Knowledge Bird

Snippets from the KM Australia Congress 2012

KM Aus 2012 at Luna Park


KM Australia, held over 2 days last week, proved to be a great event for a first timer, like myself. The venue is terrific, even on a quiet, wet day. The people were friendly and welcoming, and though we are all in similar roles, the vibe was certainly one of building new networks and reaffirming old ones. As an event, it seemed to succeed in making knowledge management look as boring as it sounds. Knowledge management really needs some dynamics to capture attention and draw inspiration, otherwise it all just sounds like stuff we’ve heard before. And I guess we really have heard a lot of this stuff before, but thanks to a number of experienced knowledge workers and speakers, there were more than a few a-ha moments in the audience.

Here are a few of the gems that I picked up on.

Shell Oil have created role in an increasingly digital landscape for those experienced staff members who are close to retirement. They have been inserted as moderators on Shell’s internal forums to answer questions, connect the dots, and surface the good stuff. – From a delegate in Richard McDermott‘s keynote “Free yourself and your staff to think”.

In the military, the high stakes mean every point of view is important to lessons learned after a battle. In a debriefing, hierarchy goes out the window and everyone involved gives their full account. Those lessons are then analysed and formalised for structured dissemination. (I think the commercial environment could certainly learn from this approach, instead of getting caught up in the blame culture.) – Lt. Col. Malcolm Conway Staff Officer Grade 1 – Learning, Department of Defence, Australia.

When brainstorming as a group, encourage even the bad ideas, because from those will come feedback that uncover the good ideas. – Signe Lønholdt, Online Community Editor, LEGO.

Give naysayers the role of beta testing new social enterprise or intranet tools, and listen to their feedback. This will make them feel privileged and get them on board. – Susan Camarena, Chief Knowledge Officer, Federal Transit Administration (USA).

Erin Ilgen from Toyota’s Global Knowledge Center, talked about Genchi Genbutsu—the Japanese art of learning transfer. It means go to the source to find facts and make connections for the right answers. She also showed a custom Salesforce Chatter solution that is used within Toyota and between Toyota and its partners to enable knowledge transfer across the world.

Jason Sharpe closed day 2 of the event with his case studies from Telstra. Tapping into the big data at their disposal, Telstra plans to predict the kind of knowledge they’ll need to provide before it’s asked for.


For a thorough look over the content of the event, Nicky Hayward-Wright has put together a number of Storify collections.

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