DNA in the Evolution of KM and OD: Can we adapt to drive meaningful change?
As covered in my recent KM-OD post and discussed in my KM World 2012 W5 workshop, the modern organization needs every shred of productivity and innovation capacity it can muster. But buzz words and aphorisms abound in this space.
Can we actually make a meaningful difference?
I’ve found that traditional practices of Knowledge Management (KM) and Organization Development (OD) have struggled when it comes to getting people meaningfully engaged on the topic of learning. It can be an abstract discussion. Uncomfortable with ambiguity and not knowing, most of us quickly we turn to process manuals, documenting what we think we know, or running training classes. For KM and OD to evolve .. for the modern organization to truly embark on learning how to learn .. we must change the approach.
And what role does organized Education play in all this?
I discuss some ideas for this in The DNA of Collaboration (Ch.19). In today’s virtual Book Tour conversation, let’s discuss a few of the key points:
- Q1. KM should help knowledge moves through organizations and generate value. Does this happen where you work?
- Q2. Does an OD function in your organization exist? Does it help teach people to learn?
- Q3. What are the synergies between KM and OD?
- Q4. How can organized Education influence/guide this evolution?
- Q5. Senge and Wheatley have said much on learning in the collaborative context. Is it still relevant?
- Q6. New thinking about change (per Hagel): a shift from structure to flow, reflecting how we learn. Agree?
You can join the conversation via TweetChat here.
Note that Saturday is becoming our Global CDNA conversation, with N.Amercian (US & CN) CDNA conversations breaking out Monday evenings, moving to alternate weeks in January.
Intrigued? Reach out, let me know your thoughts.
Chris Jones, aka @sourcepov, author
3 Comments | tags: #cdna, capacity, change, education, hagel, KM, learning, metaphor, OD, senge, wheatley | posted in booktour, knowledge management, learning, organizational development
No shortage of change these days, but the question for most quickly becomes: Are We Ready? There is some great literature in the space, grounded by the foundational work of John Kotter and others, but most find when it is time for the hard work, most remain flat footed, unsure if they’re ready.
Can we measure our readiness?
In The DNA of Collaboration, Chapter 18, I introduce a simple measurement framework that helps us set relative goals at 100% for all the vectors we want to manage, and we plot a point on each vector. What results is a spider diagram. I’m working on a sample for upcoming discussions.
In today’s chat, let’s discuss the approach from a practical perspective, with the ultimate question: “Can we measure our preparation for change?”
- Q1. Can we measure subjective gaps (knowledge, buy-in, commitment) in quantitative ways?
- Q2. What are some key Change vectors we should try to measure?
- Q3. How do people respond to being measured?
- Q4. Are there ways to mitigate ‘people measurement’ resistance?
- Q5. From a strategy perspective, what light does that shed on “high stakes testing?”?
Hope you’ll join us, 11aET. You click use tweetchat w/ hashtag #cdna to participate. We’ll see you online!
Chris aka @sourcepov, author, The DNA of Collaboration
P.S. You may want to check out these Measurement models, described in the book:
FIG 11 – Collaboration Framework from The DNA of Collaboration
FIG 27 – Collaboration Framework (applied) from The DNA of Collaboration
Leave a comment | tags: change, kotter, learning, measurement, spider diagram | posted in booktour, leadership, learning
In the game of chess, every move brings important decisions. Is it best to advance, and stake a claim to new ground? Or to retreat, consolidating gains? Taking the lead, or letting the person across the game board set the pace?
Collaboration is fraught with decisions like these, where we must decide how to engage, and then revisit those decisions again and again, making adjustments.
Much depends, of course on our intentions and the context of the situation at hand. Are we there to share and inform, or to learn? Ultimately, isn’t it some of both?
In the context of effective team dynamics, I believe we need a balanced strategy, finding the optimal place between extremes, sharing and learning in useful ways. It’s about letting the circumstance of your knowledge, the topic, and the chemistry of the group tap new, “emergent” possibilities.
As we continue to explore the dynamics of effective collaboration in The DNA of Collaboration, “Balanced Objectives” (Ch.17) asks us to consider the importance of a balanced approach, and to understand how to get there.
In our chat SAT Nov 17 11aET (click here to join), let’s unpack it like this:
- Q1. Explore the shifting dynamic of teacher v. learner in a collaborative context.
- Q2. As in chess, collaborators balance opportunities to advance v. consolidating gains. Can we switch often and be productive?
- Q3. To achieve collaborative balance, must our roles keep shifting between leading and following?
- Q4. Is there an optimal balance between structured process and a more open, creative flow?
Hope this helps bring the balancing act of collaboration a bit more into focus. It’s critical thinking at the micro level, making decisions in the moment. When it comes to solving problems in teams, paying attention to dynamics like these pays huge rewards.
Challenge me with your thoughts and ideas .. we’re all here to learn! I’ll see you online!
– Chris Jones, author, aka @sourcepov
1 Comment | tags: #cdna, adapting, attention, balance, collaboration, decisions, flow, learning, problem solving, structure, teacher | posted in balance, booktour, critical thinking, flow, learning
As we move toward team dynamics that are based less on structure and more on flow, we face a dilemma. We gain the benefit of new thinking, serendipity and emerging ideas, but isn’t there danger that we lose focus?
The short answer is yes.
We must explore the need for balance points. We’ll also need a flexible lightweight process that allows us to navigate the challenges we’ll encounter. In my experience there are several ways we can enable the benefits of collaborative flow without losing our way. In today’s Book Review topic, as we explore The DNA of Collaboration Chapter 16 on Process, let’s take apart some of the most important contributing factors:
- Step 1. Framing. We need enough structure to support a dialog, but space for it to evolve. How can we shift our facilitation thinking away from control?
- Step 2. Guidelines & Introductions. Who is here? Why? How is this going to work?
- Step 3. Context. We often plow into collaboration w/o thought to relevance. What are the challenges of changing context in real time, during the conversation? When should context be set? held? changed?
- Step 4. Brainstorm & Dialog. How will we interact?
- Step 5. Patterns. Looking for Patterns is like “mining for gold”. What practices can make this easier, more intuitive, more common?
- Step 6. Synthesis. Aka “curation,” it’s about capture, prioritization of outcomes, and teasing out the value. Why is this so difficult? How can we get better at it?
Many who participate in the most established Twitter Chats will notice some of these elements. I believe they have evolved into their current form due to social collaboration in action. In fact, we continue to explore these dynamics at #smchat (social media), #ecosys (k12 edreform) and of course here at #cdna (collaboration practice).
Share your thoughts. Which aspects of these steps resonate? Which of these do you use most frequently?
Looking forward to our conversation. See you online.
Chris aka @sourcepov
3 Comments | tags: #cdna, #CollabDNA, collaboration, focus, language, learning, patterns, semantics | posted in booktour, context, control
With such a great turnout and set of discussions at KM World 2012, I wanted to spend a few minutes touching on some of the key takeaways. These need to be expanded .. but let’s start the conversation here ..
- Q1. KM is becoming more about how knowledge moves through organizations and generates value. Does this happen where you work?
- Q2. KM helps us learn about learning. How relevant is this in your org today?
- Q3. A key message in KM is moving from structure to flow as prevailing metaphor, reflecting how we learn. Agree?
We’ll discuss this SAT 10/20 at 11aET.
Excited that our book debuted at the conference, with a deep dive at workshop W5 on Tuesday.
Intrigued? Reach out, let me know your thoughts.
1 Comment | tags: culture, flow, KM, knowledge management, learning, structure | posted in booktour, f2f events, knowledge management, organizational development
No matter how hard we work on the skills for collaboration, there are times when are our intended efforts are hi-jacked. Deep in our mental circuitry are safety mechanisms that can trigger with little notice, influencing our behavior and what we say.
When this happens, we lose our collaborative edge.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most common triggers, to surface some working examples. It will help if we can bring these formidable forces top of mind:
- Q1. Heuristics like “go with the flow” are mental shortcuts; what are more examples? when might they trigger?
- Q2. Instincts keep us safe, but learning and collaboration require risks. How do our survival instincts impact our engagement?
- Q3. The Emotion of Fear is perhaps the greatest negative influence on collaborators. What exactly are we afraid of?
- Q4. Margaret Wheatley said: “Fear of Error seems to be the darkest of Darwinian shadows” .. can we guard against this thinking?
While many of these subconscious mechanisms lie beyond our direct control, being aware of them gives our thinking selves the chance to call time out when our animal instincts trigger in non-productive ways. fMRI (magnetic brain imaging) is helping us understand this better.
I discuss these dynamics in The DNA of Collaboration, Chapter 9.
Instincts can be critical triggers. But when we fear loss of acceptance or fear our survival is threatened, our ability to collaborate is compromised.
Think about the implications. Would love your feedback.
– Chris Jones @sourcepov, author
Leave a comment | tags: #cdna, collaboration, emotions, fear, heuristics, instincts, learning | posted in heuristics
Unless you are a detective, a teacher or a literature buff, you probably don’t give critical thinking the time of day. Getting to the core of issues and understanding hidden implications is hard work. Most of us seem never to have the time, or when we do, we lack the energy.
But what’s the long-term effect when we turn away from deep reflection as a way to navigate the world’s challenges? Has reading with a discerning eye become a lost art?
And do our schools still give it the needed focus?
These and other aspects of critical thinking are woven throughout The DNA of Collaboration. It is an essential thread in the process of solving problems, not to mention the important work of framing our ideas in the first place. In the book, I touch on the core elements in Chapters 1 and 2, expand on them as we unpack collaboration, then pull all of the dimensions together in Chapter 20, making the case for why deep discernment skills are so important.
Let’s define ‘critical thinking’ in the learning context as: ‘deep & thorough analysis on many dimensions of problem or idea’.
With that as a foundation, let’s look at several key aspects of this in today’s Virtual Book Tour conversation, 12/15 11aET:
- Q1. Is our ability to discern fact from opinion losing ground?
- Q2. Experts approach & define #criticalthinking differently. How do OD & KM treat this, compared with EDU?
- Q3. Where does #criticalthinking show up in the workplace?
- Q4. Where & when in school must #criticalthinking be tackled?
- Q5. The 21st century may need a dose of Descartes or Kant; what can we still learn from classic philosophy?
To me, collaborators must be hungry for answers. Critical thinking must be a part of our learning DNA. It’s how we’ll survive the 21st Century. I hope you’ll join us as we start to discuss the why and the how.
See you online. To join the conversation, click here.
– Chris Jones, author, @sourcepov
Leave a comment | tags: abstraction, context, critical thinking, Descartes, framework, ideas, Kant, learning, problem solving, root cause | posted in booktour, critical thinking