KM Asia 2014, Singapore

KM Asia 2014

by Madanmohan Rao

Editor, The KM Chronicles

Singapore, Nov 19-20

I am back again in Singapore for one of my regular annual knowledge management conferences, KM Asia! I will be conducting a workshop on KM and Idea Management ( on Thursday. See some of my posts from earlier conferences:  KM Asia 2013 KM Asia 2012 KM Asia 2010 KM Asia 2009 and even KM Asia 2002!

Here are my tweetnotes, will massage them into a Top Ten Takeaways piece later! In addition to the sessions, it’s always great to meet the delegates, this time from Singapore, Malaysia, India, Russia, etc.!

Logging in now from Knowledge Management Asia 2014 in #Singapore! #KMasia #KM #KMers

My Ark Group report: Next Generation KM: Insights and Practice for Resilient Organisations #KMasia

My most recent KM book (gov, public sector): KM Initiatives in #Singapore – with Prof. Margaret Tan #KMasia

I. Devsen Kruthiventi, Tata Projects; and Rama K, Osmania University
Case studies of KM and performance impact
Challenge: Making KM a way of life. Study conducted across 1,500 respondents in 5 industry clusters
Typical barriers – lack of culture, non-standard processes, lack of ownership, staff turnover
Recommendations: Start with people, then process, and tech. Solve big problems which affect many people. Start with a pilot. Be a facilitator. Provide ownership to process owners.
KM #leader should be a mix of geek, connector, Shylock, angel and facilitator!
Different audience views on what KM head should be – connector, hatchet man, rewards man
Devsen: Two different views on how to make KM a way of life: (i) KRAs (ii) Reward and Recognition
Devsen: KRA approach may lead to employees just submitting docs for the sake of contributing knowledge assets

II. Nancy Dixon on Collective Sensemaking
Regular coming together = heartbeat of the organisation
Dixon jokes that a Knowledge Worker is one who knows about how to do the job better than the boss!
Collective sensemaking = bringing right people together to engage in activities for solving complex issues
Case study: city government of Utrecht used conversation to bridge silos between 8 departments
Problem owner works with a coach to frame the problem; Chair person is high-level but not involved in the issue; facilitator guides interaction and reflects on what is happening
Success principles: (i) Connection before content, eg. informal dinner, small talk (ii) Knowledge is created in conversation, not just presentations (iii) Cognitive diversity increases a group’s ability to innovate; draw in diverse perspectives from inside/outside (iv) We know more than we can say, and we can say more than we can write (Polanyi & Snowden) (v) Use not just problem solvers but conversation architect; beyond superheroes
Cynefin classification: Obvious (best practice), Complicated (good practice), Complex (emergent practice), Chaotic (novel practice)
Leader as conversational architect: Identify adaptive challenges, Frame the conversation, Ensure diversity in conversation. Provide transparency. Design for interaction (facilitator). Give the work to the group; become a participant.
IDEO brings philosophers and musicians in design team for toothbrushes
Ways to understand issues: chose multiple paths, get more facts, try small experiments

III: Vadim Shiryaev, SOMAR, KM Alliance Russia
Co-creation in telecoms (Rostelcom), legal, finance sectors in Russia
Nancy Dixon: Vadim Shiryaev is the Johnny Appleseed of KM!
Vadim: I first attended KM Asia in 2010.
Some definitions of co-creation by experts:
Madanmohan Rao: Co-creation = cooperation + collaboration + contribution
Ron Young – co-creation lets people go beyond their individual capabilities
Co-creation methodology was used in Russian Railways.
Tea is one of the best technologies to share knowledge! (How about beer, vodka? ;-)
[ RT @Rajesh_Dhillon Beer is the best start up to any conversation after all K-transfer is a combination of internalization and socialization ]
Knowledger is a good virtual co-creation space.
Success factors for co-creation: trust, communication, reciprocity
Business trends: more frequent tech change, more amplification power for individual consumers, customers owning more of brand, short attention spans, less memorisation (more devices), one display is not enough (multiple devices, mobile)
Expansion of co-creation: multiple companies, multiple teams, multiple projects
Vadim shows jaw-dropping YouTube video on perspective, comparing solar systems to large stars. The largest known star is so large that a plane would take 1,000 years to circle it once!
Case studies, Rostelecom, Russian legal firm, health companies.
Helping each other, we help ourselves. Learn how to make synthesis of virtual and physical spaces. Learn from failures. Have effective catalysts.
Thanks @MadanRao for sharing the proverb “To lose is to learn” – helped overcome my fear of failure!
I am a sails man, not a sales man! Co-creation: to move ahead, you need to understand the flow. Form the flow if there is none. Need sail + rudder + radar
The best state to be in between two or more companies: synergy. Co-creation never stops!
My tweetnotes from Vadim’s #KMRussia conference 2013: #KMasia
Social media has empowered customers like never before; companies need to understand new ways of engagement and delight for co-creation
Maturity/success curve: customer is happy with product, endorses it, recommends it, evangelises it, co-creates it
Standing ovation for Vadim’s infectious energy, excitement, & ability to build knowledge partnerships across the world!
Please have my passion! I am Russian, I am also Asian!

Great to see stalwarts Nancy Dixon, Ron Young, David Gurteen and young blood Vadim Shiryaev! And lots of new faces :-)
Indonesian delegation has come with phalanx of stands/tripods for tablets and smartphones to record speaker sessions!

IV. Mariette Peters, Zul Rafique, Malaysia – How to get KM buy-in?
We are the fifth largest law firm in Malaysia (95 lawyers, 110 staff)
KM – perceived challenges: not enough interest/understanding, not quick enough, benefits not tangible, no hard proof
Success tips: coax, don’t force; speak their lingo, not your lingo or mumbo jumbo. CKO = completely knocked out?
Benchmarking and site visits for KM: “He came, he saw, he wanted”
Colleague went to KM legal office in the UK, saw KRIM (Knowledge, Research and Information Management unit)
It is important to not just buy into KM but sustain it. Years ago, 10 Malaysian law firms set up KM; only 4 still have it
As knowledge connector, show what knowledge is important, where it is, who has it, why it is important, how it will work
KISS – knowledge and information sharing session. Cool-con: cool conversation. Walk&Talk: informal chat while walking. Coffee-with: one-one-one chats.
Lawyers are averse to having their conversations recorded, especially if it is about their failures! Keep some KM informal. We discovered we had a yoga expert, violinist and fluent French speaker in our midst
Violinist won Legal Idol, raised profile of company; French speaker helped bag international clients. The informal led to formal wins!
KM in our firm helps talent retention, professional development, branding, training
We kept our focus on the people, not as much on the product
When you are starting KM, be flexible – don’t flex your muscles! Share the glory. Make your people, your boss and yourself look good also! Internally and w.r.t. your client
Our KM logo: LOOK: Leverage Our Own Knowledge. Be prepared for a long and winding road
My KM department does research, training, publications, risk management and talent retention as well (KMRRT – then back to KM!)
KM head should be energetic, enquiring, endurance, egoless, educator, enlightened, egalitarian, enabler, eloquent, explorer!

V. Rudolf D’Souza, InKNowin Consulting, Mumbai
Gamification: Learnings from a religious sect
Gamificiation = use of game elements and game design in non-game contexts.
Game elements: points, resources, progression, levels, quests, avatars, social graphs

VI. Ana Hofmann, Rio de Janeiro Industry Federation
“How We Made KM a Strategic Process”
CKOs of Rio have been collaborating over 15 years
KM driven collectively by IT, HR, Internal communication, project, and process management leaders
Culture change for KM takes years, start now! Focus on strategy, future, innovation. Organisational behaviour should support it

VII. Candy Lim, Asia-Pacific Learning Leader, Ernst & Young
“Social with a strategy: Using Yammer to drive your business agenda”
“In its first 90 days, E&Y’s Yammer network was joined by 40 per cent of employees, became one of the three largest Yammer networks in the world, and generated almost 1,000 examples of tangible business value. E&Y share their story and experiences, including:
Starting with a strategy;
Business needs to buy-in: identifying Yammer’s purpose, value, and use cases for your organization; and
Simple tactics for managing and mitigating risks.”
Insights are our competitive product; knowledge is the key differentiator
KM – collective intelligence – connected, responsive and insightful experience for clients. Millennials are self-sufficient via internal/external social media
Social collaboration: personal brands, open knowledge sharing, informal learning, engagement accountability, “working out loud”
EY began its social journey via a Social Workshop in June 2012. Social literacy, maturity assessment. Market positioning.
May 2013: Yammer rollout. (Deloitte was ahead of us.) Sep 2013: mentoring. Oct 2013: Global rollout
Impacts: Leader engagement. Resourcing for projects and engagements. Awareness across service lines. Quick collaboration. Expertise location.
We share successes as compelling stories and case studies. Addresses WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)
Our future is in collaboration – numerous case studies of social collaboration, eg. between Canada and Australia offices
Risk management: automated monitoring for client confidentiality and reputation/brand; terms of use; access management
Data purged from Yammer within 180 days
Q: How are you differentiating Yammer from SharePoint? Candy: SharePoint is for repository, Yammer for quick collaboration
My Q: Did #EY try blogging first, and then Yammer because blogging wasn’t effective?
Candy: Yes, we tried blogging and Wikis, but Yammer was much more immediate, easy and effective in the enterprise
My Q: Will #WhatsApp displace #Yammer?
Candy: In Asia employees use WhatsApp and WeChat heavily; can’t stop that. But Yammer is a secure enterprise tool

Day Three: Morning workshops: Gamification, CoPs, Leadership through Conversation, Co-Creation

I. Gamification workshop by BASF: Janan and Rina

Great ice-breaker exercise I: Count the no. of dots you can add in a circle in 30 seconds (tricks: use 2 pens together!)
Great ice-breaker exercise II: Arrange yourself in increasing order of birth month+day, without talking/writing!
Janan/BASF: Steps to gamification: Concept, Content, Create, Communicate
Success factors: Know your audience; what knowledge will they gain; finishable in a few hours (not days!); Aha (discovery) + fun elements; give suitable prizes
Typical game concepts: crosswords, word search, questions, jigsaws, anagrams, portal hunt, team challenges, clue based, cryptic. Formats – online, offline, hybrid. Physical – shoot & kill!
Winning criteria: time, number of elements, size of longest element, random, clustered/sorted
Content: 5-8 important elements to highlight; include tips/clues (via links, pictures, examples)
Gamification trend: youth love games, easy to introduce gamification into corporate world
Tools to create games: PPT, Sharepoint, Excel, survey tools, proprietary (connect.BASF).
Also external game engines (eg for crosswords)
Rina/BASF: Next year is our 150th anniversary. We designed a game around our Product Applications: Be Cool (urban living). KL office is more into services, the game objective was to increase their awareness about company products.
Stay Cool, Fit&Cool, Look Cool, Cool Drive (car parts) – four games, one game per week.
Formats: show video, fill in the blanks or answer multiple choice questions about what the tech product does
Driving traffic to KM portal: bookmarks/links to articles that contain the game answers; wikis; forums
Commission/Communication of games: state how many winners will be there, how you will choose them. Sell the reward – WIIFM?
Gamification: BASF KM Challenge 2014: win by fixing this broken car with BASF products! Wiki has questions for five car sections. “BASF creates the chemistry for future mobility”
Look Cool game – stretchable fabric during Football World Cup.
Stay Cool game – BASF products for housing industry (Secret Agent game)
Fit & Cool game – BASF products in soles of running shoes (eg. Adidas)
Elements of gamification communication: Cool Teaser Title, Eye-catching image, Short & Catchy message, “Did You Know” question (eg. about product)
Discussion Qs: What are the advantages of jury v/s employee voting on winners?
My Q: What are some useful gamification metrics? Janan: Number of participants, completed entries, winners; more traffic to KM portal, downloads. Randomised surveys – was learning accomplished, was it just fun? Long term impacts: recognition, buzz, expectation for more! Make some games annual competitions
At BASF the annual game challenge is used only once a year; we have other activities for KM promotion during the rest of the year

II. Madanmohan Rao, Editor, The KM Chronicles (me!)
“Knowledge Management: From Ideas to Practices”
The Knowledge Cycle: New practices (creativity, invention); Next practices (Innovation, entrepreneurship); Best practices (Knowledge management, performance excellence)
Trends driving the need for personal/organisational creativity and idea flow: speed of change, youth, digital tools, interconnected/global economy, blending of product and service perspectives
Discussion I: The KM Audit! Discussion II: Idea Management Audit
What kinds of Ideas should you welcome (I)? Productivity; Innovation; Risk management
What kinds of Ideas should you welcome (II)? Map onto the 10 types of innovation
What kinds of Ideas should you welcome (III)? Map into the 3X3 matrix (products/services v/s offerings: current, extended/modified, new/novel)
What kinds of Ideas should you welcome (IV)? Top-down + bottom-up; Internal + external; Competitive v/s cooperative
Organisational creativity: events, communication, idea challenges, roles, R&R, networks, culture
Idea ecosystems: alliances, partnerships, crowds, startup engagement
It all begins with you! (i) improve your creative confidence + quotient (ii) train others to be idea spotters/connectors/generators
Discussion III: The Personal Creativity/Ideation Audit!
Creativity methods: environmental scans; reading (books, Web); being/having coaches, mentors, sounding boards; hobbies; travel; social media; collective sensemaking/brainstorming; immersion; “stimulants (!)”; professional diary + personal diary.
Creativity = Attitude + Aptitude + “Altitude” :-)

Special thanks to my fellow tweeter Cicilia Haryani (@cicilia92) – see you at the Java #Jazz Festival in #Jakarta! Knowledge management gurus with @YourStoryCo book “Startup Proverbs & Quotes!” @NancyMDixon @DavidGurteen @RonYoung #KMasia
#KMasia organisers Fiona Tucker (@This_Is_Content) & Melissa Turley @ArkGroup with @YourStoryCo book “Startup #Quotes!”
My book #app: WordSparks: Quotes & Proverbs for Entrepreneurs!


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