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Who – What – Where – When – Why of KM September 30, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in Information Policy, Knowledge Management.
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Call it the W5 if you like… The key attributes of a digital asset strategy. I like to simplify things and this is my attempt to provide a simple framework for all of the key elements associated with digital information management. Let’s do a simple “unpack” of the top-level terms and let’s further assume that the digital assets are really enterprise knowledge assets.

  • Who – knowledge author, knowledge custodian, knowledge consumers
  • What – knowledge content, knowledge context, knowledge authority
  • Where – knowledge location, knowledge access procedures, knowledge update process
  • When – knowledge date of origin, knowledge date of filing, knowledge date of modification
  • Why – knowledge reason for being, knowledge benefit, knowledge value

So let W5 guide your KM digital asset planning.

Can Social Media be Managed? September 28, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in Collaboration, Communications, Information Policy, Knowledge Management, Stewardship.

Imagine that you have a culture where markings of authority is essential to knowledge pedigree and that pedigree knowledge can only be delivered as part of a carefully orchestrated multi-level consensus campaign.  Does not sound like a very good fit for social media technology.  However, it may indeed be a good home, with some tuning of the technology.

When you get your social media collection out of the box and lay out the parts you notice a “blog” (like WordPress), a “wiki” (like MediaWiki), a “tagspace” (like del.icio.us), a “web cms” (Joomla, Drupal, etc.), a “media repository” (like Dspace), a “discussion system” (like phpBB), a “social profile system” (like facebook), a “microblog” (like twitter), and maybe a few other parts.  All of these components are ready to use in a highly collaborative Web 2.0 environment.

How does that square with a culture that needs to see a completed artifact before it can be “reviewed”.  A culture that by process of review has a give and take between concepts and key points, thereby refining the artifact.  A culture where the “author” is not a group, but a recognized authority and others are providing peer review editorial on the artifact. A culture where the step-by-step uplift of the artifact through levels of management establishes the actual pedigree of that artifact.  A culture where upon establishing sufficient management endorsement (pedigree) the artifact can now serve as a key position.

Now that we have that key position, we can construct a campaign of consensus around the position that the artifact represents.  That consensus builds as a this position is delivered to multiple levels of the customer organization.  A consensus that respects and considers that clarifying the position requires unique communications at each level of the customer organization.

Is such an environment a place to plug-in social media as an out-of-the-box solution?  In a word – No!

Social media in this environment requires conforming of the social media components to the perscriptive business process of peer-review, pedigree forming and consensus forming.  At a simple brush, that requires that some of the general purpose aspects of the out-of-the-box social media stack need to be tuned a bit.  Where is the “version-lock” feature in the wiki?  Where is the private channel page collection within the blog and wiki space?  Where are the explicit “workflow” features that can be process-wise associated to artifact forming, review, and endorsement?  It’s not there in our out-of-the-box experience.  So do we “modify” what’s there, look for an alternative, or wait?  If you have the talented staff in place, then a modify is probably a good alternative.  Waiting works if you don’t have cash and the need is not urgent, and looking for an alternative?  We are always on the lookout for the new new thing!

Your 3 Profiles September 17, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in Community, Knowledge Management.
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Everybody has three profiles:

  1. Personal Profile – what they share on facebook with family and friends…
  2. Corporate Profile – the “brand” and personality they project inside their company
  3. Professional Profile – the professional skills and competency that transcend corporate associations

How do these profiles intersect and border each other?  What pressures force these profiles to merge?  Can these profiles be managed separately or do we attempt to simplify to a “personal” and a “work” profile?

Monitoring Corporate Identity September 17, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in Collaboration, Communications, Community, Identity, Information Policy, Security.
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Where is your corporate identity these days?

  1. corporate twitter profile
  2. corporate google profile
  3. corporate wordpress profile
  4. corporate facebook profile
  5. corporate linkedin profile
  6. corporate yammer profile

and the list goes on and on…

Are you securing these identity locations?  Who is in charge of that process?  What is the corporate policy for managing and policing these external identity spaces?

Something to think about…

Trust, Boundaries, and Community Value September 16, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in Collaboration, Community, Knowledge Management.
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The value of a community.  A real community that openly shares with each other.  A community where you get to know what works well and what is not so good…  That kind of community where truth is shared will always have defined boundaries and deep trust between members.  Let’s explore both concepts briefly.


Boundaries offer a community an essential focus.  It’s not as if everything is to be discussed here.  The things we will share will in high probability be focused within the boundaries.  That just makes it easier to think about what you want to share in that channel and everybody that attends that community will tend to have some common expectations.  Those common expectations will more likely be satisfied by the shared dialog creating a community experience that is satisfying to the members.


It’s difficult to share truth without trust.  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas speaks to a larger principal of professional trust.  If I put myself at risk and share some information that makes me vulnerable, that is trust.  The sort of trust that in animals would be akin to exposing my soft furry belly to you for a quick rub.  While I don’t typically expose my belly to my collegues, the verbal exchange offers a similar level of risk exposure when I initiate the trust relationship.  The initiation of the trust relationship by exposing your weaknesses and failings offers a channel for more open communications.  A dialog based on trust.  A community with trust has conversations of value.