We can re-built it …

If you are a person of a certain age, you’ll remember the 6 million dollar man.

Goodness I loved that programme when I was a kid.

I found myself saying “We must rebuild it” the other day (meaning the whole of an organisation’s KM strategy) and suddenly this intro flashed into my mind.

Sometimes KM is like being those surgeons.

We need to rebuild our service and product delivery using our KM knowledge so that it is “better, stronger, faster”.

It’s not a single thing that needs to be done to improve things. It isn’t *just* a database or *just* an online learning platform. Our KM strategy needs a balance of projects to improve creativity and learning, collection and use/re-use of knowledge, and connections between people.

Just like the bionic man’s bionic eye may be great, but it is considerably better alongside his bionic arm and legs. The combination is better than the sum of the parts.

What programme from your childhood is like your KM strategy?

Kings and queens of use/reuse? Congratulations, you’re the Wombles!

Want more ridiculous but vaguely funny metaphors? Follow the blog (button at the top right) or sign up to the fortnightly/monthly-ish news or come along to a training event.

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Another year gone?!

With a *snap* another year is gone!

I just can’t believe how quickly it all goes.

We had our last book club discussion for the 2019 group today. I know it’s no longer 2019, but we decided finishing a book and getting our collective acts together enough for a discussion was a bit much for December/the Xmas break so we pushed our meeting back to today. And it was a great discussion, really enjoyable, although I must apologise for all the coughing – good job it was online and I couldn’t infect anyone!

We read KM Cookbook this time and discussed:

  • the value of a good metaphor and how to create one
  • how useful case studies are to illustrate and explain complex ideas
  • approaches to knowledge audits and mapping that work
  • how valuable it is to know your users well – how they work, talk and think
  • how many different frameworks there are to explain and organise KM and which ones we use/choose not to use
  • change management and design thinking
  • individual needs v organisational needs
  • KM as investment v KM as cost
  • on-boarding and passing-the-baton
  • KM and learning
  • what the first 100 days as a KM Director looks like
  • and lots more …

If you would like to join us for 2020, you can read more about the group here. The price remains the same as last year and books will be going out next week.

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KNUK is open for 2020! And now global!!!

(I think that deserved a few “!!”)

I’ve been running some learning, knowledge sharing and networking groups for KMers in UK now for about 5 years. It was important to me to offer these as in-person experiences, with quality training and plenty of opportunities for sharing experiences and getting personalised advice, as anyone who follows my work knows I believe “in-person” is the gold standard for sharing the complex stuff and building relationships where people trust and rely on each other.

This year, however, in response to demand, I’ll also be offering the KNUK group online. This means that if any of my in-person group can’t attend a meeting, they can “catch-up” online, and those who can’t get to a group (because they aren’t UK or can’t travel, perhaps) can also join in.

There will continue to be 5x 2-hour events per annum, with plenty of quality learning and plenty of opportunities for sharing experiences and learning from each other.

There is a subscription fee of £265pa for individuals and £475pa for a joint membership, but this is great value for 10 hours of quality learning and a supportive, friendly group (especially when you think what a one-day conference costs).

Meetings will generally be at 1pm GMT, but if we get a number of new members from USA/Canada or Australia/NZ, I’m happy to arrange another discussion at a time that suits them.

So, if you want to know more, comment below or message me directly helenerussell@theknowledgebusiness.co.uk.

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What does knowledge sharing look like?

If I asked you to draw “knowledge sharing”, “knowledge management” or “knowledge mobilisation”, what would you draw?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently.

It’s so easy to say what knowledge and knowledge sharing isn’t, and which logos look trite, obvious or just plain wrong, but it is so difficult to articulate what kinds of pictures *do* encapsulate the essence of knowledge and sharing!

I’ve been leading the UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum logo committee over the last few months and now we’ve all been through the process with a very talented designer, I am amazed and delighted at how the essence of the Forum has been captured so well in our new logo.

Tuesday 19th November is our formal “big reveal” day (I’m ridiculously excited about that – I’ll add it here, so pop back and let me know what you think) but in the meantime … a challenge for you.

I have found it a useful intellectual challenge to think about what our work might “look like” to outsiders.

My question is… what would you draw?

If you were asked to summarise your knowledge activities/team for the rest of your organisation in a simple logo, what would it look like?

I’d be really interested to know what you create. Or do you have an existing logo for your team that you are really proud of? Or do you have a sneaky idea what our UK KMbF logo could be?

Comment below…

(And if you fancy coming along to the conference next year – more info here)

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RCT 101 (huh?)

I’ve written before about RCTs, but a couple of people have asked about them recently, so time for a recap!

RCT – What does it stand for?

“RCT” stands for “Random Coffee Trial”. It’s a play on words and relates back to Random Controlled Trials undertaken by Nesta, where the concept was first created/popularised by Michael Soto and Jon Kingsbury.

What actually is an RCT?

An RCT is a randomly generated coffee meeting for the purpose of improving networks and sharing knowledge of all kinds.

People join the project voluntarily. They are matched at random. They have coffee and a chat (in person or virtually/by Skype). That’s it. No obligation to talk about work or share specific knowledge, but most people tend to share experiences/knowledge about work because that is what they have in common.

How do you organise them?

If you want to organise one, there’s a full “how-to” in my book “Practical Projects in Legal KM”, or you can read more here.

What are the benefits of running them?

The most complex knowledge is most effectively shared through person-to-person contact. You’ll understand this yourself: whenever you reach a block and need to take advice on something really tricky, you probably prefer to speak to someone you trust.

A strong, wide, trusting network inside an organisation supports this kind of knowledge sharing. Networks tend to emerge along particular organisational lines, but introducing some serendipity into the way people connect enables an organisation to widen and strengthen the network.

Where can I read more about them?

I’ve written about them before here:

Can I try it out/join one?

I run occasional RCTs for those working in knowledge and learning in the legal sector. I’ll be matching people up at the end of November 2019 for virtual coffee connections. If you fancy joining in, comment below or email/message me.

More info about this project here.


Got a question? Put it in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Café by Kris Atomic via Unsplash
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Remember remember … KNOWvember!

KMers in the health sector have a campaign each November to improve the visibility of knowledge management.

This year their “KNOWvember19” is all about awareness and it’s worth following the hashtag on twitter even if you aren’t in the health sector.

Taking inspiration from them, I’m going to follow suit and do a couple of free projects to help legal sector KMers to improve their own visibility.

Next week (11th-15th November) I’m going to run a fun 5-day challenge for PSLs and law firm KMers to improve their visibility and at the end of the month (29th November) I’m going to revive my global PSL virtual coffee connections project.

If you are interested in joining in, message me, comment below, follow me on LinkedIn or twitter and further information will follow! Both are free.

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A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
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