2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
November 2014 - Magazine No. 182
November 2014 - Magazine No. 182
Edition:
Written By (Staff)

A man and woman are stuck in an empty room in a deserted building in London. The door is open. They wish to leave. Why don't they leave? Towards the end of the play a third character joins them and changes the course of the play till its surprising ending.

'Voices' is a play I wrote, performed these days in the Alley Theatre of Jaffa, Israel. The play was born from a basic image which intrigued me: two people in a closed room. The door is unlocked yet they cannot leave. Since besides writing (plays, scripts, books) I am a KM consultant, I will attempt to show what is can possibly be learned from the insights I gathered in the journey of the play (an internal one, as the heroes of our story are in a closed room…) for our personal lives as well as the 'life' of an organization as a whole.

 

Out of the Box

We all feel sometimes stuck. Opening the door and leaving the closed room is a metaphor for change and growth. An organization can sometimes be "stuck in a room". The door is not locked; all that is needed is the courage to open it. This is not always simple, since the organization and its members are "accustomed" to certain patterns, even if following those patterns leaves the organization and its workers in the closed room. In order to perform the change, the organization must adopt new work methods and enable new knowledge to be created and available. Opening this kind of door can occur through an identification process and mapping knowledge needs, work teams dedicated to developing new knowledge, making knowledge accessible via sites and communities etc.

 

To go through a process together

In the play, a relationship that grows between the heroes and the sharing and closeness enabled by it, are the 'engine' for the clarification process that leads them to growing and knowing each other beyond the initial façade of belonging to different sectors. Likewise in organizations: work meetings for creating new knowledge allow people to know each other beyond their official position as well as beyond a certain image. This acquaintance which includes a description of personal successes and shortcomings generates trust, closeness, growth and sharing and eventually an evolution of the organization. Changing the perception from keeping the knowledge in the "closed room" of the individual worker or specific department to opening up and sharing allows us to listen to different, new voices. The sharing process assists in developing new knowledge and (equally important) creates synergy between the people themselves.

 

Working in conditions of uncertainty

Let's return for a moment to the man and woman in that mysterious room in London. The wait lengthens, yet no one comes, calling for them. The room is empty, besides a single bed and a loudspeaker emitting strange voices. They slowly realize that the voices are 'activating' them and feel trapped in the frightening room. In an attempt to understand where they are, they provide different interpretations to the reality in which they are imprisoned. Without spoiling the mystery in the play, I'll just add that these interpretations are wrong and what really happens in the mysterious room is totally different than what they imagined.

Workers in organizations also feel an undermining feeling of uncertainty and yearn for a guiding voice and directing hand. The world of Knowledge Management can ease this feeling through solutions such as directories, lesson knowledge-bases, insights and lessons learned can be of assistance in the moment of truth, when a decision must be made and direct them to the most effective work processes and organizational knowledge that is accumulated from similar past events. Thus, the organization's business objectives are promoted, and (equally important) the worker feels more protected and safe. This feeling contributes to the worker's positive work experience.

 

Internal and external voices

As the play unfolds, the heroes understand the voices activating them and learn to obtain from them their own inner voices on their way to fulfill their dreams. The play deals with the need and difficulty to define an identity when facing external influencing 'voices'.

Sharing the knowledge leads to the creation of trust between workers and with trust we can even feel better with ourselves and the organization-maybe even hear our inner voices more clearly and succeed personally and organizationally.

 

Nevertheless, we must remember that not everyone will join this process enthusiastically. It is important to hear and contain the critical, skeptic voices without allowing them dominance. They can be productive, as their doubts can highlight a relevant point of view which can lead (if dealt with correctly) to insights and in turn to improvement.

 

In conclusion, Knowledge Management can be presented through the metaphor of voices infiltrating into a long-closed room. A complex, multisystem process with potential to empower the organization and its members requires creativity, innovation and revision. The real reward and change it enfolds is both individual and organizational.

Written By Moria Levy

There are those who refer to the stage we are in as 'the third generation of Knowledge Management'.

The first generation dealt with managing documents and archives.

The second generation continued its predecessors work while refined it to the form of portal and signified the transition to "new" document managing as well as the management of Communities of Practice, Best Practices, etc.

 

The second generation added another element: instead of trans-organizational activities, an emphasis on focused activities supporting the designated Business Lines. No more Knowledge Management only on a shared infrastructural level, rather focusing on a defined target group while defining specific business/organizational objectives that will be improved due to the Knowledge Management. This change made the KM world regard procedural aspects and Change Management.

 

As mentioned above, we are today in the third generation. It has been talked about for several years already (as were the previous generations), yet it is approaching in a slower pace than we would hope. We are now in the Social generation. This means more sharing, less managing. We're beginning to internalize that there is some truth behind the term “Wisdom of the Crowds”.

Of course, there is a follow-up to this trend: a greater emphasis on knowledge; the world is comprised from more than documents.

 

What are the main tools used?

First are the tools of Social Media. This field has its trends and fashions; at first we established more Wiki environments and attempted to adopt blogs; now we are already contemplating the use of Social Networks in organizations (again for organizational and/or business purposes). The software tools that will be used in the organizations will also be social, and increasingly open. Not necessarily personal tools (which, in my opinion, will be less successful), but certainly open-code tools will be used beside the traditional tools already known to us (and maybe even exceed them).

Also here, the cellular phone plays an important role. Surprisingly, sharing implementation begins with the relationship with clients and from there is channeled slowly towards internal organizational sharing. From another aspect, the new generation introduces two additional terms: Gamification and User Experience.

 

What is my prediction?

The user experience will catch on. It is an upgraded version of the graphics which were disproportionally emphasized in the early stages of the age of portals. It is important, and when done right it takes into consideration the cognitive aspects of our brain, and therefore assists us.

 

 Regarding Gamification- it still needs some changing; its essence is great, its name is deceiving. Again, like in the User Experience, there is an appeal to other sides that drive us, besides the fact that we want to succeed in our role and ultimately lead to the organization succeeding as a whole. The competition and reward will catch on more than the fun and games. Organizations will, in my opinion, find this hard to swallow in large amounts and will find creating applications suitable for the central knowledge core difficult.

We may still have fun games, but I estimate that these will be a negligible phenomenon.

 

What about the further future?

We discussed the first, second and third generation. I don't know if this will occur in the fourth generation or that we will have to wait a generation or two, but I predict that technology will increase in power (WhatsApp, Social Networks, and other tools we don't know or fathom yet)- and then, a revolt will occur. People will again place people, without technology, in central positions. People will give the meaning of their position in the organization special value and search for other people as company and partners for knowledge development.

 

Will this be a regression? Not necessarily. We face the future optimistically, regarding both technological and un-technological aspects. All we need to do is waiting patiently. As to me, I'm waiting expectantly.

Written By Meirav Barsadeh

The body of the text is the most substantial part of my content composition. It must be sufficiently present mustn't stand out. It should prevent distractions yet contribute to the composition.

When we choose fonts for the body of the text, we should ask ourselves: does this font-family include enough styles (for example, italic or bold)?

Is the font suitable for the environment in which the text will "live"? Will the readers find the font comfortable and enticing?

 

Furthermore, we must remember that a good body of text takes into consideration three aspects:

 

Shape

Fonts that are designed for use in the body of the text should be easily and comfortably readable even in small sizes. It is recommended to search for fonts with as few 'curves' as possible. A unique design is a distracter and in small sizes may lose its uniqueness.

 

A balanced color value

Fonts with a uniform balanced color value assist the reader focus on the text itself. It is recommended to avoid using fonts with uneven coloring such as crowded spots of black/white or dots.

 

Texture

Texture means the visual aspects of the chunk of text. The texture is a result of the thickness of the line, the height of the line, the division of white space inside and around the letter and the space between them. A good texture is not too boring and not too energetic. 'Energetic' textures make the reading exhausting since they attract too much attention and boring textures make the reading difficult since they don't help our eyes create a sufficient inspection of the shapes. Achieving a good texture means finding the balance between these different aspects.

 

Each text, with its content in mind, deserves a re-evaluation concerning its shape, color value and texture with regard to its required resolution, the device in which it will be presented, etc. Shapes that look good in a low resolution may look clumsy in high resolutions; color and texture that seem legit in a Macintosh cannot convey the same message on an Android screen, etc.

 

Test yourselves: check if the fonts you've chosen fit these criteria.

I wish you good luck.

 

Written by Rom Knowledgeware
Fax 077-5020772 * Tel 077-5020771/3 * Bar Kochva 23 st., Bnei Brak Postal: 67135