Thursday, July 31, 2008

KM Freestyle

I have fielded a few queries on KM recently through work and social network, so I thought I would blog on some of the ideas out there that I like...

The traditional approaches irk me, I have found that then tend to focus on document or artifact management systems. Unfortunately, the information in these documents are highly codified and only have context for that experience. Dave Snowden is quite brutal on the production of these documents focussing on their retrospective coherence and the fundamental attribution error.

Personally, the thing I dislike about this form of KM is that the document is stored based on what it was related to and stored in that place and only linkable through that structure. Now I am aware that there are better systems out there and supposedly on their way into our work network. But is Sharepoint the silver bullet?

A completely integrated way of capturing experiences (and their meaning) as they occur is far more useful.

I have recently undertaken a job that will look at Organisational Health and Sustainability when I introduced the concept of using the AVT Comparison Workshop, it was joked by the client Could you put it into a Comic so that the Aircrew could read it?

I think the only risk is if it becomes too popular

What's in a name?

On a lighter note, and heading back to my two weeks in Wagga Wagga... I recall a lady on course with me who had three kids, Ocean, Vibrant and Winter... This did inspire someone to ask her why? and particularly to justify why she had consigned her kids to be beaten everyschoolday of their lives... and you might think the answer had something to do with Nimbin... but it was: place of conception, nature of the child and season of birth... pretty boring for some odd names. I only bring it up because of Scott Adams

Unity of Direction

Drawing on the idea that Customer Satisfaction is a product of Employee Satisfaction, and internal consultancy organisation may be able to better meet the needs of its customer by capturing the realtime experiences of both customers and employees. This concept attracts the customers and employees as owners of the business and the realtime experience capture is part of the allure.

I particularly like the idea of firing customers.

From the perspective of an internal consultant, jobs that the consultancy accept tend to be driven by the client on a regional basis. There is not necessarily an alignment to the overarching needs of the greater organisation. This can mean that the jobs can lead to the frustration and dis-engagement of the consultants. So the right jobs tend not to be just good for the client but also the best for the consultant too...

Each engagement should assist the organisation to achieve a greater good, whether by meeting an educational, process or other improvement need.

White Noise

It is often a joke in Australia (the World?) to pull the mickey out of Americans for their ignorance but reading last month's The Monthly, I have to consider the effect of white noise.

If we are constantly bombarded by low level information at what point do we stop discerning. I read a blog that my boss put me onto that might have a point that news will find you...

So then do we surround ourselves with like-interested people who act as filters for us? isn't this what web2.0 is really all about? self-censoring? so then we can be responsible for our own ignorance... IF we know what we are doing... In a constrained environment (behind a firewall) then maybe it is a positive but societally I wonder about heading toward a place where Gatorade is used to hydrate crops.

On reflection of Something For Kate Your not the first to think that everything has been thought before... I would tell you that this article is related, but I didn't make it through before getting fidgety and ...

Safety Management

I wasn't really very surprised to find out that someone else had been thinking about a narrative database in terms of Aviation Safety. My experience with the Defence Aviation Safety Database is that it gets very wound up over the details and processes. For example, a defective part requires a defect investigation; an insufficient publication needs an amendment. Apart from the occasional question of whether the support systems are sufficient to respond to a booming safety culture that reports every near miss and even the nearly near miss etc, there is the murky circumstances where there was not necessarily a root cause. So this sets us a scene that you have to report a safety event, it is expected to have a root cause or several and something has to be done about it. So apart from a spiralling process driven bureaucracy it becomes unattractive for a person to engage in the safety reporting and thus the system ceases to be useful.

A reasonable person could potentially see that the bureaucratic overheads of telling your story might actually prevent the lesson being learnt. I say this with knowledge of Sensemaker but are there ways of adjusting the micro-culture to talk about its failure and thus change the system we have into something more useful, from the ground up?

Values Based Leadership and Emergence

A conversation about values-based leadership recently had me thinking about emergence, surely this values-based leadership has something more to it than Walking the Talk. This conversation irked me a little as the experienced guy spoke about pulling out this card with the values on it, reading it and then doing something inspired by that... I found this no different than rules based operations, for the blind adherence of idiots and the guidance of the wise... I would reference that, but not sure who to attribute it to.

Aspirational values are a lovely to have and serve as a gross-error check to see if you are really aligned to the organisation. In most cases they are fairly generic and reflective of some societally aspirational values. I suggest then that managing the environment and not the tasks is actually more of values-based leadership. The fact is despite what is on the wall the values of the workplace are often not nearly as aspirational as the writing on the wall. I daresay that during the job hunt or choosing an employee a fair bit of value-based decision making goes on but once the employee-relations is sorted, the values probably fall into a more natural order of seeking the lowest energy method for achieving the optimum outcome given the parameters (i.e. reward structure, workplace layout, regulations and consequences). Thinking about values reminds me of the Dave Snowden story of his daughter's birthday party... they should be monitored so that the good ones are encouraged and the bad ones cancelled out.

I put to you that sometimes the real values of the workplace are knocking off early on a Friday and if you have to look at a card in your wallet you might not really get it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Dark Knight

I went and saw The Dark Knight, it was a Christopher Nolen classic. I have to say that it did not disappoint... That being said, the rhetoric around Heath Ledger's performance is interesting... the Joker is an unashamed archetypal Loki or Eris... Strange, alluring, quirky but not that dark. The darkness is brought to life by the White (Harvey Dent) and Dark (Batman) Knights... The fall into chaos and the perversion of Dent into Two-Face is truly dark but the chilling part is Batman... at the risk of spoiling the movie, I will stop.

I have taken the day off to get somewhere with my last Career Episode Report for CPENG painful.

Just a thought

First of all, I am speaking without any authority at all (thank you Technorati)... but I thought it was basic that if you want a safe and undistracted workplace then you probably don't want to threaten the maintenance engineers' jobs.

Does Joyce know what he is getting into?

Monday, July 28, 2008

$58, no joke.

I have been somewhat slack... albeit a little the fault of my access to the net... Unfortunately, there is no access to social-networking behind the work firewall nor regular access to internet whilst in Wagga Wagga... Anyway, the direction of this blog is still working itself out.

Well I have some half-baked uses for the Cynefin framework that I intend to blog in the near future... One looks at training, which might actually be closer to KM than I anticipated and the other one looks at Military organisational structure.

Speaking of the Military, I wonder if the RAAF is aware of this revelation. This will not help their retention, I am sure.

To finish, I was shabbily in need of a haircut after my 3 weeks away so I went to the place I have used near work. Only to find that the Barbers had left for the week. This was fine I would simply find a place near home...

I googled a place in North Adelaide called Mens Hairdresser's (which seemed unambiguous enough for me) but once I got to the Village there was none to be found. So, now I wandered closer to home and started looking for a hairdresser. This is not hard to find on Melbourne St, but this uncomfortable feeling settled over me as I stood outside... I felt the need to ask if they cut men's hair... I avoid this and headed to the one with the picture of the bearded person amongst all of the women. Now I say bearded person because the model was somewhat androgynous and that should've been a hint...

I am still getting over the fact that they could keep a straight face whilst telling me that a man's haircut cost $58... I realised it was not a joke when they offered me 10% because it was my first time... Am I out of kilter with the world or did I miss something extra that was on offer here?

Friday, July 18, 2008

End of week 1

Well I have nearly made it half way through the two week course in Wagga Wagga... The course is far from challenging and any opportunity for it to be stimulating is cut off due to tight time constraints... It has been fairly full on 8-5 each day plus out of hours work for assessment... I have really paid off the assessment. So much so, when I woke up this morning (at 4 am) after a night on the gas I put in an hour and a half work in preparation of the tutorial...

I question the value of it all and all, but I guess it is a box-ticked...

I am not looking forward to much excitement, in fact I doubt I will even leave the Base... I should probably put some effort into my Industrial Relations Assignment

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Evil ATM

So it turned out to be true... My debit card was not expired despite this rogue ATM's claim.

Luckily my bank is happy to send me a new card... to my home address... which I won't return to until 26 Jul... There has to be a better way...

Day 2 of course = 2h Safety Lecture + 6 h Legal Lecture, not as much fun as it sounds

Monday, July 14, 2008

Not quite...

Well I have arrived at Wagga and embarked on the first day of course... It is not quite coherent yet but we will see how it goes...

The experience was not enhanced by the attempt to withdraw cash from an ATM... it turns out that it did not like the opposition's card as it swallowed it. It gave a feeble excuse about expiring, which is only made interesting by the lack of replacement card and my inability to access one (due to two weeks in Wagga)... I think that part 2 of this will have to be explored tomorrow when I embark on the experience of actually talking to a strange and rare creature called a bank teller...

The particularly surprising bit is that there is an Internet Cafe around the corner... hence I am writing this... but don't get used to it, I might be a little sporadic in my engagement...

I do wish that I had sorted out a web-based RSS feeder before I had left though...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

August 7

I think it will be a great day to bring a footy in

American Chronicle

Well there is little doubt why the world is such a strange place...

Change is as good as...

As is quite a habit for me, I am stuck in an airport. Sydney today whilst I wait for 3 hours for a connecting flight to the place so nice that they named it twice... Wagga Wagga.

Now it is said that a change is as good as a holiday but I find that it is rarely the case, unless you are the sort of person who finds holidays a reason to plan something not quite as good as at home... Now I have heard many references to how crap the aussie broadband situation is but here is mine...

Blissful in my comfort zone of the Qantas Club in T3, I enquire as to whether there is a QC in T2 where I have to go to board the bug smasher to Wagga... It seems that crossing the road means that I now have to pay for the pleasure to use internet that was free across the road... RUDE!

Anyway, at least I got my Combination Me Goreng from Wok on Air... turns out that not changing brings pleasure... go figure