Saturday, February 03, 2007

Collaboration: The Next Generation

Since I recently had a “milestone” birthday (so people tell me), it gave me a chance to reflect yet again on the fact that I’ve been in the work world longer than some of my colleagues and clients have been on this earth. While that could be a frightening thought, I figured that I could use that perspective to my advantage. So, I’ve decided that an area of research interest for me will be how the incoming generations of knowledge workers will interact and collaborate with each other. As a researcher—and academic wannabe—I decided to come up with a hypothesis to base my work on. I’ve written about it before, so I won’t go into detail about it again, but it’s basically “how do young professionals (as defined by the “millennials” or some other tag) interact differently than those of earlier generations” (as defined by the “geezer” group or similar that I’m a part of)?

I think they do (and will) interact differently than the rest of us in the workplace. Two site visits this week and a keynote speaker that I’m listening to right now as I type this corroborate my view. First, an APQC site visit is what we do with best practice organizations as part of our collaborative benchmarking studies. We physically visit the organization—and in this case it was NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Aerospace Corporation—and have them host a meeting to discuss what they do that makes them considered “best practice” in the knowledge domain we’re studying. For this study its knowledge retention and transfer strategies. Both NASA and Aerospace indicated that they’re using some of the newest technology enablement tools to reach the “younger” professional. The keynote speaker is entertaining the audience with his insights about what makes the boomer different from the Gen X’ers from the Millenials, and so on.

While this is good to hear—and I’ll certainly use them as data points, I just hope this area doesn’t get researched to death before I use it as my dissertation research problem! In the meantime, I’m going to go and check out Second Life. I think I can use a makeover and that sounds like the easiest (and most painless) way.


Anonymous said...

Jim- I am very curious what you come up with in this line of research. I'm not so much interested in this version of the generation gap as I am in the expectations and tools people believe they NEED to do their work.

You might want to follow what dana boyd's (aka apophena) been writing about. She has taken a keen interest in teens-on-the-internet questions as part of her own research.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim.. look in to research Don Tapscott has done.. I'm reading his latest book, Wikinomics, and it is quite interesting.

When you log into second life, visit one of the Info Islands. A number of librarians have gotten together to use Second Life to deliver information services, and to experiment with innovative service delivery ideas. They've put a lot of work into it, and it shows.

Axe Management des Technologies said...

you can also participate to this call by giving your expertise on :
Knowledge Management for Creativity and Innovation call for papers

HICSS Minitrack : Knowledge Management for Creativity and Innovation HICSS-41(January 7-10, 2008) Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort (Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii)

Minitrack Chairs: Hind Benbya, Lynne Cooper, Nassim Belbaly

The objective of this mini track is to explore the potential for Knowledge Management (KM) to enhance creativity and drive innovation. Creating and applying new knowledge are often cited as primary reasons organizations get involved in KM. Yet, to date the majority of research in KM and KMS focuses on knowledge reuse and transfer of best practices, rather than how knowledge is created and applied to derive business value, generate new ideas, and develop new products and solutions.
In recent workshops addressing KM, scholars and practitioners have identified the need for further research on: How knowledge is developed and transformed into business value? and How KM/KMS contribute to creativity and innovation both at the individual and organizational level?
This need is also recognized a high priority of leading organizations. The CEO's of General Electric and Proctor & Gamble for instance have made creativity and innovation predominate corporate priorities (Brady, 2005; Nussbaum, 2005). Responding to the emerging need for companies to develop innovation capabilities, Business Week has recently created a new online website - - to present the best research and thinking about the subject.
In line with this challenging research issue, this mini track will draw appropriate papers on the broadest range of research methodologies including case studies, action research, experimentation, survey, and simulation.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
Knowledge and action: how knowledge is developed, transformed, interpreted and used to make effective decisions and take actions
KM and New Product Development: how KM contributes to the generation, evaluation and implementation of new products, services, processes and solutions
KM/KMS support for collaborative and creative work, e.g., design, research and development, exploration, customer support
Knowledge sharing, diffusion and creativity, as influenced by different organization cultures and structures
Managing knowledge exploitation vs. exploration dilemmas
Mechanisms associated with KM, creativity and innovation
The use of KM to reduce risk in creative/innovative processes

Abstracts are optional. Please do not hesitate to contact this Minitrack Chairs or the primary contact at for guidance and indication of appropriate content at any time.

June 15, 2007: Authors submit full papers by this date, following Author Instructions found on the HICSS web site. All papers will be submitted in double column publication format and limited to 10 pages including diagrams and references. HICSS papers undergo a double-blind review (June15 – August15).

Knowledge Management Systems Track:

Hind Benbya (Primary contact)
Associate Professor
GSCM-Montpellier Business School
2300, Avenue des Moulins
34185 Montpellier Cedex 4
Tel: +33 (0) 4 67 10 28 19
Fax: +33(0) 4 67 45 13 56

Lynne P. Cooper
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
MS 303-310
Pasadena CA 91109
United States
Tel: +1 (818) 393-3080
Fax: +1 (818) 393-5143

Nassim Belbaly
GSCM-Montpellier Business School
2300, Avenue des Moulins
34185 Montpellier Cedex 4
Tel: +33 (0) 4 67 10 25 16
Fax: +33(0) 4 67 45 13 56

Richard Smith, MD said...

Trust in a Medical Setting.

Experience dealing with a host of difficult to impossible situations may help others in their encounters with these difficult and distrusting patients. These individuals may make up a small per cent of patients and family members, probably less than 2 per cent, but take up 90 per cent of energy in coping with day-to-day conflicts that arise from their behavior. Difficulties managing distrustful patients and family members must be dealt with on the spot, and they don’t go away.
Examples come from office experiences or wards, including situations that keep doctors and nurses and therapists awake at night, aggravate waking hours and poison leisure, that is, empirical, based upon experience and observation alone without science or theory. To survive an outrageous patient or relative requires resourcefulness, patience and imagination. Street wisdom learned the hard way is what I present, and without a guide or mentor to soften the bewilderment and sense of failure and frustration that accompanies these individuals. We seldom talk about these difficult, distrustful and sometimes threatening individuals amongst ourselves; rather we suffer and endure them silently, by ourselves. The problem is timeless as recorded in the world’s literature.
Out of the wreckage of human behavior comes valued experience leading to maneuvers and tactics of survival that are appropriate to almost all aspects and settings of human interaction including day-to-day medical care.

Trust in a Medical Setting. Hauppauge, NY: Novinka Books, Nova Science Publishers, 2006.