Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Blog Transition and Musings on CoPs and Content

Our previous blogger extraordinaire, Farida Hasanali, has bequethed me her blog...she's moved on to an exciting new role at Expediant Solutions. I'll do my best to continue to provide something of interest and look forward to your comments and input.

Today's thoughts - last week I worked with a large client that is rolling out a community of practice for its global Black Belts. They're attempting to create regional chapters of the community of practice (a "federated" model) because their geographical spread and lack of funding for face-to-face meetings precludes having everyone get together. Since they didn't have a history of sharing or knowledge capture, they are putting together monthly conference calls by region (and with the regional chapter heads as a group) to push interesting project findings, identify common source problems, and establish relationships. They'll be using a typical repository/discussion tool to facilitate ongoing dialogue between meetings. We spent a lot of time trying to craft the right messages to drive participation - communication is so difficult with time-zones and different native languages. They had a successful launch - but I wonder if anyone has created successful ongoing communication plans for such groups? In an article in in the 12/05 issue "Association Now" magazine I came across these 5 tips for framing messages from Rebecca Leet:
1. What action do you want to affect?
2. Whom must we motivate to achieve that action?
3. What desire of theirs is met by taking the action we want?
4. Where does our desire overlap with theirs?
5. What do we say so that they hear their desire will be met by
taking our action?

Each of the region CoP facilitators is working on putting together 2 tracks for driving participation - identifying 2-3 goals that the regional BBs can work on across sites to drive better performance and mining the group for "hot topics" that they can discuss anytime, anywhere to solve problems. I like their approach...in a disciplined project environment like 6Sigma, more structure seems to work better than the more organic communities we see in other places.

On another topic - we're seeing more and more interest in how organizations are using content and document management tools to impact the way they comply with regulatory issues (like SOX and HIPAA, etc.) as well as respond to lawsuit subpoenas. With the ever expanding capability to "hide" the damaging memo or piece of content on thumb drives, CD, hard drives, email, IM, etc, it looks like more and more organizations are struggling to manage their processes for discovery and compliance. KM processes and technology have an immense impact on this...so, APQC will launch a best practice study on the topic in June of this year to see what we can discover - should be an interesting topic.

More later...

1 comment:

Shawn Callahan said...

Welcome Wesley. It's great to see the APQC KM blog will continue to thrive.

One of the principles taught to me by Etienne Wenger is, wherever possible let the community design itself. So rather than work too hard on crafting the right message to send out to members, get current members to design this communication for themselves.

The other approach is to gently visit key people in the organisation and talk to them about some of the key issues they are facing. When you start to see overlap among members--shared needs--get these people together to discuss it. Membership then becomes a by product of good conversation rather than an explicit membership drive