Riding the Bike
As a child learning how to ride a bike I had both my uncle and my grandfather take me out to teach me.
Uncle Mark’s Approach
My uncle took off one training wheel and held the bike from the seat as he walked behind me on the path holding the seat. He was looking to protect me and make sure that I didn’t fall. His approach was also very logical. I am sure that he thought about the process of taking one training wheel off at a time and that one wheel would allow me to learn how to offset the void of the other. Before we got on the path, he explained to me what I needed to do. I remember focusing on the pedals and trying to lean on the side that had the training wheel. I fell and dropped that bike a number of times. As I recall, it got to the point where he told me to keep practicing and we called it a day.
Now this memory is a killer for me. Thinking back on this I actually remember how I felt in the moment. The apartment building I grew up in is on the right. We walked out the door and he told me to get on the bike. He had already removed both training wheels. He had his hand on the back of the seat to hold me up and he said “when I push you, just pedal and look at the door in front of you” In the picture above you see the two buildings almost facing each other. You can see the entrance door from one building to the other, he was pointing at the door for the building on the left.
He said “PEDAL”!! and he pushed me. I looked up at the door, it was where he told me to go and I started to pedal in an instant and I mean an INSTANT, I got it. I had mastered balance and I was riding. It was one of those kick pedal bikes where you just push back to brake. I had hit the brakes and spun the bike around like I knew what I was doing. I turned the bike around and rode toward him elated. Both of us were so gleaming and from that point on I knew how to ride.
Outcomes over Activities
Grandpa knew that to get the job done that he had to have me focus on where I was going and that the composition of activities involved were a subtle and covert process. When I tried to focus on the individual activities of pedaling or taking on training wheels off one at a time, it was more of a distraction than helpful. The result of having me focus on activities caused me to crash. When my grandfather relieved me of that burden and helped me focus on the OUTCOME I was able to learn to ride. Of course there was room for improvement and there was still a lot for me to learn, but I was able to get where I was going right away.
Measuring the Enterprise
There are activities and business process to measure. Most organizations aren’t in a position to care or understand the results when it comes to knowledge management. MOST have yet to deal with the “Eleven Deadliest Sins of Knowledge Management .”
Eleven Deadliest Sins of Knowledge Management:
1. Not developing a working definition of knowledge.
2. Emphasizing knowledge stock to the detriment of knowledge flow.
3. Viewing knowledge as existing predominantly outside the heads of individuals.
4. Not understanding that a fundamental intermediate purpose of managing knowledge is to create shared context.
5. Paying little heed to the role and importance of tacit knowledge.
6. Disentangling knowledge from its uses.
7. Downplaying thinking and reasoning.
8. Focusing on the past and the present and not the future.
9. Failing to recognize the importance of experimentation.
10. Substituting technology contact for human interface.
11. Seeking to develop direct measures of knowledge.
Source: (Fahey & Prusak, 1998).
For some I have realized that no matter what I say, there are two truths.
1)People need to see SHINY OBJECTS —->Tools (i.e. Sharepoint, Wiki, Jive, Confluence etc)
2)People need to measure things GETTING TO THE SPECIFICALLY WRONG ANSWER WITH GREAT PRECISION.
If you are still reading.. and you want to learn more about the measures / metrics and you don’t care about anything else I have said here, you are in luck!
A_Practical_Framework_for_SharePoint_Metrics –Thanks Susan Hanley
KMmetricsguide–Thanks Department of the Navy CIO 2001 !~
Outcome to Measure
Ok.. now that we have fed that beast.. Really, you really need to think about a few things for the knowledge ecosystem relative to the business.
How can we Increase Revenue?
How can we Improve Productivity ?
How can we Reduce Costs (overall)?
If you want to break these down to areas like operational resilience and continuity or knowledge transfer or other areas, you can! The bottom line is how is what you are doing in your knowledge practice going to help your business / organization. Even the not for profits have desire their work to be more than naught.
If you find yourself focusing on the tools or the measures / metrics, “results aka (s*&%) happens”