Capturing Knowledge: Adding Value to an Organization


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Describes four levels of knowledge capture: eliciting from individuals, harvesting from communities, gathering from networks, and exploring cyberspace.

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  • These are some examples of tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is difficult to quantify, capture, and preserve. Tacit knowledge is critical to an organization, however, because people must use what they know to create and use knowledge and the ability to create and use knowledge may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Knowledge preservation begins by capturing knowledge – a 1 st generation KM activity. Let’s put that in a business context. The Canadian Forest Service had a problem of not being able to find previously written briefing notes (sound familiar?). An Intranet database was developed to capture and share approved briefing notes. (1 st image) Approved briefing notes are entered by an administrative assistant through their desktop browser. This is a cut-and-paste process, with the addition of metadata, such as author, keywords, and document identifiers. It takes about 5 minutes to enter a document (2 nd image) Once entered, anyone can search the database, using a dozen categories, such as subject, date, location, or author. This results in a list of briefing notes that match the search criteria. (3 rd image) Clicking on any note results in a PDF copy on letterhead or a text document that can be copied into a new document. This saves a lot of time when preparing updates. The database archives all approved briefing notes in one place. It is used to quickly get up to speed on a new subject, determine the department’s position on an issue, and provide reports on work accomplishments. The bottom line is that to succeed, knowledge isn’t captured because it’s a good thing to do; it’s captured because there’s a business need.
  • This is the Major Events Coordinated Security Solutions project management site. It was used as a prototype and is more advanced than most of the community sites.
  • The key question is: if a department participates in a social network, how does it “capture value” from commonly held external intellectual property? The answer, in a few words, is to bring it inside the organization. The common property has to be stabilized. A report, policy, or regulation cannot change once it is formalized. Internal value has to be added by ensuring that it works. For example, in policy, all stakeholder concerns must be addressed; in business, an innovation must be producible and marketable. A key implication is that a department must retain enough internal core capacity to be able to add value to commonly-held IP.
  • Capturing Knowledge: Adding Value to an Organization

    1. 1. Albert Simard Knowledge Manager Defence R&D Canada Conference Board of Canada Public Sector Social Media 2011 March 29-30, 2011; Ottawa, ON Capturing Knowledge: Adding Value to an Organization
    2. 2. A Definition… <ul><li>Knowledge Capture: Using social technology to find, access, and validate existing knowledge.* </li></ul><ul><li>As used here, knowledge includes all forms of content: objects, data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. </li></ul>
    3. 3. The Big Picture Knowledge Assets Knowledge Sharing Knowledge Work Knowledge Transfer Knowledge Infrastructure Create Discover Experiment Analysis Synthesis Write Draw n ew knowledge Acquire Purchase License Exchange Reengineer Collect Capture External sources existing knowledge
    4. 4. Social Technology <ul><li>Telephony </li></ul><ul><li>Video conferencing </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Chat rooms </li></ul><ul><li>Bulletin boards </li></ul><ul><li>On-line forums </li></ul><ul><li>Web portal </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing sites </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration sites </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise locator </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs, microblogs </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul>
    5. 5. Outline <ul><li>Eliciting from individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Harvesting from Communities </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering from Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring Cyberspace </li></ul>
    6. 6. Eliciting from Individuals <ul><li>Attributes: </li></ul><ul><li>In the minds of individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Must be volunteered </li></ul><ul><li>Process: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify experts </li></ul><ul><li>Engage them </li></ul><ul><li>Make their knowledge explicit </li></ul><ul><li>Validate knowledge </li></ul>Individuals
    7. 7. Tacit Knowledge <ul><li>Intangible personal knowledge gained through experience and self-learning; influenced by beliefs, perspectives, and values. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wisdom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate memory </li></ul></ul>Individuals The Thinker - Rodin
    8. 8. Sharing Barriers <ul><li>Trust and safety </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational culture </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives and motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty of explaining </li></ul><ul><li>Different expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Security and privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Control and hoarding </li></ul><ul><li>Large distances </li></ul><ul><li>Different languages </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate technology </li></ul>Individuals
    9. 9. Incentives <ul><li>Compliance (you will) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay, job security, duty, penalties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Military, manufacturing, law, policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet quotas, minimum standards, no change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Motivation (you’ll be rewarded) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ambition, challenges, bonuses, rewards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency, productivity, quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improvements, increases, evolutionary changes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engagement (would you like to?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autonomy, mastery, purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design, innovation, discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment, involvement, revolutionary changes </li></ul></ul>Individuals
    10. 10. Motivating Sharing <ul><li>Communicate sharing goals regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Train employees on using sharing tools </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate the benefits of sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight sharing success stories </li></ul><ul><li>Practice good sharing behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Reward good sharing behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Discourage poor sharing behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage community development </li></ul>Stan Garfield (2010) Individuals
    11. 11. What is Engagement? <ul><li>Autonomy: What to do, when to do it, where to do it, how to do it, and who to work with </li></ul><ul><li>Mastery: Want to excel, increase ability, practice, perseverance, obstacles, approach but not attain </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose : quality of life, meaning, social responsibility, stewardship, attitude and behavior, soul-stirring, ethics </li></ul>Daniel Pink (2009) Individuals
    12. 12. Why Engage Knowledge Workers? <ul><li>Knowledge cannot be conscripted; it must be volunteered. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge workers need to commit to and become truly involved in their work. </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally, they work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not because they are told to, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not because they expect something in return, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because they want to; they enjoy doing it. </li></ul></ul>Individuals
    13. 13. Engagement Techniques <ul><li>Hire “engageable” employees </li></ul><ul><li>Match projects, passions, proficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Stress employee ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Earn trust continuously </li></ul><ul><li>Clarify mutual goals and expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Provide frequent feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Talk and listen often </li></ul>Wendy Fenci (2008) Individuals
    14. 14. Eliciting Methods <ul><li>Conversations, discussions, dialogue (colleagues, peers) </li></ul><ul><li>Questions & answers, problems & solutions (novice/expert) </li></ul><ul><li>After-action reviews, lessons learned (event/group) </li></ul><ul><li>Capture, document, interview, record (expert/facilitator) </li></ul><ul><li>Extraction, identify, codify, organize (expert/know engineer) </li></ul><ul><li>Advising, briefing, recommending (subordinate/superior) </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching, educating, training (teacher/student) </li></ul><ul><li>Storytelling, narratives, anecdotes (teller/listener) </li></ul><ul><li>Explaining, demonstrating, describing (technician/user) </li></ul><ul><li>Presentations, lectures, speeches (speaker/audience) </li></ul>Individuals
    15. 15. Eliciting Example NRCAN - Canadian Forest Service Individuals
    16. 16. Harvesting from Communities <ul><li>Attributes: </li></ul><ul><li>In-house knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Already validated </li></ul><ul><li>Process: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify Communities </li></ul><ul><li>Collect knowledge </li></ul>Communities
    17. 17. Community of Practice <ul><li>Government, department </li></ul><ul><li>Sector, branch, division staff </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists, engineers, lawyers </li></ul><ul><li>Policy analysts, regulators </li></ul><ul><li>Finance, purchasing officers </li></ul><ul><li>Information, communication specialists </li></ul>Communities People who share common expertise, skill, or profession (position, work, colleagues)
    18. 18. Communities and Knowledge <ul><li>Knowledge exists in the minds of people. Experience is as important as formal knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is tacit as well as explicit. Transferring tacit knowledge is more effective through human interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is social as well as individual. Today’s knowledge is the result of centuries of collective research. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is changing at an accelerating rate. It takes a community of people to keep up with new concepts, practices, and technology. </li></ul>Communities
    19. 19. Community Characteristics <ul><li>Self-governed: norms and guidelines govern practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Self-organized: purpose, direction, and management. </li></ul><ul><li>Productive enquiry: answer questions based on practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate: synchronous and asynchronous channels. </li></ul><ul><li>Generate knowledge: new knowledge is created. </li></ul><ul><li>Support members: provides a forum for mutual support. </li></ul>Saint-Onge & Wallace (2003) Communities
    20. 20. Community Behaviors <ul><li>Positive </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Meritocracy </li></ul><ul><li>Equality </li></ul><ul><li>Outliers </li></ul><ul><li>Negative </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Debating </li></ul><ul><li>Arguing </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Assuming </li></ul><ul><li>Majority </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus </li></ul><ul><li>Groupthink </li></ul>Communities
    21. 21. Harvesting Methods <ul><li>Service Center: repository for community outputs; i nterface with communities, minimize duplication, inform communities </li></ul><ul><li>Leader: transfer community outputs; I dentify emerging trends, prioritize issues </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsor: endorse community outputs; bridge between the community and the organization, provide support, minimize organizational barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Champion: ensure adoption of community outputs; communicate purpose, promote the community </li></ul>Communities
    22. 22. Harvesting Example DRDC - Centre for Security Science Communities
    23. 23. Gathering from Networks <ul><li>Attributes : </li></ul><ul><li>Members know about knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Quality is variable </li></ul><ul><li>Process : </li></ul><ul><li>Identify networks and members </li></ul><ul><li>Bring knowledge into the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Validate knowledge </li></ul>Networks
    24. 24. Social Networks <ul><li>Large numbers of people who share a common interest or passion (enjoyment, hobbies, friends) </li></ul>Networks
    25. 25. Network Attributes <ul><li>Networks are much bigger than communities (100s to 1,000,000s of members). </li></ul><ul><li>Participants don’t know most other participants, limiting trust and security. </li></ul><ul><li>Large numbers of nodes leads to complex behavior. </li></ul>Networks
    26. 26. Network Behavior <ul><li>Positive feedback - The bigger the network, the bigger it gets. </li></ul><ul><li>Biological growth - Crossing a “threshold” yields self-sustaining, exponential growth. </li></ul><ul><li>Synergy & emergence – Networks can yield more than any individual can accomplish. </li></ul><ul><li>Winner take most – There is a tendency for one member to dominate. </li></ul><ul><li>Extreme leveraging – A small effort can trigger market domination. </li></ul>Kevin Kelly (1998) Networks
    27. 27. Network Value <ul><li>Value is proportional to the number of participants squared. </li></ul><ul><li>Value is created by all; not by an individual or organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Value is external to member organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Value is shared by all; capturing value is often uneven. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who own network standards have an advantage. </li></ul>Kevin Kelly (1998) Networks
    28. 28. Gathering Methods Network members bring it into the organization Communities validate it Networks
    29. 29. Gathering Example Networks
    30. 30. Exploring Cyberspace <ul><li>Attributes : </li></ul><ul><li>Masses of unknown content </li></ul><ul><li>Unknown locations </li></ul><ul><li>Process: </li></ul><ul><li>Discover content </li></ul><ul><li>Filter relevant content </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze content </li></ul><ul><li>Validate knowledge </li></ul>Cyberspace
    31. 31. Why Explore Cyberspace? <ul><li>Anticipate emerging issue </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipate stakeholder actions </li></ul><ul><li>Discover new stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Discover potential partners </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from others </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about new technology </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor institutional changes </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor public opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Find useful information </li></ul><ul><li>Detect new risks </li></ul>Only way to keep up with accelerating change Cyberspace
    32. 32. Exploration Methods <ul><li>Planning & direction </li></ul><ul><li>Assign tasks & teams </li></ul><ul><li>Search must be Automated </li></ul><ul><li>Use artificial intelligence filters </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial search services </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation is necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Validate knowledge </li></ul>Cyberspace
    33. 33. Exploration Example Cyberspace
    34. 34. Capturing Knowledge Conclusion <ul><li>Eliciting individual knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Harvesting community knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering network knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring cyberspace </li></ul>Adding value to an organization