I have written/spoken a few times lately about how I don’t fit into a box, and that’s true, I fit into many boxes, based on my education, experiences, and areas of expertise. Here is a list*, in alphabetical order:
Abstract Expressionist Accountant Agile Implementer of Solutions Analyst Artist Author Big Picture Seer Business Analyst Business Process Analyst Business-Technology Aligner Catalyst Challenger of assumptions Change Manager Chaos Organiser Coach Collaborator Communicator Community Builder Connector Consultant Creative Critical Thinker Culture Changer Decision Maker Design Thinker Digital Transformer Executer Facilitator Financial Analyst Follower Gamification Consultant Human’s First Advocate Implementer Influencer Information Technology Process Consultant Innovator ITSM Master Knowledge Management Expert Knowledge Manager Leader Learner Listener Manager Marketer MBA Mentor Networker Organiser Painter Planner Problem Solver Process Analyst Process Designer Process Thinker Product Manager Program Manager Project Manager Public Speaker Questioner Realiser of Potential Sales Person Solopreneur Strategist Strategy Developer/Creator/Implementer Taxonomy Developer Teacher Team Builder Technology Person Technology Requirements Analyst
I’ve decided, at least for now, to call the new series: Brick Wall Chats because of the background I’m using in the videos. People seem to like the background because it’s colourful and different and interesting, which is why I liked it too.
Right now (June 3, 2019), I have recorded 15 videos and will release one per week. The topics range from the business to the personal: metrics and digital transformation to how I have come to be doing the work that I am doing.
It depends on who you ask and what their experience is with it. Some people/organisations focus on technology, some on people, some on process, a very few recognise that it needs to be a balance among the three, and for good measure also create a strategy to support their plans and ideas and to ensure alignment with the organisation.
But beyond that, what is knowledge management about? Why do we/our organisations do it?
For many organisations and people the answer, has to do with learning, and being able to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. I always liked to say it’s about giving people the knowledge they need to do their jobs, whatever form that knowledge took. But, what if it’s not quite that easy, especially as jobs, like life, are becoming ever more complex?
It’s really not enough to give people a database or app or platform to share knowledge. It’s not enough to implement a lessons learned process, or communities of practice. All good and noble pursuits, but what if that’s not enough to deal with the complexity?
The World Economic Forum’s most recent Future of Jobs Report, a summary of which you can read here, says we need to be life long learners. It also lists the top 3 skills that are growing in need/importance:
Analytical thinking, and innovation
Active learning, and learning strategies
Creativity, originality, and initiative
What struck me most about the #1 item on that list, is that is is both analytical and creative, it requires “both sides of your brain” (yes, I know that we have found that that’s not physically how the brain actually works, but I like the metaphor of it, so I’m using it anyway). But so for so many people their creativity was educated and socialised right out of them. They needed to get good marks in school, do well at their jobs, etc. and so in order to fit in they learned to regurgitate facts and think like everyone else.
However, in today’s world, and in the world that is quickly coming at us, regurgitating facts and doing what we’re told, isn’t enough, doing the “same old, same old” isn’t enough. It’s time to look at things differently, to learn new ways of doing things, to re-learn our lost creativity. KM programs should be supporting that, after-all they are about organisational learning, creating new knowledge (which is innovation, by the way).
And, one of the best things about focusing on creativity and innovation is, people understand what those terms mean, no one understands what knowledge management is. Another great thing about creativity and innovation, is that there is lots of research that supports its importance to people and the workplace, something that can’t be said about KM (mostly because KM can’t decide what it is, not that it’s not useful).
So, for all you KM people out there, don’t you want to take your KM activities to the next level of organisational learning? Help make your organisations innovative and creative? Help them meet the challenges of the age we live in?
Let’s talk about helping people re-learn their creativity!
If you know me and/or have been following this blog, you know that since mid-July I have shifted my focus to creativity and innovation, something that I have been working on for the last six or more years.
As I have shifted focus I have reached out to some of you in my KM network, because I wanted to share the news with you and renew our connection. I also asked for a favour of some feedback on what I was doing or if you knew anyone who might be interested in what I’m doing. Most of you were happy to help, and a few of you admitted that you couldn’t, which was a perfectly acceptable answer.
Anyway, with that first round of feedback and conversations, I realised that I wasn’t doing a good job of conveying my excitement over my shift, and why I thought I was particularly relevant for KM programs. I’ve taken a few weeks to reflect on how to do this better and received some coaching about how to approach it and have developed a short slide deck, which you can see below.