actKM, Dr Vaine and Method Cards Again

Looks like some good stuff is happening in Canberra at the actKM conference, from Cory Banks’ account and the presentations being posted at the actKM website. Matt Moore has invented a KM awareness game of “Dominoes” using our KM Method Cards. Cory reports:

“Discovered a new way to use the KM Method Cards by Straits Knowledge. It was a version of Dominoes where each person was given a number of cards and one was placed face up on the table (a big table is required). Each person had to place a card next to the upturned card and show or ‘sell’ it’s relationship. If you can’t put a card down then you have to pick up a card. Some interesting discussion and ‘selling’ took place. Got very interesting when you had to put a card in gaps and it had to match on all sides. It was good to familiarise people with the cards and the KM concepts.”

And here’s a special message to the actKM delegates from Dr David Vaine who was supposed to speak at the conference dinner but then couldn’t make it “when something more important came along”. Highlights include his new KM certification programme, a new KM Award, and a special accolade for Dave Snowden and David Gurteen.

8 Comments so far

Joitske Hulsebosch

with an idea for a follow up course!

Posted on October 21, 2008 at 05:49 PM | Comment permalink

Stuart French

Hi Patrick,

Please thank Dr Vaine for the mention and tell him I’d be happy to “vet” people for the institute.

I’ll also talk with Stephen and Joe to ensure that if any new-comers look like they are learning anything we will imediately start quoting Popper and Lakomski to scare them off.

It’s the least we can do for this most worthy cause.

All the best mate.

Posted on October 22, 2008 at 04:18 PM | Comment permalink

Patrick Lambe

I will pass on your kind comments Stuart, I’m sure he’ll appreciate them! What would “vetting” involve? It sounds interesting!

Posted on October 22, 2008 at 08:09 PM | Comment permalink

Stuart French

Thankyou Patrick,

Vetting is a complicated process designed primarily as a tool of attrition.

As you may have seen on actKM, the general process includes these elements:
1 - The identification of new posters.
This is a critical step as for the vetting process to be truly effective one must jump on this initial post and tear it to shreds, both from an epistemological and philosophical viewpoints.
2 - The use of straw men
Obviously from time to time somebody will do some pesky background research and find support for their view.  This can be troublesome in a public environment where these ideas tend to go viral quickly if not snuffed out, so we employ the strawman strategy to ignore the main topic and attack a side issue.  This safely guides the conversation into safer waters.
3 - Taking examples literally
Another key tool to keep the aspiring knowledge expert humble is to take their examples literally and point out the logical inconsistencies while totally ignoring the main point.  This works well when combined with #2.  One of the side benefits to this technique is the poster now take 4 ties as long to write each post as they consider each individual word.
4 - Recognising sensitive points
Everybody has their pet theories and solutions. Another tool is to prod them with a few disparaging remarks to get them upset and defensive. Works a treat.
5 - Finally, when the above have failed, the tried and tested method for shutting down these dangerous ideas is to start quoting obscure and hard to verify references from esteemed scholars (preferably dead so they can’t be emailed for confirmation).

I hope this gives you a quick rundown of vetting.  Obviously this is an emergent process and we get better all the time but with visionaries like Dr Vaine leading the way, I can see the day when all useful KM will be sidelined under a geeky title that everybody talks about but nobody is actually willing to use i the enterprise. I see Social Media is making fantastic progress in this area right now.


Stuart French.

Posted on October 23, 2008 at 08:53 AM | Comment permalink


With all due respect, I feel you have completely misunderstood Dr Vaine’s appreciation of our methods.

There is no need to resort to personal attacks (4) or use sub-standard arguments (2) when simple bloody-mindedness will do.

The Golden Rule is to never let anyone else have the last word.  If a new poster has the last word, others may believe that they have “won” the argument (ha!).

The second important principle is to always address each sentence point-by-point in excruciating detail, always retaining the full body text of the previous posts.  This way, people are forced to read all 846 lines of your brilliance over and over again in order to locate the 2 new arguments buried at line 505 and 624.

(Of course, if they overlook these two new lines, you can then accuse them of having “misunderstood” your response, thus winning the argument by default.)

Your points (1), (3) and (5) I will grudgingly accept.  Naturally, I would have worded them far better had I written these myself, but regrettably I am too busy writing my proposal for a 2x2 MiKM analyser of KM initiatives for a speech at an upcoming middle-management conference to comment further!!

Posted on October 23, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Comment permalink

Patrick Lambe

Chaps this is wonderful stuff, Dr Vaine’s feedback is that we need some nice acronyms and catchphrases to help these ideas stick. He’s also asking whether it would be possible to develop software that would do this automatically?

Posted on October 25, 2008 at 12:34 AM | Comment permalink

Patrick Lambe

Joitske, Dr Vaine has been thinking about your “maximising minimal impact” idea, and wonders if it would work by taking one minimal impact KM pilot and then replicating it in a standard way whether relevant or not in all departments of the company? I suppose this could be called indiscriminate rollout?

Posted on October 25, 2008 at 12:38 AM | Comment permalink

Joitske Hulsebosch

Hi Patrick, indiscriminate rollout is of course a fine technique and definitely to be taught- but it is not what I meant- I meant how to measure so that your minimal impact intervention creates an impression of having high impact? You could probably do that by means of doing a baseline survey and repeating it after one year. The way you phrase your question should make it clear what kind of answers you expect.

Posted on October 28, 2008 at 11:19 PM | Comment permalink

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