#WOLWeek Day 5 – Share A Need: WOL is a Force Multiplier

International Working Out Loud Week (#WOLWeek) is 7-13 November 2016. I’m using it as an opportunity to promote Working Out Loud (WOL) and give my own practices a boost by following the 7 days worth of actions to get you started working out loud.

7-days-ofworking-out-loud

Image source: WOLWeek.wordpress.com

Working Out Loud is a ‘force multiplier.’  When you Work Out Loud it builds your network – both in terms of breadth (the number of people you are connected to) and depth (familiarity or intimacy with specific people in your network).  Others in your network then start to act on your behalf.  When you share your interests and needs, others send you relevant resources and connect you with people with the same or related interests.  On Day 5 of WOL Week I didn’t have to share a need – because someone in my network did this on my behalf.

Based on my Day 1 WOLWeek post where I shared my purpose, Bruno Winck shared my need with the #PKMChat community via Twitter, with a specific request (communicated via the use of ‘ping’) to Stephanie Barnes (@MPuzzlePiece).  Stephanie replied with an invitation to contact her.

It’s wonderful the way that Working Out Loud amplifies your presence and accelerates your work.  If you have a story to share about how someone in your network has helped spread the word about something you needed help with please share it in reply to this post.  Stories are a good way of communicating the value of Working Out Loud.

wolweek-day-5-share-a-need

wol-week-day-5-tweet-2

, , ,

1 Comment

#WOLWeek Day 4 – Share Your Progress: Resources on Impact of Knowledge and Expertise in Australian Organisations

International Working Out Loud Week (#WOLWeek) is 7-13 November 2016. I’m using it as an opportunity to promote Working Out Loud (WOL) and give my own practices a boost by following the 7 days worth of actions to get you started working out loud.

7-days-ofworking-out-loud

Image source: WOLWeek.wordpress.com

My Purpose

On #WOLWeek Day 1 I blogged about my current WOL Circle goal:

“to clearly explain the impact of knowledge and expertise on Australian organisations.”

My Progress

For six weeks I played internet detective and asked people in my Australian network for advice on case studies and research relevant to my goal.  I did start out with some case studies from conferences, but was looking for more comprehensive research and analysis.  While there is a lot of online content on Knowledge Management (KM) I haven’t yet identified many detailed case studies or research that directly addresses my goal.  The most promising resources are:

Australian Studies in Knowledge Management (free online access) – This book is a compilation of articles by Australasian academics and practitioners founded on their research and experience. It brings together a range of approaches seen in Knowledge Management (KM) research and practice in a logical sequence incorporating the most important elements of knowledge management.   It explores knowledge management frameworks and identifies some common elements that are explored in subsequent parts of the book.  Of particular relevance to my goal is the chapter ‘The Strategic Question: Why Manage Knowledge.’  This book was recommended by Rob Wilkins, who works in Information Management in the NSW Department of Education. Rob suggested that although this book was published in 2003 much of the content remains relevant.

Knowledge Management Survey (available to purchase for 95GBP = approx. AUD$160) –   This report on a global survey conducted by Knoco in 2014 includes data and analysis of a range of KM aspects in organisations including:

  • The focus areas, business drivers and strategies for KM across business sectors.
  • The benefits delivered through KM, in dollar terms, and intangibles.
  • Business metrics impacted by KM.

I hesitated to spend the money on this report, but did eventually as I’d not found any free / cheap data elsewhere. I’m waiting to receive my copy and hope that it will provide a geographic breakdown of data or commentary on common trends versus differences by region.  Even if it doesn’t, the global data should be of considerable value towards my goal.  Thanks to Ian Fry for recommending this resource and for our ongoing dialogue on KM from a practitioner’s perspective.

KM Body of Knowledge (BOK) Site Mockup – This is an interesting resource which was recently created as an example of what an online BOK might look like.  It was automatically generated using a data compiler (visit the site for more information on how it was created).  It provides links to a range of KM resources including book lists, communities of practice, capability frameworks, and tools.  I’ve given it an honorary mention as it is a launch pad for further discovery, and also as I think I could use this compilation method to efficiently create and maintain similar resource gateways for other knowledge areas. I discovered this resource by following a discussion on the Australian Society for Knowledge Management forum http://www.auskm.org where the community is ideating about a KMBOK.

My Next Steps

  1. Focussed effort reading these resources and identifying the information that will help me construct my explanation of the impact of knowledge and expertise on Australian organisations.
  2. Start compiling a list of relevant Australian case studies.
  3. Start drafting my explanation in response to my goal.

 

, , ,

Leave a comment

‘Speed’ Mentoring – My Responses

AITD Mentor Qs.pngI’ve participated in the mentoring program run by the Australian Institute of Training and Development for the past two years – first as a mentee, then a mentor.  Last night was the end of program celebration event in Sydney, which Neil Von Heupt facilitated.  Neil ran a ‘speed’ mentoring activity.  Each mentee had a two minute conversation with each mentor to discuss their response to the three questions on the flipchart below.

 

The mentors were not forewarned of this activity, so our responses were very ‘top of mind.’  With the possible exception of the first question, my responses would be unsurprising to anyone who had worked with me in the past two years.

Most important aspect of my work

My gut reply to this when asked was ‘conversations.’  It’s not what I expected, and if I’d had more time to think about my response I may have crafted a different response.  However, I think it’s true and is at the heart of much of my professional practice and development.  I find it vital to talk with others to help me reflect, solve problems, ideate, explore, strategise and plan.  As an Learning and Development leader, having a performance consulting conversations with people who ask for a ‘program’ or ‘course’ helps in identifying underlying causes of performance gaps and appropriate solutions (which may not require training).  Conversation is also at the heart of social learning.

I’d like to acknowledge the influence of Harold Jarche in shaping my awareness of the power of conversation in learning  – fittingly, through two very memorable conversations we have had at Edutech conference in 2015 and on a Skype call earlier this year.

edutech-conversation

In conversation with Simon Terry at Edutech 2015 – photo taken by Harold Jarche

Favourite tool for L&D

As a personal and professional development tool, it’s definitely Twitter for me.  It’s turned my learning on it’s head since I started actively using it three years ago by enabling me to access people to engage with in a mutually beneficial interchange of sharing resources, ideas and experiences.  It’s one place where I have useful conversations.  Need more convincing?  Read what others have to say about Twitter as a development tool.

 

Hot career tip

Make time for reflection using whatever method suits you.  It’s vital to make sense of your experience, figure out what’s working and what you’d like to improve, and to inform your future actions.  I do a daily reflection in Evernote using a list of prompter questions on this linked list.  I write a dot point answer to those that seem relevant.  At the end of the week I then use the weekly reflection questions in my list to draw out key themes.  When I have the capacity I also blog about my work.

Which leads me to my second hot career tip – Work Out Loud.  In essence this is what I do on my blog.  Make your work and working processes visible to others – both when it’s a work in progress and when it’s complete.  Search on social media platforms or an internet search tool (#WOL #showyourwork and #WOLWeek) for a wide range of examples of how you can make your work visible.  Follow Jane Bozarth who provides practical guidance and examples to help you get started simply and quickly.

To maximise the career benefits of making your work visible, adopt the expanded Working Out Loud practice using the Working Out Loud Circle Guides.  Adopting Working Out Loud has radically altered my professional development, enabled me to build a contribution-based network, and created many opportunities.

Your Turn

How would you respond to these three questions?  Post a reply below or share your response on Twitter with #LNDcareertips

, , , , ,

4 Comments

#WOLWeek Day 3 – Make A Contribution

International Working Out Loud Week (#WOLWeek) is 7-13 November 2016. I’m using it as an opportunity to promote Working Out Loud (WOL) and give my own practices a boost by following the 7 days worth of actions to get you started working out loud.

7-days-ofworking-out-loud

Image source: WOLWeek.wordpress.com

My Purpose

On #WOLWeek Day 1 I blogged about my current WOL Circle goal:

“to clearly explain the impact of knowledge and expertise on Australian organisations.”

Todays Contribution

Today’s #WOLWeek challenge is to “take the time to make a contribution to another person who is connected to your purpose.”  The day is drawing to a close.  While I have made contributions to others today, I have not made one specifically to someone connected to my purpose.  So today’s post is a reflection on my contributions during the eight weeks of my current WOL Circle as I worked towards this goal.

My Contributions During Current WOL Circle

My purpose is fairly specific in it’s Australian focus, and I did not start with well-developed relationships with relevant people. Most people have an online presence of some kind so I started searching for people I had met at Knowledge Management Australia conference to see if I could find an online social media account, a blog, or other online content they’d published.

When I found people on LinkedIn I sent them a personalised invitation reminding them of our prior contact, and identifying our area of common interest.  If I found them on Twitter I followed them and sent a short tweet with a similar message.  Following someone on social media and making a short introduction gives the simple, unobtrusive gift of acknowledgement.  Where I was able to find content they had published online I looked at it and, if I found it valuable, I liked it, commented on it, or shared it online with a brief statement about the content.  The intent of these small contributions is to move the relationship forward just a little, to make them aware of me, and extend a light invitation to engage without imposing an obligation.

One person did start a dialogue with me via email, and I was able to make further contributions by commenting on their work and asking questions about it.  I asked if they were aware of Australian case studies or research relevant to my goal.  They recommended a global study that contained some Australian data, and suggested I join the AusKm forum and post my question there.  I’m going to leave this thread of the story there for now as it leads into #WOLWeek Day 5: Share A Need.

On reflection, during my current WOL Circle I’ve not moved beyond simple contributions.  This has impeded my progress toward my goal.  I’ve been very busy recently with significant changes, including resigning from a job to commence working independently, moving house, and time off work during school holidays.  I’ve struggled to maintain a habit of keeping an eye on what relevant people are sharing online, reading longer content that they have published or referred to me, and identifying contributions I could be making.  Nonetheless, I have made progress – which I shall summarise in tomorrow’s WOLWeek post.

, ,

Leave a comment

#WOLWeek Day 2 -Make a Connection

International Working Out Loud Week (#WOLWeek) is 7-13 November 2016. I’m using it as an opportunity to promote Working Out Loud (WOL) and give my own practices a boost by following the 7 days worth of actions to get you started working out loud.

7-days-ofworking-out-loud

Image source: WOLWeek.wordpress.com

My Purpose

On #WOLWeek Day 1 I blogged about my current WOL Circle goal:

“to clearly explain the impact of knowledge and expertise on Australian organisations.”

I shared links this to my Day 1 post on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.  I also sent targeted tweets to people in my network that I knew have an interest in knowledge management.  One of these people, Ben McMann, recommended two Australians that I could connect with:

Ben McMann Tweet.png

Today’s New Connections

Today I looked at the Twitter accounts of the people he recommended, skimmed through their recent tweets, and visited their blog sites.  This gave me a sense of their interests and what we have in common.  I asked myself whether I could see myself engaging in a conversation with them where I have the potential to learn something and/or to make a contribution to them.  Based on this initial screening I followed them.

While following someone on social media is a good first step, and an easy thing to do, it’s a superficial form of connection.  So I took one additional small step – I sent them each an introductory tweet.

WOLWeek Day 2 b.png

tweet-wolweek-day-2

Each tweet included a brief message about something specific I had noticed on their Twitter profile or blog.  These messages are an invitation to engage with me – to build our relationship a little through conversation.  (For more on the idea of depth of connections and gradually building intimacy with people in your network you can look at the ‘Intimacy Levels’ exercise in the Week 2 Working Out Loud Circle Guide.)

Will these two new people I have connected with help me to achieve the goal I shared yesterday?  Will I be able to make a valuable contribution of some sort to them?  I don’t know yet.  I never do when I first add someone to my network.  It’s the first step in a process of discovery which may go nowhere, or may result in new opportunities I had never imagined – either with these people, or others that they lead me to.  That’s the mystery and joy of engaging in a network.

Connections for my Current WOL Circle

Yesterday I mentioned that I am currently in Week 8 of a 12-week Working Out Loud Circle.  In Week 1 after you share your goal you start building a relationship list, which is simply a list of people or organisations related to your goal.  You aim to identify ten people or organisations – either those you already know, or new ones.

I started my list with people and organisations I already knew, many from the Knowledge Management Australia conference which I attended in September 2016.  These were either people I had not known very long or were aware of but had not connected with.  Even where I did know them, my level of intimacy with them was low.  My challenge then was to introduce myself to these people in a meaningful way.  This required that I exercise empathy – to do a little research about them, and think about what their interests may be, and how it could be of value to them to be connected with me.  Over several weeks I reached out lightly to the people on my list.  In some instances they did not reply.  In others they did, but the interaction stalled.  In three cases the ongoing dialogue around my goal has been rich and led me either directly or through others in their network to resources that are directly relevant to my goal.

I hope that I have been able to contribute to these people along the way – which will be the topic of my Day 3 #WOLWeek post tomorrow: Make A Contribution.

Further resources:

, ,

Leave a comment

#WOLWeek Day 1 – Share a Purpose

International Working Out Loud Week (#WOLWeek) is 7-13 November 2016. I’m using it as an opportunity to promote Working Out Loud (WOL) and give my own practices a boost by following the 7 days worth of actions to get you started working out loud.

7-days-ofworking-out-loud

Image source: WOLWeek.wordpress.com

Day 1 – Share a Purpose

I am currently in a Working Out Loud Circle.  A Circle is run over 12 weeks.  In week 1 each person in a Circle sets an individual goal that they will work towards.  The goal orients your WOL activities over the 12-week period.  It doesn’t need to be perfect, and there is scope to modify or change over time.  It also doesn’t need to be a SMART goal.  The main criteria are that it is something you care about, and you can make progress towards in 12 weeks.

My goal is:

“to clearly explain the impact of knowledge and expertise on Australian organisations.”

Over the past three years I have worked inside an Australian organisation on improving knowledge sharing.  The opportunity to do this arose as a series of business performance challenges and risks were raised with me in my capacity as a Learning and Development Manager.

For example, a business continuity risk was identified in key operational systems due to the departure of key subject matter experts from the organisation, movement of people internally through job roles, and imminent retirement of some long-tenured employees.  This had an impact on current performance and was one factor contributing to under-utilisation of system functionality, hence missed opportunities to use the systems to help run the business as effectively and efficiently as possible.

risk

Image source:  theinstitute.ieee.org

Why I Care About This

Another example was in the maitnenance and engineering function.  The role of engineers had changed over the previous 10-20 years, reducing the natural opportunity for engineers to develop deep understanding of equipment and line design in manufacutring as they worked.  Consequently, this knowledge was concentrated in a small number of long-tenured engineers.  There was a need to spread this knowledge more broadly to sustain and improve trouble-shooting and capability to develop and impelemnt equipment and line modifications in conjunction with third parties.  There was also a need to improve maintenance management and practices across Australian sites in order to improve production line efficiency.  Knowledge sharing was identified as one strategy to achieve these goals.

So, my experience with a single organisation provides me with the ability to explain the impact of knowledge in this organisation.  I am now working independently and would like to do more work to help Australian organisations improve performance through better knowledge sharing.  To help create opportunities to do this I would like to be able to clearly explain how knowledge impacts organisations using specific Australian examples / case studies and research / data.

How I’m Sharing my Purpose

I’m in week 8 of my Circle.  While I have asked some individuals and one Australian knowledge management community (Australian Society for Knowledge Management forum) for help to find relevant Australian case studies and data, I have not actually shared my overall goal outside of my WOL Circle.  So, today I’m sharing it on my blog which I will post on Twitter and LinkedIn.  I have a Knowledge Management list on my Twitter account, and will share this post with selected individuals on this list.

Further resources:

, ,

8 Comments

My Plan for Working Out Loud Week (#WOLWeek) 7-13 Nov 2016

Working out loud is an approach to building relationships that can help you in some way. It’s a practice that combines conventional wisdom about relationships with modern ways to reach and engage people. When you work out loud, you feel good and empowered at the same time.

 – John Stepper, The 5 Elements of Working Out Loud (revisited)

International Working Out Loud Week 7-13 November 2016 offers an opportunity to explore and/or strengthen your Working Out Loud (WOL) practices.  I was looking for a way to use WOL Week to both promote this powerful approach and give my own practices a boost.  I needed to look no further than the official website where I found 7 Days worth of actions to get you started Working Out Loud. 

7-days-ofworking-out-loud

Image source: WOLWeek.wordpress.com

I’m currently participating in a Working Out Loud Circle.  This is my fourth.  I find the accountability created by being in a circle valuable in helping me work purposefully towards a goal, especially where I need new knowledge and to build my network to achieve the goal.  One aspiration I’ve never met is to make a regular blog posts for the 12-week period of a Circle.  That’s about to change!

My Plan

During WOL Week I will do the following every day:

1)  Take the action suggested for that day; and

2)  Publish a short blog post about what I have done during my current WOL Circle in regard to that action, and the impact of taking that action.

What will you do in WOL Week?

I’d love to know your plans – please post a comment or tweet me.

Further resources:

, ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: