2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
February 2014 - Magazine No. 173
February 2014 - Magazine No. 173
Edition:

People involved in Knowledge Management are either business-oriented or academics. Jay Liebowitz falls under the second category, as he is one of approximately 30 academics promoting the field in the US. Furthermore, he is regarded as either the first or second, in terms of the number of publications and books he has produced on the subject. Liebowitz is also involved in the business world and so he, along with two other professors, decided to participate in this business convention.

I've know Liebowitz for two years now. He "discovered" me after I published an academic paper on retiring experts' Knowledge Retention and contacted me. It was quickly revealed that he is a fellow Jew and since then we have maintained good relations and had occasionally corresponded.

When he saw I was lecturing at the convention he quickly made appointments to meet me. And so besides a polite face-to-face introduction, we and our respectable spouses had dinner (in the only kosher restaurant in DC).  Of course, we also made a business appointment in order to think together and exchange ideas. I presented Jay with the ISO Israeli KM standard. Besides showing interest in the standard and being pleased with the progress its development implicated, Jay was happy to receive his own copy of the standard and immediately inquired whether he should merely read the standard or also insert his own remarks and suggestions. In response, I explained that changes are not currently optional, yet if/when we succeed in promoting the international standard it will be based on the Israeli standard in which case suggestions will be gladly accepted. However, this is a journey we have only recently embarked on which is proceeding quite slowly. I thought I made myself clear and so he would take a copy and save it for the future and maybe suggest complementary ideas. This wasn't the case. A few hours later I received the original standard and while reading it felt like a student: the standard was filled with remarks and ideas, references to articles and recommended complementary information on the presented ideas. On every page I found profound remarks. The professor regarded the standard as just another paper submitted by a student, and decided to grade it and provide his own insights on the matter.

As to Liebowitz’s thought and insights regarding Knowledge Management nowadays:

There are five objectives Knowledge Management intends to achieve:

  1. Extracting the Big Knowledge from the Big Data via an analytical process: Knowledge Management will play a vital role in the attempt to overcome the data inflation and transforming them into decision support.
  2. Cooperation and social media: knowledge communities in various forms will continue being a substantial component of International Knowledge Management.
  3. Knowledge Management evaluation and measurements will be emphasized.

Note: in my opinion, this is more Liebowitz wishful thinking than a defined objective, since he is displeased with current KM in this subject.

  1. KM will be more developed in niche fields and in fields currently undeveloped.

Two examples from different fields: healthcare and expert retiree Knowledge Retention.

  1. Knowledge Management, as a tool, may assist in the development of AI.

In short, Liebowitz is a knowledgeable thinker to whom listening to is worthwhile. Equally important: he is pro Israel.

 

 

Some new features in Sharepoint 2013 are really important…

The personal micro blog is currently the most important tool in the organizational social media's toolbox as it provides added value to the organization and its workers, is very useful, easily utilized and easily assimilated.

Every user of SharePoint 2013 has a personal site (My Site, which concentrates information about the user, as well as his/her abilities, activities and publications). Besides these, each personal homepage has its own micro-blog which is essentially a personal news channel in which the user can briefly post a message or data for other users (alike a twitter account or a short post on Facebook).

Micro-blog/personal news channel features:

  • Sharing: The user can decide who to share his post with: the entire organization, all members of a specific site or all users following this newsfeed. Furthermore, users following this user ("liked" a post) can see which posts this user "liked" on their own newsfeed.
  • Tagging: the user can add a #HashTag to his/her post. A search via the organizational search engine will present this user's personal post. Furthermore, common tags will be featured in the tag cloud for general use.
  • Mentioning: The user can add a @Mention of other users to his/her post and enable them to follow these posts.
  • Additional features: The user can also add to his post media (pictures or videos) and links (URL and hyperlinks).
  • Post management: the user can delete or edit his published posts.

(The information above was collected from reviewed video lectures from youtube.com)

 

Written By Noga Chipman-Steinwartz, (Staff)

A fascinating area in the work of any organizational consultant, especially KM consultants, is instructing learning teams and communities. Some teams gather and learn under the title of "new knowledge development"; others act as part of a KM solution implementation process for edge users or constructing a team of content experts meant to formulate a vision and shared tasks.

Facilitating groups may seem like a firmly defined task with clear stages. However, my experience has shown that group dynamics undercurrents affect the task and process. A good facilitator, merging experience and theoretical knowledge can recognize and direct existing dynamics so team goals are fully attained quickly in an enabling, comfortable team atmosphere.

 

Teams as organisms (rather than an array of individuals)

A dynamic team facilitator sees beyond the collection of workers that share some properties and concentrates on another central factor present in the room: the team as whole. The team is an organism to be considered apart from its components.

Teams, as all individuals, feature their own character, will, emotions, urges and even survival instincts. As soon as group facilitator views teams as single organisms they observe the group's behavior. What is this "creature" dealing with? What are its interests? In what stage of development is the group currently? Is it focused on the task or dealing with other matters?

 

Stages of group development

Groups as wholes are usually analogized to babies or children going through phases throughout their lifetime. For teams to reach the stage in which they can work and efficiently focus on the task they must go through several phases not unlike a newborn that most evolve before it reaches its productive, mature state.

Another aspect this analogy presents is the child-parent relationship which manifests in facilitator-team relationships. The two are similar in their transfer from an initial stage in which the group highly depends on its facilitator for survival through a teenage-like stage in which groups rebel against their facilitator and develop independent, productive function. Assuming the initial stages and transition go smoothly, the relationship can become both fertile and mutual.

The importance of identifying typical group development processes and their stages

The aforementioned analogy suggests what may result in focusing on the individuals rather than the group as a whole, ignoring the existence of said "child" with its own life and interests. While the facilitator may be dealing with some individual issues, the group/child is going rancid, scared, angry and testing its limits. The facilitator might face a metaphorically kicking and screaming team and remain oblivious to the problem.

 

Operative implications for optimal instructions

We must view the discussion as a "the collective group" via stories, opinions and perceptions offered by the different members through which we can hear the group as a whole. The collective "child" is speaking to us through the different perceptions and is reflecting the collective state. What is the group currently dealing with? What is it thinking of and is it diverting it from its work tasks? What content cannot be expressed explicitly?

If we opt to analyze the collective psyche we may be able to accompany it throughout its evolution process until it reaches its productive maturity stage. The alternative might lead us to a confronting and even disintegrating group. The group's goals might be only partially reached or fully reached for a price too high (assuming it isn't buried under a variety of excuses).

 

Examples based on true cases

Background: a group of 16 participants meant to formulate a uniform procedure for work team management in 30 different chapters scattered throughout the state. Organization management senses that despite "organization spirit" affecting each chapter, each chapter is led by its manager as he/she sees fit.

This is their first meeting and team members arrive gradually. The team is comprised of senior management, 2 chapter managers, professional managers and two external observers appointed by the relevant governmental branch (and is not organization members).

I start out by requesting each participant to introduce him/herself as well as their position; I then explain the team's goal.

Me: "I'm so glad and excited. We are going to meet for 10 weekly sessions, 3 hours at a time, in order to construct an accepted, uniform chapter management procedure"

Ronit: "I must say, chapters offer such different services that it seems impossible to create a uniform procedure".

Gil: "I think that any resulting procedure will be so generally phrased it will be practically irrelevant".

Yael: "yes, but it seems that there is some sort of common denominator that can serve as the basis from which the procedure can then branch out".

What is happening to the team? What can the facilitator do?

This is an example of a birth process all groups must go through, in which its initial form is generated. This task is far from simple considering the complicated situation involving a heterogenic, diverse group with a limited common denominator which might be the root for its participants discussing the theme of acceptation vs. rejection.

Most people are naturally thirsty for a relationship with the facilitator and group as we all crave for acceptance and belonging. This need also raises a fear of rejection. Some raise their wish for acceptance by speaking of collective success, similarities and partnership. However, the tension is tangible. Is there any point to this birth? Will I be accepted and can I contribute to it safely?

For a group to focus on its goals it must be emotionally available to this task and not remain preoccupied with threatening content. Therefore, the facilitator's job at the moment is to lower the tension and assist in attaining cohesion. First, he/she must see that the group doesn't disband despite the forces calling for just that. The facilitator must be aware that at this point the group is incapable of containing such a conflict and dealing with it independently. Therefore, a conflict should be avoided actively.

Facilitators should be aware of behavior that promotes commitment and a sense of belonging: this can be achieved when each member expresses commitment to participate in the process by depositing something into the group. This goal can be promoted by encouraging the discussion regarding definitions and call on the silent participants to participate as well.

 

Conclusion

Working as a group involves more than the explicit content such as goals, stages and official positions; it includes dynamic content related to emotion and relationships. As facilitators, we are responsible for planning, studying, identifying and reacting to said dynamics so that the team may function efficiently and successfully attain its objectives. This is a rewarding position if performed successfully, just like parents viewing their child growing, testing its strength, occasionally rebelling and finally successfully reaching mature independence.

 I wish you pleasant group experiences!

The personal microblog is a vital tool in any organization's social media toolkit due to the added value it contributes to the organization and its workers and its high usefulness, simple use and easy implementation. Any user of SharePoint 2013 has his own personal website (dubbed My site) which concentrates information on the user's abilities, activities and publishing. The personal homepage also hosts the personal microblog or "personal newsfeed".  Users can publish a short messages/data for other users (not unlike a Twitter 'tweet' or a short Facebook post).

The micro-blog's features include:

  • Sharing: users can decide who to share their published data with: the entire organization, the users of a certain website, or followers of their personal newsfeed. Furthermore, users which follow the activity of a certain user (by "liking" his page) view which of their posts were "liked" by said user.
  • Tagging: users can add a #HashTag to their messages so that any search involving the tagged subject will present their personal publishing. Furthermore, popular tags will be displayed on the tag-cloud in the periphery of the page for public use.
  • Mention: users can add a @mention to their published message/post, linking other involved users that can thus follow these messages and stay updated.
  • Additions: One can also add links (hyperlinks, URL addresses, etc.) as well as media items (pictures or videos).
  • Publishing management: users can edit or delete their published messages.

The data above was collected via a review of YouTube lectures.

 

 

Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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