Best wishes for the Festive Season

December 26, 2006

To all in the blog reading world out there – my best festive season wishes and I hope that you have a wonderful 2007. 

For myself, it’s been quite a hectic 2006.  Highlights include the 15 day holiday through Malaysia with the family, speaking engagements at KM Australia, AGLIN, a futures workshop in Canberra for the APSC with Tess and Bron,  KMLF workshop, actKM with my wife Lyn  Also work highlights include coordination for PAEC Hearings and the Election (not sure if I could really call them highlights!), speech writing for the Secretary, completing various strategy documents and facilitating planning days.  And of course setting up this blog at long last, initially just to coin the term infoluenza but since then to put some other views out there and enter the Web 2.0 era.

2007 looks like being seriously busy as well.  I have been given the OK to conduct some futures work within Justice which I am rapt about.  I now have some space and resourcing to do this which is even better and should be able to leverage off the workshops that Richard Slaughter recently conducted for many Justice staff.  Outside of work, we are looking to move Lyn’s work into a bigger and better premises which will require a lot of planning and cash!

Have a great 2007.


Malaysia – Useful Tips for Holidays

October 17, 2006

This post is not on the subject of knowledge management or futures.  Rather it is a bit of a travelogue on our recent family holiday to Malaysia.  We went to Langkawi, KL, Taman Negara, Kota Bahru and the Perhentian Islands.

Langkawi – thoroughly recommend as preferred destination to Penang.  We stayed at the Mutiara Burau Bay which had a decent pool for the kids, good TV for the kids and was in the midst of lots of rainforest with monkeys and squirrels and birds for Luke.  Rates are a bit on the expensive side though and I’d much prefer to go back to Perhentian for clearer water and the beach scene than here (which is bigger and has greater cultural activities and waterfalls, etc)

Kuala Lumpur – shopping is much better in China than Malaysia.  KL is OK but after a day we wanted to get out into the country.

Taman Negara National Park – about four hours drive east of KL – an area of pristine lowland rainforest.  Always wanted to go there.  The place to stay is Travellers Home.  It’s a Swiss style B&B, Hamid and Rebecca and the crew are extremely friendly hosts and they have great knowledge of the local wildlife. A true home away from home and really quiet away from the resort life. 

Perhentian Islands off the north-east coast – we stayed at Tuna Bay Resort.  Step out of your room, walk 5 metres to the sand, walk another 10 metres to the water, don snorkel and mask and swim in with the tropical fish.  Beer available for when you come out from the water.  A wonderful end to the holiday.

Now – back to work Luke!

Malaysia – The Blog is On Holiday

October 1, 2006

Some of you might have noticed that the blog has been fairly quiet of late.  I am currently in Malaysia on holiday taking a break.

It’s beautiful over here – warm, balmy, lots of greenery away from the cities. 

More posts in a few days when I return.

The Knowledge Management Equation: E=mc2

August 25, 2006

Einstein’s elegant equation of his special theory of relativity linking energy, matter and speed rocked the scientific establishment.  It challenges notions of absolute time and space towards ones that are relative, depending on the observer.

I think that it is also an excellent mathematical equation for describing knowledge management.  Many of you who know me may wonder why I am going against my previous statements on the troubles with measuring knowledge and reducing complex things down to the bare essentials.  Quite true, but it’s an interesting exercise anyway.  Here goes:

Sveiby has defined knowledge as “the capacity to act“.  In this sense, it has an energetic dimension.  I remember from high school physics that you can have kinetic energy (an object is moving so that it can perform work on something else) and potential energy (such as an object on top of a cliff that might not be moving but could do work with its potential capacity if it is unleashed).  Both are like knowledge in an organisation – the potential for work to be done either by knowledge in an action or flow or knowledge that is not being used currently but has the potential to be used. 

Knowledge as energy!  But what then of the m and c you ask?  Well m of course is meaning.  Knowledge won’t work unless it has some meaning.  Some might say that this is circular – knowledge is only knowledge if it has meaning – otherwise it is just data or information.  True, but it also demonstrates the strong positive relationship between the two – if I can enhance the meaning to people (through story or through process or through rewards), then the value of the knowledge and its potential energy is increased.

Meaning – that’s easy I hear you say.  What about the c? And how are you going to square it?  Well c stands for connections.  And it’s not just about knowledge energy being increased when connecting people to information (through technology or content management systems for example) but also connecting people to people (such as through CoPs, shared visions, narrative or simple email systems).  Both sets of connections are important – hence why connections squared.  There are obvious links here to Metcalfe’s Law of the Networked Economy. 

Simple then, isn’t it?  E=mc2.  Knowledge energy (or the value of knowledge) is dependent on meaning, connecting people to information, and connecting people to people.  Cover all three bases and your knowledge energy will exponentially grow!


Working with Knowledge Energies – presentation to actKM Canberra October 2006

August 24, 2006

My wife, Lyn, has always wondered what I get up to at KM conferences.  So I decided to not only invite her along to one, but to present with me.  Below is what we plan to have a conversation about at the actKM 2006 conference in Canberra.   

Early in the 20th Century, Albert Einstein rocked the scientific world with his E=mc2 equation linking energy, matter and speed in his special theory of relativity.  The equation shook the paradigm of Newtonian concepts of space and time towards a view that matter is not just something that is static but is alive with energy.  Later in the 20th century, knowledge management theorists and practitioners commented that knowledge also appears to have energetic properties; that it can be considered not just as an object or stock but as something that is dynamic and that flows.  Could we consider successful knowledge management then as the maximization of energy within communities, providing healthy opportunities for collaboration, creativity and sense-making?  How do we explore these energetic properties of knowledge? 

Pathways for knowledge energies in organisations can be likened to the energy pathways in us as individuals.  Each of us has many physical systems such as our circulatory, nervous, lymphatic and digestive systems.  But we also have meridians that channel energy.  While once discredited, acupuncture is now viewed as an acceptable means of releasing energy blockages in these channels, freeing the body to heal itself.  Likewise, organizations have physical systems that can be portrayed as organisational charts, process flows and communication maps such as SNA.  But just as with individuals, there are also hidden energy channels in organisations that can become blocked or disrupted in a way that impedes the flow of knowledge energy.   

This presentation will explore the generation of positive knowledge energy and the dissipation of negative knowledge energy in the workplace.  We will marry (excuse the double entendre) Western views of knowledge energies as flows and relationships with Eastern views of knowledge energies that incorporate yin/yang Feng Shui principles and subtle dimensions.  Our presentation will explore the hidden world where serendipity meets synchronicity, where chance meets coincidence and where sense-making meets deeper meaning and understanding. 

About the Presenters 

Luke Naismith has recently joined the Victorian Government’s Department of Justice as a Corporate Strategy Manager.  He has previously been in senior positions in the Australian Public Service in the areas of information economy public policy, knowledge and information management and technology implementations.  Luke completed his Masters of Strategic Foresight last year and has been a long-standing member of the Standards Australia Knowledge Management Committee.   

Lyn Naismith is the owner of the Kiva Wellbeing Centre, a place where clients can come to relax, unwind and reconnect with their inner strength.  She is a Qi Gong Kinesiology Practitioner, Reiki Master, Massage Therapist and Tien Ti (Space Clearing) Master.  Lyn specialises in identifying and releasing the emotional and physical blockages to health and wellbeing to assist her clients to restore and balance their energy.  She also has degrees in Psychology and Social Work.

My first post

August 22, 2006

Welcome everyone to the Knowledge Futures blog.  This is the first post.

Just something to get up there and I will fill all this out with more fulsome information in due course.