Thursday, 31 January 2013

Battle testing your innovation strategy

2011-33 -1 Naval War Game. Jane. Label

KIN has often recommended, and used, the 'destructive testing' approach to achieving change - taking an idea and finding as many ways as possible to ensure the desired outcome is not achieved. As well as being much more fun than trying to find 'the right solution', this allows effective mitigations to be developed.
I highly recommend this article in McKinsey Quarterly 'Battle Test Your Innovation Strategy' which suggests using 'war-gaming' as an alternative approach to innovation development. This is similar to the destructive testing technique, but helps in scenario planning and may aid the development of alternative ideas or the canning of non-viable ones.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Pearls of wisdom

145-365 Towel Day

We've a thread running on the KIN Members' discussion forum that collects amusing stories and jokes connected to knowledge or storytelling. The links may be extremely tenuous, but here is a taster...

 A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel."
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob.
After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, "Who was that?" "It was Bob the next door neighbor," she replies.
"Great!" the husband says, "did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"

Moral of the story:
If you share knowledge pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.
 (Photo credit: krossbow)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, 14 January 2013

How much do you know about zoonoses?

The Model and the Marriage Broker

I've noticed a number of jobs advertised with an intriguing title recently - 'Knowledge Broker". It seems that the intermediary, skilled in making connections between those working in similar fields in the science sector, is now well established as a career choice. The most well known are probably working for the UK Knowledge Transfer Networks, connecting university R&D departments with commercial opportunities.

There seem to be many others, exemplified by an ad for a Knowledge Broker 'to work with a range of researchers and funders to shape and draw together the findings from ZELS (Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems) programme'. No, I didn't know what zoonoses were either, but the point is that the role requires the individual to 'broker and coordinate the flow of knowledge between the ZELS teams, funders and influential people in international and international organisations'.
Applicants are required to have an 'international reputation and recognised expertise in the field'.

It would be interesting to know just how much expertise the individual is required to have. Experts with deep knowledge are not necessarily the best at facilitating the exchange of knowledge in an objective way. Beliefs gained over many years may mean that they may not be completely open-minded, particularly if they are regarded as a leading authority on a topic. They may make assumptions, where an individual with a more superficial knowledge may spot opportunities or ask more objective questions. The ideal candidate could be someone from the sector who is credible in their field, curious, connected and a good communicator. Deep technical knowledge may come further down the criteria list.

Facilitating knowledge transfer between experts is just one of the topics of interest to the KIN 'Knowledge Retention and Transfer' special interest group. We will be discussing this and related topics at our next SIG Roundtable meeting to be hosted by the British Council in London on 6th March.

By the way if you want to know what 'zoonoses' are, they may be the vector for the next global pandemic!

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Visualising Knowledge

Screenshot of Commoncraft Video on Blogging

Many organisations struggle with communicating complex issues in a simple way, hence KIN's frequent recommendation of Commoncraft. We have also had a few workshops in the past on storytelling techniques, for example using anecdote circles.

Adding the visual element to storytelling makes a lot of sense. All too often we rely on the written word to 'capture' lessons without thinking about the most appropriate medium from the perspective of the recipient. This is a huge issue for those involved in big 'Lesson Learning' programmes, such as the energy companies. 

In early 2013, we intend holding a Masterclass on 'visualising knowledge'. 
The main three factors we intend looking at with experts in visual journalism are:
- knowing what you want to say in the first place, and to whom
- the things visuals do better than words
- storytelling techniques that lend themselves to visuals
- techniques for visualising knowledge

We will also take a look at finding and telling stories within data. Data analytics is going to be ever more important and I think we too often shy away from this, thinking it as geek territory. As we know from Hans Rosling's Gapminder, powerful stories can be told and knowledge gleaned directly from data.

(Photo credit: dorineruter)

Enhanced by Zemanta