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Enhancing knowledge flows with enterprise social networks gordon vala webb

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Organizations need to adapt faster - and that depends on the speed at which ideas and information flow through it. We look at Adrian Bejan's Design in Nature and his approach to knowledge flows and apply that thinking to email and enterprise social networks within organizations.

Published in: Business, Education, Technology

Enhancing knowledge flows with enterprise social networks gordon vala webb

  1. 1. Enhancing knowledge flows with enterprise social networks Gordon Vala-Webb National Director, Innovation and Information SIKM Leaders June 2014
  2. 2. Agenda  Why should we care about K flows?  Flow systems  Knowledge flow systems  Mechanisms to support K flow  How to “design” enterprise social networking to maximize K flow  Questions 2
  3. 3. Why should we care about knowledge flows? Slide 3
  4. 4. Old world  Stable  Repeatable processes  Authoritative knowledge Sli de New world  Volatile  Uncertainty  Complex  Ambiguous Adapted from Kent Greenes, “Knowledge Leadership, KMWorld 2011
  5. 5. At same time, work has been getting “smarter” Slide 5 Source: http://cdn.dupress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Screen-Shot-2012-10-01-at-9.20.13-PM.png?2b7236
  6. 6. Drought (flat growth in Western economies) and new competitors = megafauna extinction! “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin Slide 6 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Diprotodon_BW.jpg
  7. 7. Innovative companies PwC Breakthrough innovation and growth 2013 survey of board-level executives In 1,700+ companies in 25 countries across 30 sectors grow faster
  8. 8. To adapt (innovate) faster . . . Knowledge and ideas are the lifeblood of any organization. The more sclerosis in that circulatory system, the harder it is for the organization to firstly know what is going on; and, secondly, to think through what to do about it. 8 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Illustrations_of_the_circulatory_system#mediaviewe r/File:Blutkreislauf.png
  9. 9. Flow systems Slide 9
  10. 10. The constructal law - Bejan and Zane Flow systems iand KM Slide 10 “. . . all of nature is composed of flow systems that change and evolve their configurations over time so that they flow more easily, to create greater access to the currents they move.”
  11. 11. Example – river and lung flow systems http://www.squ.edu.om/Portals/20/PDF/World%20Water%20Day%202011/Adrian%20Bejan_%20The%20Constructal%20Law%20of%20Design%20in%20Nature%20.pdf
  12. 12. Slide 12 Design in nature: trees on top of trees (vascular hierarchy) http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Hydrographic_basin.svg&page=1
  13. 13. Time direction of design evolution Slide 13 http://www.squ.edu.om/Portals/20/PDF/World%20Water%20Day%202011/Adrian%20Bejan_%20The%20Constructal%20Law%20of%20Design%20in%20Nature%20.pdf
  14. 14. Design in nature: The constructal law (Adrian Bejan and Peder Zane)  “Freedom is the sine qua non condition for improvements over time.”  “the generation, ceaseless morphing, and improvement of flow design”  “all design is imperfect” Slide 14
  15. 15. Knowledge flows Slide 15
  16. 16. Knowledge flow systems  “universities, newspapers, and books are flow systems for spreading knowledge across the globe. All generate designs that should evolve to better facilitate the flow of these currents.” Flow systems iand KM Slide 16 KM World October 2012
  17. 17. Slide 17 Ranking of universities is hierarchical – just like lung, river system
  18. 18. Elements of a K flow system  Within some defined “system” oE.g. Amazon drainage basin  Many independent actors  Related in someway to each other  Mechanism for K to flow Slide 18
  19. 19. If K flows and Jane McConnel’s proposed basic organizational “rights” “Right” Describe yourself, experiences and expertise Share information and ideas React to ideas of other people Participate openly in developing new ideas Slide 19 NetStrategy JMC http://www.netjmc.com/organizational-change/manifesto-for-self-expression- inside-organizations/
  20. 20. Mechanisms to support K flow Slide 20
  21. 21. Email messages are hyper-siloed, pushed (spam-like), ephemeral, random Slide 21 Emailed Knowledge Receivers are overwhelmed by email volume because: • Arrives at random times • No categorization • Little context provided No access for non-receivers (either contemporaneous or post facto) Cannot support shared authoring / collaboration Multiple copies multiply
  22. 22. Jane McConnel’s digital divide “rights” “Right” Email ESN Describe yourself, experiences and expertise No Share information and ideas Limited to known personal network or risk of spamming React to ideas of other people Limited to known personal network or risk of spamming Participate openly in developing new ideas No Slide 22
  23. 23. Enterprise social networking 23 . . . Just-in-time pull means information is much easier to digest and react to . . . information, ideas and questions are available by default to everyone . . . Having a conversation is easy . . . working on a document together is not longer a guessing game . . . the information stays available so anyone joining the conversation late can get up-to- speed quickly . . . most information has rich context with it (profile of the person who wrote it, which group it was in, what chat proceeded it) . . . Shared categorization (topics / hashtags) Source: http://www.pwc.com.ar/es_AR/ar/publicaciones-por-industria/assets/transforming-collaboration-with-social-tools.pdf
  24. 24. Jane McConnel’s digital divide test “Right” Email ESN Describe yourself, experiences and expertise No Yes (partly automatic) Share information and ideas Limited to known personal network or risk of spamming Easy, unlimited Leaders can listen in (pull up!) React to ideas of other people Limited to known personal network or risk of spamming Easy, unlimited Participate openly in developing new ideas No Easy, unlimited Slide 24
  25. 25. How to “design” enterprise social networking to maximize K flow Slide 25
  26. 26. Designing an ESN for maximum K flow  Focus on the flow system you want to optimize o E.g. Ideas / innovation  Incremental improvement? Transformational change?  Accentuate existing elements of culture that supports the flow you want o Within every corporate culture is the one you really want struggling to come free  Think through the information architecture you think you need (e.g. group naming, title conventions) and then prepare to be flexible  Look for, and support, vascular hierarchy Slide 26
  27. 27. Nota bene  Its about the money (or at least the business value)  Email is built into almost every interaction and buseinss process  There is no perfect design – what you have will always be imperfect  Keep going through the think-plan-do cycle  “The fish rots from the head down” o ancient proverb claimed by many cultures  Don’t underestimate entropy  Culture eats strategy for lunch 27
  28. 28. Questions? Slide 28
  29. 29. Questions? Gordon Vala-Webb National Director Innovation and Information gordon.vala-webb [at] mcmillan.ca

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