|Percentage of people in each country who agreed with the statement |
"It is important for a manager to have precise answers to most of the
questions their subordinates may raise about their work".
For the past several centuries we have used human labour to do what machines cannot. First the machines caught up with us and surpassed humans with their brute force. Now they are surpassing us with their brute intelligence. There is not much more need for machine-like human work which is routine, standardized, or brute. But certain long-term skills can help us connect with our fellow humans in order to learn and innovate — curiosity, sense-making, cooperation, and novel thinking.
Automation of routine and standardized work is forcing people to do more non-routine manual and cognitive work. If any piece of work can be mapped and analyzed, it will be automated. As non-routine work becomes the norm, work environments will have to become open, transparent, and diverse because trust is essential to ensure that knowledge flows. Finding the right information is only part of the challenge of non-standardized work. Sharing complex knowledge requires trusted relationships. People have to trust each other before sharing and only then can they work effectively on difficult problems and take informed action.
“strong interpersonal relationships that allowed discussion, questions, and feedback were an essential aspect of the transfer of complex knowledge” —Hinds & Pfeffer (2003)
Standardized industrial work was focused on reducing errors to ensure quality of similar products and services. This is still important in manufacturing, though production lines are often shorter and re-tooling happens more frequently today. But error reduction is not enough. We also need to increase insights. In 2010 Jay Cross published The Working Smarter Fieldbook produced with the rest of our colleagues at the Internet Time Alliance. Working smarter is not working faster or more efficiently. Working smarter is increasing insights.
“Visualize the workflow of a physical job: produce, produce, produce, produce, produce, produce, produce, produce, produce.
Now visualize the workflow of a creative knowledge worker: nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, flash of brilliance, nothing, nothing, nothing.”
—Jay Cross (1944-2015)
A focus on reducing errors assumes that a work environment is complicated — production. However, a focus on improving insights understands that most work environments involving people are complex — creativity & innovation. So what should knowledge workers do between flashes of brilliance? They should be engaged in learning socially and informally in order to see what others don’t.
Learning informally and socially means connecting our individual work with our teams, communities, and networks. It requires honing our curiosity and seeking out different perspectives and ideas. It takes more than individual sensemaking to understand complex situations, so we have to find others to challenge our assumptions and learn at the edge of our professional abilities. But most importantly we need to use what we have learned in order resolve challenges and co-create value. As we do this, we continuously share in order to make our communities and networks more resilient and able to make better informed decisions. This discipline is personal knowledge mastery.
How we can develop our own PKM processes, especially seeking and sharing, is detailed in — finding and sharing information.
PKM is directly related to innovation, as it is people making connections through work and learning — What is innovation?
"In the context of real need few people will withhold their knowledge. A genuine request for help is not often refused unless there is literally no time or a previous history of distrust. On the other hand ask people to codify all that they know in advance of a contextual enquiry and it will be refused (in practice its impossible anyway). Linking and connecting people is more important than storing their artifacts".Create the need, connect the people, and the sharing will follow.
|Image from wikimedia commons|
|Image from wikipedia|
"We're trying to create better access to our knowledge."
"Red lights flash before my eyes, sirens go off in my head, my blood pressure skyrockets. Access is oversold, overblown, overdone. Do you really think the reason no one ever looked at the market research reports was because they had to walk up a flight of stairs to get to them? That the sales force didn't consult white papers on product performance because they had to make a phone call to get a copy? OK, I admit that it's amazing how lazy we all can be and that easy access to knowledge sources does increase the likelihood that they will be consulted. But it's just the first step and often the easiest one.
"The next time someone on your project team uses the A-word, speak up with some substitutes. How about "attention"-as in how do we get anybody to pay any of it to what we're doing? How about "appetite"-is anyone really hungry for our knowledge? Why not "affiliation"-a bit of a circumlocution, but how can we get people to feel loyal and trusting enough to share their knowledge with co-workers?"
The evidence shows that while telecommuters create positive change, the major resistance against telecommuting comes from management.
Our recent report showed that many workers we surveyed viewed managerial and executive resistance to telework as a major obstacle.
Through interviews, we learned that executives saw the benefits of using flexible work to their advantage as a negotiating tool for recruitment, promotion, retention and motivation, but they often worried about the costs of training and potential culture change.
They expressed concern that allowing telecommuting could create inequitable outcomes in the workplace, and possibly negatively impact morale.
The problem with work today is management. Often, it is detrimental to our well-being. But it is pervasive. Maintaining this status quo of management is the core operating model of global management consultancies like McKinsey.
“We are now living with the consequences of the world McKinsey created. Market fundamentalism is the default mode for businesses and governments the world over. Abstraction and myth insulate actors from the atrocities they help perpetuate. Businesses that resisted the pressure to rationalize every decision based on its impact on shareholder value were beaten out or eaten up by those who shed the last remnants of their humanity. With another heavyweight on the side of management, McKinsey tipped the scale even further away from labor, contributing directly to the increase in wealth inequality plaguing the world. Governments are now more similar to the private sector and more reliant on their services. The “best and the brightest” devote themselves to client service instead of public service. —Current Affairs 2019-02-05
The dominant management model is reinforced by an expressed attitude that human work is something that can be broken into components and used like bits of machinery. People are merely the sum of the work that can be extracted from them by the capitalist machine. They have no other value in a capitalist economic system, and hence are always viewed as expenses.
Making management part of the hierarchy destroys the entrepreneurial nature of work, requiring more control measures to ensure compliance. Removing management from the hierarchy is probably the simplest thing that could be done to improve innovation and increase the motivation of those who really create business value.
Management at Asana is seen as service role, rather than the next step in the pyramid on the org chart. The usual model, where exceptional work leads inevitably to the management track is a mistake, Rosenstein argues. “The effect of that is that individual work is looked down on,” he says. “That is so caustic.” –What managers do at a company that’s trying to replace them with software
As networks become the dominant organizational form, the way we think about management has to change. You cannot manage a network. In a network society, we influence through reputation, based on our previous actions. This is transparency of work and trusted human connections are important. Others need to see what we are contributing to the network. Those who contribute to their networks will be seen as valuable and hence will have a better reputation and may be able to influence others. Management in networks is fuzzy.
Management has to become more human. Christian Madsbjerg concludes in his book, Sensemaking: “What are people for? Algorithms can do many things, but they will never actually give a damn. People are for caring.” The future of management is humanity, not big data.
“A workforce that receives insufficient emotional attention from management will resist change or participate half-heartedly, no matter what threats are made or rewards are promised.
Having no emotions themselves, intelligent machines are incapable of empathy. Even if they could be programmed to fake empathy realistically—which is improbable—it would have little impact as long as people knew they were talking to a machine. Thus, intelligent machines may become very useful support tools, but are unlikely to displace the best managers.
Moreover, as automation advances there will be even more demand for top-tier techies. Engineers, computer designers, data scientists, etc. will be increasingly able to write their own ticket. Yet they, too, are human and need emotionally supportive and encouraging managers. Otherwise, companies will have a hard time winning loyalty from these priceless talents.” —How Automation Will Rescue Middle Management
What would an organization look like with looser hierarchies and stronger networks? A lot more human, retrieving some of the intimacy and cooperation of tribal groups. We already have other ways of organizing work. Orchestras are not teams, and neither are jazz ensembles. There may be teamwork on a theatre production but the cast is not a team. It is more like a community of practice, with strong and weak social ties.
Hierarchical teams are what we get when we use the blunt stick of economic consequences with financial quid pro quo as the prime motivator. In a creative economy, the unity of hierarchical teams is counter-productive, as it shuts off opportunities for serendipity and innovation. In a complex and networked economy workers need more autonomy and managers should have less control.
Hierarchical power, which has informed most of our organizational design for the past century is actually debilitating. Not only does power corrupt, but it causes brain damage.
“Power, the research says, primes our brain to screen out peripheral information. In most situations, this provides a helpful efficiency boost. In social ones, it has the unfortunate side effect of making us more obtuse. Even that is not necessarily bad for the prospects of the powerful, or the groups they lead. As Susan Fiske, a Princeton psychology professor, has persuasively argued, power lessens the need for a nuanced read of people, since it gives us command of resources we once had to cajole from others. But of course, in a modern organization, the maintenance of that command relies on some level of organizational support. And the sheer number of examples of executive hubris that bristle from the headlines suggests that many leaders cross the line into counterproductive folly.” —The Atlantic, 2017-09
We should not inflict such power on individuals and instead learn how to distribute it to help the whole network make better decisions. Hierarchies can be replaced with trust. “In the industrial era, what created scale was more resources. In the social era, what creates scale is trust”, says Nilofer Merchant. We can learn from Nordic leadership models and create organizations that take advantage of a networked world.
“American managers are assertive, aggressive, goal and action oriented, confident, vigorous, optimistic, and ready for change. They are capable of teamwork and corporate spirit, but they value individual freedom and their first interest is furthering their own career.”
“Swedish management is decentralized and democratic. The rationale is that better informed employees are more motivated and perform better. The drawback is that decisions can be delayed.”
“Finnish leaders exercise control from a position just outside and above the ring of middle managers, who are allowed to make day-today decisions. Finnish top executives have the reputation of being decisive at crunch time and do not hesitate to stand shoulder to shoulder with staff and help out in crises.”
“In democratic Norway, the boss is very much in the center of things, and staff enjoy access to him or her most of the time. Middle managers’ opinions are heard and acted upon in egalitarian fashion, but top executives rarely abandon responsibility and accountability.”
Paul Zak discovered eight key factors, or principles, in promoting trust in the workplace — recognition, challenges, decision-making, work selection, openness, relationships, opportunity, and vulnerability. In The Neuroscience of Trust he described the research over several years that yielded these insights and gives examples of companies that implement these principles. The return on investment is more energy and greater productivity.
“Ultimately, you cultivate trust by setting a clear direction, giving people what they need to see it through, and getting out of their way.
It’s not about being easy on your employees or expecting less from them. High-trust companies hold people accountable but without micromanaging them. They treat people like responsible adults.”
We can create organizations for the network era based on these simple principles.
The technologies that should concern us most are management technologies. Often these are invisible. “Technology is the application of organized and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems,” says Harold Stolovitch. Management technology defines what problems we are allowed to look at, and which can be ignored. The issue is not re-skilling, digital transformation, or a focus on new work competencies. The issue at hand is how our institutional and corporate policies, as well as economic models treat people. Is each individual a unique, complex being with multiple facets, or just a self-driving unit that contains bits of work to be extracted? If it is the former, then management must be a service and not a position in the hierarchy.
|Number of knowledge managers per country|
|Total number of knowledge managers per country. Jan 2020|
|Country||total number of knowledge managers, 2020|
|Total number of knowledge managers per country as a proportion of national population. Jan 2020|
|Country||K Managers per millions population|
|India||new year, same humans|
January, 10, 2020 from Harold Jarche
Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” —Vox 2020-01-04
“And I came to the sage, and I said, Master, I am lost in these dark and confusing times. What am I to do? And the sage said, My son, now is when you must find a reassuring platitude to cling to, and be sure not to examine it too closely.” —@StevenBrust
“If you have ever watched symphony orchestra you may have noticed how inefficient the musicians are. They are not utilised 100%. Most have below 50% efficiency. Imagine how good the music would turn out if all instruments were playing all the times. Such is the science of efficiency.“ —@HumanSelection
“Germany decides to phase out nuclear post-Fukushima, Power production was replaced by coal. That increases pollution, and 1,100 people die per year as a result. This compares to 0-100s of deaths from Fukushima.” —@charlesjkenny — The Private and External Costs of Germany’s Nuclear Phase-Out
“To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.” —20 Lessons on Fighting Tyranny
January, 9, 2020 from Joitske Hulsebosch
About 5 years ago I was brainstorming with a group of colleagues to design a workshop. Someone shouted: a traffic jam workshop!. I didn't have a clue what that was, but immediately had a vision of a workshop in the train to avoid the traffic jam. It has always stayed in my mind as something I would like to organize one day. A traffic jam workshop with a start in the train. But yes, it is difficult to organize this because there are always people who still want to get in the car.
Last year I found myself again in a brainstorm, but this time to organize the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Ennuonline. The traffic jam idea was tweaked. Not starting on the train but in groups at a different location and then have them walk via assignments to the place of the celebration. Seppo.io turned out to be perfect for this purpose.
How does Seppo work?
"Teach with a game. In a fun and easy way." That is the motto of Sepp.io. You can create a treasure hunt by adding assignments at locations on the map. You can create different types of assignments:
The latter is more suitable for school assignments, so we mainly used the creative assignments. One of the assignments was for example: "convince the director of this building of the usefulness of technology in learning". Or: "exchange the weirdest response by a participants to the idea of online learning". Below you can see it was a day with a lot of wind: Beaufort 7.
What makes Seppo so great is that is it really easy to create assignments. When the groups start to walk you can see them walking online and monitor their progress live. You can set the assignments so that it opens when the group is within 50 meters of the place. This forces the groups to walk everywhere to be able to do the assignments. What is also fun is that you can see the groups walking. We first saw a small group go in the wrong direction. Tip: walk the route yourself at least once to test the instructions and place of the markers on the map and remove errors.
Seppo for learning
In this case, our goal was an energetic start and participants getting to know each other in small groups. Both were achieved! The tool is certainly also suitable for other purposes. Suppose you start a scavenger hunt and then have a face-to-face session. During the hunt you can invite participants to exchange on a topic and share the results during the search, as in the example of convincing the director. You can aggregate and show this afterwards and further analyze it. Which arguments will convince the most and why? After this you could also do a role play in which people practice again. The value of Seppo is in the stimulation of creativity and spontaneity. Do you also see other applications? It's nice if you share it in the comments because I definitely want to do more with Seppo.
Free or paid?
January, 9, 2020 from Knoco stories
Knowledge Management often involves balancing two forces - Connect and Collect, for example, or value to the individual and value to the firm. If you are not careful, this balance can turn into pendulum swings from one factor to the other. Here is a story of this happening.
In the mid 80s, the company in question first realised that the various factories around the world were failing to learn from each other, and that there was a massive efficiency gain to be made by sharing best practice. They started a series of Global Practice Groups, and immediately began to deliver some quick wins in terms of business value.
Over time, the members of the Global Practice Groups found that they were also getting personal value from being part of the group. The groups were seen as an excellent opportunity for personal networking, and membership grew and grew. New GPGs were formed, and they grew as well. After a while the management of the organisation began to think that people were spending too much time on the GPGs. They were seen as too many, too costly to the business, and too time consuming. Management closed them down in the mid 90s, and started a different system - Performance Improvement Teams.
These immediately began to deliver some quick wins in terms of business value. Over time, the members of the PITs found that they were also getting personal value from being part of the group. The PITs developed into networks, and were seen as good value for money. New PITs were formed, and they grew as well. After a while the management of the organisation began to think that people were spending too much time on the PITs, which were seen as too many, too costly to the business and too time consuming. Management closed them down in the early 2000s, and started a different system - Communities of Practice.
These CoPs were a lot like the GPGs but initially there were fewer of them and they now had more effective processes, better KM systems and designated leadership teams. They immediately began to deliver .........you can guess the rest. Delivery of business value, declaration of victory, growth in popularity, eventually deemed too expensive, too numerous and too time consuming. Management closed them down in the late 2000s and replaced them by Continuous Improvement Forums. The story continues.
Why did this happen?
The GPGs, PITs, CoPs and CIFs started off small and focused, working on organisational problems. The members then found they also were gaining value, the groups grew, and the pendulum swung from "value to the company" to "value to the members". The company saw costs growing and value diminishing, and restarted the cycle with a fresh swing of the pendulum.
These cycles happened on about an 8-year periodicity. In a way, they are reminiscent of predator-prey cycles such as the one in the picture, where an increase in prey population causes an increase in predator population, which then causes a subsequent crash.
A predator prey cycle, and the KM cycles seen above, can both be thought of as a balance swinging between two extremes. In the predator/prey cycles the extremes are
In the KM cycle, the extremes are
This imbalance was referred to by Siemens as "the customer trap"; the need to balance the expectation of the business, in terms of delivery of the KM program, with the expectations of the user. Knowledge management often requires attention to two forces, which we (or at least those of us in a western dualist mindset) see as opposing:
Where forces are seen to oppose, then rather than finding a balance, the pendulum may swing from one side to the other, as in the story above. We need to avoid this dualist trap, and see KM in a systemic way, where these forces form part of a system, just the lynx and hares do on the picture above.
How do you avoid the pendulum?
What we really need is a balance -
Setting this balance is a governance issue, which would result in long term stability.
Both the leadership of the groups and the KM leadership of the organisation need to ensure that the CoPs/GPGs are focused on both value propositions. They need to:
Without such governance, communities of practice in any organisation may suffer from the same problem of radically fluctuating support, and constant 8-year cycles of growth and crash.
January, 8, 2020 from Harold Jarche
In spite of the criticism about social media, I still learn a lot from a platform like Twitter. The passing of Esko Kilpi this week has me reviewing some of his wise words, and there were many. This is a series of his tweets from 2012.
Esko said that in order to develop the necessary emergent practices to deal with complexity you need to first cultivate diversity and by this I would say the autonomy of each learner. You also need rich and deep connections, but these are not enough if you don’t also have meaningful conversations, which can be enabled through social learning. If you look at most training and education, including micro-learning or whatever is the latest fad, this counsel is often ignored.
The best advice from Esko — in my opinion — was to hack uncertainty and hedge risks.
The social safety net used to be in our workplaces and is now shifting to our social networks. This is already the current state of affairs for many freelancers. We can hedge our work futures by engaging in collectives and communities to create a wide and diverse web of connections and relationships so that we can take advantage of flash opportunities for work — on our own terms. Esko saw and promoted this positive future of work. It’s all about connecting people
A lot of Esko’s thoughts are combined in a book released by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra in August 2016 — Perspectives on new work: Exploring emerging conceptualizations. It is a comprehensive read on the future of work. I wrote a synopsis of the highlights which includes a link to the 132 page PDF.
I do not use the term ‘thought leadership’ lightly, but that is what Esko provided to many of us around the world. He will be missed.
January, 8, 2020 from Knoco stories
Here are some more results from our 2014 and 2017 Global Survey of Knowledge management; a plot of KM Technology usage and value.
We asked the survey participants to rate a range of different types of technology by the value they have added to their KM program, giving them the options:
513 people answered this question.
The answers allow us to look not only at the usage of the technology, but also (through a weighted average of the first 4 reponese) the value that it delivers.
The chart above shows the survey results in order of value, as a stacked bar chart, with the weighted value shown as a line (this line would be at 100% if all the participants that used this technology claimed it had "high value" and at 0 they all claimed it had no value).
The top of the dark grey area represents the usage percentage for these technologies (the light grey area above represents people who do not use this technology). The top of the green area represents the percentage of people who said this technology had added "large value".
The technology types are listed below in order of usage, and in order of value.
What does this tell us?We could take these results at face value, and say that the chart and the lists above represent the usage of the various technology types and (independently) the value of the various technology types. The strong correlation between usage and value that we see in the chart and lists could represent a tendency for the more valuable technologies to get the greatest use. This is a perfectly valid interpretation.
An alternative argument would be to say that technologies deliver more value the more they are used. Technologies at the top of the list are mainstream technologies, used frequently, and delivering high value. Technologies at the bottom of the list are less mainstream, and deliver less value to the companies that use them, because those companies make less use of these technologies. This is also a plausible interpretation.
Even with this interpretation, we could still look for "Good performing" technologies which deliver more value than their popularity would imply, and "Poor performing technologies" which deliver less value than their popularity would imply. Under this interpretation, the best performing technologies are Enterprise Search and Expert Systems (both of them 6 places higher in the Value list than the Usage list) and the worst performing technologies would be Blogs (10 places higher in the usage table than the value table). This of course does not mean that Blogs have no value; it could men that the way they are being used is not adding the expected value (see my post about the "director's blog".
We saw very similar results for this question between the 2017 and 2014 surveys, with some minor changes. Those technologies which most increased in use between 2014 and 2017 were Microblogs and Video publication, and not surprisingly these have also seen the greatest increase in reported value delivery as well. The technology which decreased in use the most over the 3 year period is the innovation funnel technology (capturing and filtering improvement suggestions).
January, 7, 2020 from Knoco stories
Say what you like about the ISO KM standard; at least it encourages you to address KM in the correct order!
Starting like this, from the KM tool, is starting KM the wrong way around.
There is no point in choosing a tool until you are clear what you are doing KM, for who, and with what objective; until you understand the stakeholders and objectives, and also the other elements of the KM Framework which need to be in place.
This is where the beginners in KM will find the new ISO standard - ISO 30401:2018 - particularly useful (contact us for a free white-paper introduction to the standard). In common with all other ISO management system standards, IOS 30401:2018 follows a defined structure (described here) which doubles as a logical sequence for building your KM Framework. ISO have standards for many management systems, they know how they work and how to introduce them, and the logical sequence is based on this experience.
This sequence is described in sections 4 through 10 of the standard as follows;
Now THAT is KM "the right way round"
January, 6, 2020 from Knoco stories
There's nothing magic about Knowledge management; it's just a management discipline, like so many others.
I would suggest that Knowledge Management is one management discipline among many.
It represents a way of managing work, paying due attention to the value and effect of an intangible asset (namely, knowledge). It is one of the latest of a string of disciplines that deals with the management of intangibles.
Risk management, Quality management, customer relationship management, brand management, reputation management, security management, diversity management, safety management - all deal with intangibles. KM is no different from these others - just as important, but one management discipline among many.
There are several reasons why treating KM as "one among many" can be a useful approach.
Firstly this means that you can place KM within the same governance framework as you do the other disciplines. You can position it in the same structures and expectations. You can review it using the same review processes (the stage reviews of the project management framework, for example, can cover knowledge, risk, safety, quality etc). In other words, you can embed it easily within "normal work".
Secondly you can integrate your management systems. Take for example the ISO standard for Knowledge Management: ISO 30401:2018. This already uses the same template as the Quality Management standard ISO 9001:2015, and it does this deliberately, so that the two management systems can be aligned and integrated. The same is true for Asset Management, Innovation Management and many more. KM is strengthened when it is one of an integrated set of management systems (see here about how KM and risk management can be integrated).
Thirdly you can use the other disciplines as implementation analogues. The way you introduce knowledge management can be modelled on (or at least can learn from) the way you introduced safety management, or risk management, or diversity management. Look at your last successful deployment of a change program for introducing a new discipline. Learn from the successes of this program, and avoid the pitfalls. Use these learnings to make your KM implementation successful.
Fourthly you can use the other disciplines as framework analogues. How are the other disciplines sustained? Do they have a company policy? Support staff? Roles embedded in the business? Dedicated processes? KM will probably need something similar. This does not mean that you reproduce the frameworks from other disciplines, but it means you learn from them (finance, for example, is an analogue everyone can understand).
Finally you can look at merging roles. Perhaps the project KM role and the project Risk Management role can be held by the same individual. Perhaps the KM plan and the quality plan can be merged. Perhaps the lessons learned system and the safety alert system can be combined.
If we see KM for what it is - a management discipline, one among many, focused on delivering value from an otherwise unmanaged intangible - then it leads us into a whole set of new insights about how it can be implemented and sustained in our own organisations.
January, 6, 2020 from Harold Jarche
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” —Dorothy Parker
The core habit to successfully navigate the network era is curiosity. Curiosity about ideas improves creativity. Curiosity about people improves empathy, by understanding others. We cannot be empathetic for others unless we are first curious about them. We cannot be creative unless we are first curious to learn new ideas.
Curiosity about online sensemaking led me to Lilia Efimova’s research on personal knowledge management in 2004. From this I developed the personal knowledge mastery (PKM) framework driven by my situation of working remotely. Remote as in finding work, finding partners, and doing the work. Living in Atlantic Canada I was geographically removed from any economic centre. Therefore I made my focus global. Distance on the internet was not an issue. All I lacked were connections, and PKM became my way of making these.
This was back when Google was doing no evil and Facebook was in its infancy. No tool dominated so there was a lot of work on tool selection and I had several early projects for selecting learning management systems. But my real interest was, and remains, helping people understand our digital networked world. Today, the surveillance economy is our digital surround and we live in a liquid world. PKM is one discipline to counter our algorithmic overlords.
The PKM workshop is based on sixteen years of practiced curiosity. It’s a work in progress. Each workshop is slightly different from the last. It’s in a state of perpetual beta and it’s not your usual content-based course.
The workshop is like a buffet table. There are many things to try out. It’s based on six themes, each with three activities. The aim is to find a selection of practices that will work for each person. No two practices are identical. Conducted over nine weeks, the workshop puts together an international cohort of participants, usually ranging from 10 to 20 people. It’s meant to be social so that participants can share their stories.
For less than the cost of the average university course, professionals get the opportunity to become knowledge catalysts, in their organizations or in their broader communities and networks. In addition, participants can come back and take the workshop again. Some people have done this three times to fully incorporate PKM into their professional practice. We continue our professional conversations in the perpetual beta coffee club, which all workshop participants join free for one year.
For example, the PKM framework has proven useful for leadership development in an international context at Domino’s Pizza and Carlsberg Breweries. It is currently being developed to improve collaboration practices at a global bank. Now that more of us work remotely and use networked tools for our work, PKM is becoming an essential practice. Online workshops are conducted several times over the year, with the next one scheduled to begin on 13 January.
Curiosity yields insight.
“Insight cannot be taken back. You cannot return to the moment you were in before.” —Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall)
December, 31, 2019 from Harold Jarche
In discussing organizational models and metaphors, Naomi Stanford refers to Gareth Morgan and his influence on organizational design. “Gareth’s Morgan’s book Images of Organisation (1986), for example, offered eight organisational metaphors …” — machine, organism, brain, culture, political system, psychic prison, flux & transformation, and instrument of domination. Other researchers have added to this list — icehotel, wonderland, femicide, justice.
In a 2011 interview, Morgan says that there is one more model that he would have to have included.
Our organizations are human-made tools for getting things done. In A Schoolman’s Guide to Marshall McLuhan (1967), John Culkin said that, “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” Understanding the metaphors that influence organizational design can help us understand when they are no longer suitable for society. Critical thinking requires us to question our assumptions, and metaphors often hang out in the background, inferred as natural.
My own work is significantly influenced by the work of Marshall and Eric McLuhan. I have combined their perspectives on media with the model developed by David Ronfeldt: T+I+M+N — overview, video, original paper (1996). My assumptions to date are as follows
December, 29, 2019 from Harold Jarche
As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, it is time to question our institutions of governance and commerce that mostly originated during the 18th century Enlightenment. Linearity and Cartesian logic are not suitable for a connected and complex world. To change our systems, first we have to understand them, and where they came from. This is the great societal learning challenge today — sensemaking in a networked world. Our existing education and training systems are not designed for this task. We have to figure this out together, outside the ‘system’.
About 500 years ago a new communications technology came along and changed the face of Europe — print. The Protestant Reformation saw the rise of religious wars, which were later followed by the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment. An age of exploration followed, which brought not just gold and silver to the coffers of Europe, but new foods such as potatoes from the Americas, to fuel the Industrial Revolution. These new foods increased the population and in turn brought about the demise of the indigenous people of the Americas.
Print was the most recent communications technology to shift society. It was preceded by the written word.
But each revolution is different. We may discern some patterns from the past but our current challenges — as we shift to an electric-digital-networked age — are unique.
We live in a time where technology provides immense potential for human communications but we lack the organizational structures to take advantage of this. Faith in the future is low, especially in democratic and developed countries. An Ipsos Public Affairs survey in 2016 showed that a majority of people in countries such as the USA, France, Sweden, and Germany generally feel that their governing institutions are ‘off on the wrong track’.
The Enlightenment is over. Reason and linear thinking are becoming obsolete. But none of our institutions, including our markets, are designed for what is to come.
The coming age — the Entanglement — will require meta-modern thinking and new structures for a connected world.
December, 27, 2019 from Harold Jarche
Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds. Here are some of the best for 2019.
Word of the Year
“For years, a small hand lettered sign hung on the West wall of McLuhan’s Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. It read, ‘The important thing is to acquire perception, though it cost all you have’.” —Eric McLuhan, Poetics on the Warpath 2001 — via @McLinstitute
@GeorgeMonbiot — “If you asked me: ‘which industry presents the greatest environmental threat, oil or media?’, I would say ‘the media’. Every day it misdirects us. Every day it tells us that issues of mind-numbing irrelevance are more important than the collapse of our life support systems.”
@EikeGS — “Today everything runs on bestseller lists. You rarely find good books there. But the less people can cook, the more cookbooks are sold.”
“The secret of the demagogue is to appear as dumb as his audience so that these people can believe themselves as smart as he is.” —Karl Kraus, via @TrutherBotPop
“A body of men, holding themselves accountable to nobody, ought not to be trusted by any body.” —Thomas Paine 1737-1809
“So long as there isn’t the same freedom of movement for people as there is for data, for goods and for capital, we will not have an actual planetary labour market (nor either will we solve the persistent problems of poverty and inequity, but that’s a separate issue) … we will not in fact see equity of working conditions if people are trapped within labour-unfriendly borders.” —Stephen Downes
@amicusadastra — “We are creatures of habit. Technologies are teachers of habit.”
@RitaJKing — “I advocate for calling AI applied imagination instead of artificial intelligence. We need to start thinking.”
@kyleejohnson — “I’m taking an online data analytics class from the Wharton School of Business. The last module is 4.5 hours of how we can track people. Exactly 0 minutes of that is spent on ethics. Just in case you’re wondering what elite business schools are teaching people.”
Complexity & Creativity
December, 24, 2019 from Harold Jarche
The only person to ever have guest blogged here is Graham Watt, a friend for almost 20 years. I met Graham as I was beginning my freelance career in 2003. With no commute or regular hours I could cycle during the day and drop by the local café for a chat. Graham was semi-retired when I met him and we had many conversations on various topics over the years. Here are some of his words that he shared with me.
Graham died last night. I will miss him.
The Communication of Bias — 2006
Proximity — 2006
Work Advice — 2007
Sailing through School — 2007
Discovering Guilt — 2008
December, 19, 2019 from Knoco stories
December, 18, 2019 from Harold Jarche
Renee DiResta discusses the challenges brought about by the printing press — invented in Europe in 1450 — and compares these with the current effects of digital networks in — Mediating Consent.
Today, we face similar challenges in dealing with a new technology that challenges the status quo. Social media are liquid print which easily seep into society, transcend boundaries, and bypass gatekeepers.
DiResta concludes that all is not lost.
What we can conclude by comparing the advent of print with the electric/digital communication is that there will be a resulting significant shift in how we organize as a society. As we become a network society, we could develop into a state of metamodernity, a society not run by tribes, institutions, or markets. This is the optimistic perspective.
There are several variations of what metamodernity will look like, as analysed by the engineering group Arup in — 2050 Futures: Four Plausible Scenarios.
The Post-Anthropocene scenario is one of both improved societal conditions and planetary health. It requires 97% clean energy in order to result in only a 1.3°C global temperature increase. It is the one I hope will be the future for our children.
So will the metamodern era evolve into the post-anthropocene scenario? As I responded in the comments to the first article, it depends on us — now. It was almost 300 years from Gutenberg’s invention of the European printing press (1450) until the Age of Enlightenment beginning in 1715. If we see digital media — first invented as telegraph transmissions in 1855 — to be the dawn of the electric/network age, then we may have a similarly long period of turmoil still ahead of us. It takes a long time for all generations to forget how things used to be. In the meantime, I think the best approach for our current, mixed-up, society is to keep experimenting with new organizational and governance models. It can be our legacy to future generations living in a network society.
December, 18, 2019 from Knoco stories
Knowledge has to lead to action in order to add value.
As the blogger Bill Wilson says (in the context of root cause analysis) "Learning without action is mere mental trickery, while action without learning is simply useless physical exercise". If knowledge management is to deliver more than mere mental trickery and to live up to its promise of adding value, then it must lead to action.
A few years ago we worked with a client who was developing a lesson learning system from projects. The collection of lessons has been going well, but the client had the firm view that lessons should be stored in a library that future projects could review if they wanted. For them, the knowledge would be stored "for future reference".
Of course, few people have time to read through the lessons, and there are now so many lessons that reading through them is becoming more and more daunting.
We are now helping the client to move to a different philosophy, where lessons are forwarded to the owners of the organisational processes, so they can continue to update the processes, procedures and guidance in the light of the new learning. This is "knowledge for action", and if we assume that people follow the updated guidance, it should result is less "useless physical exercise" and to more efficient ways of working.
This philosophy is that wherever possible, every piece of new knowledge should lead to an action. The action might be;
Communities of practice, as well, should focus on creating and managing actionable knowledge. Actionable knowledge can be stored on the community wiki, and includes
Non-actionable knowledge is
Communities that circulate non-actionable knowledge, or "knowledge for interest" are classified as Communities of Interest rather than communities of practice, the clue being in the title.
CoPs deliver more value when they focus on solving the problems of the members than when they circulate "interesting links and ideas". CoPs that operate through a Pull process - where members with problems or issues ask questions and receive recommendations and support from other members - know they are adding value. Each answered question represents a solved problem; knowledge which the person who asked the question can immediately put into action.
So when you are sharing knowledge in a CoP, ask yourself whether you are sharing "something that others will find interesting" or "something that will help people do their job better" - something actionable.
And when you are designing lesson learning systems, make sure each lesson leads to action, rather than being retained "for interest".
We recommend "knowledge for action" rather than "knowledge for storage" as being a far more effective system.
December, 17, 2019 from Knoco stories
Work has its own rhythms; its own heartbeat. Make KM part of that heartbeat.
You can align KM with the organizational heartbeat in a number of ways, depending on your own context.
KM in projectsIn a project context, the heartbeat is a project cycle - start-up, reviews, shutdown. Embedding KM into this cycle is quite simple- you embed the processes for Learning before, during and after into your project KM framework.
KM in services and operations
In a service or operational context, the heartbeat is related to the review cycle.
Embedding KM in this way builds it into the cycles and rhythms by which people already work, and go a long way to developing Knowledge Management as a habit. In many ways, the heartbeat is aligned to the cycles of review; the points at which people pause, take stock, and ask "What was supposed to happen? What actually happened? What have we learned? What do we need to share? What do we still need to learn from others?
Align KM with the natural heartbeat of work - that way the flow of knowledge through the organisation will be strong and regular.
December, 16, 2019 from Knoco stories
The purpose of a Knowledge Management framework within an organisation is to give people timely access to the knowledge they need, to make effective decisions and take effective action.
Knowledge must flow from the supplier to the user, through Push (publishing, telling) or through Pull (searching, asking). To flow, it needs a channel.
This is where the Internet, and specifically social media on the Internet, is such a bad model for organisations, as online there can be so many channels, without causing too much of a problem.
How many social media channels can you name? The conversation prism lists over 200.
How many social media channels do you follow regularly? I follow about 5 or 6, you may follow more. That means I am tapped in to a small percentage of the channels, which is not a big problem on the world wide web as there are so many people out there, I am bound to find something of interest, or even get my questions answered. There are a lot of people that share the same channels, and I can access a lot of knowledge. There are other conversations happening on the other channels, but I don't feel I need to follow them as I get by with the channels I use. To follow them all would be impossible.
However inside the small world of an organisation, you need to maximise the likelihood that the knowledge supplier and knowledge user are on the same channel. You cannot afford knowledge to go missing because user and supplier are using different media. You cannot afford someone to ask a question on one channel, while the person who can answer it is on a different channel. This way lies lost knowledge. You need to limit, or ideally to minimise, the number of communication channels.
Schlumberger's approach to this issue is very clear - for every knowledge management purpose within their organisation, there should be one channel, and only one channel.
and so on.
When there is only one channel for communicating knowledge, you can be assured that everyone is om the same channel, and that knowledge will not be lost.
Avoid the temptation to add multiple channels which fulfil the same purpose; this introduces confusion and duplication, and increases the chance that critical knowledge will get lost somewhere between the supplier and the user. If a vendor comes to you offering a new communication channel, ask whether it duplicates something you already have. If it does, then be ready to shut down your existing channel, or to say No to the vendor.
Limit, or minimise, your communication channels for knowledge, to minimise the risk and cost of lost knowledge.
December, 15, 2019 from Harold Jarche
High tolerance for ambiguity is a critical skill as we live and work in increasingly complex, networked environments. Navigating through turbulent times requires the ability to deal with ambiguity by seeking and making sense through a diverse network of connections of people and knowledge. The broader and deeper our connections, the better we can deal with ambiguity. The ability to Seek, Sense & Share in order to handle the complexity of the networked age is not a ‘nice-to-have’ optional approach to professional learning, it is a necessity. A diversity of connections and experiences increases our ability to deal with ambiguity.
We have know this for a while. A 2004 report by RAND stated that, “Individuals who can exploit diversity to generate new knowledge about customers, suppliers, products, and services will be more likely to succeed in a competitive global environment”. To ensure diverse perspectives and the ability to deal with ambiguity, organizations have to relinquish control. As Dave Snowden notes, “The more you face uncertainty, the more inefficient your organisation needs to be, because that leaves room for resilience”. This is the challenge for all large organizations.
Diversity is our secret weapon to deal with complexity and ambiguity. In the book Future Perfect, Steven B. Johnson discusses the work of Scott E. Page who states that, “Diversity trumps ability”.
Diversity is how we can become collectively smarter. Diversity is the foundation for creativity. There are no best practices for creativity, only unique practices, of which we need many. We need to stop looking for the next best practice and create our own emergent practices through our diverse connections. Therefore, organizations have to become knowledge networks. An effective knowledge network cultivates the diversity and autonomy of each worker. Those in leadership positions should foster deeper connections, developed through ongoing and meaningful conversations. These leaders know they are just nodes in the knowledge network and not a special position in a hierarchy. They ensure variety and diversity, not control.
I promote personal knowledge mastery as a way to develop diverse knowledge sources and human connections in order to deal with ambiguity and push at the boundaries of our professions. People practising PKM, in their own ways, add to the diversity of thinking in organizations and society. This is why a single PKM system — one size fits all — would kill diverse thinking, which in turn would destroy any potential for change or innovation.
PKM builds reflection into our learning and working, helping us adapt to change and new situations. It can also help develop critical thinking skills. The discipline of PKM helps each person become a contributing node in a knowledge network. It is the foundation for social learning. It does not matter what it is called, but seeking knowledge networks, active sense-making, and sharing publicly, are practices that need to be widespread. This is how we deal with ambiguity and complexity.
December, 13, 2019 from Knoco stories
There are 3 unusual cases where content is not important to KM, but they are rare!
There are few if any organisations which attempt to manage KM without the use of content, so under-use of content is not a bias to be corrected in the same manner as under-use of conversation (see yesterday's post). However the automatic use of content in every case may also be inappropriate.
Under what circumstances can you run KM without creating content? Here are 3 examples
1. Content-free knowledge transfer is perfectly acceptable when the use of the knowledge is very short term and local.
Take the example of a project team conducting a complex task, identifying their learning through regular After Action reviews. There will be much knowledge than is discussed and exchanged through this mechanism, which can be immediately fed back into the way the team works, without ever having to be written down. Because the knowledge will be used by the same team and nobody else, and in the very short term, it has no need of being recorded.
2. Content-free knowledge transfer is perfectly acceptable when the context of the knowledge is rapidly changing.
Take the example of a situation which is changing day by day. The people involved, in their teams or communities, should be talking regularly, but any captured knowledge will be out of date as soon as it is written. Here knowledge transfer is best done through communication and conversation. There is no point in documenting best practice where the nature of "best" changes on a daily basis.3. Content-free knowledge transfer is perfectly acceptable when the knowledge is impossible to document.
Here we are talking about "Deep Smarts," Familiarity Knowledge", or knowledge of physical activity. This is knowledge that is very hard or impossible to write down. Knowledge of "how to dance" has be be guided and mentored; it cannot be codified. Here knowledge transfer is accomplished by coaching and guiding, or through what Dorothy Leonard calls "guided experience". Trying to transfer such knowledge through content is a waste of time.
However in every other case, other than the three exceptions above, your Knowledge Management framework needs to focus on Content as well as Conversation.
December, 13, 2019 from Harold Jarche
Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
@JohnRobb — “Significant philanthropic activity is a good indicator that you live in a dysfunctional society.”
@White_Owly — “It’s easy to criticise the system after you’ve made enough money from it to last a lifetime.”
@FearDept — “In tomorrow’s digital society you will have no rights but the opportunity to earn many privileges.”
@CognitivePolicy — “For everyone watching the political satire that has captured so much attention in recent years, ponder what happens when population pressure is too great — and inequality too severe — for any kind of prosocial behaviors to express at scale. You will see hints of worse to come.”
Thread by @AlexStubb former Prime Minister of Finland
December, 12, 2019 from Knoco stories
There are 3 unusual cases where conversation is not important to KM, but they are rare!that conversation is as important as content in KM, that conversation is at the heart of effective knowledge transfer, and that without conversation it is difficult both to access the deep unconscious learning, and also to check whether the knowledge customer properly understands the knowledge that has been offered.
However many companies operate knowledge transfer systems, such as lessons databases or knowledge bases, which involve no conversation at all.
Do these work? Under what circumstances can they work? Here are 3 cases
1. Conversation-free knowledge transfer is perfectly acceptable when the context of the knowledge is very clear.
Take the example of cookery books; these are a very effective means of transferring the knowledge of how to cook certain dishes. The context of cooking a meal is a clear context, shared between the author and the reader. However if you move outside that context, for example moving to another country where the ingredients and measures are different, or opening your house as a pop-up restaurant, the results may be disappointing. If you want to move to a more creative context, you will probably take cooking classes and discuss what you are learning with a professional chef.
2. Conversation-free knowledge transfer is perfectly acceptable when the nature of the knowledge is very limited.
Take the example of road maps; these are a very effective way of transferring the knowledge of how to navigate from one place to another. Most motorists have a road map in their car, or a sat-nav on their phone. But for more complex knowledge, like the details of finding a specific house down country roads, you need the advice of people with local knowledge (see my blog post on Charts and Pilots; charts are fine on the open sea, but every large vessel entering port uses a pilot to travel the last mile or so).
2. Dialogue-free knowledge transfer is perfectly acceptable when the knowledge is very mature at user-level.
When a topic is mature, everything is known. We know all the questions that can be asked about the topic, and all the answers. All of this can be fully documented, for example in an online FAQ or knowledge asset. Even then, there will be advanced-level nuances which experts may still need to discuss, but for the average user, this knowledge can safely be codified. However if a topic is not fully mature and is still evolving, then the answers in the FAQ may change, and new questions may arise. There will be knowledge that is needed that is not yet "in the manual" and will need to be exchanged through dialogue.
However in every other case, other than the three exceptions above, your Knowledge Management framework needs to focus on Conversation as well as on Content.
December, 11, 2019 from Knoco stories
Just doing KM well is not enough, you have to do KM at the required speed.
The world is changing, and organisations need to learn faster than the speed of change if they are to survive. According to Erick Thompson, assistant VP for knowledge exchange, the St Paul companies, "KM initiatives should also focus on the speed factor. Companies have to learn how to learn faster" (quote taken from Mahadmohan Rao's book ""Leading with Knowledge").
The world is increasingly a competitive learning field. In the past, when progress was slower and the rate of change was lower, an organisation could compete on its products, its patents, its reputation and on its people. However the rate of change is increasing, and companies need to adapt. Markets are changing, customers are changing, expectations are changing, regulations are changing, the world is changing, and it is changing faster and faster. If companies are to adapt, they need to unlearn old habits and learn new ones. And in a competitive world, the fastest learner wins.
The British Army takes a similar view: you have to try to get inside the enemy's OODA (observe, orientate, decide, act) loop. If you generate and use knowledge at a faster tempo than your competitor (a faster rate of learning than the enemy), you will win.
So how do you increase the speed of your internal Knowledge Management cycle? Here are 7 ways.
1. Set targets
How long should it take to be able to find basic knowledge on your Intranet? How long should it take to receive an answer from a CoP? How long should it take before a new lesson is embedded into business process? Set some aggressive targets, like the senior manager at McKinsey who declared that all CoP questions should find an answer within a day, or the "three ones" target set by a Chinese knowledge manager ("a search for job-related knowledge should be successful within 1 minute, a question to a CoP should be answered within one day, and lessons from a closed project should be available to the organisation within one month").
2. Build your Communities of Practice
Any knowledge that is less mature, more complex or more context-dependent may not be documented. Ensure you create the networks of people through which this knowledge can be transferred. Focus the CoP on problem solving and on answering questions if you want it to perform rapidly. Focus on Pull, not Push. Ensure the community facilitator helps ensure questions are answered promptly.
3. Build the knowledge bases that cover routine activity
Any knowledge that is sufficiently mature, simple, and context-independent should be documented online in an easily findable location. All of your process documentation, manuals, training material should be put onto a wiki or similar knowledge base so people have it at their fingertips.
4. Ensure active lessons management
In a previous blog post I described two lessons learned systems - one which takes 2 years to make changes based on new lessons, and one which takes a couple of weeks. The second system is obviously far more efficient. You cannot afford to wait years for lessons to be embedded. Each unembedded lesson is a lesson currently unlearned, and an unlearned lesson carries the risk of reinvented wheels and repeat mistakes. Ensure you have an effective Lessons Management system, with a person or team in charge of making sure it is working well and quickly.
5. Update your knowledge bases as soon as new knowledge becomes available
There is no point in updating the knowledge bases annually, if the organisation needs to learn more rapidly. Lessons from the lesson management system, or answered questions from the CoPs, or results of trials and prototypes, should find their way into the knowledge base as quickly as possible. I was with a client last month, and they were feeding lessons into standards documents which they could only update annually, but they could at least collect new knowledge in a "pending updates" annex to the standard.
6. Measure against the targets you set.
Collect, and report, "speed of learning" metrics. Your dashboard should include online search time, the time to reply to CoP questions, and the time it takes to a) document and b) embed lessons. These are measures of your learning clock-speed. Seek to keep these times as low as possible, and continuously decreasing.
7. Fix any problems you see.
The measures that you collect will show you where there are delays and bottlenecks in your KM framework or workflow. Make sure you act on these to remove the bottlenecks.
Once the KM framework is in place, use these 7 methods to optimise your learning speed.
Effective learning is good, speedy and effective learning is even better.
December, 10, 2019 from Knoco stories
In a project-based organisation, we can look at Knowledge Management on two orthogonal axes which together map out the space within which knowledge flows. These are the in-project axis and the cross-project axis.
Imagine a large project-based organisation, with multi-disciplinary projects operating in many different regions or divisions. KM needs to be addressed within the projects themselves, and it also needs to be addressed between the projects, for example within the functions or the communities of practice.
The in-project KM axis represents those knowledge elements that occur within a project, involving the project team. These elements can include
The in-project KM elements are focused on knowledge creation and sharing, and knowledge seeking and application.
The cross-project elements are focused on management of the knowledge as it grows and evolves over a series of projects. The cr
These in-project elements include the creation of knowledge products from the projects.
The cross-project KM axis represents those knowledge elements that link the projects, and that "breach the silo walls" that can separate projects and divisions. These elements can include
These cross-project elements manage the knowledge workstream for the organisation, which runs in parallel to the project delivery workstream.
Integration of the two axes.
The two axes need to be integrated. Any knowledge outputs from the projects need to be fed into the correct communities of practice, knowledge bases and knowledge owners. Also the knowledge owners and communities should be responsive to the needs of current and future projects. The knowledge taxonomy needs to be consistent across both axes.
When integrated together, the two axes of in-project KM and cross-project KM allow knowledge to be created, shared, sought and re-used, and to flow across and between the silos, as shown in the picture above.
Both these axes need to be included in any effective Knowledge Management Framework for a project-based organisation.
December, 9, 2019 from Knoco stories
Mature KM is a mixture of attitude, habit, and framework.
If you visited an organisation that had truly embraced and embedded Knowledge Management, what would you see? What would be different and distinctive about that organisation?
You would probably notice 3 things - attitudes, habits, and a solid KM framework.
The Knowledge Management attitude
The difference in attitude you would see is that knowledge is treated as something important; something that is prioritised. Knowledge work, and KM activity, is seen as an important part of the job, and not an add-on or an option. You would notice that individuals are always keen to gain more knowledge, and not shy about sharing what they know. You would see collaborative attitudes - people willing to help and willing to ask for help. You would see the cultural attitudes of openness, honesty, "learner" attitudes, people who are curious and willing to challenge the status quo.
The Knowledge Management habit
As well as a different attitude to knowledge, you would notice a difference in the work habits. When starting a new piece of work, instead of diving straight into the details, people would automatically ask "Who has done this before? Who can I learn from, so that I don't start work with missing knowledge". They would routinely consult the wiki, search the knowledge bases, and ask the communities of practice.
Then when the work is complete, rather than diving straight into the next job, they think "What have I learned? Who can I share this with?" They would routinely conduct their After Action reviews and Retrospects, post the lesson in the company lessons management system, store any knowledge products in the community knowledge base, update the wiki etc.
These work habits of learning, reflection and sharing are an outcome of the attitude mentioned above.
The Knowledge Management System/Framework
You would also see a Knowledge Management framework that allows people to learn and share. There would be a community of practice for each core knowledge topic, which people can ask for advice and recommendations. Each community would manage a portal and/or a wiki that people can go to, to find the best guidance. There would be a lessons management system which warn them of pitfalls and alert them of new solutions. There would be an effective enterprise search engine which leads them to the explicit knowledge they need. There would be forums for sharing new knowledge, and for recording new lessons and new practices. People would know where to find these tools, and would be accustomed to their use.
Then if you look harder, you see the Framework embedded into the way the organisation works, with KM integrated into the normal way of working. You would find a KM Policy. You would find that the project management framework contains KM elements; a KM plan, lesson capture processes, and so on. You would find people with KM roles, or with KM accountabilities within their job description. They might not be called "Knowledge Managers" - they might be SMEs, or network leaders, or project controllers, but the KM accountability would be there. You might even see public recognition for people who share, or who learn from others.
What you probably would not notice is any mention of Knowledge Management.
In an organisation with fully embedded KM, you don't hear a lot of mention of "Knowledge Management". However you hear a lot about the tools and processes.
Instead of people saying "we must do KM", you hear "We should hold an AAR", "We should ask the Community", "Why don't we look on the wiki", "Let's put a question on the forum".
Much in the same way that everyone talks about budgets and invoices rather than "Financial Management", so the conversation is now about the activities and the tools and not about the system itself. "Knowledge Management" takes a back seat, and is represented at the work-face by .
That's what Knowledge Management looks like when fully embedded - an Attitude, new Habits, and a familiar set of activities and tools which have become part of the way people work.
December, 8, 2019 from Harold Jarche
What is innovation? — it is not so much about having ideas as it is about connecting and nurturing ideas.
“History tells us that innovation is an outcome of a massive collective effort — not just from a narrow group of young white men in California.” —Mariana Mazzucato
Markets do not work in isolation from the public sector. Everything is connected. The lone genius does not exist. Networks of trust are what create value for society.
We are nearing the end of the market era. Society has to move beyond the market and capitalism. New organizational forms are necessary.
Government and the market have to come to a new relationship, where they are each part of a greater networked commons. The nation state cannot stop the climate crisis and neither can the market. Only global networks of trust can work on this complex problem. These networks start with individuals connecting to each other. The world is too complex for elites and hierarchies. All citizens have to be engaged in sensemaking. Everyone should take the advice of Donella Meadows — “We can’t control systems or figure them out. But we can dance with them!”
The emerging networked commons will need an educated and aggressively engaged citizenry to Seek > Sense > Share our knowledge. Trusted knowledge networks are the key to our growth as a society. In a network, we are the sum of our relationships.
December, 6, 2019 from Knoco stories
There are a number of strategic approaches that you can apply when implementing Knowledge Management. All have their failings - we recommend a combination of two of them.There are many and varied ways to introduce KM to a company, and a lot of these fail. The main 6 strategies are listed below, with their arguments for and against; probably the worst approach (and one of the most commonly applied) is number 5.
Our recommendation, for almost all clients, is a two-pronged strategy of piloting and trials, plus opportunistic quick wins (a combination of numbers 3 and 6).
December, 5, 2019 from Harold Jarche
In the book Blueprint, Nicholas Christakis identified a ‘social suite’ — a range of eight traits that are common among all human societies, though not always manifested in the same way — based on broad historical and anthropological research.
A similar ethnographic study which examined ethics from 60 societies, across over 600 sources found seven universal rules of morality.
Compare these with the nine noble virtues of Nordic society.
The social suite is the broadest of these lists, and is a good way to understand why we do certain things. The moral rules show how different societies have more in common than differences, when you look at core values. The Nordic virtues demonstrate how timeless our sense of what is good can be. We are derived from the same DNA, a common history and ancestry, and very similar ways of looking at our world. Unfortunately, we are even better at finding minute differences and inflating them to be important distinctions. We share a common humanity, and any society, culture, government, or religion that says differently is not worthy of being called human.
December, 5, 2019 from Knoco stories
I blogged recently about Connect and Collect - the two parallel approaches to transfer of knowledge. Now let's look in more depth about the two modes by which knowledge is carried - Content and Conversation.
During the Collect approach we facilitate the transfer of knowledge through captured and codified Content in the form of documents, files, text, pictures and video.
We also know that Conversations are a far richer medium than Content, potentially 14 times richer, though Content can reach far more people, and has a longer life-span than a conversation.
Any comprehensive Knowledge Management framework needs to enable, promote, facilitate and otherwise support both Conversation and Content.Focusing on conversation and focusing on content are not alternative strategies, they are complementary and interlinked. Neither approach is sufficient on its own (although the content-only focus seems very common), and each relies on the other.
Managing conversation without content leaves no trace, other than in the minds of the people involved. That in itself is useful, and we know that most of the processes of Knowledge Management, such as Retrospect, After Action Review, Peer Assist and so on are valuable individual learning experiences. But managing conversation without content is not a valuable organisational learning experience. Unless new knowledge becomes embedded in process, or guidance, or recommendations, it is never truly "learned", and without this we find knowledge becomes relearned many times, with errors being repeated, wheels reinvented and so on.
Managing content without conversation leads KM towards the already established fields of Content Management and Information Management, and you could (as the author of the famous "Nonsense of Knowledge Management" did) challenge what KM adds over and above these other disciplines. A focus on content without conversation results in a focus on publishing; on creation of reports and files, blogs, wikis, as a proxy for the transfer of knowledge; on Push rather than Pull. But unless people can question and interrogate knowledge in order to internalise it, learning can be very ineffective, and this approach always seems to deteriorate into technology, search, and the perennially soon-to-be-delivered benefits of AI.
There is a saying in social media circles that "Conversation is King, Content is just something to talk about". Like any other dualism-based statement, this is wrong. Knowledge Management, as a field, is far more "both/and" than it is "either/or".
Content and Conversation are the King and Queen of Knowledge Management - they rule together.
As a Knowledge Manager, please focus equally on both, and please do not assume that all Conversation needs to be by written means. Face to Face is still the preferred transfer mechanism for high-context knowledge, and "getting people together to talk about what they know" is an amazingly effective tool within your Knowledge Management Framework.
Make sure you promote and support Conversation and Content as equal partners in your KM Framework.
December, 4, 2019 from Knoco stories
The lesson learning system should be a supply chain for new knowledge. But how do you calculate its effectiveness?
We can look at lesson learning as a supply chain; identifying new pieces of knowledge and supplying them to other knowledge workers so they can improve their work. If it works well, knowledge is gathered, accumulated, synthesised into guidance, and used to inform future operations.
But how well does this supply chain work, and how can you calculate its efficiency?
This is something I tried to measure recently with a client, using a survey.
I divided the lesson supply chain into three steps, shown below
Now this particular client did not have a clear supply chain for lessons, so many people accessed lessons through search.
I therefore asked survey respondents to estimate in what percentage of cases the following happened, giving them the options to selecting 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%. The average estimate from the survey responders is shown below.
We can then use these figures to estimate the effectiveness of lesson transmission, as shown in the diagram above, and described below.
The effectiveness of transmitting lesson through guidance is 46% (capture) x 32% (update) x 43% (review) = 6%.
The effectiveness of transmitting lesson through search is 46% (capture) x 44% (search) x 36% (find) = 7%.
These are pretty low figures! Even if both routes were independent and there was an overall success rate of 13%, that still means that 87% of project knowledge was never transmitted other than via human memory.
Let's compare that with an organisation that treats lessons seriously. The diagram and numbers below are not from a survey, but from published statistics in another organisation. This organisation does not require users to search for lessons, but has a well-resourced supply chain to embed lessons into procedures and guidance.
The overall transmission efficiency is 93%
Please note that these figures only reflect the documentation of lessons and their transmission to future knowledge workers; they don't include the loss of knowledge in the documentation process, or the issues of transmission of understanding from writtenprocedires into the human braid - they only look at the effectiveness of the supply chain of written lessons.
This effectiveness can be measured, through surveys or through lesson tracking, and we can see that is can vary between very ineffective (as low as 6%) or extremely effective (as high as 93%). If you are applying lessons learned, then aim for high effectiveness!
December, 3, 2019 from Knoco stories
Typical General Ignorance questions are
Knowledge that "everyone knows" but which is quite wrong, it termed "General ignorance" and is a dangerous component of KM.
Beware of General Ignorance
I wrote last week about the maturity trajectory of knowledge – how knowledge passes through stages of maturity; from discovery, to exploration, to consolidation, to embedding, to obsolescence and reinventing. An exciting new idea passes through the stages, to become established knowledge; something “everybody knows”. Everyone knows the earth is just one planet in a solar system, everyone knows how an internal combustion engine works, and everyone knows that you need to wear a hat in the winter, because you lose most of your heat through your head.
Except, in the last case, you don’t. You don’t lose any more heat through your head than you do through any other part of your body. That’s one of the things “everyone knows” wrongly. This is knowledge that is obsolete and needs to be rejected and reinvented. Knowledge has a half-life beyond which it is no longer true, and common knowledge which has exceeded its half life - is beyond its believe-by date - has become general ignorance.
In Knowledge Management, we need to beware of the things that “everyone knows”, and occasionally we need to challenge them. Maybe they are not correct, maybe they have exceeded their believe-by date, maybe the context has changed and the knowledge is out of date.
For example, everyone knows you put the milk in the cup before you add the tea, but people used to do this to sterilise the milk, and all our milk is pasteurized. Similarly someone told me recently that you mustn't pick blackberries near busy roads for fear of lead poisoning, but who uses leaded petrol nowadays?
The ISO Knowledge Management standard requires a competent KM system to pay attention to the life of knowledge, and to have an approach to handle outdated or invalid knowledge, in order to protect the organization from making mistakes or working inefficiently, as a result of using outdated knowledge.
Communities of practice, and practice owners, need to be vigilant for general ignorance, and be prepared to challenge perceived wisdom. Just because "everyone knows" that (for example) that the Canary Islands are named after yellow birds, doesn't make it correct.
Be aware of the risks of general ignorance, and ensure your KM Framework deletes or archives all knowledge that has exceeded its believe-by date
December, 2, 2019 from Harold Jarche
I have frequently said that leadership today is helping make our networks smarter. Much of what we are is a direct effect of who we know and interact with. Our social networks have significant influence on who we are.
This is why we have to work collectively on countering the influence of ‘stupid’ people. We have to understand the laws of stupidity.
Consider the ‘stupidity’ of the anti-vaccination movement, based on bad science but fueled by fear and misinformation. To counter this type of ‘stupidity’ we have to understand how people feel. Feelings cannot be countered with mere facts.
If we do not want to live in a ‘stupid’ society then it is up to us to do something about it. We are the media.
November, 29, 2019 from Harold Jarche
Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
We give newspapers a free pass by calling them “the tabloid press”, as if the problem is the format. It’s not. The problem is the ownership. We should call them what they are. “The billionaire press”. — @GeorgeMonbiot
“We have been fighting the system … we need to be fighting at the level of thinking that created the system. Homo economicus is pseudoscience. It isn’t scientifically valid. They had no evidence, no empirical work … What is the economy? I would argue that it doesn’t exist in the physical world. It is a product of our imagination. It is made out of ideas. It does have an effect on the physical world. But the imagined order that we have is not succeeding.” —@EricBeinhocker via @sfiscience
November, 27, 2019 from Harold Jarche
I read the The Cluetrain Manifesto online in 1999, and later purchased the book. Even though the authors stated that it was not a business book, it provided a good lens though which to view our networked world at the time. I did not agree with all the theses but the book was still worth it. What I remember most is the first of the 95 theses — “Markets are conversations.”
One of my favourite paragraphs was in the last chapter. “Fact is, we don’t care about business — per se, per diem, au gratin. Given half a chance, we’d burn the whole constellation of obsolete business concepts to the waterline. Cost of sales and bottom lines and profit margins — if you’re a company, that’s your problem. But if you think of yourself as a company, you’ve got much bigger worries. We strongly suggest you repeat the following mantra as often as possible until you feel better: ‘I am not a company. I am a human being’.”
In 2011 I quoted Thesis #20 on Michael Geist’s blog — “Companies need to realize that customers are often laughing. At them.” — in a discussion about a Canadian telecommunications company practice of promising ‘unlimited’ internet access but actually capping it. I guess the company laughed last as this flagged me with their legal department and I lost a contract with them the next year.
Sixteen years after the Cluetrain, the authors published New Clues which reflects the current state of the web.
They conclude that it’s up to us to keep the web free and open.
This is why I keep on blogging after more than 15 years. It’s about connecting, even though more of it is done on private social media platforms. For example, I recently wrote a comment on LinkedIn in response to a post by Clark Quinn. Ironically, it was more convenient to post there than on his blog. I said that one result of this movement to private platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook will be the inability to find the comments after a time, unlike those on blogs that stay with the main post. We will lose these discussions even faster, as I note with all the dead links I find on my own older blog posts. Sometimes my blog post is the only artifact left on a longer article that is no longer online.
Doc Searls (co-author of the Cluetrain) is calling this the ‘world wide whiteboard‘ — write & then wipe it off. Platforms like LinkedIn have no incentive to make search and retrieval easy, and the Internet Archive cannot even scrape these platforms. It will be corporations who control our collective public memories. Which of course means they can be manipulated or deleted.
I think it will be a major struggle to keep the web open. Both governments and corporations profit by controlling it. Independent blogs are one way of keeping the web free, as well as paying for services instead of feeding the advertising/surveillance platforms. The web is small pieces, loosely joined. Let’s keep it that way.
November, 25, 2019 from Harold Jarche
Most situations at work can be considered from the perspective of — is this a known problem or not? If it’s known, then the answer can be looked up or the best person can be found to deal with it. The answer may even have been automated or outsourced. Known problems require access to the right information to solve them. This information can be mapped, and frameworks such as knowledge management help us to map it. We can also create tools, especially performance support systems to do the work and not have to learn all the background knowledge in order to accomplish the task. This is how complicated knowledge continuously gets automated.
But if it’s a new problem or an exception, then the worker has to deal with it in a unique way. The main job of most knowledge workers is to solve problems and deal with exceptions. Exception-handling is becoming more important in the networked workplace. While software can handle the routine stuff, people — usually working together — are needed to deal with the exceptions. Exceptions require cooperation and collaboration to solve.
Once an exception is dealt with, it is no longer new. It is now known. As exceptions get addressed, some or all of the solution can get automated, and so the process evolves. The challenge for organizational design is to make it easy to move new problems into the knowable space. This is where three principles of net work come into play.
We cannot know what is known unless the organization, and the entire business ecosystem are transparent. We need to be able find things fast, which is the main benefit of using social tools — increasing speed of access to knowledge. Social tools, like enterprise social networks, enable us to be transparent in our work. But transparency is not enough. Each knowledge worker must also narrate their own work. For example, just adding finished reports to a knowledge base does not help others understand how that report was developed. This is where activity streams can help organizational learning. We can see the the narration of work in small bits that over time become a flow and later patterns emerge. Humans are very good at pattern recognition.
Exception handling is complex work, which requires sensemaking, curiosity, and initiative. These soft skills cannot be commoditized. This is where the main value of the networked business is created. It’s a constantly moving sweet spot. Today’s complex work may become tomorrow’s merely complicated or even simple work. In addition, with complex work, failure has to be tolerated, as there are no best practices for exceptions. Narrating work also means taking ownership of mistakes. Transparency helps the whole organization learn from mistakes.
Finally, power in the organization must be distributed. Distributed power enables faster reaction times as those closest to the situation can take action. In complex situations there is no time to commission a detailed analysis. Those best able to address the situation have often marinated in the complex system for some time. They couldn’t sufficiently explain it to someone removed from the problem if they wanted to. This shared power is enabled by trust. Power in knowledge-based organizations must be distributed in order to nurture trust.
Power-sharing and transparency enable work to move out to the edges and away from the comfortable, complicated work that has been the corporate mainstay for decades. Most complicated work has been or will be automated and outsourced.
The high-value work today is in facing complexity, not in addressing problems that have already been solved and for which a formulaic or standardized response has been developed. One challenge for organizations is getting people to realize that what they already know has increasingly diminishing value. How to solve problems together is becoming the real business advantage where more workers are knowledge artisans.
November, 20, 2019 from Harold Jarche
Ten years ago — workplace learning in 10 years — I wrote that in 2019 much of the workforce will be distributed in time & space as well as in engagement. I also projected that work and learning will continue to blend while stand-up training will be challenged by the ever-present back channel. I predicted that the concept of personal knowledge mastery will have permeated much of the workplace. This last prediction has gained momentum in the past few years.
My first PKM client was Domino’s Pizza, who wanted to add this sensemaking framework to their leadership development program. I later worked with other companies such as Carlsberg and United Cities & Local Governments. Today, we are using the PKM framework to improve collaboration at a global financial corporation.
When I became a freelancer in 2003, remote work was not the norm, but being located in rural Atlantic Canada I had little choice unless I wanted to move to a metropolitan area. I have toyed with that idea over the years and entertained a few offers but no job could compare with my lifestyle, in spite of the financial roller coaster. I get to ride my bike or ski almost every day the weather permits. Anyway, PKM — introduced to me by Lilia Efimova in 2004 — became my sensemaking framework in order to stay professionally current and to connect with a global knowledge network.
My situation in 2003 has become more the norm. More people are working remotely and virtually. Most of my meetings today are via videoconferencing. Digital information flows are growing and getting polluted with misinformation, much as spam makes up the majority of email traffic today. Sensemaking is a critical skill for more knowledge professionals. The easy stuff keeps getting automated.
So is it possible to make predictions about workplace learning ten years from now?
I think the major change will be in communities — of practice, of interest, of mutual support. As social networks lose their utility due to spam, bots, and gaming the algorithms, safe spaces for learning will become essential. Learning in communities of trusted human relationships will be the main way professionals will keep up. If I were a young instructional designer today, I would start developing community management and support skills. As Verna Allee wrote in 2002, “Communities of practice emerge in the social space between project teams and knowledge networks”.
November, 18, 2019 from Harold Jarche
This past week I have been reading interview transcripts for a client. After reading several of these 20-page documents it became clear what was able to hold my attention — stories, especially first person accounts. I also remember the stories much better than the general discussions or advice given. One of the simplest definitions of storytelling is by Jonathan Gottschall in The Storytelling Animal — Story = Character + Predicament + Attempted Extrication.
Roger Schank has covered story telling and knowledge management in great detail. Here are some highlights from a 2010 DARPA presentation.
I had previously worked with stories on a client project to implement an ‘institutional memory’ system. This client was growing at a rapid rate and wanted employees in the future to understand the past of the organization. We learned that to be effective, institutional memory — especially the decisions taken over time — has to be part of the workflow of any knowledge worker doing complex work and making decisions.
Ewen Le Borgne writes that, “Institutional memory feeds off strong personal knowledge management among individual staff members”. Personal knowledge mastery is a set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world and work more effectively. PKM is an ongoing process of filtering information from our networks, creating knowledge individually and with our teams, and then discerning with whom and when to share the artifacts of our knowledge. PKM helps to put our knowledge maps out there for others to see.
The field of knowledge management is nothing without people engaged in the process. Viola Spolin, creator of the ‘Theater Games’ actor training system, said that, “Information is a weak form of communication.” But, it can be improved, as Gary Schwartz notes, “Story becomes important in the ordering of all this information.” Stories are the glue, holding information together in some semblance of order, for our brains to process into knowledge.
But time and place for telling stories are also important. In Working the Past: Narrative and Institutional Memory Charlotte Linde discusses the importance of ‘occasions’ in sharing institutional memory. “Without the occasion, the story rarely or never gets told”. Linde concludes that, “A story not having a proper occasion on which it can or must be told exists in an archive if it exists at all. An institution not having a range of occasions for telling stories is not likely to be working its past very hard.” My own experience in the military reflects many different occasions, from formal to very relaxed, in which to share stories.
For example, while any company’s institutional memory should be what Linde refers to as an open canon, or one that has new stories added over time, there is also a place for an official version of certain stories. An example is the first authorized history of MidWest Insurance, published in 1955 and still printed for internal use. Linde at first wondered if the book was more for show than use.
We are hard-wired to tell and remember stories. It probably began when we started to sit around a fire. Early humans may have diverged from other primates when they began eating meat. This meat was likely burnt from frequent lightning strikes on the African savanna. They did not even have to know how start a fire, only how to keep one going. Eating cooked meat gave a much higher caloric intake and human brains grew significantly larger than their primate cousins.
As humans developed a taste for cooked meat and a source of constant fire at their campsites, they had to work together socially. Hunting or gathering during the day was very task-focused but in the evening groups of our ancestors sat around the fire for protection. This is where storytelling began. Modern day Ju/’hoansi of the Kalahari Desert reflect this in their daily routine — ‘daytime talk’ and ‘fireside talk’ are quite different. The vocabulary of the latter is much larger and evenings are much more engaged in storytelling. This is one of the initial premises of Edward O. Wilson’s book, The Origins of Creativity.
However, I will close with a word of caution. While storytelling skills may be important, a critical network era skill — as we get inundated with stories on social media — will be the ability to deconstruct stories, or story skepticism. Thinking critically about how a story affects us emotionally is important before hitting the Tweet or Post buttons that are now so handy on our smart devices. We need to become story skeptics so the many emerging and deceptive storytellers do not lead us astray.
November, 15, 2019 from Harold Jarche
“Leadership is a serious meddling in the lives of others. Managers/leaders with poor self-awareness and not knowing how their behaviour affects staff do not get the best out of their teams.” —@shauncoffey
November, 13, 2019 from Harold Jarche
I was asked today about my sensemaking routine. I try not to talk too much about how I do things because I believe that a practice — like personal knowledge mastery — has to be personal, or it will not last. But perhaps I can give some details to help others find there own way. The question was asked during the current PKM Workshop and the next one starts on 13 January 2020.
In my own case, I collect (seek) information through my social networks and then collate them in my social bookmarks or my blog posts, especially my Friday’s Finds. These blog posts over time may get connected into longer articles or updated posts. Since 2014 I have written e-books which are edited and revised collections of blogs posts. I write about one a year now, with the latest in December 2018 — Life in Perpetual Beta. Small pieces gradually become bigger ones and then some may congregate as more polished works. For me, it is easier to write smaller pieces, and then later connect and edit them into a coherent framework and story. But as they say in automobile advertising — your mileage may vary.
Here are some examples of PKM Routines from other practitioners.
November, 12, 2019 from Harold Jarche
Nancy Dixon tells a wonderful story about ‘Researcher’s Square’ and the hallway of learning. The whole story is well-worth your time. It describes how a diverse group of mostly independent researchers who worked in their individual offices were able to cooperate and even collaborate due to a change in the built architecture. A central hallway was placed in the middle of 20 offices so that everyone had to 1) use the same café area, and 2) use the only available large table & whiteboard, which were visible to everyone, for group meetings. In addition, copies of everyone’s published research was on display in this central area. While most researchers felt this would not change their work behaviours, it did.
Selling cooperation is a hard job. Like complexity, the relationship between cause and effect is seen only after the fact. I find this with my PKM workshops — there is a lot of confusion until each participant has an ‘aha’ moment. We cannot know in advance what will trigger this moment or when it will happen. This is why small changes — Trojan mice — can be much more effective. There can be many experiments and a variety of experiences in different contexts. They do not have to be expensive or highly staffed either. The example given by Nancy Dixon took advantage of an already-scheduled move. A work culture that is open to this kind of experimentation is one that can keep learning.
November, 10, 2019 from Harold Jarche
Back in 2007 I suggested that the first step to take in online sensemaking is to free your bookmarks. Social bookmarks reside online, not in your browser, so they can be accessed from multiple devices and easily shared. My own journey went from Furl, to Magnolia, to Delicious, and most recently to Diigo. Today I decided it was time to make another move — to Pinboard. This is a paid service and adds to several others that I now pay for, such as 1Password, Fastmail, Zoom, and Tweetbot.
Paying for online services makes for a healthier web, in my opinion. It means that service providers are not motivated to sell advertising and/or user tracking. A recent thread on Twitter by the founder of Pinboard gave me the impetus for this move. It was about the flawed business model of Medium, a ‘free’ blog hosting site that I used for a short time and then left.
The dominant web business model of free access in return for tracking advertising is severely flawed. It has created powerful platform capitalists and their massive tracking and manipulation practices which are eroding democracy as we knew it. So if you are concerned by this Silicon Valley world order, and can afford to, then change your online practices. The more people pay for these services then the more companies will offer genuine online services that respect their customers.