Techsparks 2013: Innovation and Startups in India

Techsparks 2013: Innovation and Startups in India

by Madanmohan Rao
Research Director, YourStory.in
http://twitter.com/MadanRao
Bangalore; October 5, 2013

Kicking off now in Bangalore: India’s premier startup event, TechSparks 2013! http://TechSparks.in (Twitter hashtag: #tsparks https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tsparks&src=typd&f=realtime)
See my tweetnotes from TechSparks 2012 last year: http://km.techsparks.com/?p=446

I. Shradha Sharma @SharmaShradha: Founder & CEO, YourStory Media

Despite plunging Indian rupee, startups thrive here!
India is a country of storytellers – largest and oldest stories in the world come from here!
Every startup story is unique and powerful, and matters.
Can we create 1.3 billion entrepreneurial stories from India? And from other parts of the world?
India had a pavilion at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 this year.
We are now on YourStory.in as well as YourStory.com!
We can create the world’s largest storytelling platform for startups in the world, right from here in Bangalore, India
RT @techsparks2013 “Sare Jahan se acha, Hindustan Hamara. We will create the largest storytelling platform in the world” – @sharmashradha
We also have new platforms: HerStory (women entrepreneurs) and SocialStory (social entrepreneurship)
Techsparks annual events – 70 startups showcased so far, 33 have been funded, 2 acquired

II. Abhinav Kumar, guitar in hand, comes on stage to sing the Techsparks Theme Song!
“I’m going to startup, be the king of my life!” “I’m gonna get the crown!” “I’ll kiss the dirt but make it work!”

III. Shailendra Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India: “Enduring Success”

We look not just for financial success, but enduring success (portfolio: iYogi, JustDial, Xoom, LinkedIn, etc.)
Enduring success is not guaranteed even for large companies. Young companies in 10 years are disrupting Fortune 1000 giants
Enduring success comes from agility, building defensive moats, culture (for scale), perseverance
Perseverance is even more important in India than other countries, pain factors are much more intense at every stage
Moat = superior tech, network effects, brands, user experience, ecosystem, operating model
Case study – Pine Labs (Lokvir Kapoor), founded 1998. Took 15 years to build the moat (payments platform for retailers)
Agility: Knowledge is about the past, learning is about now; iterate and fail fast; evolve; break it even if it works!
Fast learning is more important than deep knowledge, for an entrepreneur
Even if it works, you should break your product – before someone else does!
Agility case study: Druva. 2012 – ranked No.1 by Gartner in its data protection category. Engineer became successful CEO
Culture factors: Time horizon, rethinking ESOP, careers, learning, fun, winning
Husband and wife team created Mu Sigma, now world’s largest decision sciences company
Shailendra shows pic of Mu Sigma founder Dhiraj serving employees lunch in the office in lungi, after puja. Authenticity!
Perseverance: no short cuts, all about integrity, grit, deep commitment, focus, long-term wins
RT @sandeepvarma At Mu Sigma if you ask great questions, you are rewarded
SCIO Health Analytics (Chennai, NY): Dug in during economic crisis, went back to the drawing board and turned around
TechSparks is a good platform for us – we have now invested in a TechSparks 2011 winner! (cloud platform: Idea Device)
Shailendra’s message: Keep trying to get better!

IV. Fireside chat: Ambiga Dhiraj, Head of Fulfillment, Mu-Sigma

We started in 2004. Husband was in Booz, deep into analytics
We had no customer for 8 months. The day after Dhiraj had all 4 (!) wisdom teeth pulled out, he got first meeting!
Delivering data/service out of India is not a cost play but innovation play. Learning is d/dt of knowledge! We love equations
We build curiosity in employees. We give award/prize for best question of the month!
Culture should be kept intact as we scale. Monthly retreat to Nandi Halls to discuss values (eg. no ‘sir/madam’ allowed, tough in India!).
Culture: no hierarchy – no ‘sir/madam’ allowed, tough in India!
RT @YourStorydotin “If people don’t ask important questions, answers are irrelevant,” Ambiga @musigmainc
RT @Skanda “Learning over knowing, the mantra for adding more knowledge to your bucket. Key indegrient in Musigma” – Ambika
RT @NidhishAlex Nurturing the culture of curiosity is important in startups- Ambiga cofounder @MuSigmaInc
When customers/directors visit us, we also take them outside the boardroom to the office to meet employees, analysts. Authenticity!
Exposing employees to customers/clients helps them take ownership of their work
RT @mehulved Mu Sigma sent a team of about 20 people to ask questions to Sequoia when the latter was investing in them.
Shailendra: Most of the Mu Sigma team is in India, but their customers are 70+ Fortune 1000 companies, mostly based in the US
Culture: Work-life integration – bring life to work, eg I bring my son to the office on occasion!
Shailendra: Pay attention to these kinds of small details which build a strong culture for the company
Shailendra: Dhiraj, founder of Mu Sigma, is listed in the Fortune Top 100 Under-40 List!
RT @YourStorydotin “Why is there no appraisal but fixed slabs at @MuSigmaInc?” Question to Ambiga Dhiraj from the audience at
Ambiga on performance appraisal: Entry level analysts are hired from campuses in India. We spell out a 3-year package
RT @Skanda_B MuSigma has a sales team with an average age of 22. Exploring new dimensions and thinking sales differently. Kudos!
RT @nabomita_smiles 22 yr olds have better learning curve & is opened to innovation in sales Ambiga Dhiraj, Head of Fulfillment @MuSigmaInc
In India, parents bring Horlicks to students during exams. Very different environment in the West
@nabomita_smiles Middle management is young , hence ease them through a socialist process : 3 years talent view Ambiga Dhiraj, @MuSigmaInc
I published a paper in HBR on the Montessori model and HR philosophy.
RT @shrinathv Mu sigma really seems to be rethinking organizational dynamics from an India perspective. Much needed!

V. Dr. Anu Vaidyanathan, Ultraman Athlete, IP Professor: “Going The Distance – Thoughts From Sports & Entrepreneurship”

My parents are from rural Tamil Nadu. My childhood: “Nature in Nurture.” Passion from sports comes from there, a relationship with nature
Cows on the roads teach more about attitude than anything else!
@dmuraliYS Separate goals from dreams – Anu http://pic.twitter.com/Gyj97iYMlD
My inspiration in life is Kung-fu Panda! How to find inner peace?
@rubiabraun World class event happening here at – super impressive. @YourStorydotin
My biggest dream in life was to become a dancer, but I realised I had two left feet, had to accept that!
Entrepreneurship is about satisfaction, independence, being able to get gifts for your dad!
Real heroism comes from unexpected sources, not just the usual Steve Jobs. Keep your sense open
RT @gouravdhelaria Any pursuit – sports or business has to bring something to your life – Anu Vaidyanathan,
Anu runs through a history of invention and IPR. Tinkerers, inventors, patents and trade
Anu @anuvaidyanathan says IP is a defense mechanism, not offense; tool for arbitrage, valuation for companies
I respect Free Software Foundation and Open Source (not to be confused with free!)
Anu www.patnmarks.com runs through innovation model of Red Hat.
My key message – ‘subtle irreverence.’ Value is a two-way street. You can’t sit in meetings all day, get a sense of perspective
Entrepreneurship is an attitude, not just a goal of a multi-crore blockbuster company
RT @mehulved “As an Endurance Athlete, I can say perseverance pays off”

VI: Fireside chat: Kavin Bharti Mittal, Head of Strategy, New Product Development, Bharti SoftBank

BSB is a JV. Huge opportunities for m-commerce in India, need to bridge offline-online world. Also mobile gaming/entertainment
@Kavinbm @bsbUpdates – Startup has to be insatiably curious, should care about the product, be passionate in the industry
RT @nabomita_smiles Hiring strategies: Top 3 qualities in new hires:curiosity, high learning curve and caring (@Kavinbm)
RT @sandeepvarma Very hard to find product people in India @kavinbm
Social/team dynamics are important. Can you have drinks with your colleagues and work with them till 4 am?
RT @YourStorydotin “The Indian market is very early. Numbers are pegged at >100 million, but frankly India has around 30-40 million net users,” Kavin
You need to have a long-term view of Net/mobile market in India. High demand for rich media eg. our Stickers product
Great Q to How will you give exposure to young entrepreneurs, not just funding/jobs?
Q: Is it difficult to attract talent from overseas to India? A: Yes, Gurgaon lifestyle is very different from Silicon Valley!

VII. Nick Talbot, Global Design Head, Tata Elxsi: “How Thinking ‘Design’ First Can Help Build Successful Ventures”

Big companies realise that good ideas come from startups, small companies, new entrepreneurs. The bigger the company, the harder it is to innovate
Innovation is about making things better, not just different. For who, and how many?
Borderless innovation – scale; has to be good for everybody
Design = vision + craft + communication + pragmatism
Put anthropology before technology, even in tech firms
See my reviews of innovation and design books at http://yourstory.in/author/madanmohan/ http://YourStory.com
Benchmark your designs with what already exists in the market. Blend tech with design, sometimes you can’t change architecture
RT @NidhishAlex Some entrepreneurs think that design is like sprinkling after cooking is done- Nick Talbot startups
RT @sandeepvarma Design should be humanist
RT @YourStorydotin “Don’t decide your technology platform before you’ve thought through your design,” Nick Talbot at
RT @nabomita_smiles Add an emotional content to the design so that users can connect beyond technology: Nick Talbot
Nick jokes that he is using a http://pic of Priyanka Chopra in his slides without her permission, and hopes he doesn’t get sued! (Anu please note!)
We have a programme called Incub@TE to help small companies start up

VIII. Madan Padaki, Co-Founder and Director, MeritTrac Services: “Building A Global Venture Out Of India”

Nice to see a fellow Madan on stage! ;-)
Madan runs through the ups and downs of his startup over the last 10 years
We did well as an Indian company, not global; need the right DNA to go international
Madan wears many hats, justifies the loss of hair!
Our vision – taking people from villages, assessing + building skills for them to make them employable, find rural opportunities
@madanpadaki shows video of young boy whose mother could not recognise him after his soft skills transformation!
We have coined a term called Rubans – the new rural youth, and bring them job opportunities. “Rubanomics”
RT @ariadon1992 Rubanomics – rural + urban + economics. jus wow :D newconcept revolutioninRubanIndia
RT @nabomita_smiles GuruG is a teacher gamification platform for teachers: Madan Patki
We are connecting Rubanomics to MDGs (reduce rural youth)
We want to create 1,000 RubanHubs in India and other countries, 100 Rubans per hub
We are replicating this India model to Brasil and Colombia also. Leveraging BoP model
When people are hit by the power of what is possible, they become changed individuals
We have roped in angel investors from India, Vietnam, Singapore, US, UK
HHH Services is looking for angel investors who have a local + global perspective
Head Held High www.head-held-high.org is an enterprise which is also social
Hear hear! Madan: Every enterprise has to be global and social at the same time
RT @TechButthead 1) Global Concept, 2) Global Strategy, 3) Global Exposure, 4) Global Structure that gives rise to a 5) Global Product

IX. Panel I: Global Products With Borderless Innovations
Gautam Mago, Principal, Sequoia Capital India.
Kavin Bharti Mittal, Head of Strategy, New Product Development, Bharti SoftBank.
Nick Talbot, Global Design Head, Tata Elxsi.
Pallav Nadhani, Co-Founder and CEO, FusionCharts.
Pravin Srinivasan, VP Sales, Cisco.
Srikanth Karnakota, Country Head, Server & Cloud Business, Microsoft India.
Ravi Gururaj, Chairman & Co-Founder, Frictionless Ventures (Moderator)

Gautam/Sequoia: Think global; your Chennai startup can get competitors from Prague and Indonesia the next day.
Pallav: Some Indian customers have told us they would not have bought our product if we were only an Indian company
Kavin: To go global your product has to be phenomenal. Product has to have personality, not just lines of code
Nick: If you benchmark globally, even your products for the local market can be of global quality
Ravi: View from China is different – they are not bothered about the global market, local is big enough for them
Nick: Look how the Koreans operate – they design globally, but launch first in Korea to perfect it
Pravin/Cisco: India adoption is usually mobile-first, even for SaaS products.
Kavin: Products designed in English in India lend themselves well to global; local languages are a different game in Tier 2-3 cities
Kavin: Some needs themselves are both local and global in nature, solving those can help you go global
RT @Skanda_B most products get developed to solve a problem locally @kavinbm. Hike was Developed for India and got a wide acceptance in Germany
Srikanth/Microsoft: Timing is important when you want to decide where/when to take your product global
Gautam/Sequoia: If you serve the tech developer or enterprise market, you can be global from Day One
Gautam/Sequoia: Consumer and SME markets are inherently different across the world
Pallav/Fusion Charts: I’ve interviewed 2,000 people in my life, very few in India have developed open source code to explore themselves
Pallav/Fusion Charts: India is fast adopter, but not yet fast creator or fast contributor (little Indian contribution to open source)
Pallav/Fusion Charts: Need to change Indian educational system also, need to give chance to explore and contribute also, don’t focus just on jobs
RT @ShereenYT Don’t waste your time on just studying. Build something and learn – @pallavn at
Kavin: China has witnessed the Internet revolution much more personally and popularly than India
Gautam/Sequoia: China has 4X economy and 10X tech adoption as compared to India
Nick: Polished products have more longevity. Roadmaps are important. Look at Apple: 5-10 year roadmaps
Nick: Innovation has to be continuous, but not all companies can sustain it in the long run, and successfully
Interesting Q from audience: Let’s not get carried away with going global, let us go to rural India first!
My answer: Even rural can be global, look at Head Held High (@MadanPadaki)
Ravi: Look at Israel, very small market, but great at going global (Startup Nation)
Q: How should meta-search companies scale up easily to other countries?
Pallav/Fusion Charts: Cultural issues in new geographies are design/layout/colour; operational issues are logistics/delays
Pallav/Fusion Charts: Look at cultural affinities of new geographies, eg. not many Indian startups have Russia/Japan playbooks
Pallav/Fusion Charts: We have to train Asian companies even for a $90 SaaS product (DIFM), unlike in the US (DIY)!
Pallav/Fusion Charts: Wedding photo album company – there are variations in simplicity, enhancements between Indian states
Ravi: Every startup I meet says they have a designer shortage. Indian education system needs to gear up
Pallav/Fusion Charts: As a society we need to encourage and reward self-learning, experimentation, exploration
RT @nabomita_smiles: Re-scaling skills using the resources over the internet ,remains need of the hour~ @pallavn
RT @Skanda_B pallav: Today everything can be self learnt. its the responsibility of an individual & institutions as well.
Nick: Need to teach more business and design skills in school. But parents also think design is stupid, the problem is in Indian homes also, they want their kids only to be doctors and engineers
Kavin: Emerging opportunities in India – mobile gaming, payment (but Indian regulations can be stifling)
Nick: Emerging opportunities in India and globally – resource management (energy grids, water, food)
Gautam: Emerging opportunities in India – mobile payments, harnessing enterprise data (social, devices, sensors)
Pravin/Cisco: Emerging opportunities in India: crowdsourcing, e-governance; identifying influencers
Pallav: Emerging opportunities in India – healthcare, gamification, governance (tackling corruption!)
Srikanth/Microsoft: Emerging opportunities in India: re-imagined enterprise apps, seamless integration

X. Gerard Tellis, Professor of Marketing, Director of the Center for Global Innovation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

How can a startup grow to become successful? How can incumbents remain entrepreneurial?
Incumbent’s curse – failing at the peak of success. Only a culture of unrelenting innovation helps succeed
Success can lead to arrogance, complacency, and lack of further innovation, eg. Intel in mobile, Nokia in smartphones
Intel has 85% of PC market, only 1% of mobile phone market
The biggest enemy is within: your own culture! Larry Page – Google’s biggest competitor/problem is – Google!
Lou Gerstner turned around the culture of innovation at IBM. Culture is the game itself
Embrace risk. Focus on future mass markets. Cannibalise successful products
Risk – innovations have a high failure rate. One out of 3,000 ideas make a successful product.
For 10,000 failed startups there is one successful mega success
FedEx took 4 years and Amazon 5 years to break through into profitability
HP had a tablet in 2005, five years before iPad! They never commercialised it, happy with PCs and printers and laptops
Focus on future mass markets, not just current ones. Niches today will become masses tomorrow
Kodak had the most patents in digital photography, but never transitioned to digital – culture frozen in analog
Cannibalise your current products, nurture/sustain them only for a while, innovate and go beyond
Sony invented the Walkman, overtaken by Apple (terrific graph of market cap lines crossing around 2004-2005)
Former CEO of Sony – “Love affairs with the status quo continued even after the quo lost its status”
Gillette – cannibalised its leading razors each time they were at their peaks
Incentives for enterprise should be about innovation not just loyalty. Need to have weak penalties for failure, strong rewards for success
Silicon Valley has better attitudes towards risk and failure than Japan and Germany. Lenience towards bankruptcies
Thomas Watson: The best way to success is to double your failure rate.
Internal competition – give adventure not just job security to innovators; idea fairs, prototype races; peer judging; crowdsourcing
Empowering innovation champions: freedom to innovate, support/resources, allow bottom-up innovation
Innovation is driven by practices and attitudes in a company
Tellis has authored the book Unrelenting Innovation. See my reviews of innovation books at http://yourstory.in/author/madanmohan/
An honour to meet Gerard Tellis and get a signed copy of his book, Unrelenting Innovation!

XI: TechSparks 2013 Startup Pitches!
http://yourstory.in/2013/10/presenting-this-years-tech-30-companies/

Mukund/Mumbai – Heckl, realtime news/analytics: Winner of most innovative award from TechSparks. Heckl was started in 2011, now we have an office in London. @YourStory helped us with meetings, introductions, events, advice. BRAVO!
Mukund: UKTI, @YourStory’s partner for TechSparks, helped us get an office in the UK, + introductions
Shradha Sharma: We had 480 applications this year; shortlisted to 30 (profile, prototypes, testimonials).
18 companies will present today. Jurors: Saumil Majmudar, Pankaj Mishra, Ravi Gururaj, Shailendra Singh, Sanjay Anandram, Gautam, Karti
Pitch 1: Flutura – “Actions, not just insights” www.fluturasolutions.com Decision sciences and analytics
Flutura: We make machines ‘talk.’ Mix of machine data and big data analytics. ‘If you prick us, you get data not blood!’
Flutura: The next India has product innovators, not just generic services. We have been identified by CIO Magazine as a promising startup
Flutura provides realtime solutions for dynamic pricing, energy savings, disaster avoidance
Flutura’s offering – Cerebra Signal Studio (used by GE, PTI, Sodexo)
Flutura: “We thought we are in analytics, but we realised we are in saving lives”
Flutura: We do triangulation across multiple sensors (eg. water, fire, smoke), bring in context
Pitch 2: Airwoot http://airwoot.com Helps brands provide customer support on social media
Airwoot SaaS helps with user tracking, service level monitoring (beyond usual buzz factor uses of social media)
Airwoot @airwoot: We operate at the speed of social, in real time. Our team includes a PhD dropout and math researcher dropout!
Pitch 3: CloudMunch (PaaS) www.cloudmunch.com – “focus on code, cloudmunch on the rest”
CloudMunch: We turn complexity into simplicity. Helps deliver better software, faster and cheaper
CloudMunch: We target startups (scaling), SMEs (customisation), enterprises (standardisation)
Pitch 4: Collaborate Cloud www.collaboratecloud.com Social work management product for better collaboration
Collaborate Cloud: Blends chats, file sharing, online meeting, customised apps for business workflow (employees can create these apps)
Collaborate Cloud: Customers – Titan, Helios. Migrating them away from email and spreadsheets to our apps
Pitch 5: MIBS Mobilistic Innovative Business Solutions www.mibsglobal.com Supply chain management solutions
MIBS: We were chosen by SAP Startup Focus Program. Offered solution for government healthcare provider, within 1 month
Pitch 6: MoeGIS www.moegis.com Health info mapping and tracking for state and local governments in India
MoeGIS: Business model – we get paid by government, NGOs, banks
Pitch 7: TradersCockpit www.traderscockpit.com Equity market screener and analysis tool
TradersCockpit: We have 25,000 users, operational break even; competition: MetaStock, Falcon
TradersCockpit: We want our customers to be our fans, not just be satisfied
Pitch 8: Pervazive http://ecurative.com Curative analytics for telecom network operators
Pervazive founder exited startups in the US and Europe previously.
Pervazive impact: Worm’s eye – helped Mumbai operator reduce costs, time across 9,224 cell sites
RT @Skanda_B Curative anytics is trademarked! They do have a long vision.
Pitch 9: Stelae Technologies www.stelae-technologies.com Automated conversion solution for multiple categories of content
Stelae: Clients – Rolls Royce Aerospace, LexisNexis. Volume base pricing – per page (technical, legal)
Stelae: Investors – Indian Angel Network, Chandu Nair, others from UK/France/Israel
Pitch 10: Eye and Buy www.EyeAndBuy.com Integrated SME business platform to help sales
Eye and Buy: We help SMEs feature on all the major e-commerce sites in India
Eye and Buy: Clients – 3M, Being Human, Nikites, Featherlite chairs. Fees – subscription, per purchase/sale; offline sales
Pitch 11: DeltaX www.deltax.com Digital media platform to buy, optimise & report search
DeltaX: Lots of inefficiencies and wastage due to silos in Internet ad market. Solution: advertising cloud
DeltaX: Our IP – keyword proximity score, algorithmic attribution, global relevance, marginal optimisation
DeltaX: Competition – single point solutions for each of the above (eg. Google’s DoubleClick)
Pitch 12: Cooolio’s Big Toss cricket app. Connecting fans, social outlets, live events. Follow, compete, get rewards
Coolio www.cooolio.com We are expanding to other sports also. Revenues: in-app ads and purchases, brand services
Pitch 13: Brio’s Smart www.smart-platform.com open source app server to develop SaaS products. 6 months old.
Pitch 14: Kallows Engineering www.Kallows.com Healthcare products + apps (ECG). Livestream for telemedicine
Kallows: Adoption – emergency services, states like Goa. Also home visits. Two products in the market already
Pitch 15: GetActive www.getactive.in A fun and easy way to get your health and fitness back on track
GetActive: We create an ecosystem – activity tracker, cloud platform, app. Also compare and compete with buddies; win points/prizes
Pitch 16: Agile CRM www.agilecrm.com SaaS CRM with marketing automation, social suite and web analytics
Pitch 17: LoudCell www.loudcell.com Real-time access to accurate data and MIS reports for managing diesel generators
Pitch 18: Retigence www.retigence.com Retail inventory decision support systems services on cloud, powered by predictive analytics. Powered by SAP HANA
And now a special pitch by another startup, Mad Street Den www.madstreetden.com Artificial intelligence
Top Three picks of Tech 30 2013: Pervazive, Stelae, Flutura; special mention – MoeGIS!

XII. Panel II. Building A Company From Scratch
Alpesh B. Patel, Dealmaker at UK Trade & Investment and Founding Principal at Praefinium Partners.
Sanjay Anandaram, Venture Partner, Seed Fund
Saumil Majmudar, Co-Founder & MD, EduSports
Srikanth Iyer, CEO, TutorVista & Pearson Education Services
Saju Pillai, Co-Founder, idea Device
Shashank ND, Co-founder, Practo
Pankaj Mishra, National Editor, Mint (Moderator)

Sanjay Anandram: A company lasts only as long as its culture sustains and drives it. Therefore choose the right team
Panel: Find a problem which solves a large pain point. Don’t scale too soon. Evolve your model – but what is the model? That is the challenge
Sanjay Anandram: There are two kinds of culture – equitable v/s superstar driven. Balance needs of individual, founder, company
Alpesh Patel: “Do, delegate, or delete” should become “Delegate, delete or die” – we don’t need dominant personalities
RT @dtbng Delegation is in a important part of the life cycle of your entrepreneurship.
RT @techsparks2013 If you are a single founder, its easy to pivot. Its difficult when there are multiple founders – @saumilmajmudar at .
RT @Skanda_B don’t build in a cave, come out, ask the customers their pain points, talk to them and give out your solutions to your customers
Pankaj/Mint: Should you do your startup part-time? Or ‘screw it and just do it?’
Srikanth: If you don’t take your idea seriously enough, why would an investor take you seriously? Do the startup fulltime
Thoughts on part-time entrepreneurship by Kanth Miriyala and Reethika Sunder: http://yourstory.in/2013/08/book-review-of-entrepreneur-5-pm-to-9-am/
Pankaj/Mint: Who should the founders hire first, after starting up?
Panel: Your friends may not always be the best in the functions for your startup. Be aware of equity issues
Sanjay Anandram: Be careful who you take the money from; they should be able to help you in your next stages
Panel: You focus on building your company – if you are good enough, the investors will find you, that is their job
Pankaj/Mint: How should startups stay ethical, in a corrupt environment like India (and other countries)?
Panel: Don’t sacrifice your brand, name, culture just to pay a bribe for those early deals. Don’t take shortcuts
Alpesh: Big Indian companies like Tata are manufacturing overseas also, not just in India; it’s easier to do business overseas
Pankaj/Mint: How to retain employees in the long run? Beyond ESOPs and free beer
Srikanth: I had to lay off 75% of my employees during the rough patch; re-built the company. Transparency is important. Keep those who see and share your vision
RT @nabomita_smiles Hiring Startegy:Hire people more capable than you & let them execute to a common goal creating engagement & sense of belonging

XIII. Binny Bansal, Co-founder at Flipkart; Lakshmi Potluri, Senior Executive, Shopify India

Shradha Sharma: Flipkart has shown the way for many aspiring startups in India; think big and achieve it
RT @abhisangam crowd roars as the fireside chat starts btwn Binni Bansal flipkart & shradha yourstory, getting younger as da day draws 2a close
Binny/Flipkart @binnybansal: Customer focus/service is key to our success. Luck and timing are also super-important to scale
Ambition is also important. Today we are not afraid of global competition.
I don’t come from a business family, had no idea of business (my partner Sachin does)
We were probably ‘foolish’ in the beginning, didn’t know how hard e-commerce would be in India!
Tough lessons: COD didn’t work well in the beginning; we didn’t know how to sell electronics goods differently from books – but learnt fast
Our evolution – first do something meaningful. Vision will evolve as you get more insights and progress
RT @techsparks2013 You need to learn everyday. The day you stop learning, you stop scaling – @binnybansal of @Flipkart at .
To scale: 1. Hire the right people and delegate to them. 2. Keep adding frameworks for decisions at different levels
3. Communication in the company should be continuous, to inform and align everyone with company direction
Shradha: Tell us about your growing years – beyond shyness to boldness; growth, inspiration, drivers
I am introverted, but shy people can also become entrepreneurs! Played football, basketball – leadership exposure
I was the dumbest basketball player! Love at first sight – computers in 4th standard.
Shradha: How do friends work together as co-founders? We fight all the time!
Sachin was in Amazon and referred me too (got referral bonus!). We left, had debates about what to do next. Good for sharpening vision
Work life balance: my wife helps me with life balance! Work is not seen as ‘work,’ it is passion, you like it, you want to do it
An entrepreneur has the best situation, he is doing what he wants to do. Work is life, can’t really differentiate
We are excited about our new platform, and the potential of mobile Web in India
Tier 2-3 cities will see huge adoption of smartphones. Helpful for e-commerce companies like us
We are not thinking of taking Flipkart global at the moment. Only regrets: always being behind the curve, so much more to do!
When we hire new talent, we want to ensure their lifestyle does not change too much, less disruption
We didn’t do well in online music sales, but pulled the plug within two years. Looking at fashion sector now
Advice – make lots of experiments, mistakes; learn fast and then scale fast (eg. Koramangala trial scaled fast to 20 cities)
Challenge of bad/spam reviews. Tech can help with answers: machine learning and crowdsourcing
Lakshmi Potluri, Senior Executive, Shopify India: We help Indian businesses sell globally online www.shopify.com
Lakshmi/Spotify: Online entrepreneurship is still at the tip of the iceberg phase in India. More room for innovation, eg. logistics in Tier 2-3 cities

XIV. Live performance by Kutle Khan Project http://kutlekhan.com from Rajasthan !!!

Spellbinding exhilarating performance by Kutle Khan Project @kutlekhan – looking forward to playing their music on my radio show! http://RadioWalla.in
RT @hallidude This is the trippiest visualization of DamadamMastkalandar I’ve ever seen! http://pic.twitter.com/CerIup43ku
RT @ash3003 Kudle khan live http://instagram.com/p/fFncuhhMrQ/
RT @farooqarahim Kutle khan awesome performance @YourStorydotin @techsparks2013 http://pic.twitter.com/AeDvmcat5I

@DhruvaKumar @YourStorydotin Today is the second anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death. Happy #tsparks today is an ode to the great man. salute yourstory
Lunchtime chatter: The name for AOL’s mobile content product, Coolage, was chosen thanks to crowdsourcing!
GRACIAS! @olgag Broadcasting & amplifying @Madanrao from Madrid: His compiled tweets: TechSparks 2013 http://tl.gd/mp7d6c
THANKS! @RajeshMTHRG Well done! RT @nabomita_smiles: A standing ovation for the @YourStorydotin team :)
RT @harshamv Yourstory Team http://pic.twitter.com/ssqi4L7dQd
See you all in 2014 at the next TechSparks roadshow and showcase – may a billion entrepreneurs bloom! :-)

Uncategorized

KM Singapore 2013: Operationalising Knowledge Management for Productivity

KM Singapore 2013: Operationalising Knowledge Management for Productivity

by Madanmohan Rao
Editor, The KM Chronicles http://bit.ly/TU12l
Singapore; October 2-4, 2013
http://twitter.com/MadanRao

The tenth KM Singapore conference, one of my favourite annual KM events, kicked off this October with the theme “Operationalising Knowledge Management for Productivity” (http://www.KMsingapore.com). (See my earlier articles from KM Singapore 2011, 2010 and 2009: http://km.techsparks.com/?p=268 http://km.techsparks.com/?p=160 http://km.techsparks.com/?p=15). The event is organised by the Information & Knowledge Management Society (http://www.ikms.org).

I. Karuna Ramanathan, IKMS president

We are raising the KM discussion from beyond best practices to innovation, productivity, sustainability
IKMS began as a KM study group in 1998, formalised in 2001. Now – annual conference, publications, reports, awards
A new research report has been released on foundations and state of the art of knowledge management

II. Keynote address: Singapore’s Acting Minister for Manpower, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin

Chuan-Jin cites Kofi Annan: “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”
Human Capital Index (WEF): Singapore ranks world No.3 for making the most of its workers (quality, education, work environment) http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/10/02/singapore-world-no3-making-most-workers.html
RT @michellelamb embracing KM practices helps organisations to innovate and increase productivity, this is achieved when people feel they are learning
Chuan-Jin stresses that culture is as important as processes and tools for knowledge sharing
Tap the wealth of ideas and experience of your team
Make sure you spend time to think and reflect – step back before you jump into action

III. Tom Stewart, Chief Marketing and Knowledge Officer, Booz & Company: The Right to Win, the Right to Grow: Using knowledge to drive productivity, growth, strategy

I began reporting on intellectual capital 21 years ago!
Productivity is about input/output ratios. Fun is in the growth part of the business
If you are not managing your organisation’s knowledge, you are not managing its business
The business climate: extreme. The state of strategy: confused. The role of knowledge: essential
Companies and economies continue to face strong headwinds. Competitive landscape has become broader and more complex
The geography of capitalism expanded by 3 billion in one generation.
Hot industries are now cooling off (over a decade)
Traditional organisations are ill-equipped for this 24/7/365 world – making big decisions in realtime in an uncertain world
You almost need to go from a 5-year plan to a 5-hour plan!
Only a small percentage of companies is both lean *and* ready to grow
Categories of strategy: Strategically adrift, distracted, capability constrained, organisationally hampered, ready for growth
4 categories of strategies: new high ground; core competencies; quick adaptation; execution
Core of strategy should be on identity and capability, not marginal issues like short-term competition
How do we create value, based on what distinctive competencies
Apple is best at bringing the user experience to its customers
Zara – unique business model, based on market insights, innovation, flexibility, rapidity and manufacturing
Categories of offerings: not required, basic capabilities, competitive necessities, differentiation
KM should derive from and shape strategy. Building capabilities, monetising the knowledge
KM has to make life easier and business better. Essence of competition is knowledge. How will you swim in the Blue Ocean?
Bi-directional KM can help resolve tension between growth and productivity. Pyramid: processes/tools, capabilities/content, strategy
Strategy: what knowledge makes us different (create barriers, makes us the best)
My Q to Tom: Most CKOs are from IT, HR, info backgrounds. How can they take on a more strategic role?
They should think of themselves as a Chief Capability Officer, building capabilities across the organisation, aligned with strategy
If KM becomes more strategic, the next 20 years of the discipline will be even better than the last 20 years
The 21st century knowledge leader must mobilise to respond to these crucial strategic questions: What 3-6 capabilities are essential for you to win? What are the KM requirements? How will you build these and deliver value?
Always a delight to hear Tom Stewart, his book “Intellectual Capital” is a landmark in the KM field!

IV. Deputy CEO, Workforce Development Authority. Singapore, Winston Toh: Operationalising KM: WDA’s KM Journey”

I will keep it informal lah! I didn’t attend KM courses, so I hired a CKO to implement KM in the organisation!
WDA – focus on employability and competitiveness of Singapore’s workforce. Lifelong learning
Winston: There are 33 Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) frameworks http://www.wda.gov.sg/content/wdawebsite/L207-AboutWSQ.html?parent=topnavabtwsq&openTab=3
Business management has 9 functional areas – organisational management includes KM, innovation, change management
KM Competencies – knowledge/info strategies, KM systems, documentation/processes, collate workplace information
WOW! WDA will cover 70% of costs of building KM capabilities in Singapore’s workforce via IKMS
WDA itself has its own KM journey. KM is a key enabler in its dozens of initiatives
Change has to be sustainable, so the first person I appointed was a KM head! Staff engagement important for KM success
Knowledge mapping took us 9 months. Dozens/hundreds of business processes, objects, initiatives, teams, tools
In 2011 we did a knowledge and culture audit. 104 stories, about org comm., sharing, documentation, process logic
KM archetypes at WDA: Tanya Rules, Busy Bee, Brains, Young and Restless, Sharing Susan
Aims of digital workplace – task completion, centralised communications, brand & engagement
WDA KM milestones: Research (interviews, roadshows, consultant), Communications (audit, public gallery), Plan+Do (validate, communicate, implement)
KM quick wins: remove red tape, induction knowledge for newbies, info accessibility, retention, sharing exchanges
WDA KM examples – one-stop search portal; First 30 Days Onboarding Guide (newbies, buddies, reporting officer); taxonomy; contact list; glossary
WDA KM examples – identification/profiling of knowledge champions (change agents); social media CoP; team leads CoP. Content-writing workshops
Critical success factors – communications, senior management visibility and support, staff conviction (short term + long term wins), KM supports business, centralised KM

V. Zaid Hamzah, Intellectual Capital Strategist; Director, Intellectual Futures http://www.intellectualfutures.com/our-experts: “Emergence of the Intellectual Capital Economy: Perspectives of a Small Nation”

Singapore is like a yacht, not aircraft carrier
Metaphors for Singapore in Asia – like Boston, New York, Silicon Valley. Monetisation of KM key for success
China has many knowledge workers; world’s largest patent filing nation (though many are “junk”!)
Singapore has allocated S$16 billion for 2011-2015 for research, innovation and enterprise. Creating a Global IP Exchange
Need to understand the geography of complexity. Singapore is small, but IC & strategic knowledge can liberate it
Singapore’s assets – financial, country brand, operating assets (airport, port), trust assets (political stability, IP protection)
Japan, Korea, China together file 20% of the world’s patents, more than US and Germany
Economic transformation – from factor-driven economy to efficiency-driven and then innovation-driven economy
Market value of S&P top 500 companies – component of IP etc has gone up from 17% in 1975 to 80% in 2010
It has been a challenge for startups to get paid for their IP; banks don’t listen to them! That will change in Singapore in 2014
PDF: Singapore’s IP Hub Master Plan (IPOS) http://www.ipos.gov.sg/Portals/0/Press%20Release/IP%20HUB%20MASTER%20PLAN%20REPORT%202%20APR%202013.pdf
Next challenge for Singapore – exporting its brand, not just importing brands (eg. educational brands like MIT, Yale)
Have you heard of world-class software products from Korea, Japan?
Creation of IPR as an asset class will be a new addition in Singapore next year (beyond stocks, cash, etc)
In Silicon Valley, Indians and Chinese have added IP/value in greater proportion than their population base
My Q to Zaid: How does Singapore fit in ‘creativity’ into its master plan for IP?
Singapore must ‘loosen’ up a little. Our education system is too rigid.

VI. Madanmohan Rao, Editor, The KM Chronicles http://amzn.to/NpHAoE (me!) on KM Metrics

Frameworks, examples, impacts, evolution, maturity models
Categories of KM metrics: Activity, Process, Knowledge, People, Organisational/business metrics
Key ingredients of successful KM: Connectivity, Content, Community, Culture, Capacity, Cooperation, Commerce, Capital
Reporting KM metrics: quantitative, qualitative, semi-quantitative
Metrics governance: assessment, revision, communication, response, cost
Examples: Wipro, Unisys, Accenture

VII. Thomas Thomas, Executive Director, Singapore Compact: “Leveraging on KM for Corporate Social Responsibility”

We aim to increase CSR adoption in Singapore companies. KM helped us harness and develop stories of our case studies
See our Website for CSR case studies, leadership profiles: http://www.csrsingapore.org/c/resources
CSR is the way ahead for society, especially Singapore. KM is the way we enable the takeup of CSR in Singapore
Superb presentation by Thomas Thomas on the importance of CSR in the 21st century, and how KM methods have helped increase awareness/participation!
Singapore is experiencing growing inequity, CSR is important eg. paying living wages, caring for elders

VIII. Yong Wui Chiang, KM Architect & CKO, Singapore Army; Head, Doctrine Development Group: “My Journey as a KM Practitioner”

Half the Singaporean audience in has served in the national service (defense)!
Army KM: transferring KM across successive generations, updating military knowledge, validating efforts
Tacit knowledge – SMEs (subject matter experts). Explicit knowledge – Doctrine. Learnt/transferred via experience
Measuring km impact is like asking why you invest in your child’s education.
Need to convert doctrine into ‘accessible small chunks,’ adjust to the way people want to learn today
videos are important for knowledge transfer for the younger generation; customised training and e-learning
Need to teach employees facilitation, coaching, collaboration
Army Learning System: 1. Self-directed learning (accessible small chunks). 2. KM (insights, collective experience). 3. Learning networks (facilitation, coaching, collaboration)
Key for KM success – skills, teamwork, leadership. We have created an ‘active learning network.’
LEARNet Vision 2020:
Singapore Army’s action learning process: BAR (before activity review), DAR (during activity review), PAR (post activity review)
“I do” (Chinese proverb from Madan’s book on Singapore Proverbs) – is the hard part for the army.
KM should become second habit for our soldiers
Q: Can KM work in a top-down environment also like the military, and not just in democratic environments?
Not a problem, because the knowledge is focused on key skills like battlefield survival. Knowledge is seen as critical

IX. Terry Smagh, Vice-President, QlikView Asia: “Productivity in Analytics: Big Data and the Data Scientist”

Information workers are today’s hunter gatherers. Follow the information scent; use mobile and social networks
FYI: Terry’s articles: http://enterpriseinnovation.net/article/potential-business-analytics-tools-asia http://www.zdnet.com/5-data-analytics-deployment-pitfalls-2062304064/ http://www.cio-asia.com/print-article/34177/
Gartner – kinds of skills: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive (moving from recording to differentiation and innovation)
Big Data requires a specialized skill set and level of technological sophistication that ordinary business users don’t have
Complex data still has to be presented to business users in a way that is easy to understand, and which enables them to ask questions and to explore their answers
Maturity of data analytics adoption: record, differentiation, innovation, optimisation
Challenges – dynamic data (getting data into warehouse fast enough for analysis), immediate analytics
Use big data to close the social business loop – listen (big data), engage (community management), guide (strategy)
Terry presents how QlikView helped King.com (Candy Crush game) analyse number of players, games played, time/duration of plays

X. Nick Milton @nickknoco: “Learning from Lessons Learned”

90% of organisations have made an attempt at lessons learning, but 60% to 70% were not fully satisfied
Organisational memory can be shallower than individual human memory
Experience is inevitable, learning is not.
Nick is author of “Lessons Learned Handbook” http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lessons-Learned-Handbook-Knowledge-Based-Experience/dp/1843345870 www.knoco.com (7 years of KM @ BP)
Basic premise of lessons learnt – learn from performance, apply new knowledge, improve performance
Nick shows Kepco chart of nuclear plant construction – costs came down from 1995-2005. Value of lessons learnt can be huge
Problems with lessons learned:
1. Lessons identified, but not learned (root cause analysis, generalisation, documentation, validation, distribution, follow lesson). Teams involved: Project team, Investigation team, Senior management team)
2. Lessons database is seen only as repository, not a management system
3. Lack of quality control
4. Lack of governance around lesson-learning process
5. New learning not reviewed/discussed (no ‘learning before’)
6. Human factors
7. Learning at the wrong scale
Metrics – What percentage of lessons lead to closure? Aspiration – 100% of our lessons should be applied and lead to improved performance
The lessons database is where lessons often go to die! You need a management system for it: workflow with notification alerts to push lessons (not just waiting to be found), and metrics to track usage
Quality ensures that a lesson can be taught. Stories in context, with specific recommendations and references
Metrics – was this a $5 lesson or a $5 million lesson?
A good facilitator gets to the heart of the matter in capturing lessons. Moves from observations to underlying causation, with specific explanations and no ambiguity, and then updates procedural manuals accordingly
Many orgs do ‘learning after’ but not ‘learning before’ – new knowledge is not incorporated into plans
It is very rare to find a project framework which begins with ‘pull out lessons learned from previous projects’
Peer assist is the most powerful KM tool you can use, the silver bullet of KM
Governance – accountability for closing lessons; metrics for tracking lessons used; expectations of lesson application; high level sponsorship
RT @michellelamb RT @mikaela_iras: having a neutral party facilitate “lessons learnt” may be useful, esp if it turns into a finger-pointing exercise
Governance elements for lessons learned: Expectations, Support (training, facilitation), Performance measurement (metrics, KPIs)
Role of the lessons team: coach, process champion, process manager, usage monitor; added value: look for trends, weak signals
Human factors – culture. Wishful thinking, overconfidence in our memory, unwillingness to analyse (success: showing off; failure: weakness), habituation (normalisation of deviance – it’s ok if things go slightly wrong all the time)
Chinese saying: The weakest ink is stronger than the strongest memory.
NASA lived with its space shuttle problem and didn’t fix it; led to disaster down the road
Lessons learned are often only about tactics and not strategy
US Army is great at learning from tactics, but not from/about strategy. Learnt about avoiding roadside bombs, but what about national agenda?
Lessons learnt can be done. Metrics – less time taken to finish projects can lead to huge savings and productivity increases
Q: Many managers focus on doing things right, not doing the right thing. How can this be derived from lessons learnt?
KM is not just for employees, it is for managers and leaders too. They need to apply lessons learnt in their own domain also, eg. strategy

XI. Michelle Lambert http://smnavigator.com/ “Shifting from Social Media to a Social Productivity Dividend” (internal social media)

70% of extra profit can be made through social technologies within the company (HBR)
20-25% productivity increase can be achieved through internal social media
A lot of time is spent on searching for things you know exist (30% of knowledge workers’ time)
The average ‘interaction worker’ spends 28% of time managing emails. Messages are also a form of content
Social productivity dividend = Change management + social technology + content strategy
Even successful change management can lead to some level of confusion and frustration
Survey – larger Australian public service organisations have less effective communication than smaller ones
RT @straitsknow @michellelamb shares case study of org who failed in info mgmt 3 times due to lack of change mgmt
You can post messages about change in lobbies, canteens, foyers and even the back of toilet doors!
Michelle showcasing data on content explosion, citing ‘InfoWhelm and Information Fluency’ video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ECAVxbfsfc)
Change management components: Purpose, Pathway, Planning, People, Persistence
My Q to Michelle: What are the issues to overcome inter-generational differences in social media usage?
Use reverse mentoring to get youth to train elder digital dinosaurs in the company! But don’t generalise too much or make assumptions based on age, some managers are also good in social media
I am of the age when I remember email was introduced, and companies were worried about giving their employees email access!
Learn how to use social media within your firewall so your employees learn techniques and ethics; then you can turn it on outside as well
Q: What are the ownership, privacy and security issues of information with respect to internal social media?
Q: How to ensure social tools are not used in some companies for deviance and procrastination

XII. Carla Sapsford Newman: “Capturing Critical Knowledge in Organisations”

Fickle management winds can kill KM programs; defend/embed KM
Carla resorts to Grimm’s Fairy Tales as metaphor for KM journey! Grim turns but happy ending at the end :-)
KM is about marriage, not dating – need long term commitment
Need to allow for safe and (in some cases) anonymous feedback for knowledge sharing in organisations
KM is more than checklists, that won’t get you to the critical knowledge. KM is not the flavour of the month, and not a silver bullet to performance problems either
Top management should allow employees to talk past line managers and flag potential problems
Companies are averse to discussing failures, but should embrace it as a source of learning. Communicate failure in a culturally relevant way, not always necessary to write it down
Need to sustain KM, people’s expectations and trust rise after you launch it.
Challenges – KM results not seen as sexy enough.
Word of mouth is best ad/promotion of KM and tools
Common Sense isn’t common.
RT @mikaela_iras Common misconceptions about KM execs: IT helpdesk, bothersome change advocates, all play no work, profit parasites
Metrics – calculate also risks/costs of not doing KM, eg knowledge loss, what can’t be avoided, etc. eg. KM can improve safety and therefore protect brand (Chevron: $2B savings a year in 7 years from 1992-1999, 30% productivity gain, 50% improvement in safety)
Fear can be a fantastic motivator! Never let a crisis go to waste, show how KM could have helped. Every organisation has its internalised fears.
For long-term success, benchmark with other KM initiatives. Steer KM towards 5-10 year goals of the company. Build strong evangelists
KM should become buddies with HR and IT. Reward behaviour which improves employee + organisation.
My Q: How to harness fear as KM driver? A: Numbers can be numbing, need to show how can address manager fears, eg. market valuation

XIII. Vincent Ribière: KM, Innovation and Productivity: Combined approach of both disciplines

Globalisation: hearing a French accent describe KM in Thailand to an audience in Singapore!
iKlub (Info and KM Club) in Thailand has partnerships with France, Hong Kong, Singapore
Institute for Knowledge and Innovation, Southeast Asia: Bangkok University http://ikisea.bu.ac.th/ iKlub – The Innovation and Knowledge Management Club http://iklub.org/
Vincent reeling off beautiful quotes about innovation, creativity, initiative!
Need to connect operational cycle (routines, procedures) to innovation cycle (unlearning, speculation)
Learning forms in an organisation: intuiting, interpreting, integrating, institionalisation
Innovation does not happen in a vacuum, some of it includes recombination/extension of existing things/models (‘path dependence’)
Benchmarking – Great Ormond St Hospital, London, learnt from Ferrari F1 Pit Team about speedy handovers!
The hospital also learnt from dance choreographers how to help team members stay out of the way of others! ‘Discipline of quietness and calm!’
Best practices are like Western classical music; innovation is like jazz!
Me: Best practices are like the Bible, innovation is like the Kama Sutra?
Need different ways of looking, learning, leading. Cites Arthur Koestler “Learning from the Yogi and the Commissar” http://www.amazon.com/Yogi-Commissar-Other-Essays-Danube/dp/0091531810
“Innovation is also about being outrageous”
Visualising knowledge can be a source of creativity

XIV. Arief Amron Ariffin, MayBank: Nurturing a CoP for KM practitioners (Malaysia experience): Aspirations, forums, successes/failures

Malaysia started its KM initiative in 2000. “I am a student and will always be!”
KMTalk.net blog started in 2004; KM Association of Malaysia set up in 2005. 2011: KM Talk on FB. 2012: KM conference by BNM
Arief @ariefamron: Misperceptions of KM in Malaysia – it is about tech, it is a learning system, it is a variation of social media
KM should not become a silo, it should be connected to all departments. Should not be mis-sold as IT/portal solution and a temporary solution
Some people attended a 5-day certification programme and consider themselves KM experts!
KM CoP helps as a resource, sounding board, sharing platform
KMTalk CoP for KM in Malaysia has 155 members, largely Klang Valley based
How not to form local KM communities – formalise too early, politics, kill ideas, not communicating, giving up!
My suggestion to Arief: Get an academic partner (venue, faculty, student attendees), find a food/beverage sponsor!

RT @mikaela_iras A collage of the scribbles by the talented infographics people http://pic.twitter.com/t9U161Q8rU
Done with three roundtables on KM strategy! Other roundtables: social media, Intranets, etc.
Thanks to all speakers, attendees, organisers, sponsors, volunteers at #KMsg – see you all in 2014!

Uncategorized

Knowledge Confluence 2013 hosted by Wipro Limited, Bangalore

Knowledge Confluence 2013 hosted by Wipro Limited, Bangalore

Wipro cordially invites K-Community members and other KM professionals in Bangalore to a full-day conference, Knowledge Confluence, at their Sarjapur Campus on Thursday September 5, 2013; 9:15 am to 5:15 pm. The event is free to all K-Community members.

Agenda:
9:30 – 9:45 Welcome Note
Devender Malhotra, Chief Quality Officer, Wipro Limited

9:45 – 10:30 Session 1 – KM Strategy
Sambuddha Deb, Executive Vice President, Wipro Limited

10:30 – 11:15 Session 2 – Building a Systematic Innovation Capability
Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Professor and Chairperson, Corporate Strategy & Policy Area, IIM, Bangalore

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee/Tea
11:30 – 12:15 Session 3 – Business Value of KM
Dayapatra Nevatia, Vice President and Global Delivery Head – ENU, Wipro Limited

12:15 – 13:00 Session 4 – KM Governance & Risk Management
Anirudh P Patil – Director, McKinsey Knowledge Centers, McKinsey & Company, Gurgaon

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:15
Panel Discussion – Developing and Deploying KM Strategy – Challenges and Lessons Learnt
Moderator – Dr. Madanmohan Rao, Author/Editor, The KM Chronicles, Bangalore
1. Ajeeth Jagannath, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning, ITC Infotech India Ltd, Bangalore
2. Ravi Mani, Senior Vice President, Organizational Excellence Group, iGate, Bangalore
3. Krishnan KS, General Manager and Head – Culture and Competence (L&D) and Knowledge Management (KM), Mindtree, Bangalore
4. Ravi Ivaturi, Director Operations, Unisys, Bangalore
5. Dr. Hariprasad Reddy, Head of Knowledge Management, Wipro Limited, Bangalore

15:15 – 15:45 High Tea
15:45 – 16:15 Session 5 – KM Metrics
Dr. Madan Mohan Rao, Author/Editor, The KM Chronicles, Bangalore

16:15 – 17:00 Session 6 – Collaboration / Social Networking
Parameshwar P Iyer, Principal Research Scientist and Head, Placement and Industrial Liaison, Department of Management Studies, IISC, Bangalore
17:00- 17:15 Closing session
Rajeev V.S. General Manager, Mission Quality, Wipro Limited

Uncategorized

Startup Estonia: Skype and beyond

Startup Estonia: Skype and beyond

by Madanmohan Rao http://yourstory.in/author/madanmohan

Achoo, Arambla, BlackBook, Cloudseal, Defolio, Edicy, Flirtic, Fortumo, GrabCad, Listhings, Monsavile, Newspin, Photry, Plumbr, Quotista, Sportlyzer, Talentag, Toggl, Utilimon, ZeroTurnAround.

That, briefly, is the A-Z of a new wave of startups from Estonia who have succeeded in the international marketplace.

[ See full article online at http://yourstory.in/2013/08/startup-estonia-skype-and-beyond/ ]

Uncategorized

Global Forum on Innovation: Top 15 Tips for Accelerating Entrepreneurship

Global Forum on Innovation: Top 15 Tips for Accelerating Entrepreneurship

Madanmohan Rao http://yourstory.in/author/madanmohan

The 5th Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship (http://www.globalforum2013.co.za) held this week in South Africa by the World Bank’s infoDev programme featured a range of entrepreneurs and experts offering tips and advice on how to accelerate the startup movement around the world. Here are my Top 15 takeaways from the opening sessions and startup showcases on Day One!

[ See full article at http://yourstory.in/2013/05/global-forum-on-innovation-top-15-tips-for-accelerating-entrepreneurship/ ]

Uncategorized

KM and Organisational Alignment

KM and Organisational Alignment

by Madanmohan Rao
Editor, The KM Chronicles
http://twitter.com/MadanRao
Bangalore; April 17, 2013

[ Also see article version on KM World website: http://www.kmworld.com/Articles/News/News-Analysis/15-tips-ensure-KMs-success-90492.aspx ]

An important issue for long-term success of KM initiatives is aligning it with organisational strategy, especially in times of change. KM initiatives, however, can ‘drift’ over time if measures are not taken to align it with organisational mission, new turns in direction, management changes, and different product/service offerings.

The Bangalore K-Community meetup of April 2013 addressed some of the change management issues and process re-design needed at such times. Panellists from Unisys, Mindtree, CitiGroup, and Ernst&Young provided case studies and tips in this regard, along with inputs from the audience who represented Cap Gemini, GT Nexus, Societe Generale and Bosch. Here are my Top 15 takeaways from the engaging discussion:

1. Bring KM into mission-critical activities. KM is a great enabler of many business processes, but can be very relevant to ensure success and continuity of mission-critical activities in areas ranging from banking to security. Unisys leverages KM to ‘acquire, retain and propagate’ mission-critical knowledge in its global services.

2. Focus on knowledge retention during times of attrition. Globalisation, ageing workforces and economic downturns are leading to loss of valuable knowledge. Show how KM can help stem this gap in the near-term and especially in the long-term.

3. Use KM to improve understanding and execution of business re-organisation. KM sometimes gets shunted aside during complex organisational restructuring, but can actually be a useful support to figure out how to do effective re-organisation. Some companies seem to spend almost half their time on re-structuring, but are not using KM to be more effective or innovative in such re-structuring.

4. Go beyond connecting to networking. KM at the people level sometimes gets stuck at the stage of people profiles and a bewildering range of discussion forums. It is important to add collaborative tasks on top of such connections, so that actually networking takes place and collective intelligence emerges.

5. Conduct more research on knowledge work. With all the hype about social media in the enterprise, people tend to forget that knowledge work is essentially built on effective communication. More research is needed on the changing workplace/workspace to understand how KM is becoming even more critical to 21s century organisations, and how knowledge seeking/collaboration behaviours of knowledge workers are changing.

6. Pay more attention to design and visualisation. In a workspace of increasing information overload and multitasking, it is important to design knowledge interactions and interfaces in a compelling yet effective manner. Effective design can help in sense-making in fast-changing and information-intensive environments. But how many KM functions include roles for skilled user experience designers?

7. Pay attention to the requirements of mobile knowledge workers. BYOD is old hat now as more and more frontline employees and managers are using mobile devices not just for accessing information but for full workflow. Knowledge processes should be mobile-optimised, and not just in terms of device interface but also in speed of delivery, eg. fast-loading dashboards for sales teams.

8. Blend informal and formal activities in knowledge-sharing sessions. For example, a ‘knowledge fair’ format with each project team presenting its achievements and learnings drives home the KM message stronger for all those who participate. The very act of presenting a KM case study can help employees develop a deeper appreciation of the strengths and opportunities for KM at work in the long term, and instils a sense of pride.

9. Broad-base the KM initiative and don’t restrict it to only select managers or project heads. The more the number of people who engage with KM in full-time or part-time roles, the more buy-in it will get and the more value it will be seen to contribute. Unisys conducts a one week knowledge sharing event called UniLight which attracts over 60% of its employees.

10. Highlight KM practitioners across the board. Don’t just showcase the usual super-achievers, but also feature the employees who are coming up with their very first unique work insights, or first re-use of existing knowledge assets.

11. Don’t pitch KM as an ‘extra’ activity to be done after normal work hours; it should be embedded in regular workflow. Even ‘additional’ activities such as conferencing and industry meetups should be seen as a way of learning, brainstorming and benchmarking.

12. Avoid too much theory and jargon. While the core team certainly needs to be abreast of developments in KM models and research, their recommendations and implementations need to be demystified and simplified so that employees are not distracted or confused with more buzzwords.

13. Don’t get hung up on the name ‘KM!’ Some people seem to have problems with the word knowledge, management and even KM. Other terms such as collaborative work, or knowledge sharing/emergence seem to be in use as well. A particularly creative acronym I have come across in a Singapore office is FISH – Friday Information Sharing Huddle!

14. Use metrics and analytics effectively, and conduct KM course corrections as appropriate. Many KM initiatives stop their outcome studies at the level of activity metrics (as described in my book “KM Tools”), but fail to connect them to deeper processes, knowledge insights, people attitudes and overall impacts on productivity and innovation. One company reported that only 40% of its knowledge assets were being used, and some were being viewed only by the creator! At the same time, metrics are not the “be all and end all” of assessment.

15. Help ensure long-term success of KM by evangelising it to students. Unisys has created the Unisys Technology Forum India (http://utfi.co.in/) to bring workplace domain knowledge and practices to students – including activities like KM. This helps create awareness in students about the importance of KM, and strengthens the KM pipeline in the long run.

The panel ended with a further round of fascinating questions, which will be taken up in future meetups. Is there a future anymore for ‘centralised’ KM? How should KM be pitched to Gen Next – or is it the other way round? How does strategy guide culture – or is culture the dominant factor?

Panellists:

Rajlakshmi Borthakur is a seasoned user experience professional at Ernst&Young, with around 14 years of experience, specialising in content management, content strategy and usability. She helps to define online experiences that enable businesses to realise their goals and end users to fulfill their information needs. She defines holistic frameworks that bring together the best of knowledge management, content strategy, marketing, technology, and usability. Rajlakshmi has worked with several notable clients in the past, including Fortune 100 organisations.

Renu Rajani is Senior Vice President with CitiGroup Global Technologies. She was previously General Manager at IBM, in the Global Business Service and Global Technology Divisions. Renu has overall 22 years of experience in global organisations and her experience covers supply chain, testing and supplier governance. She graduated from Purdue University and is the author of a book on software testing published by Tata McGraw-Hill.

Ravi Shankar Ivaturi is the operations director at Unisys in Bangalore. He has been instrumental in defining and implementing KM strategy and aligning it with organisational goals. Ravi has over 20 years of experience. He has expertise in setting up teams from ground up, growing them into world class teams. Organisational development and change management are key focus areas that excite him.

Krishnan KS heads culture and competence (L&D) and KM at Mindtree. He was with Tata Infotech and graduated from REC Calicut (now NIT Calicut). He has a keen interest in creativity, culture and competence development, and how management should evolve in the knowledge era. He has been on four treks to the Himalayas.

Moderator:

Dr. Madanmohan Rao is a KM author and consultant based in Bangalore. He is the editor of The KM Chronicles and four other book series. He is co-founder of the Bangalore K-Community (http://kCommunity.ning.com), and can be followed on Twitter at @MadanRao

Uncategorized

KM India 2013: March 7-8, Mumbai

KM India 2013: March 7-8, Mumbai

by Madanmohan Rao
Editor, The KM Chronicles

http://twitter.com/MadanRao

Logging in now from #KM #India 2013 in Mumbai: Knowledge Summit – KM for Double Digit Growth http://cii.in/KnowledgeSummit2013 #KMers
If your city does not yet have a K-Community meetup for KM, please sign on at http://kCommunity.ning.com
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
Strategy
Content/capabilities (eg. co-creation)
PPT, KPIs
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!

Uncategorized

EDUtPRO 2012: Tech Transformation in Education

EDUtPRO 2012: Tech Transformation in Education

by Madanmohan Rao
Editor, The KM Chronicles
http://twitter.com/MadanRao
Hyderabad: December 14, 2012

Logging in from #EDUtPRO India 2012: Using Breakthrough Technologies to Transform Education http://ibcipl.com/EDUtPRO-2020/
Arundhati Ghosh, IIFA: Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. (Socrates)
Questions to Poonam Singh Jamwal, Extramarks: Can tech teach skills/knowledge or just trigger them?
Q: How to make up for lack of access to nature for kids in urban Indian schools?
Q: Are Indian teachers willing and able to learn from students about ICTs?
Looking forward to my sessions on (i) enterprise learning/#KM (ii) digital re-definitions of classrooms!
My message to the audience: check out how Indian startups are re-shaping education: http://YourStory.in and EduSparks!
Saahil Sood, Teach for India: We want teachers with the best minds and hearts. Inspired teachers are as important as inspired students
Shefali Jhaveri: Canadian International School, Bangalore: tablet uses in classrooms: iTunesU, iBooks, Qwiki, EdModo, Scribble Press
Q: How to give students a sense of focus, priorities for what they do online instead of frivolous activities?

My session — Best practices in Tech Transformations:
Social media usage:
Level I: filter, rate, tag, relay
Level II: social profiling, social networking
Level III: remix, modify, mashup
Level IV: compose original content, applications
Level V: collaboratively create content, applications
Level VI: online + offline
Tech can help students in collaborative activities, peer-rating/ranking, asking questions (not just answering them)
ICT metrics in education: activity, process, knowledge, people, organisation, business
Educ 1.0: transforming resources, Educ 2.0: transforming activities, Educ 3.0: transforming roles
Children should learn role/importance of trust, safety, ethics, relevance, focus in cyberspace
How Indian #startups are transforming education: gamification, cloud solutions, interactive e-books, test preparation, integration
EduSparks startups identified by http://YourStory.in – BrainNook, DreamNotion, MangoReader, OliveBoard, RedBytes, SharpEdge
Digital education: Manthan/mBillionth award winners: ILFS/Sparsh, Kisan Sanchar, BBC Janala, NIOS Online, CLT e-Patshala, M-Pustak

Harish Chaudhry, IIT Delhi, jokes that “Smart Boards” have made the boards smarter but not the students!
Can ICTs help develop attentive listening, discussing, debating, discussing, skills developed by drill, self-development
The computer is a tool, but the teacher is the magic. Both have a role to play.
There is no evidence to show that schools with significant ICT investments have shown better results or produced better human beings
Main role of teacher is to inspire, motivate and empower. Students’ criticism should be more than spellchecking
ICTs help visualisation, show trend analysis, expand school’s resources, reduce class wastage of time in drawing diagrams
ICTs can produce more informed teachers, parents, principals; track student progress across years/subjects/concepts/teachers

Udai Lauria, President, CRISP, jokes that learning is also about ‘earning!’
Children are living in times of unprecedented exponential change. And we accuse them of getting bored in schools!
The 21st Century teacher has to be a collaborator, risk taker, thought leader, networker
21st century calls for critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity
CRISP: Consortium for Research in School Pedagogy http://crisp.edu.in/
UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/themes/icts/teacher-education/unesco-ict-competency-framework-for-teachers/

Arundhati Ghosh, Deputy Director – India Foundation for Arts, jokes that teachers are expected to create super-kids these days!
ICTs can be used to enhance arts (music, theatre, film, heritage, customs)
Arts = human context; connects us to our past and will connect to the future.
What arts offer: impulse, inspiration, instinct, passion
IFA works with government school teachers in Karnataka, and students of IIM Bangalore
Managers should look not just at managerial issues but art and creativity in problem solving.
Find your self and pursue your calling. Art education can help you integrate the personal and professional
Some see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not

Anjum Babakhan- Director Education, Glendale Academy: The Practical Application of Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner)
The more ways you teach, the more children you reach
India still has ‘industrial age hangover’ in education: assembly line metaphor, one size fits all
Adults in the digital age need even more education/skilling than youth (digital immigrants v/s natives!)
Multiple Intelligences chart: Verbal, logical, visual, spatial, bodily, musical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, naturalist
Knowledge is experience, everything else is just information (Einstein)
Intelligences: Analytical, Introspective, Interactive
As @MadanRao mentioned, encourage blogging/tweeting to start journey in creative writing
Verbal (writers, journos), logical (engineers, accountants, law), visual/spatial (designers, planners), bodily (surgeons, athletes, dancers), musical (rhythmic), intrapersonal (philosophers, counselors), interpersonal (social: teachers, politicians, leaders, facilitators, therapists), naturalist (farmers, botanists, conservationists)
Use ICTs to create more pathways to learning
India will have the largest proportion of young people in the world, we have to address their creativity in every way possible
Anjum shows how each intelligence type leads to different professions/careers, and how each can be taught in school
My Q to Anjum: How do these multiple intelligences change over time, with growth? Nature v/s nurture v/s evolution

Day One of #EDUtPRO wraps up; Day Two and next year/city’s editions also seem terrific!
Thanks to Syed Khaleel and team for a superb job with #EDUtPRO!
May a million digital activists bloom and blossom in India… :-)

Uncategorized

KM Asia 2012: From Knowledge to Innovation

KM Asia 2012: From Knowledge to Innovation

by Madanmohan Rao
Editor, The KM Chronicles http://bit.ly/TU12l
Singapore; November 6-8, 2012
http://twitter.com/MadanRao

I am back again in Singapore for one of my favourite annual knowledge management conferences, KM Asia! I will be conducting a workshop on creating knowledge-sharing cultures on Thursday (http://www.kmasia.com/agenda-daythree.asp#afternoon). See some of my posts from earlier conferences (http://km.techsparks.com/?p=214  http://km.techsparks.com/?p=72).

Here are my tweetnotes, will massage them into a Top Ten Takeaways piece later! In addition to the keynotes, it’s always great to meet the delegates, this time from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Nepal, Fiji, UK, Nigeria!

Feel free to DM questions/comments to me via Twitter.

1. David Snowden

David Snowden tore into KM myths and practices in his trademark witty and controversial style.
Some nice quotes cited by David (see also my earlier post on KM from Indian Proverbs: http://km.techsparks.com/?p=427):
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Mark Twain
“One must learn to listen to one’s own humanity.” Hugh/Gaping Void cartoon
“Intuition is compressed experience.”  – Lawrence Prusak
KM has focused on static assets, but should focus on creating an ecosystem where knowledge can be discovered.
“Sharepoint is to knowledge management what Six Sigma (sick stigma) is to innovation”
Resilience, strategic surprise are important in knowledge strategies
Knowledge is contextual, situational. Can’t over-script it. KM departments are highly vulnerable during recession – especially if under IT department!
Ideational cultures are more resilient than scripted cultures
Too many shared values in an organisation is a dangerous thing; need a lot of diversity
Messy coherence – whatever structure you build today will be out of date or irrelevant or ineffective in shorter and shorter periods of time
Go beyond algorithmic search – build human sensor networks and not just information systems
Dissent is far better at weak signal detection than consensus
Human networks that are messily coherent are more effective than CoPs, taxonomies, etc.
Shared values and common purpose may be more comfortable but they damage resilience
Obliquity and serendipity are more important than purpose
Serendipity can give you something more valuable than what you were originally looking for
Early detection, fast recovery, speedy exploitation (great ‘when shit hits the fan!’)
Urban planners in the UK are looking at 18th century homes to learn about local design, local materials – new methods have not worked out well
In Agile, systems are built for resilience and not original specifications, since client may change his specs along the way
You need to plan for a future you cannot anticipate
Scenario planning is based on hypotheses which often are invalid over time
“From Good To Great” Jim Collins book – causation is confused with correlation.
Snowden showing intriguing chart comparing “probable, possible, plausible” – from anticipation to anticipatory awareness (derived from Max Boisot http://km.techsparks.com/?p=82)
When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
External rewards can actually undermine employee motivation.
KM has been creating recipe books – not chefs. Have destroyed ability to innovate
Snowden takes a dig at Deloitte delegate. Deloitte = “do little hassle and sell”!
Q: All this ‘free flow of knowledge’ talk is fine – will it work in structured organisations like MNCs, with risks of IPR, confidentiality, etc?
You need a ‘resilient boundary.’ Too much reliance on one system makes you open for risk. Restraints only where you have to, only where resilient
You need rules about when to break the rules. Heuristics to be able to re-assess rules when context changes
Chefs also have recipes – but they know how to adapt when the situation changes
My question to Snowden: What are the limits to the size and quality of human sensor networks, and how to work around them? Snowden: You can use software here. Not to be confused with social networks, these have limits
US manufacturing culture from the last decade is a failure in the present context, no point in adopting it to the present context

2. Patrick Lambe: High Stakes Knowledge Management – Black Swans, White Swans (case study: SMRT breakdowns)

I disagree with Snowden – it is not all about mess, but structure to succeed
(Snowden responds: I didn’t talk just about mess, but messy ‘coherence’!)
SMRT got Twitter account only after the breakdowns! And then it was only from 9 am to 5 pm; radio DJs tweeting about the accidents were told not to do so!
Black Swan incidents can’t be predicted. Happens often in situations like war. Need rapid learning networks.
US Army – Lessons Learned took several months, need faster ways to respond to terrorist methods. Informal sharing network – CompanyCommand.com
Can’t depend only on recipes and standards
Need Lessons Learned integrator networks – embedded KM analysts who pick up faster lessons
White swan – some mistakes happen and you accept it, eg surgery risks.
Nancy Dixon: some percentage of heart bypass surgeries will not be successful. New England hospitals began to compare data. White swan becomes a bit gray.
Nancy Dixon: Knowledge sharing in New England hospitals in 1991-2002 helped halve mortality rates for heart bypass surgery
You need good data quality to share and compare and benchmark data
Another white swan – deaths during stampedes in concerts, matches.
SMRT breakdowns last year were embarrassing, they were not supposed to happen. Dec 14, 15, 17. Dec 15 problems were still unresolved on Dec 17. Crowd control and public communications was disastrous. Preparedness: emergency equipment unreliable, roles of different stakeholders not understood or rehearsed,
Singaporeans get very angry if aircon does not work!
In Singapore systems are over-standardised. Functional silos inhibit collective sensemaking.
Need more predictive maintenance, better sharing of technical knowledge
KPIs sit only at functional levels, at the expense of collaborating across boundaries. No sharing, not even curiosity about the big picture
KM should help address incident planning, sensemaking, situation awareness, customer communities, social media
Can’t always put your bets on one plan. Need leadership commitment to learning across boundaries
@snowded
Problem is that just sharing and having conversations will not scale, easy to argue with hindsight #kmasia12. Curiosity is a key point

3. James Mann, Financial Times

Having a research mindset can open the doors to new knowledge, insights, strategies, markets
Data in digital environment unearths new insights about customers, eg. reader behaviour
FT Intranet is called ‘Neo’ (‘Working as One’). Global social channels drive FT consumption. Shares top bookmarked content
Knowledge is the catalyst to innovation. “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” Red Adair
My question to Mann: How is mobile affecting your innovation and strategy?
Mann: We pulled out of iTunes and switched to HTML5. More readers now, two-thirds on mobile devices

4. Ron Young: “Driving #Innovation through Knowledge Creation Activities”

Great to hear Ron Young connecting #KM with #innovation – here is some of my writing in this area: http://yourstory.in/author/madanmohan/
Need to bridge the gap between knowledge creation and innovation. Vision for “Innovative Asia 2020”
Young’s book (2003): Knowledge Asset Management http://www.amazon.com/Knowledge-Asset-Management-Gregoris-Mentzas/dp/1852335831
Young cites his work on KM in Asia: “From productivity to innovation” www.apo-tokyo.org http://www.apo-tokyo.org/00e-books/IS-34_FromProdToInnovation.htm
Young’s books: KM facilitation, tools, case studies, SMEs. Next book: KM in the public sector
How can KM and innovation help realise the vision of ASEAN in the knowledge economy? www.aseansec.org
Dimensions of Knowledge and Innovation – communication, collaboration, processes, creation/innovation
My Q to Young: Is this connected to TRIPS, patenting, etc?
Young: These old instruments are outdated and restrictive, we need a better understanding of the global knowledge economy #KMasia12
Lifecycle, shelflife of saleable knowledge products is becoming much shorter than it used to be

@ShobDecloitre  We have to learn to better trade our knowledge, not just share: Ron Young #kmasia12
@giechew  Ron Young: http://www.apo-tokyo.org  #kmasia12
Countries need to understand competitive collaboration and effectively trade their knowledge assets internally and externally
@snowded Trading model and ‘what’s in for me’ are bad ways to think about knowledge flow. Asset thinking. #kmasia12

5. Ku Yuen Wah, OCBC Bank: Customer Insights

KM is not a common term in our organisation, but we interpret it as using customer insights to design a great customer experience.
“Outside-In thinking” knowledge flow: Acquire, Analyse, Capitalise
Customer-centric innovations: full-service Sunday banking, eAlerts, offsite cheque deposits, experience labs, children-friendly banking on Sundays!
Diary research – analysing customer behaviours (“moment mapping” http://www.beyondphilosophy.com/services/experience-design/moment-mapping)
Amazing insight: customers are much more relaxed on Sundays in our bank branches than on weekdays!
@giechew 5Cs from Ms Ku, OCBC. Customer think, Challenge, Change Mgt, Collaboration, Core to the business #kmasia12
My Q to Ku: What about learning and competitive intelligence? A: We learn from other industries and not from other banks #KMasia12

6. David Galipeau, UNDP: “Knowledge, Innovation and Capacity Approach: Hybrid CoPs in Afghanistan”

UNDP: Empowered lives, Resilient Nations
@ShobDecloitre David Galipeau from @UNDPasiapac presenting at #kmasia12 http://pic.twitter.com/ScOq0WVs
KM used to happen only at the end of a project/cycle. Need to push it to the design phase.
KM has to help governments become inclusive, real-time, integrated (mixed social modes), customer-based
Case studies: KM for government of Thailand, Afghanistan
Knowledge goals: awareness, influence, knowledge sharing, dialogue/outreach
Unfortunately Arab Spring has made many governments afraid of social media and the Internet
UNDP Solution Exchange KM phases of communities – Connect, Grow, Generate Impact
Prototyping can help you bring flexibility into the KM rollout. Focus on results-based sustainability
Focus on communities of practice/experience, not just communities of opinion
Metrics: faster plan-to-action, better response time, increased resilience, challenges identified by scenarios
Indian government has given UNDP a US$1 million to accelerate knowledge sharing for decision-making

7. David Gurteen, Knowledge Cafes

Knowledge cafes are about better understanding, decision making, innovation – and thus tangible outcomes. They can unlock the value of work in organisations.

Theodore Zeldin:
Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits.
Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards.
When minds meet they don’t just exchange facts: they transform them reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought

David Weinberger:
KM shouldn’t just help us know more, but understand better. Through stories, conversation

David Bohm:
Principles of dialogue: welcome and explore differences; slow the discussion; search for underlying meaning; do not judge; listen to your inner voice

Fiji delegate: We have conversations around kava (western Pacific pepper drink)
@ShobDecloitre Just shared the eg of the talanoa around the kava bowl as the Pacific’s model of Knowledge Cafe

How to run a Knowledge Café – David Gurteen http://bit.ly/VPKzFJ #KMasia12
In some K-Cafes, the conversations go all over the place, which is fine if as they provoke new or interesting thoughts!

8. David Snowden: Innovation: Managing Your Organisation to a Future You Couldn’t Have Predicted

“For the last few decades the ‘norm’ in management practice has been to define an ideal future state (in numbers, market position, values, etc.) and then attempt to close the gap between the two. A new emerging paradigm in management challenges both the theory and practice of this. Many of the organisations we most admire today have, at key points in their history, muddled through, adapting quickly to changing contexts to arrive at a destination that they could not have anticipated two or three years in advance but which has turned out to be more advantageous. Entrepreneurs seize half understood opportunities with the result that their markets become redefined. Nation states such as Singapore have, in less than 50 years, grown from a fragmented and incoherent ‘start up’ position to become one of the world’s major economic players. Sometimes called managing for serendipity, this new approach to management seeks to create the conditions under which such opportunities can not only be spotted and exploited, but also deliberately and purposefully created.”

Service environment is open-ended, as compared to manufacturing. Managers need to be ‘contextually aware’
My background is in physics and philosophy – gave me a contempt of social science and a love argument!
Snowden shows example of Thai ingenuity – car owner drives car into huge plastic bag to keep it dry during 2011 floods!
Apple are brilliant at taking at things from other domains/examples and connecting them
@leahdarby In US left & right wing is essentially 2 wings of British right wing (Conservative party) = no left wing, @snowded at #kmasia12
Key to maintain serendipitous open environment during exploration. Purpose, goals, direction are important for exploitation.
Spider web is coherent in general but broken in parts.
System is any network with coherence.
(i) Ordered: system constrains agents (6 Sigma, Waterfall method)
(ii) Chaotic: agents unconstrained and independent of each other (Wisdom of Crowds)
(iii) Complex: system lightly constrains agents; agents modify system by their interaction with it and each other; they co-evolve and enable exaptation
People will share knowledge on their own if the culture is right. You can’t ‘create’ it or ‘trade’ it
Good example of complex adaptive systems – drivers in Italy and India (but I haven’t tried driving in India yet!). Also see the “children’s party” metaphor (video)
Problem with KM has been over-engineering. “Centralised cognition”
Build on natural flows and architecture, reinforce the good behaviours and disrupt the others
Simple systems (sense, categorise, respond): Best Practice
Complicated systems (sense, analyse, respond): Good Practice
Complex systems (probe, sense, respond): Emergent
Chaos (act, sense, respond): Novel
Need to absorb complexity rather than reduce it.
Need not just daily reports but regular streams and alerts
Wisdom of crowds is not crowdsourcing. Crowds and herds are different. Crowds are people with deep knowledge; factors: how much do they know of each other’s current activities
Kinds of Ideas and their Lifecycle in Organisations:
Unknowable. Unknown. Knowable. Known.
Experiential. Falsifiable. Empirical.
Gut feel. Abductive. Inductive. Deductive.
2 dimensions: level of consensus, level of coherence. From evidence to buy-in. Radical new ideas ‘oscillate’ in the beginning; later – groupthink. Galileo effect – no one believes your new idea.
You can’t train people when the event happens, but before. Need ritual (even dress code), not just niceness.
Complex adaptive systems: highly sensitive to small changes. Proximity and connectivity to the system and agents are key. Fail-safe to safe-to-fail design.
Don’t confuse correlation with causation and simulation with prediction.
Hindsight doesn’t always lead to foresight
Managing in the ‘situated now’ – in the here and now. Not in a sanitised past or clear view of the future.
US Army had good knowledge gathering but worst dissemination. Now they are getting better: blogging instead of reading doctrine
Risks of using Twitter – can’t be trusted fully due to fake messages and faked IP addresses
CAS are not causal but dispositional. Need to identify outliers also.
KM people have to get strategic fast otherwise they will be fired!
@leahdarby #km not considered essential by 99% of orgs, do it cos every1 else does. get strategic fast, solve real problems instead @snowded #kmasia12
KM should address real world problems, solve operational and strategic issues
Human sensor network, usable databases. Don’t ask people for an hour of their time unless they get three hours back
My Q to Snowden: How does this knowledge and innovation flow happen in startups?
A: Startups manage knowledge well because the number of employees is small, they trust each other and communicate often. As they grow, politics (after 15 people) and structure come in, (after 150 employees)

9. David Gurteen: The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems (Pascale and Sternins) http://www.amazon.com/Power-Positive-Deviance-Unlikely-Innovators/dp/1422110664

Social innovation: let the community define and frame the problem, and seek and own the solution
If the project is repeated in another community, then start again. Don’t give people the solution, let them discover it themselves.
Avoid the concept of best practice – NIH syndrome
Be a catalyst or facilitator, not a consultant selling solutions
It is easier to change behaviour by practicing it rather than being taught about it
Q: This works well when time is on your side, but not under conditions of pressure and time constraints

10. David Ludlow: A Decade of KM – The Schlumberger Journey

KM connections – people to people, communities, information, solutions. Schlumberger has been doing this since 1930
@ShobDecloitre #KM in organisations starts with management commitment: Schlumberger’s David Ludlow #kmasia12
KM especially important in orgs where there is a big age gap between large group of retiring experts and new employees
“We need to create companies that learn quickly and do not forget.” Andrew Gould, CEO, 2002
KM: Share collective wisdom to make good decisions
KM components: InTouch Support, kPod, SPeedia, BlueTube, Coll@borate
What’s hard: including dynamic activities without losing the ease of use and autonomy of self-authoring; keeping older vetted information fresh; pushing right info to right people; deciding balance between standardisation and freedom to be innovative.
Schlumberger KM metrics: knowledge items (tickets and content), views, tickets, logins; reduction in time to resolve tech queries, update engineering modifications
Worldwide survey revealed that many people think some info is old and unusable (response: re-visit info every 3 years at least)
The Hub: Structured Knowledge Portal. Centralise ownership of infrastructure, distribute ownership of content
One Schlumberger, One Customer: CRM system. Rollout and training are critical
Speedia community glossary and encyclopedia (like wiki). People like to share, especially while a contest is being held!
Eureka: CoPs. Source of innovation ideas, white papers, tech roadmaps. Challenge – ensuring that leaders are active and effective
KM challenges: incorporate knowledge of new employees after company acquisition; inter-cultural differences; maintaining the human sensory networks (talent pool shortages)
My Q to Ludlow: How do you share knowledge with partners?
A: There is a clear line. A lot of the knowledge sharing happens in person-to-person meetings, and not online. Info is shared only with committed business partners after a deal is struck
David Gurteen – I wonder why so many speakers in #KM are named David! Me: David and Goliath syndrome?!  :-)

11. Ramesh Narayanaswamy, Chief Information Officer, Singapore Post: Transformational Knowledge – Transitioning What Your People Know to Make it Relevant in the New World

“Globally, postal services are at a major crossroads and Singapore Post is no exception. The increase in e-substitution has led to a decrease in the number of letters being sent and, with many banking, government and service functions going digital, the industry is undergoing a major transformation. There is a wealth of knowledge in long-standing employees so the challenge is how this knowledge can be captured, changed and utilised in the new business.”

Singapore Post also runs a regional logistics company
It is as important for people and organisations to re-learn and un-learn as to learn on their knowledge journeys
Ramesh shows interesting tag cloud of ‘knowledge’ – education, links, relevant, media, quality, reputation, social, and “etc!”
Ramesh narrates superb anecdote – his son does not know what is ‘digital camera’ – all cameras are digital to him, didn’t know analogue/Polaroid cameras
KM challenge today: dealing with VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity
Ramesh jokes that he never sends letters, but sent one anyway to see if his postal system works!
Singapore Post has greeting card apps (bringing together people with card + e-card skills)
Ramesh: Belief transformation and habit transformation are key for us in this transitional era
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Rohn
Very good table discussion on ‘the cost of unlearning’ in an organisation. And how will massive re-training fare in a blue-collar organisation?
My Q to Ramesh: Will we see the day when mobile operators buy out the postal services of the world?
Ramesh: Unlikely, no one wants to own the last mile! But maybe DHL will buy all the postal services of the world?!

12. Nikita Tete, Vice President, Knowledge Management, Deloitte, India: Social KM at Deloitte

Nikita runs through her life/events/name through numerology!
Social KM at Deloitte: Internal crowdsourcing, corporate presence on external tools, minimising reputation risk
Library view of knowledge (validated knowledge, records, stocks, just-in-case storage) is becoming bazaar view of knowledge (flows, engagement, wisdom of the crowds, engagement, just-in-time access)
Deloitte has full suite of internal social media tools (on SharePoint): DeloitteNet, DStreet (“one degree of separation”), EdgeFolio (blogging), Deloitte Media Portal (team sites), D.Think (crowdsourcing innovative ideas – Innovation Quests), YamJams (microblog discussions). Mobility: 49,900 mobile devices supported (as of Sep 2012).
Nice visual: ring of inter-locked safety pins
CEO has supported our external presence on all social media. We were named as one of Top 5 B2B companies by OneForty
@LifeAtDeloitte talks about a day in the life of a Deloitte professional. There are 12 Deloitte US Twitter handles
Facebook: Deloitte University reaches experience hires. Green Room – talent advisors
Managing social media risks: Social Media Working Grooup – NDAs, regulations/guidelines, moderation dashboard. Mix of talent, KM, risk, innovation, brand, IT
We have a mandatory social media e-learning course, supplemented with guidance and policies. Required within 90 days of joining
Deloitte’s KM journey with social media continues: learning, streamlining, integrating
Gen N or Gen C – networked/connected, very open to sharing knowledge. These are lucky times for KM
Table discussion: what is a good metaphor for a KM system? Library, bazaar, cafe, jazz
My Q to Nikita: Do you have restrictions on what hours are permissible for social media usage in the office?
A: No, but there are guidelines on what topics are off limits, tone of voice to use.

13. Pee L.G., Assistant Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan: Encouraging Knowledge Contribution in Organisations

Knowledge contribution by employees is an important basis for other value-adding KM activities such as knowledge reuse and knowledge creation. This presentation discusses the findings of an academic study addressing questions such as:
Are monetary rewards more effective than intrinsic rewards in encouraging knowledge contribution?
How can we design jobs to facilitate knowledge contribution?
Do organisational values matter in promoting knowledge contribution?
Some suggestions for fostering an organisational environment conducive to knowledge contribution will be provided.

Q&A: Refer to the book ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’ by Daniel H. Pink http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Surprising-Truth-About-Motivates/dp/1594484805

14. David Yeo, Senior Project Officer, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and Research Fellow, Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), Singapore: 21st Century Military Learning

At the turn of the 21st Century, there is a paradigm shift occurring in human and knowledge capital development efforts, driven by social-cultural-economic and technological imperatives. This change is particularly pertinent for the military, where the human dimension is key to operational success. This talk will explore how the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has developed a learning transformation masterplan powered by an ambitious organisation-wide Learning Network (LEARNet) programme. Your speaker will share with you how SAF has studied similar efforts by organisations such as Singapore’s Ministry of Education and the US military, to develop a unique interpretation so that it can become a “Learning SAF” with “Thinking Warriors”. Finally, the talk will give a glimpse into the future of knowledge and learning, with specific applications for the government sector.

KM has to be tied to personal growth and development, organisational leadership – not just performance improvement
Paradigm shift: story first, then parts; trainers are also learners; learning should be not just effective and efficient but also engaging
“The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting by fools.” ? Thucydides
Digital learning can make manuals come alive. AR, mobiles. Workplace learning at time of need. “Learn faster, fight better”
SAF LEARNet: Learning transformation: methods and processes + belief, attitudes and competencies
Focus on results, not just details. “It’s the outcome, idiot!”
There are three sides of the coin. Heads, tails, the side! Don’t ignore the human side!
My Q to David: How different is Gen Next in the armed forces?
A: They have different learning behaviours. Weakness – they talk more online than face to face, even when sitting next to each other! We must allow this culture to exist in the workplace. Collaboration is good, but they need to know which things they cannot say.

15. Mukund Prasad, Director – Group HR, Business Transformation and Group CIO, Welspun Group, India
“Overcoming the Barriers to Implementing Knowledge Management in a Manufacturing Organisation”

Is KM isolated today? Why is KM not seen as strategic in many organisations? Why did it become just another tool or jargon? KM needs repositioning, should it need another name in that case?
Organisations lose their relevance when the pace of internal change lags the pace of external change.
KM capacity – passion, creativity, initiative; expertise, diligence, obedience. Intrinsic motivation is more important than external/hygiene factors. Intrinsic rewards matter the most.
People want to find meaning in their work. Underdevelopment, underutilisation and ineffective management are key problems
Employees are dissatisfied not because work sucks but management blows
The Internet has accelerated self-formation of groups, networking among dissenters
My Q to Mukund: How to go beyond extrinsic to intrinsic motivation?
A: Need to go beyond cost structures, KRAs. Cost is not the best way of managing an organisation, though we have been trained to do that

16. AW Siew Hoong (ASH), Knowledge Management Advisor, Shell Global Solutions, Malaysia
Case Study: Maximising the Value of Lessons Learnt

“Lessons learnt is a KM tool that is commonly used, across many organisations, but, since 2009, the KM team at Shell has reinvented lessons learnt to be more than just an online database. Elements from structured interviews, technology, and people engagement are combined to make the lessons learnt more human and business relevant. The pilot project for this new, improved lessons learnt process has already contributed USD 100 million of savings and cost avoidance to the bottom line. In fact, the valuating of lessons learned is also a cornerstone of the new lessons learnt process.”

Barriers to KM: info not relevant, tools too cumbersome, not enough time to ‘do KM’
@ShobDecloitre “If you want teams to do KM, do it for them 1st, show the value”: ASH, KM Adviser Shell Global Solutions, Malaysia #kmasia12 & I agree!
Knowledge is expensive to capture but cheaper to re-apply!
Measuring RoI on lessons learnt: we improvised, and measured how much risk was avoided

Day Two of #KM Asia 2012 wraps up; see my updated tweetnotes at http://km.techsparks.com #KMasia12

Workshops tomorrow: CALM programme (a mashup of Complexity, Agile and Lean) by Dave Snowden; Knowledge Cultures by – me! www.KMasia.com #KMasia12

 

Uncategorized

KM and Product Management

KM and Product Management

by Madanmohan Rao
Editor, The KM Chronicles
http://twitter.com/MadanRao
Bangalore; October, 17; 2012

The monthly Bangalore K-Community meetup had a ‘product’ focus this time. The distinguished panel addressed a range of issues including knowledge management (KM) and innovation in product lifecycle management, competitive engineering, product quality and evolution, product development processes, KM methodology frameworks, internal and customer social networks, and global collaborative products. Participants at the forum came from a wide variety of sectors: aerospace engineering, IT hardware, logistics, textiles, software services, airport infrastructure and BPO.

Here are my Top 12 Takeaways from the discussion:

1. KM helps product companies keep up with the rapid pace of innovation in high-growth markets, develop a range of diverse products for emerging economies, and deal with the high attrition of the tech industry. KM helps re-use of components and engineering processes across product lines. KM is important not just for engineers and developers but also sales and business development functions. It helps engage with customers and business partners as well.

2. For product companies with a global workforce, social computing takes on enterprise significance. A socially enabled workforce can leverage modernised enterprise apps and participate in realtime conversational streams and knowledge flows. Benefits of social computing include productivity gains, humanised connections in a global workforce, and better customer value. Social media brings meaningful dialogues and knowledge nuggets out of the ‘email cemetery.’

3. A maturity evolution path for the ‘social app fabric’ of a company can consist of the following phases: using off the shelf social tools, harnessing enterprise-quality social platforms, enterprise integration of social and legacy IT, and embedded social functionality in all enterprise communication.

4. CEOs and top management should realise that using social media should not be a one-way street. Just blogging and posting micro-blogs on Twitter/Yammer is not enough; leaders should also read blogs of their colleagues and employees and comment on them. Only then will there be truly multi-directional flows of knowledge on social channels; only then will country-level heads follow the example of global heads of the organisation.

5. KM has been effective in B2E and B2C channels; more effort will be needed to nurture and harness KM in B2B channels. KM has helped innovation management (IM) in incremental innovation, but not as much in radical innovation. KM has not helped inter-firm IM much in incremental innovation, but can enable inter-firm IM in radical innovation (eg. industry cooperation to adopt new standards). Strangely, professionals in KM and IM seem to operate in different worlds; more dialogue is needed between them.

6. Companies should evolve clear metrics to assess impacts of social KM tools, eg. percentage of people moving down the adoption diffusion curve (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards); percentage of top management with active social media profiles on the Intranet.

7. Traditional organisations need to creatively engage Gen Y employees, who expect a ‘social layer’ on top of enterprise tools and have different knowledge gathering behaviours (eg. they read less print books). But care must be taken to protect privacy and security, tone down ‘show off’ behaviours, and reduce frivolous uses of social tools.

8. In any culture, innovative capacity lies at the intersection of psychological factors, sociological conditioning, and economic drive. Nations with less recognition and protection of IP will not perform as well in international patent-driven innovation. Emerging economies have done well in service innovation, the next prize is product innovation.

9. KM should not just be about internal flows of knowledge, but also involves external absorptive capacity, eg. employees going to teach in schools and colleges and interacting with academia and students, which does not seem to happen as much in emerging economies.

10. Startups will eventually need to formalise KM and IM to scale up effectively. This can be a challenge for some founders to relinquish ‘people-based’ approaches to knowledge communication and move to more formalised ‘process-driven’ knowledge exchange.

11. Acquisition of product startups can be an effective way for larger product firms to get new technology and expertise, but not all parent companies and startups can manage the culture change effectively.

12. Truly visionary global players have expertise in a range of knowledge and strategy domains: scenario planning, KM and IM (eg. Shell). KM principles such as reusability can kill creativity. KM is a left-brain activity, innovation is right-brain. Not all KM-award winning companies are IM-award winners — and vice versa!

Panelists:

J Subramanya NarayanaMurthy, Director Engineering Operation, Honeywell

‘JS’ is responsible for driving product development excellence in RDE projects of Aero, ACS & ITSS executed at HTS India. He leads primarily process quality, program management, Six Sigma and Reuse and Knowledge Management functions.  He is working with the engineering team in ensuring that the highest level of CMMI maturity practices is followed and is well integrated with HOS and lean practices. JS has 17 years of experience in product development and engineering in Honeywell. He holds a bachelor degree in Electronics from Bangalore University. He has undergone a general management program at IIM-B.

Swaminathan C V, Solution Consultant, Unisys
Swaminathan CV is a SharePoint Solution Consultant with diverse experience in  implementing KM solutions, designing portal solutions for business/function/strategic programs, social computing, usability designing and business collaterals. He has also worked on social computing tools, scalable solution designing and client services. His current focus is enabling user’s access and harvesting information in the most effective way.

Pavan Soni, Innovation Evangelist and Research Scholar, IIM-Bangalore
Pavan Soni is the author of 15 papers and articles on innovation and co-authored two books on the subject. He was previously innovation evangelist at Wipro and consulted with firms on innovation and creativity agendas. He pioneered the concepts of Let Sparks Fly and Innovation Bazaar, and other creativity events in India. He is an active blogger, at www.pavansoni.net and www.theinflectionpoint.info.

Moderator: Dr. Madanmohan Rao, Editor, The KM Chronicles (http://twitter.com/MadanRao)

Venue:
Honeywell Technology Solutions Lab (Kalyani)
Doraisanipalaya, 151/1, Bannerghatta Road, Bilekahalli, Bangalore 560076

Uncategorized