms the focus of discussions and not just lectures. IIT Bombay has a remote centre in Kakinada.
It is important for India to promote colleges and increase enrolment of women, give them more opportunities in life.
Students from remote parts of India such as Kashmir and Agartala told me that distance education has helped them feel part of India and that India cares for them! A student who walked 6 km to school because his parents could not afford bus fare told me that he wants to create a company like Infosys, like my student Nandan Nilekani did. What aspiration – that was a lifechanging incident for me!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>