KM Asia 2010 - A Summary of Topics

Last week, I have participated in KM Asia; as usual, this has been a very interesting event with great contributions from the region and other parts of the world. The speeches covered common topics which I would like summarise here.

As a start, Dave Snowden initiated his session with the essence of Knowledge Management; nothing new but always worthwhile to repeat:

Enable Human Networks to make Better Decision

One challenge of today’s knowledge workers is the information overflow; we need to find ways to filter the stream of information based on our personal preferences and values; Ron Young called this the ‘selective perception’. He also mentioned that a part of our brain is dedicated for this task. Olivier Amprimo was suggesting to discover content based on personal filter, leveraging social computing. The vast number of documents in company libraries might loose their value and Gerard Bredenoord mentioned their focus on linking experts instead.

Ron Young provoked by presenting quantum physics and showed the link to KM; we should allow coherent domains to collide to create radical innovation. This refers to the resilience of knowledge mentioned by Dave Snowden: manage current issues with complex adaptive systems; this means detect early and recover fast in an environment that allows safe-fail experimentation. Abdul Nasir put this in practice with informal knowledge corners (for tea or coffee) where people can find new solutions and share knowledge efficiently.

“True knowledge comes from living the experience” (Dave Snowden); due to the humans cognitive system, it is not enough to just hear or read about something, and we should engage all our senses and acknowledge it takes time to create knowledge. The experiences people remember are the ones which happened in our daily work, not the ones we read about; therefore, Olivier Amprimo suggest that we focus knowledge sharing activities around our daily collaboration.

Overall, there was a lot of talk about crowd computing and empowerment of people via Web 2.0; this topic is getting more and more important and maybe better understood by executives. Ron Young presented an interesting twist by mentioning that quantum scientist talk about a ‘unified global knowledge repository’, which could be compared to the world wide web.

Many presenters repeated that understanding the culture and obtaining top management support is very important. Interestingly, Gerard Bredenoord and Abdul Nasir added to involve senior management in the actual KM activities; this is fostering both support and culture.

On the technology side, simplicity was the dominant voice. Doreen Tan show-cased the sufficient set of simple KM tools; Olivier Amprimo suggests to hide complexity behind a simple user interface. Siew-Hoong and Abdul Nasir spoke along these lines when sharing their stories.

Last but not least, Cory Banks reminded us to be role model knowledge workers:

Practice what you Preach

Find details to the speakers and the programme on the KM Asia site (check for the brochure).

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