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  • Dumas, Valerie S.
    Fellow CoP members, I would like your comments/reactions, suggestions about a training workshop that our boss has imposed upon us. I have my own opinions
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 1, 2001
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      Fellow CoP members,

      I would like your comments/reactions, suggestions about a training workshop
      that our boss has imposed upon us. I have my own opinions about this
      training, but I will refrain from stating them at this point because I want
      to see if there are other perspectives. Specifically, this training will
      include people who are considered experts, as well as those who know
      absolutely little about CoPs and knowledge management. There is little else
      about the specifics that will be covered. Here are the main components:
      km principles and frameworks (1 hr. 15 mins)
      knowledge harvesting teams (1 hr)
      knowledge harvesting individuals (1 hr)
      knowledge storage and transfer (1 hr)
      communities of practice (1 hr)
      km project mgt (45 min)
      Any insights would be greatly appreciated!!

      Valerie Dumas
      Northrup Grumman - TASC
    • John D. Smith
      Valerie, Obviously context governs here, but it seems particularly ironic to see communities of practice on your list with one hour devoted to it. Today
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 1, 2001
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        Valerie,

        Obviously context governs here, but it seems particularly ironic to
        see "communities of practice" on your list with one hour devoted to
        it.

        Today happens to be the end of the 2nd (of 3) weeks in the workshop
        that Etienne Wenger and I present on communities of practice. Trying
        to squeeze it all into THREE WEEKS seems like quite a challenge! (and
        leaves me completely exhausted...)

        As I look at your list of topics, it seems to me that it
        OVER-emphasizes "knowledge stocks" (or representations of knowledge)
        at the expense of "knowledge flows" (or working and learning).

        John

        --*
        --* John D. Smith, 503.963.8229, 2025 SE Elliott Ave, Portland OR
        97214-5339
        --* http://www.teleport.com/~smithjd ICQ: 72789757 cell: 503-975-7799
        --* "With company you quicken your ascent." -- Rumi
      • nickols@optonline.net
        Valerie Dumas requests comments, reactions, suggestions about an ... It has six contact hours so it s a full day session; that implies some kind of commitment.
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 1, 2001
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          Valerie Dumas requests comments, reactions, suggestions about an
          imposed KM training workshop with the following components:

          > km principles and frameworks (1 hr. 15 mins)
          > knowledge harvesting teams (1 hr)
          > knowledge harvesting individuals (1 hr)
          > knowledge storage and transfer (1 hr)
          > communities of practice (1 hr)
          > km project mgt (45 min)


          It has six contact hours so it's a full day session; that implies
          some kind of commitment. Half of that time is devoted to harvesting,
          storage & transfer so John Smith's conclusion that the session is
          skewed toward "stocks" instead of "flows" seems on the mark.

          On the face of it, it looks like the kind of introductory session one
          would expect in a company where the understanding of and commitment
          to KM is predicated on capturing codifiable knowledge.

          In your shoes, I would approach it with an open mind, take very good
          notes, especially as regards any signals regarding the corporate
          commitment being made and any next steps. In short, don't take a
          position until you've been through it.

          Fred Nickols
          "Assistance at A Distance"
          nickols@...
        • Scott Allen
          Several comments here... First off, Valerie -- I d say it s already doomed to be unsuccessful. You gave that away with your opening sentence -- a training
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 1, 2001
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            Several comments here...

            First off, Valerie -- I'd say it's already doomed to be unsuccessful. You
            gave that away with your opening sentence -- "a training workshop that our
            boss has imposed upon us". It's not going to be unsuccessful because your
            boss initiated the action rather than you all initiating it -- it's going to
            be unsuccessful because your PERCEPTION is that it was imposed, so you've
            got a huge barrier to effective learning right there. Think about it -- how
            many employees are actually running around out there saying, "Gee, boss, I
            want to go to a KM workshop"? Not many -- but almost every one of them
            would benefit from it.

            As far as the workshops themselves, they sound great. I don't know who's
            teaching them (care to share?), but it sounds like they're from the
            "knowledge economics" school of thought, which treats knowledge as a
            commodity. I personally like this approach for many reasons, which I won't
            go into in detail now, but I'll suffice it to say that a) it allows us to be
            quantitative, which b) allows us to be scientific, and c) it allows us to
            put KM into terminology and models and patterns that EVERY business person
            can understand. There's a lot more reasons, but those three alone, I think,
            would be sufficient justification.

            As John pointed out, those are WAY short in terms of time for the topics
            covered. However, as an introduction of new concepts with (hopefully) SOME
            practical application -- go for it! Is the company paying for it? What
            have you got to lose? A few hours? I mean, it's not like this is Defensive
            Driving or something... go enjoy!

            ---

            Now, John -- "knowledge stocks" do not have to be representations of
            knowledge. A group of people sitting in a room with a bunch of knowledge in
            their head is "knowledge stock", or perhaps more appropriately, "knowledge
            livestock". (I just came up with that, and I have to admit that the visual
            is cracking me up!) It helps to have a catalog and an inventory of that
            stock, and it helps for them to be explicit. Isn't that what a Corporate
            Yellow Pages or other expertise location system is -- a catalog of your
            "knowledge livestock"? Isn't that what skills assessments are -- an
            inventory of your "knowledge livestock"?

            Guess what -- if you do that a little more formally and rigorously, that
            "knowledge livestock" can be appraised, and you can actually put it in your
            financial books as intangible assets with real $$$ tied to it.

            "Knowledge livestock" -- I love it -- just remember where you heard it
            first! :-)

            Scott Allen
            Senior Director of Services
            KM Evangelist
            Mongoose Technology Incorporated
            scott.allen@...
            http://www.mongoosetech.com
          • John D. Smith
            Scott, re knowledge livestock The problem I have with thinking of a bunch of people in a room as a stock (and I m using the term in the way system dynamicists
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 1, 2001
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              Scott, re knowledge livestock

              The problem I have with thinking of a bunch of people in a room as a
              stock (and I'm using the term in the way system dynamicists use it: a
              stock is like a bucket that you can fill or empty and at any given
              time has a determinable value) is that the knowledge in the room is so
              unpredictable and indefinite.

              You ask a good question or make a good joke (like about livestock,
              "... Moooooooo... Here, bossy, time for milking... ") and the room
              cracks up and comes up with new insights, or, possibly, completely
              shuts down and has ZERO knowledge. That's what makes putting $$$
              value and publishing it in your annual report somewhat questionable.

              And come to think of it, Scott, should you be in the CoP workshop
              right now, working against a deadline? (Come to think of it, what the
              hell am I doing chattering along on com-prac, when I've got a ton of
              stuff in the workshop that I haven't read from last night! Yikes!
              Consider me sequestered in another corral :-)

              John

              --*
              --* John D. Smith, 503.963.8229, 2025 SE Elliott Ave, Portland OR
              97214-5339
              --* http://www.teleport.com/~smithjd ICQ: 72789757 cell: 503-975-7799
              --* "With company you quicken your ascent." -- Rumi
            • Melissiecr@aol.com
              Contrary to my natural proclivities, I find myself rising to the defense of this workshop format. (and mind you, I consider CoPs to be the only universal Km
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 1, 2001
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                Contrary to my natural proclivities, I find myself rising to the defense of this workshop format. (and mind you, I consider CoPs to be the only universal Km application).
                Hey, you need both sides. You need the connections for the messy, tacit knowledge to be exchanged in uncontrollable situations. But codification is also important. As Chuck Seeley of Intel recently reminded me, a balance between the two is the most desirable.
                Having said that, how dare they spend so little time on CoPs?!
                Mooinlyly yours,
                Melissie
              • Scott Allen
                If you look at a partially full warehouse, there s no way you can tell how much is in there or what it is. Or what if you have multiple warehouses,
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 1, 2001
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                  If you look at a partially full warehouse, there's no way you can tell how
                  much is in there or what it is. Or what if you have multiple warehouses,
                  distribution centers, etc.? Now imagine each person in the room is their
                  own huge warehouse and distribution center all rolled into one. Do you have
                  any idea how much inventory gets lost, stolen, misplaced, or just improperly
                  accounted for here? Just because a human being is far more complex than
                  even this doesn't change the fact that humans are stores of knowledge, and
                  in a knowledge market model can be treated as such.

                  And sure, you can't quantify everything, but you can quantify a very
                  meaningful portion of it. There are all kinds of ways to quantify it --
                  reputation, skills assessment, etc. The point is you don't have to make it
                  explicit in order to measure it -- you make a reasonable statistical
                  representation based upon the available evidence.

                  And it's not that shaky to put it in your annual report. It's no less real
                  than "brand equity", "customer base", and other intangibles that some
                  companies have been putting on there for years.

                  And I've got my kid's big play tonight -- "Oz", so I won't be hitting the
                  workshop this evening. I'm hoping that since it was a short week, y'all
                  will leave it open 'til at least late Sunday night or first thing Monday
                  morning?

                  Scott Allen
                  Senior Director of Services
                  KM Evangelist
                  Mongoose Technology Incorporated
                  scott.allen@...
                  http://www.mongoosetech.com


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: John D. Smith [mailto:smithjd@...]
                  Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 1:45 PM
                  To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [cp] KM training at Northrup Gruman - TASC


                  Scott, re knowledge livestock

                  The problem I have with thinking of a bunch of people in a room as a
                  stock (and I'm using the term in the way system dynamicists use it: a
                  stock is like a bucket that you can fill or empty and at any given
                  time has a determinable value) is that the knowledge in the room is so
                  unpredictable and indefinite.

                  You ask a good question or make a good joke (like about livestock,
                  "... Moooooooo... Here, bossy, time for milking... ") and the room
                  cracks up and comes up with new insights, or, possibly, completely
                  shuts down and has ZERO knowledge. That's what makes putting $$$
                  value and publishing it in your annual report somewhat questionable.

                  And come to think of it, Scott, should you be in the CoP workshop
                  right now, working against a deadline? (Come to think of it, what the
                  hell am I doing chattering along on com-prac, when I've got a ton of
                  stuff in the workshop that I haven't read from last night! Yikes!
                  Consider me sequestered in another corral :-)

                  John

                  --*
                  --* John D. Smith, 503.963.8229, 2025 SE Elliott Ave, Portland OR
                  97214-5339
                  --* http://www.teleport.com/~smithjd ICQ: 72789757 cell: 503-975-7799
                  --* "With company you quicken your ascent." -- Rumi


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