Radical KM, a story

Radical KM: why your organisation needs it now

Meet Sam, Chief Knowledge Officer at Widget Inc. she’s been working in knowledge management for more than 20 years, she’s passionate and knowledgeable and knows what it takes to be successful with knowledge management

Sam knows that there are lots of reasons to do knowledge management, but she also knows that her CEO’s favourite reasons are that knowledge is the only asset that grows when it’s shared—if she shares how to make a cake with you, you both now know how to make a cake, she doesn’t lose the ability to make a cake because she’s shared it with you. Tangible assets, like buildings and roads decrease in value because of wear and tear and will need to be maintained or replaced.

The second reason, and her CEOs favourite, is that knowledge management has been shown to have a positive impact on the stock market performance of an organisation. That is, the better an organisation does with its knowledge management activities, the better it performs on the stock markets.

With all the changes that have taken place in the last 20 years, plus the confusion and complexity introduced with the pandemic, Sam has been wondering how to adapt her KM activities to meet the needs of these changes. She hears about VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) everywhere, and certainly her organisation is not immune to VUCA.

Sam also hears a lot about how people need to be creative, and she’s noticed that creativity underlies a lot of other in-demand skills. She knows that creativity is what differentiates humans from technology and that creative practices and attitudes support both creative and sustainable leadership behaviours.

Sam knows that creativity is something that’s been educated out of us (certainly hers was in her quest to get good marks and a good job) and yet our organisations are in dire need of it because it fuels innovation and growth. On a personal level creativity also improves resiliency and helps cope with stress, something everyone could use in the current state of the world.

Knowing all these things has resulting in Sam’s being stuck, she doesn’t know what to do; she’s trying to figure out how to support the organisation through the current upheaval caused by the pandemic and other global events but there is so much noise, and so many people trying to “get back” to how things are, but Sam knows there’s no going back, that the organisation and the world need to adapt and move forward to a new normal.

One day, Sam was scrolling through the knowledge management tag on LinkedIn and came across a post about something called Radical KM and got very curious; she read a couple of articles and watched a recording of a webinar.

She discovered that Radical knowledge management takes people, process, and technology as they have always existed in knowledge management and adds creativity, and that creativity is a multiplier. It can be included anywhere there are knowledge management activities that involve people, which is most of them.

She learned about an organisation that had implemented the ideas encapsulated in Radical KM. The organisation had improved collaboration and trust, and they had been able to solve what had seemed to be intractable problems.

Radical KM focuses on the people component of KM. The creative activities it advocates for can help build relationships and help people get out of their boxes and look at a situation differently, coming up with new connections and ideas.

The MBA in her thought that adding creativity seemed counterintuitive. After all, western society been focused on being analytical and rational for hundreds (if not thousands of years). However, being analytical and logical is what got the world into the unsustainable situation that we find ourselves in. So, while it may not be analytical and logical and it may seem counterintuitive, it also seemed to be exactly what is needed.

Sam recognised that we need space for creativity in our organisations and our lives if we are going to be balanced and sustainable. Knowledge and continuous learning needs space for reflection so that people can make different connections and come up with new, innovative ways of resolving this the unsustainable situation.

Sam recalled Einstein’s words about ‘the thinking that got us into this situation is not the thinking that will get us out’ and realised that Radical KM and creativity might just be the shift in thinking that will get us out of this mess.

Sam decided to start piloting Radical KM and gather data and success stories so that when she spoke with the CEO, at the next quarterly meeting she would have the beginnings of a great story to tell.

Be like Sam, start your Radical KM pilot now.

Radical KM: a journey

(A story about Radical KM)

Meet Sam, Chief Knowledge Officer at Widget Inc. she’s been working in knowledge management for more than 20 years, she’s passionate and knowledgeable and knows what it takes to be successful with knowledge management

Sam knows that there are lots of reasons to do knowledge management, but she also knows that her CEO’s favourite reasons are that knowledge is the only asset that grows when it’s shared—if she shares how to make a cake with you, you both now know how to make a cake, she doesn’t lose the ability to make a cake because she’s shared it with you. Tangible assets, like buildings and roads decrease in value because of wear and tear and will need to be maintained or replaced.

The second reason, and her CEOs favourite, is that knowledge management has been shown to have a positive impact on the stock market performance of an organisation. That is, the better an organisation does with its knowledge management activities, the better it performs on the stock markets.

With all the changes that have taken place in the last 20 years, plus the confusion and complexity introduced with the pandemic, Sam has been wondering how to adapt her KM activities to meet the needs of these changes. She hears about VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) everywhere, and certainly her organisation is not immune to VUCA.

Sam also hears a lot about how people need to be creative, and she’s noticed that creativity underlies a lot of other in-demand skills. She knows that creativity is what differentiates humans from technology and that creative practices and attitudes support both creative and sustainable leadership behaviours.

Sam knows that creativity is something that’s been educated out of us (certainly hers was in her quest to get good marks and a good job) and yet our organisations are in dire need of it because it fuels innovation and growth. On a personal level creativity also improves resiliency and helps cope with stress, something everyone could use in the current state of the world.

Knowing all these things has resulting in Sam’s being stuck, she doesn’t know what to do; she’s trying to figure out how to support the organisation through the current upheaval caused by the pandemic and other global events but there is so much noise, and so many people trying to “get back” to how things are, but Sam knows there’s no going back, that the organisation and the world need to adapt and move forward to a new normal.

One day, Sam was scrolling through the knowledge management tag on LinkedIn and came across a post about something called Radical KM and got very curious; she read a couple of articles and watched a recording of a webinar.

She discovered that Radical knowledge management takes people, process, and technology as they have always existed in knowledge management and adds creativity, and that creativity is a multiplier. It can be included anywhere there are knowledge management activities that involve people, which is most of them.

She learned about an organisation that had implemented the ideas encapsulated in Radical KM. The organisation had improved collaboration and trust, and they had been able to solve what had seemed to be intractable problems.

Radical KM focuses on the people component of KM. The creative activities it advocates for can help build relationships and help people get out of their boxes and look at a situation differently, coming up with new connections and ideas.

The MBA in her thought that adding creativity seemed counterintuitive. After all, western society been focused on being analytical and rational for hundreds (if not thousands of years). However, being analytical and logical is what got the world into the unsustainable situation that we find ourselves in. So, while it may not be analytical and logical and it may seem counterintuitive, it also seemed to be exactly what is needed.

Sam recognised that we need space for creativity in our organisations and our lives if we are going to be balanced and sustainable. Knowledge and continuous learning needs space for reflection so that people can make different connections and come up with new, innovative ways of resolving this the unsustainable situation.

Sam recalled Einstein’s words about ‘the thinking that got us into this situation is not the thinking that will get us out’ and realised that Radical KM and creativity might just be the shift in thinking that will get us out of this mess.

Sam decided to start piloting Radical KM and gather data and success stories so that when she spoke with the CEO, at the next quarterly meeting she would have the beginnings of a great story to tell.

Be like Sam, start your Radical KM pilot now.

How radical KM is knowledge management: Referencing ISO knowledge management systems—requirements standard 30401

On April 24th (2022) I had my third paper on Radical KM published.

The paper is called, “How radical KM is knowledge management: Referencing ISO knowledge management systems—requirements standard 30401” and you can find it here: https://doi.org/10.1177/02663821221097875

The abstract for the paper is:
Creativity has an important role to play in knowledge management in the 21st century, and helping organisations and people cope with the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world we live in, Radical Knowledge Management (Radical KM) meets that need. This article uses the ISO Knowledge Management Systems—Requirements Standard 30401 (2018) as a framework for explaining how Radical KM and creativity are already a part of knowledge management, but has been unacknowledged until now. Additionally, the paper provides a process for determining when, in a KM process or activity, creativity can be applied and provides factors used in determining what the creative intervention looks like.

It’s behind a paywall, so if you’d like a copy feel free to get in touch and I will send you the PDF.

Introduction to Radical KM: making knowledge management sustainable

My second paper on Radical KM was published on February 27, 2022. It talks in more detail about how to implement Radical KM and the connection to the sustainability mindset principles.

Abstract:
This paper introduces the concept of Radical Knowledge Management (Radical KM) and explains why taking this approach to knowledge within our organisations is necessary. Radical Knowledge Management helps us adapt to constant change and the chaos of the world we live and work in by making us as individuals and our organisations more sustainable. The paper also outlines a case study of an organisation that implemented these ideas and provides an approach for how an organisation can implement it for themselves.

You can find it here: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F02663821221075535, and if you don’t have access because it’s behind a paywall, feel free to reach out to me and I will send you a copy.

Radical KM, article published, course launched

My article on Radical KM was published on July 13, 2021 by the academic journal, Frontiers in AI, AI in business, in their research topic on Knowledge and Innovation Management. You can find the article here.

I am also partnering with KMI (KM Institute) to offer a certification in Radical KM. The course is one of their Knowledge Specialist courses and is called Creative Knowledge Management (we called it that because we felt it was a bit more descriptive). You can find out about the course on their website, here.

Radical KM: KMI Guest Blog posts

Over Spring 2021 I wrote a couple of Radical KM blog posts for KMI (Knowledge Management Institute) as well as did a couple of webinars to support the blogs.

You can find the blog posts here:
Part 1: What is Radical KM?
Part 2: Why you should care about Radical KM

The webinars:
Part 1: The recording is here.
Part 2: Planned for June 29, 2021, you can register here.

Finally, I am going to be doing a Radical KM Certified Knowledge Specialist course with KMI. We’re planning it for Fall 2021 and it will be done virtually. If you want to be notified about the class, the best thing to do is to sign-up for their newsletter, which you can do here.

Radical KM, Published Article

One of my articles on Radical KM has been published by the GfWM (Gesellschaft für Wissensmanagement) or Society for Knowledge Management here in Germany as part of a collection of articles celebrating the 20th Knowledge Camp. You can download the PDF or read it online, here.

I have another version that will be published in 2021, it’s a bit longer, and a third version that I keep adding to, and which is heading towards being a book, although it has a long ways to go.

Artistic Practice and Artistic Attitude: what do they mean?

The ideas I’m leveraging by using these terms come from “Creative Company” written by Dirk Dobiey and Thomas Köplin.

Artistic Attitude means being curious, passionate/ tenacious, confident, and resilient, while artistic practice embodies perception, reflection, play, and performance. These two ideas combine to be learning from the artistic experience of artists.

Artistic Attitude is about the mindset, and Artistic Practice is about the actual activities of looking at something and considering from all angles/sides, and asking questions, then thinking about it and combining it with what’s know and experimenting through play and ultimately performance. Especially the artistic practice piece looks like iterations of trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t.

Both Artistic Attitude and Artistic Practice also tie into other frameworks and methodologies, like New Work, Agile, and Design Thinking although those frameworks/ methodologies don’t make the connection with learning from artists.

(Note: Creative Company is available in both English and German and I co-edited the English version.)