Making KM projects work


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"Making KM projects work" - David Gurteen's talk at HK KMS Conference in Hong Kong 30th March 2010

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Making KM projects work

  1. 1. Making KM Projects Work David Gurteen Gurteen Knowledge HKKMS Knowledge Management Conference Hong Kong, 30 March 2010
  2. 2. Begin with the end in mind <ul><li>To help you manage successful KM projects </li></ul><ul><li>To encourage you to think for yourselves and not look for prescriptive solutions </li></ul>
  3. 3. The potential of KM is enormous but many KM projects have failed to live up to their expectations!
  4. 4. Many KM projects fail! <ul><li>Nothing wrong with KM, KM tools and techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>very powerful indeed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>KM projects are NOT focused on the business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KM projects are tough </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KM project leaders are often inexperienced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KM projects poorly conceived </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KM projects poorly managed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of support from senior management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of support from employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of understanding or a misunderstanding of KM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of understanding of organizational complexity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of understanding of human behavior </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Four KEY questions to ask yourself
  6. 6. The questions <ul><li>What are the business problems we are trying to solve? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we ensure support from senior management and how do we sustain that support? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we engage the people in our organization? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we think & learn for ourselves? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Some thoughts
  8. 8. Think! There is no substitute for thinking Think for yourself!
  9. 9. Think for yourself <ul><li>No substitute for thinking </li></ul><ul><li>No recipes or prescriptions </li></ul><ul><li>No simple set of steps </li></ul><ul><li>You need to think for yourself </li></ul><ul><li>No one can tell you what to do </li></ul><ul><li>KM is highly contextual … </li></ul>
  10. 10. Context <ul><li>In our complex business world context is everything </li></ul><ul><li>Things are different </li></ul><ul><ul><li>each of you are different </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>timing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>competition </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Don’t do KM! You don't do KM! You solve business problems and develop business opportunities
  12. 12. You don’t do KM <ul><li>You solve business problems and develop business opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>There are no KM initiatives or strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They conceptualise the problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A project is never just about KM </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There are only business projects </li></ul><ul><li>Use KM thinking & tools to respond to business issues </li></ul>
  13. 13. Identify the business issues Identify the business problems, opportunities or risks that need to be responded to
  14. 14. Albert Einstein on problems <ul><li>If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, </li></ul><ul><li>I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, </li></ul><ul><li>for once I know the proper question, </li></ul><ul><li>I could solve the problem in less than five minutes. </li></ul>
  15. 15. 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!
  16. 16. Business issues and outcomes <ul><li>“ People will not share their knowledge” is NOT a business issue </li></ul><ul><li>“ Implementing a knowledge sharing system” is NOT a business outcome </li></ul>
  17. 17. Business issues and outcomes <ul><li>“ Slowness to market of new products” is a business issue </li></ul><ul><li>“ Shortening the time to market of new products” is a business outcome </li></ul>
  18. 18. Business outcomes <ul><li>These are not business outcomes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doing KM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improving knowledge sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating a learning organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating a knowledge driven organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Setting up communities of practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These are business outcomes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cutting costs; Improving profit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improving quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing staff turn over </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Identify the business issues <ul><li>Talk to CEO and senior business managers </li></ul><ul><li>What keeps them awake at night? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Indentify the stakeholders Identify & understand the needs of the stakeholders
  21. 21. The stakeholders hold the key to success – they can make or break your KM project
  22. 22. Identify & understand the stakeholders <ul><li>Sponsor </li></ul><ul><li>Senior managers </li></ul><ul><li>Employees affected </li></ul><ul><li>KM team </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the sceptics and opponents? </li></ul>
  23. 23. Develop the response Develop the response with the stakeholders
  24. 24. Develop the response <ul><li>Work with the stakeholders – do not do things to them </li></ul><ul><li>Help them develop the response for themselves </li></ul><ul><li>They need to own it </li></ul>
  25. 25. Don’t do things to people! If you have to ask “how do we motivate people” then you are taking the wrong approach!
  26. 26. Motivation is intrinsic! <ul><li>You cannot motivate people </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation is inherently intrinsic </li></ul><ul><li>People have to find it for themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to motivate are actually manipulation and are usually seen as such </li></ul><ul><li>And have an adverse affect </li></ul>
  27. 27. Do the following instead <ul><li>listen to people & show them respect </li></ul><ul><li>help them find their voice & have conversations with them </li></ul><ul><li>show genuine interest & give them help and support </li></ul><ul><li>engage with them & trust them </li></ul><ul><li>give them responsibility & recognition </li></ul><ul><li>give them opportunities for self fulfilment and personal development </li></ul><ul><li>don't try to tell them what to do </li></ul><ul><li>We should not deliberately do these things to motivate people - we should do them because we genuinely care about them! </li></ul>
  28. 28. Work with people <ul><li>An innovative, healthy organization requires that we work with people rather than do things to them. Alfie Kohn </li></ul>
  29. 29. Do not reward Do not reward people for sharing their knowledge
  30. 30. Rewards <ul><li>Research shows that giving rewards (even praise) actually results in worse performance and undermines intrinsic motivation </li></ul>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
  31. 31. Alfie Kohn and Dan Pink <ul><li>Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn </li></ul><ul><li>Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink </li></ul>
  32. 32. Do not reward <ul><li>Rewards punish </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards rupture relations </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards ignore reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards deter risk taking </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards undermine interest </li></ul>Credit: Alfie Kohn <ul><li>Rewards are gamed </li></ul>
  33. 33. If we don’t reward what do we do?
  34. 34. Alfie Kohn <ul><li>Pay people well </li></ul><ul><li>Pay people fairly </li></ul><ul><li>Then do everything possible to make money (rewards) off people’s minds </li></ul>Incentives, bonuses, pay-for-performance-plans and other reward systems violate this last principle by their very nature!
  35. 35. Bob Buckman Our approach to KM is far more than stick or carrot. &quot;Knowledge Sharing is your job. Do it!&quot; As a reward you may keep your job.
  36. 36. Daniel Pink <ul><li>Provide opportunities for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mastery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul></ul>Loving what you do is a more powerful motivator than any goody including money. Alfie Kohn
  37. 37. Get business approval Get business approval from the project sponsor
  38. 38. Two essentials <ul><li>Get support from the sponsor for the resources you need </li></ul><ul><li>Agree what you need to do to demonstrate success and sustain that support </li></ul>
  39. 39. Get business approval <ul><li>Think as much about the sponsor’s needs as those of the business </li></ul><ul><li>Make the business case plus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What does the sponsor want? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the benefits to them? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Agree what success means to them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Important to do this at this stage and not later </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not do an ROI unless you have to </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Execute the project Develop the plan and execute the project
  41. 41. Execute the project <ul><li>Involve the stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot the project and adopt iterative prototyping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from small steps </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allow for change and emergence </li></ul><ul><li>Use KM tools and methodologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn before, during and after </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. Some questions to leave you with! <ul><li>Is my KM activity focused on the business? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I really understood the problems? </li></ul><ul><li>Are senior managers bought in? </li></ul><ul><li>Are employees & other stakeholders bought in? </li></ul><ul><li>How do I demonstrate value? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I measuring business outcomes & not just activity? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I do in place of rewards? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I really thinking for myself? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I committed to my own personal learning & development </li></ul><ul><li>Am I walking the talk? </li></ul><ul><li>How can I take an active part in the global KM community? </li></ul>
  43. 43. Conversation & Questions
  44. 44. David GURTEEN Gurteen Knowledge Fleet, United Kingdom Tel: +44 7774 178 650 Email: