Tuesday, 18 October 2011

ActKM conference - part 1

I thought I'd share my notes and learnings from a recent conference I attended in Melbourne. My first Knowledge Management conference!

These are some of the points I jotted down or tweeted. I guess they are largely comments I agree or disagree with and/or learning that is relevant to my current workplace or role. Quotes and notes from each speaker in bullet points and my personal notes and comments in italics!

What keeps CEO's awake at night? actKM Forum 2011 - part 1

Phillip Ruthven - CEO of IBISWorld. Keynote.
  • he mentioned the importance of IP over hard assets (real estate, equipment etc)
  • believes that traditional employee/employer roles will be replaced by contracting and outsourcing (we will all have/be our own company and will contract with organisations). I am not sure about this one and if it is the future, think it will impact negatively on organisational culture, staff motivation, trust and loyalty.
  • adopting an 'information mindset' - a condition of survival for organisations today
  • need uniqueness in organisational culture
  • world's best practice (WBP) in respect for society and environmental concerns. Where does contracting fit in with that?
  • important for organisations to focus on what they do best and to diversify into new products rather than across industries
Keith De La Rue - The art of conversation.

  • blurring between personal and work life increasing. Must not ignore personal aspect of people at work. Share some aspects of your life outside of work with colleagues?
  • organisational hierarchy can be a blocker or barrier to open conversations. This is very true in large government organisations - extremely hierarchical.
  • conversations (as opposed to meetings, which have a specific purpose) and time to think, reflect or write independently are not often encouraged in workplaces but are important creative tools.
  • encourage collective intelligence (greater than individual intelligence) - conversations with equal turns, no domination, social sensitivity.
  • talking to others improves individual mental function
  • brief friendly conversations improve executive function - working memory, focus. I know I am invigorated after a friendly conversation with someone at work, whether it be work related or personal. I gather new ideas, get feedback and learn more about the organisation and my colleagues.
  • it is important to make allowances for both extroverts and introverts in conversations and meetings and communities of practice (CoP's). Attended a smart board demonstration today which allows feedback and voting via handsets or iPhones during meetings and training sessions - interesting way of including quiet or introverted team members in discussions and decision making?
I think my agency does this pretty well - it is easier to hold regular conversations in a smallish organisation. We have monthly morning teas for all staff,  weekly all staff meetings, 'brown bag' sessions where project experiences are shared, 'technology tips' sessions and several committees. Many of my best conversations occur in the tea room over the coffee machine or in colleagues offices (I think this is a benefit over open plan work spaces also). I would like to develop more training and skill sharing sessions as well as introducing communities of practice into my workplace.

More in future posts......