The First 180 Days

Cory Banks has posted his KM Australia presentation on Slideshare, reporting on his first six months in his current role. I like two things about this. First is the six month reporting idea: this is just a nice enough period to have something to say with some semblance of residual objectivity, before you get fully submerged in what you’re doing (notice, I DIDN’T say drowned). The second thing I like is the way he’s used mindmaps as his main slide material. It’s organised, clear, and a really nice way to structure a presentation as well as make it communicative for people who weren’t there.

Of course, the “first six months” slideshow report (which thinking about it, every knowledge manager should be made to do for their peers) – ie “the Stuff” (to riff of my previous post on Social Reporting) is nothing without the Stories and Conversations that really highlighted Cory’s initiation into his new organisation. That’s why I wish I’d been at the conference to hear some of it, both on the podium and off. And just for a nice rounding off, if Cory were introducing a new knowledge manager to his role today, what advice would he give, knowing what he knows now?

So my specifications for the 180 Days report for every knowledge manager:

The mindmapped report ala Cory
The stories about the things (s)he discovered along the way
The conversations that taught him/her most
What (s)he’d advise anyone starting in that role in that organisation today.

The hell with it, why shouldn’t that be routine knowledge sharing duty for any senior post in an organisation?

1 Comment so far

Cory Banks


Thanks for the feedback.

I had planned on actually using the mind mapping software to present but ran into problems with opening sub-maps.

On the use fo mindmaps: I received some good feedback from the PMOz conference last year about the use of a mind map to show the ‘table of contents’ of the presentation. In preparing the presentation I had already doen a mind map so instead of doing the image hunt to match content I just decided to break it up into smaller chunks and present the map. I am glad it has been easy for people who weren’t there to pick up.

Of course it would be great to have the associated podcast (hopefully Ark Group will catch onto virtual conferenceing sooner than later) so you could get the stories.

Lastly the advice I would give was covered off by the last slide where I mentioned the following 4 key messages:

1. Adopt Principles
In my situation you would have started rowing the wrong way up a creek without any paddles if you tried to introduce a new Knowledge Policy and associated procedures. We chose instead to improve current practices and introduce principles (slide 8) of knowledge management rather than KM processes.

2. Behavioural Change
It’s all about changing peoples behaviour. Find the influencers and use them to effect change. Leaders must practice what they preach. People follow the leader and mimis their actions, not their words.
3. Manage Expectations
Clearly define what you are going to do and what you are not going to do. Clearly define the relationship with information management and whether or not it is in scope. Otherwise you will be expected to be doing IM and content management and L&D and…

4. Don’t Boil the Ocean
Be careful to not bite off more than you can chew. I am a team of one faced with many opportunities fro improvement. Some battles you can choose, others will be chosen for you. Small probing steps. See what emerges.

5. Technology is the Enabler
It is not the silver bullet. it makes a lot of things happen better/easier/faster but unless it supports the direction/culture/business then it si weel on the way to the White Elephant Graveyard.

Hope this helps.


Posted on July 28, 2008 at 01:06 PM | Comment permalink

Page 1 of 1 pages

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Comment Guidelines: Basic XHTML is allowed (<strong>, <em>, <a>) Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically generated. URLs are automatically converted into links.