Re: Ideas for executive workshop #leadership

Nicky Hayward-Wright

Thank you everyone who has responded to my request, your insights, suggestions and recommended resources are most appreciated. In response to queries or clarification of points:

A month ago I joined (full-time) GS1 Australia in the role of KM Advisor (there is no KM department; it's me). GS1 Australia is part of a global group of member organisations who administer the global standards and GS1 system which includes of identification (numbering and barcoding) and eCom (electronic business messaging), Global Data Synchronisation Network and Electonic Product Code including RFID (see:

GS1 Australia is a non profit member based organisation with approximately 130 staff (110 in Melbourne, 20 in Sydney and 1 in Adelaide). There is a level of business complexity: working with external `alliance' and project partners; working with industry groups in relation to understanding local issues and business requirements to feed into global standard and system development and working with the global community. The business is heavily into project based work for client solutions and new product development. My observation is that it is in project overload with a lack of focus on internal business needs.

Steve you suggested figuring out "what is currently the real goal of your organization". The organisation recently went through a strategic planning process. My intention is to have an activity that links the value proposition (goal) indicated in the strategic plan to KM. As there currently is not any defined KM program (many possibilities though) my focus will be on unpacking the statements within the strategic plan around strategic intent and culture and capability.

Paul I like your pick up about `buyin'. This session is not about planning, projects or activities but about `understanding and belief'. In my informal one-on-one with the each executive knowledge and knowledge management has different meanings and purpose and the pain points are different. One of the session goals is to provide a forum for the SET to hear the different perspectives and then as Bill has indicated, "paint a picture of a km-enabled future".

Even though there has been some KM activity since 2008, I would consider my role as greenfield. So, Bill what you have indicated is very similar to where I have been heading with this KM visioning session. FYI the following is an excerpt of the invitation request that went out 2 weeks ago:

"The aim for this workshop is to create a knowledge management vision for GS1 Australia. Engaging with you, the organisation's senior management, and sharing your knowledge of the business is critical to this process.

The knowledge management vision is a foundation element of the Knowledge Management Road Map and will be used when updating the 2008 Knowledge Management Strategy. Additionally this vision is key to articulating to the organisation, the importance of knowledge and knowledge mobilising activities."

All of your other suggestions have been taken on board; however with such a short period of time (2 ½ hours) and working with the senior executive team (who are hard to get in one place at one time) I am conscious, as Douglas puts it, of making a stellar first impression and creating the "knowledge imperative" and therefore being very focused. While I may not be using your suggestions at this first workshop, I am sure that they will be used at others.

As a sidebar part of my approach is to drip feed the participants with articles, blog posts and short videos around KM topics that I believe are relevant to the context of the organisation and where the individual are at in their understanding of knowledge and knowledge management. This was not an easy exercise given the extant of what is available.

Essentially one item per week, except in the case of videos where there will be up to 10 minutes worth. I've listed these items below.

1. Our take on how to talk about knowledge management , Anecdote White Paper (30 April 2006) by Mark Schenk, Shawn Callahan and Andrew Rixonan.

2. Knowledge management below the Radar, Harvard Business Review Network Blog (4 January 2011) by Adam Richardson.

3. The role of knowledge management in innovation , Journal of Knowledge Management, 2007, 11(4): 20-29, by Marina du Plessis.

4. Can you tell what it is yet? blog post by Chris Collinson (16 May 2011).

5. Ten steps to get more business value from knowledge management, Strategy & Leadership, 2006, 34(6): 11-16, by Stephen Denning.

6.1. So what is knowledge management by Chris Collinson [2:40 min] (24 May 2010). Includes transcript.

6.2. How knowledge management is moving away from the repository as a goal by John Hagel of Deloitte's Centre for the Edge [1:35 min] (9 July 2010). Includes transcript and reader comments, which are worthwhile viewing.

6.3 Focusing your knowledge management activities by Nick Milton of Knoco [2:12 min] (9 February 2009).

6.4. Knowledge Management by Lee Bryant founder of Headshift [3:05 min] (17 July 2008)

6.5. For some humour: Explaining knowledge management [3:05]

Also I possibly will use Nick Milton's latest video clip Introduction to KM prior to one of the activities or possibility as a wrap up.

Thanks once again for your generosity of sharing your knowledge.


Nicky Hayward-Wright
Advisor, Knowledge Management
GS1 Australia


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