Sep 182015

CollaborationEarly this month on a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Greenville South Carolina I read an article in the Southwest The Magazine, by Katie Rich entitled “Comedy of Errors, Five lessons on teamwork and failure from the halls of Saturday Night Live”. After reading this article I began to think about how the lessons discussed in this article applies directly to our ability to successfully collaborate and share knowledge. As a Knowledge Management practitioner I’m always looking for keys to improve how individuals and teams collaborate. Collaboration is at the cornerstone of sharing what we know. On that note… The Five (5) Ingredients of successful Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing are:

1 – Be present

Being present means participate in the conversation! I know that there are many personality types that we work with. However, if you are an introvert this is the time to come out of your shell and participate in the conversation and the free form exchange of ideas. Believe me everyone in the group will benefit from you sharing what you know and the questions that you may have. If you are an extrovert, by all means share but let others share and I guarantee that you will also learn something in the process.

2 – Know why you are there

When you are brought together to participate in a group discussion it’s more than likely you are there to share your expertise on a certain subject(s). Understanding your significance to the overall team dynamic will allow you to focus your participation in the way that the team will benefit the most from. Contributing your knowledge and experience will bring about positive outcomes that the entire team can benefit from and contribute to a successful collaboration session.

3 – Do not try to change the people you’re working with

Please understand that “you cannot change the people you work with. However, you can change the way you react to the people you work with” (a direct quote from the article). Listen to the ideas, views and comments of all of your team members regardless of how you may feel personally about them. You may feel that someone may annoy you, always produce less than quality work, always has to have the last word and/or constantly dresses inappropriately at work … don’t shoot the messenger … always respect everyone’s input.

4 – Know (or see) the Big Picture

There should be stated issue(s), subject(s), problem(s) or reasons the team has come to together. This information should have been communicated before the collaborative session is held. However, if that is not the case, stating (or restating) the reason(s) everyone has come together at the beginning of the session is always a great idea. Seeing the big picture, everyone is more likely to understand better how their expertise fits and are better able to focus on contributing to the overall discussion.

5 – Treat everyone with respect

At the end of the day no matter how we feel about each other (see #3) just be good to one another and treat everyone with respect. Sometimes people make it hard, and sometimes it may be you! If you have a difficult teammate just lay on additional kindness and respect. Treat everyone like they are the most important person and their contribution matters to the big picture. Everyone likes to feel that they are respected and that they matter.

One Final Note

An excellent KM method to use to conduct a collaborative session is a Knowledge Café. A knowledge café brings a group of people together to have an open, creative conversation on a topic of mutual interest to surface their collective knowledge, to share ideas and to gain a deeper understanding of the issues involved. Ultimately the conversation should lead to action in the form of better decision-making and innovation. This will be a great opportunity to practice the five (5) ingredients of successful collaboration and knowledge sharing. Click here for more information on knowledge café’s.

Jan 312015

HiatusAfter a year hiatus, I am back facilitating the flow of knowledge through the Knowledge Management Depot. During my absence we had concluded 2013 in KM which presented, an increase of social media tools being incorporated in the workplace, the rise of analytics and BIG Data to tie KM to actionable business results,  and knowledge related tools on mobile applications; while in the year just concluded (2014) we experienced more enterprise collaboration, a rise in search related tools and functionality (incorporating Information Architecture) within mobile and enterprise applications to improve findability and to respond to customer inquiries more effectively and efficiently. Now as we enter 2015, I see several opportunities where KM will make an impact.

In 2015 KM will impact M&A transactions specifically when it comes to understanding who the key knowledge holders are and to properly give a valuation to a firms knowledge, the legal community is experiencing success with KM and more legal entities will be leveraging KM in 2015,  BIG Data continues to make noise in the industry and how KM will be positioned to gleam knowledge from all of this proliferation of content will be critical to organization (NASA-KM-meeting-Big-Data-Strategy) and interacting with the customer will continue to leverage KM to provide organizations with a competitive edge to not only attract new customers but also to retain and provide more interaction with the  current  customer base (Forrester’s Top Trends in Customer Service)

Although I have been absent… I have been busy!! I am concluding my next book on KM “Knowledge Management in Practice” as well as a two (2) day class in Information Architecture for Knowledge Management Systems. I look forward to your comments and to participating in knowledge management as 2015 unfolds!

Sep 152013

Sharepoint as a collaboration toolSince my last post, I had taken a brief hiatus to work on a few publishing projects and conference presentations and now I’m back and will be making more blog post over the next couple of weeks. During my brief hiatus I have heard about more about SharePoint (specifically SharePoint 2013) than I really want to know! So, this has prompted me to write about SharePoint as a collaboration tool and solicit the thoughts of my blog viewers on this subject.

For the majority of the clients I am working with, the SharePoint platform serves as the mechanism where collaboration takes place. In the SharePoint environment, collaboration sites such as wikis, discussion boards and blogs serve as ways teams share information and knowledge. Most teams have created team pages and document libraries where specific documents and other content (spreadsheets, images, video, PowerPoint presentation, etc.) are worked on and shared with specific members of the team.

Part of collaboration infrastructure on the SharePoint platform is the use of automated workflows. The automated workflows are leveraged to facilitate the maintenance of content (information and knowledge), which consist of creating, updating and review/approval of content before it is published in the knowledge base.

SharePoint 2013 offers a more robust platform (than previous versions) to connect and share with the people across your organization as they work on the myriad of problems and projects within the enterprise. The question remains is SharePoint the optimal tool within your organization to share knowledge? For those upgrading… are you convinced that SharePoint 2013 is the right solution for you? Finally what have been your challenges using, upgrading, or integrating with SharePoint?

 Posted by at 10:19 pm
Dec 012009

time managementI recently read a blog post from Knowledge Jolt with Jack about how successful leaders manage time. I recently started working with a Virtual Assistant (VA) company so that I can get a better grasp on managing my time more effectively. In looking for a virtual assistant I reached out to by fellow Twitterers, and this collaboration lead to my VA selection.

In reaching out through social media I have found that this is NOW the most efficient and effective way to collaborate, and share knowledge as well as to market and expedite the flow of business.

In effect web 2.0 tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, when used effectively, assist us in managing our time by getting our work done more effectively. The world of social media allows us to not ever feel like we are working alone. In fact we have an entire world of knowledgeable people ready to “pay it forward” by sharing their knowledge on a wide variety of topics.

I can’t wait to see how we all will leverage web 3.0!

Sep 012009

KM in Research InstituitonsAs the Obama Healthcare plan is being dissected by politicians and the public alike, in order to stimulate innovation and bring down healthcare cost the federal government must leverage Knowledge Management (KM). You may be asking yourself… How can we leverage KM to bring affordable healthcare to all Americans?

KM is about sharing know-how through collaboration, which includes the integration of systems to enable knowledge sharing. The knowledge being shared includes research, patient records, and doctor expertise. These collaborative work enviornments will bring more effective communication along with more responsiveness to patients. The following represent some links to information on leveraging KM in healthcare.

I welcome your comments and suggestions.

 Posted by at 10:44 am