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Don't do KM!


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  • 1. Don’t do KM! David Gurteen Gurteen Knowledge KM Middle East 2011, United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi
  • 2. You don’t do KM
    • You solve business problems and develop business opportunities
    • There are no KM initiatives or strategies
      • They conceptualise the problem
      • A project is never just about KM
    • There are only business projects
    • Use KM thinking & tools to respond to business issues
  • 3. Most KM projects fail!
    • Nothing wrong with KM, KM tools and techniques
      • very powerful indeed
    • The challenges
      • KM projects are NOT focused on the business
      • KM projects are tough
      • KM project leaders are often inexperienced
      • KM projects poorly conceived
      • KM projects poorly managed
      • Lack of support from senior management
      • Lack of support from employees
      • Lack of understanding or a misunderstanding of KM
      • Lack of understanding of organizational complexity
      • Lack of understanding of human behavior
  • 4. Four KEY questions to ask yourself
  • 5. The questions
    • What are the business problems we are trying to solve?
    • How do we ensure support from senior management and how do we sustain that support?
    • How do we engage the people in our organization?
    • How do we clearly demonstrate success?
  • 6. Some further thoughts on how to ensure your KM projects are a success
  • 7. Think! There is no substitute for thinking Think for yourself!
  • 8. Think for yourself
    • No substitute for thinking
    • No recipes or prescriptions
    • No simple set of steps
    • You need to think for yourself
    • No one can tell you what to do
    • KM is highly contextual …
  • 9. Context
    • In our complex business world context is everything
    • Things are different
      • each of you are different
      • your industry
      • your organization
      • your people
      • history
      • timing
      • politics
      • competition
  • 10. Identify the business issues Identify the business problems, opportunities or risks that need to be responded to
  • 11. Albert Einstein on problems
    • If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution,
    • I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask,
    • for once I know the proper question,
    • I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.
  • 12. We jump far too quickly to a “solution” without really understanding the problem! Its better to do the right thing badly than the wrong thing well!
  • 13. Business issues and outcomes
    • “ People will not share their knowledge” is NOT a business issue
    • “ Implementing a knowledge sharing system” is NOT a business outcome
  • 14. Business issues and outcomes
    • “ Slowness to market of new products” is a business issue
    • “ Shortening the time to market of new products” is a business outcome
  • 15. Business outcomes
    • These are not business outcomes
      • Doing KM
      • Improving knowledge sharing
      • Creating a learning organization
      • Creating a knowledge driven organization
      • Setting up communities of practice
    • These are business outcomes
      • Cutting costs; Improving profit
      • Improving quality
      • Reducing staff turn over
  • 16. Identify the business issues
    • Talk to CEO and senior business managers
    • What keeps them awake at night?
  • 17. Don’t do things to people! If you have to ask “how do we motivate people” then you are taking the wrong approach!
  • 18. Work with people
    • An innovative, healthy organization requires that we work with people rather than do things to them. Alfie Kohn
  • 19. Motivation is intrinsic!
    • You cannot motivate people
    • Motivation is inherently intrinsic
    • People have to find it for themselves
    • Attempts to motivate are actually manipulation and are usually seen as such
    • And have an adverse affect
  • 20. Do not reward Do not reward people for sharing their knowledge
  • 21. Rewards
    • Research shows that giving rewards (even praise) actually results in worse performance and undermines intrinsic motivation
    To the best of my knowledge, no controlled scientific study has ever found a long-term enhancement of the quality of work as a result of any reward system. Alfie Kohn
  • 22. Alfie Kohn and Dan Pink
    • Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn
    • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink
  • 23. Do not reward
    • Rewards punish
    • Rewards rupture relations
    • Rewards ignore reasons
    • Rewards deter risk taking
    • Rewards undermine interest
    Credit: Alfie Kohn
    • Rewards are gamed
  • 24. If we don’t reward what do we do?
  • 25. Alfie Kohn
    • Pay people well
    • Pay people fairly
    • Then do everything possible to make money (rewards) off people’s minds
    Incentives, bonuses, pay-for-performance-plans and other reward systems violate this last principle by their very nature!
  • 26. Love what you do Loving what you do is a more powerful motivator than any goody including money. Alfie Kohn
  • 27. Bob Buckman Our approach to KM is far more than stick or carrot. "Knowledge Sharing is your job. Do it!" As a reward you may keep your job.
  • 28. Daniel Pink
    • Provide opportunities for
      • Autonomy
      • Mastery
      • Purpose
  • 29. Some questions to leave you with!
    • Is my KM activity focused on the business?
    • Have I really understood the problems?
    • Am I thinking for myself?
    • Are senior managers bought in?
    • Are employees & other stakeholders bought in?
    • How do I demonstrate success?
    • Am I measuring business outcomes & not just activity?
    • What do I do in place of rewards?
  • 30. Questions
  • 31. David GURTEEN Gurteen Knowledge Fleet, United Kingdom Tel: +44 7774 178 650 Email: