When we approach people to suggest that they share a case study or a presentation at a summit, many of them respond the same way. “Oh, no.” they say. “I don’t have a case study or a story to tell”  – And why not? Surely every KM professional must have a story to tell?

Many of us hesitate to share our stories because we are stuck in the idea that a case study should be a shining example of best practice, and when we look at our own experiences we see the ‘failures’, the things that didn’t work out as planned, the disappointments. Intellectually, of course, we know as KM professionals that failure leads to learning and insight, but when it comes to measuring ourselves against others, we pull back.

It sometimes seems that we have all become experts in framing and showcasing our lives, our stories and experiences in a shiny, edited way. While we can’t really blame Facebook and Photoshop, but they offer a good example of how this plays out in the personal sphere – just think of how many photos of smiling families on the beach you see, and how few of the same family later that day when both kids are having a tantrum! Read the rest of this entry »

The Playback Theatre Master Class on 27 May 2015 will provide an opportunity to experience and reflect upon the power of theatre practices to facilitate knowledge sharing and sense-making.

In the video below, Destin (of YouTube channel Smarter Every Day)  shares his story of how he learned to ride his bicycle after the engineers decided to fasten the handles backwards. This backwards brain bike turns right when you turn left, left when you turn right. Easier said than done.

It took Destin eight months of dedicated practice to override his memory of riding a bike. And then again 20 minutes to ride a normal bike again. His toddler could ride the backwards bike within two-hours.

This story reminds me of the stuckness we often experience when we need to unlearn to learn. The challenge is that knowledge can become so embodied, like riding a bike, that we cannot access it in a rational manner to be able to change it. How can we access such embodied or encultured knowledge.

One method that we could use is Playback Theatre. Playback is a form of theatre Read the rest of this entry »

Where do great ideas really come from? Have you ever noticed how at conferences, sometimes it seems like most of your real insights and breakthroughs come not from listening to a speaker, but from debating and discussing the sessions afterwards, in the coffee breaks?

“We take ideas from other people, from people we’ve learned from, from people we run into in the coffee shop, and we stitch them together into new forms and we create something new. That’s really where innovation happens.” – Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson has explored, discovering that innovative ideas flourish in an environment he calls a “liquid network” – that brings together diverse ideas, people and interests in unstructured sharing, where ideas can jostle together, bouncing off each other.

Watch Steven share great examples of this principle:
Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from
TEDGlobal 2010 · Filmed Jul 2010. Video time: 17:45

This year’s Southern African Knowledge Management Summit features a number of opportunities to freely share and co-create knowledge, allowing the great ideas to emerge.

Join us for the Knowledge Café on Thursday, 28 May after the lunch break. The organisers of this Knowledge Café are Dr. Shawren Singh (University of South Africa) and Hein Spingies (Road Accident Fund)

Background to a Knowledge Café

One of the ways of sharing knowledge is through constructive and correctly directed conversations. Such conversations Read the rest of this entry »

Complexus offers you lessons from the field and new tools to manage challenging change, in their pre-summit workshop – “Using KM tools to improve Enterprise Change, Project Outcomes & Business Capability Maturity”

The speed and volume of technology based change in today’s digital enterprise is faster and larger than ever before. According to the 2014 PMI Pulse report, organisational change continues to be a challenge for the vast majority of businesses, with only one in five organizations reporting highly effective change management.

As business leaders and knowledge practitioners embark on enterprise and systems transformation the pressure for these projects to succeed and for investments to show a positive ROI increases year on year. With 70% of major change implementations yielding sub-optimized results and the average time taken to develop mature business capabilities exceeding 5+ years, how can the transformational leader of today deliver a successful change program on a finite budget in an ever more complex information and collaboration landscape?

Lessons from the field – “The Change Challenge”
In 2014 Complexus conducted an assessment in our local market of South Africa with 100 respondents. The research was performed using their best practice SharePoint App, ReadinessPoint. The App asks a series of questions to assess organisational, people, process and technology readiness for any given change program in the Enterprise. The results presented a remarkable set of findings:

  • 60% had challenged or highly challenged projects.
  • 13% were recommended to stop their change project.
  • Poor process readiness scored highest as the most common issue.
  • Only 10% had any form of maturity plan in place.

Provide the CxO, PMO, Change & Knowledge Practitioner with something new

Read the rest of this entry »

According to Aldu Cornelissen, co-presenter of the workshop about Informal Networks and Social Network Analysis –

“Most organisations are well versed in the art of managing the formal, that which can be committed to paper, be defined and managed. Due to this bias towards the formal, for most organisations, the informal is normally seen as unwanted, the source of risk, unpredictability, unmanageability and inefficiency. However, a surge in research on social networks and a subsequent network theoretical description of organisations and how they work, we are now equipped with tools, concepts and theories to help us understand the informal organisation and use it to our advantage. When I say ‘our’ I intend to point out those in management who want to understand and improve the organisation further through understanding the informal. “

A key dynamic in knowledge management is the relationships and patterns of interaction in informal networks. Social Network Analysis provides a way to visualise these patterns of interaction. Such maps provide answers to questions such as Who communicates to who?, Who is the most trusted?, What are the real roles?, Where are the blockages?, etc.

In this video, Rob Cross discusses how a network perspective helps managers and leaders to see where ideas are flowing, where best practices are transferring, etc. This understanding impacts how we nurture innovation and cross-functional collaboration.

Managers and leaders can leverage the insights gained from understanding the informal networks in their organisation to  –

  • accelerate the flow of knowledge and information across functional and organizational boundaries
  • identify the thought leaders, key information brokers and bottlenecks
  • target opportunities where increased knowledge flow will have the most impact
  • inform smarter decision making during mergers, acquisitions, restructuring,  and the need to retain people who are vital in the knowledge system
  • plan for the development of communities of practice.

Join the workshop about Informal Network & Social Network Analysis on Wednesday, 27 May 2015. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce individuals from various organisations – both private and public– to the idea, and subsequent value, of surfacing, understanding and using informal networks within their organisations. Participants will also learn about the tools of the trade for conducting social network analysis and discuss real-life examples.

Click here to download the Pre-Summit Workshop Brochure and Summit Agenda.

Find out more:

  • An authoritive summary on SNA: Borgatti, S.P. et al., 2009. Network analysis in the social sciences. Science, 323, pp.892–895.

The implementation of Knowledge Management is no trivial task, involving multiple streams (people, technology, process) and requiring changes in infrastructure and the collaboration of stakeholders all over the organisation.

International KM expert Patrick Lambe describes the knowledge and information infrastructure as “like one jumbled mass comprising several tangled up balls of string: it’s hard to figure out what’s connected to what, where all the interdependencies are, and what we need to untangle and realign if we want to make a particular, significant change.”

Read the full article, “Why KM Is Hard To Do: Infrastructure, KM and Implementing Change” at Patrick’s blog, GreenChameleon.com: http://www.greenchameleon.com/gc/article_detail/why_km_is_hard_to_do/

Often, this organisational infrastructure can seem like an impossibly complex barrier to implementing effective KM and we find many organisations falling into the same – avoidable – traps again and again. Patrick will share his experience, insights and learning from his years of experience across various industries, through two events at the 2015 Southern African Knowledge Management Summit:

  • Knowledge Auditing and Mapping (Pre-Summit Workshop, Wednesday 27 May), and
  • Implementing for impact: how to make a difference with KM in your organisation, and avoid common pitfalls (Keynote session, Thursday 28 May)

“My wish for the Summit is that participants will share, learn, and return to their workplaces energised, inspired, and equipped with useful insights and methods to do great work!” – Patrick Lambe



Read more about the Pre-Summit Workshops and Summit Agenda at http://sakmsummit.net/programme-speaker-profiles/.

We are cross-posting this invitation on the Summit blog as well, as the preparations for the Summit was a catalyst for this Coaching Circle. We have decided that in stead of learning and doing knowledge transfer one-on-one, we would like to invite others to join this learning journey. Not only can more benefit from the learning, but our learning can also benefit from more perspectives and inputs.


Social media engagement is an integral part of events. Live Tweeting with #-hashtags, sharing updates on Facebook & G+, live blogging etc. provides a so-called back channel or complementary channel for wider participation in the event conversation. It also takes the messages and impressions of the event beyond the walls of the venue, and invite voices not present at the event into the conversation. This practice is thus also referred to as Event Amplification or Social Reporting.

For some professionals the use of social media at such event is the first time they post on social media platforms with a professional identity. This is a catalyst and opportunity to find learn how to use social media as a professional. There are also associated practices, such as the curation of the story of the event on social media and analytics that can be learned.

Jeanette Seko will be a Social Media Champion for the 2015 Southern African Knowledge Management Summit. She sees this as an opportunity to find her professional voice on social media and to learn some useful practices that she can also take back to her organisation. She is looking forward to meetup with other professionals on her journey. We would like to invite others to join a Coaching Circle where we will explore, learn-by-doing and reflect together about the use of social media as a professional. Here are some of the topics of the topics on the living agenda –

  • Social media, social reporting & event amplification
  • Curation of social media engagement
  • Finding your professional voice in social media
  • How do I keep my private presence separate from my professional engagement on social media. Is it necessary?
  • Looking at social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, G+, blogs (Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger). LinkedIn (also LinkedIn updates), etc.

If you are interested to join this peer learning opportunity, please send an e-mail to Elmi Bester. Only 6-8 people can join the Coaching Circle. Our first meetup on Google Hangout will be Friday, 24 April 2015 (12:00-13:00). Preference will be given to those who will also be attending the 2015 Southern African Knowledge Management Summit.

Please familiarise yourself with the way Coaching Circles work before you sign-up. You need to be prepared to be an active participant in a co-learning process. (See overview below).

The coaching circle will get together every second week on Google Hangout, and in-between we will share, discuss and deliberate on G+.

What is Coaching Circle?

Coaching circles are regular meetings of a group of peers exploring a common area of interest. They provide an opportunity to share your experience and to learn from your peers. Circles run for about two -three months, meeting once every 2 weeks at a time and place that best suits the members of the circle. Once a quarter members get together with others in the community to discuss how are working, wins and pitfalls, lessons learned, new opportunities.

What’s the format?
Coaching circles are usually 6 to 8 people
Circles usually have a host who provides the space (online, office, home)
Circles usually have a co-ordinator who makes sure everyone knows when the next circle is happening, what the topic is and who is facilitating
Facilitation is shared between all the members of the circle, so this rotates to different members.
Circles usually meet every 2 weeks
Who are the KMers Coaching Circles for:
Professionals who are passionate about knowledge management & seek to grow their knowledge management practice
People with enough experience to facilitate sessions on topics of interest to them
Beginners to advanced KM professionals
People in any role and any size company, diversity is better.

Originally posted on https://thinkingknowledge.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/invitation-to-join-our-first-kmers-coaching-circle-using-social-media-as-a-professional/

untitledRegister now and qualify for the early bird discount (only valid until 24 April). We have a very rich and exciting programme in store for you,  including –

  • perspective shaping keynotes (Implementing KM for impact; Openness as the key to KM innovation; Strategic & burning platforms ito SA’s competitiveness)
  • presentations about latest developments & thinking, such as Open Innovation & Gamification
  • presentations about how KM can shape and influence topical issues, such as rhino poaching & empowerment of upcoming farmers
  • perspective making Indabas – KM in the development sector; KM In the public sector,  a Case Study Café and a session where we together will re-author the KM narrative for greater impact. Experience the facilitation of robust knowledge sharing, learning, and sense-making in action.

Remember to register for the interesting  pre-Summit workshops to be held on the 27th of May. Use this opportunity to learn from and with the best and innovative experts in the KM profession!

  • Conduct a knowledge audit – Patrick Lambe
  • Informal networks & Social Network Analysis – Aldu Cornelissen
  • Knowledge Sharing Masterclasses: Playback Theatre & Building a narrative knowledge base – Petro Janse Van Vuuren & Kyra Wainstein
  • The role of the Knowledge Leader: a roundtable discussion – Prof Adeline du Toit & Dr Andrew Kok
  • Using KM tools to improve Enterprise Change, Project Outcomes & Business Capability Maturity – Nick Bradshaw

Click here for all the details you need to register.

We are looking forward to meet you at the Summit!

Your chair is waiting for you at the #2015SAKMS

Your chair is waiting for you at the #2015SAKMS!

We are really excited about the proposals received. The programme is shaping up nicely. We are aiming to publish the programme latest by the end of March 2015.

Here are a few highlights that we can reveal –


  • Knowledge Mapping & Auditing (Patrick Lambe, Straits Knowledge, Singapore)
  • Informal networks & social network analysis (Aldu Cornelissen, University of Stellenbosch)
  • A round table discussion about Knowledge Leadership (Prof Adeline du Toit, University of Pretoria & Dr Andrew Kok, Western Cape Government)
  • And two more…

Keynote speakers:

  • Patrick Lambe (Straits Knowledge, Singapore)
  • Dr Niel Rall (Leadership Dynamics)

You can also expect to hear more about the harvesting of knowledge in a sensor rich and multi-source data environment (related to big data), networked knowledge sense and gamification at the Summit.

Lastly, be prepared for ample opportunity for interactive knowledge sharing, reflection and collective meaning-making (details to follow). A.k.a Knowledge Management in action!







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