Kill the chicken - Pt I

Kill the chicken - Pt I

You’ll often see organisations state ‘innovation’ as one of their core values.  This is easy to spot because it is typically written in large letters in a bold font on a poster on the wall under the heading ‘Our Values’.  Despite such value statements and indeed a sincere wish to promote innovation, most organisations, particularly those in the Public Sector struggle to introduce anything truly innovative into their business.  Indeed if you were to ask senior managers ........

Is the Org-Structure Dead?

Is the Org-Structure Dead?

A blog by Martin Erasmuson.

On one level, we understand we are operating in an increasingly dynamic business environment.  Indeed, we seem comfortable with continually adding-to, changing, removing, ‘tweaking’ three of those four organisational dimensions; information, process and technology elements to meet those constantly changing business needs; but get stuck on organisation structure.  That always seems to require the classic ‘restructure’ with all the heartache and disruption that comes with it.  Why is that?  Why can’t the way we organise our people to be as agile and adaptive as those other three elements? 

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

A blog by Martin Erasmuson.

Everything is a work-in-progress; things being born/created/built, and other things dying/being dismantled/demolished.  Certainly some milestones, like those commemorated by plaques in building foyers, ‘Opened by His Worship Mayor no-one-remembers’ and at the time no doubt accompanied by ribbons, a photographer and a brass-band; but ultimately the building is demolished, the plaque goes to the museum and it all becomes just another historical footnote. 

Weaponized Information: Is the next arms race here?

Weaponized Information: Is the next arms race here?

A blog by Martin Erasmuson

These companies have profiles for hundreds of millions of people around the world, based solely of Facebook likes and posts.  To ‘weaponise’ information, these companies use machine-learning, artificial-intelligence and automation to read how a particular news story is trending on Facebook or Twitter and then autogenerate thousands of new accounts that auto-post thousands of posts, comments and ‘likes’ that takes the story in the direction you want it to go.

Paying-off my information debt

Paying-off my information debt

A blog by Martin Erasmuson

There is a natural tension between expediency and thought-out decision making.  In that sense information-debt is not necessarily bad.  I’ve blogged before about adaptive-strategies and a ‘Good Enough is Perfect’ approach.  On a personal level, I’ve used the company credit-card tactically for ease of accounting or while waiting for company invoices to be paid.  So, debt is not bad per se.  Sometimes a heuristic method is appropriate and necessary, acknowledging that a particular solution is not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but is sufficient to move a project forward, while acknowledging there is likely to be a ‘debt’ once the optimal solution is discovered and re-work is necessary.

Who still believes they don’t need adaptive-strategies?

Who still believes they don’t need adaptive-strategies?

A blog by Martin Erasmuson.

Anyone still having trouble with the concept of exponential, unexpected change, keep looking at any international news website over the next few days until you come right.  Unplanned, unforeseen, continuous, unrelenting change is the key underlying condition of today’s world.  The good news is the sun will (likely) come up tomorrow and organisations have what it takes to adapt.

Coming Ready or Not: Social-Media, Crowd-Sourcing & Knowledge Management Strategy

Coming Ready or Not: Social-Media, Crowd-Sourcing & Knowledge Management Strategy

A blog by Martin Erasmuson.

The ‘Gone-Viral’ nature of Social Media is now typical of the general business environment.  Rather than relying solely on corporate KM systems, organisations must create a culturefor discovery of the information they need, when they need it.  That needs to work in concert with deep agile capability to VERY quickly pivot resources to respond to (name today’s crisis here) along with a heuristic, ‘good-enough-is-perfect’ attitude.  

I know we know that – What is a Knowledge Management System Pt II

I know we know that – What is a Knowledge Management System Pt II

A blog by Martin Erasmuson.

Do many organisations suffer from Organisational-Dyspraxia?  Dyspraxia typically refers to a developmental coordination disorder that disrupts brain messages, with many sufferers having difficulty organizing their time or recalling information from their memory centres. 

What is a Knowledge Management System?

What is a Knowledge Management System?

A blog by Martin Erasmuson.

What is a Knowledge Management System?  Or more precisely, what is a Knowledge Management System today?  Many folk in the KM game can likely recall being part of ancient (20th Century) KM initiatives that might have included: an electronic document & records management system (EDRMS), Knowledge-Base, content management system (CMS) and possibly hard copy records management (RM) to name a few.  Notably, back in the day, these were invariably on-premise systems and likely not integrated.  Even pre-2000, establishing the ROI of such systems was difficult but at least the on-premise costs and over-heads were relatively straightforward.

So back to the question: ‘What constitutes a Knowledge Management System today’?  And assuming it is possible to answer that question, ‘How would you go about establishing the ROI of such a system’?

Good enough is the new perfect

Good enough is the new perfect

A blog by Martin Erasmuson.

The emerging 4th Industrial Revolution comprises cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, the Internet of Systems with omnipresent and constantly evolving information.  Before the turn of the 20th century it was possible and practical for a company or industry to capture the information to know what they needed to know to be successful.  In 2013 human knowledge was doubling about every 13 months (11).  But with the emerging 4th Industrial Revolution, that rate will increase exponentially. IBM theorizes it could someday double every 12 hours!  We are already seeing the symptoms; undifferentiated problems present themselves with disagreement and uncertainty about how to proceed.  How to handle that?  More on premise or cloud-based storage?  Faster internet?  More training?  By the time an organization runs its traditional linear approach, the situation has changed and there are new challenges.

How do you gauge a knack for innovation?

How do you gauge a knack for innovation?

Is there a way of measuring someone’s talent for innovation?

In my previous post; ‘Your survival may rely on your ignorance’, I discussed Liz Wiseman’s great book: ‘Rookie Smarts’ where she proposes that in the emerging knowledge economy, new-comers; or ‘Rookies’, perform far better than their ‘expert’ colleagues.  Wiseman’s research suggests that while the ‘expert’ can be have a narrow, fixed view based on previous knowledge and experience, the Rookie is open to and actively seeks out new ways of doing things. 

Your survival may rely on your ignorance

Your survival may rely on your ignorance

Since the industrial revolution kicked-off in the 18th century; there has been an almost fanatic focus on the role of the expert.  This is reflected in our public education systems who are tasked with churning them out.  But knowledge and experience; in and of themselves, aren’t going to cut-it in this emerging knowledge revolution – the so-called 4th revolution.

Not enough fingers for the dam

Not enough fingers for the dam

Western Governments and organisations have spent decades evolving policies, statutes and by-laws into layers of bureaucracy for everything imaginable; and a few ‘unimaginable things as well.  For example; in the UK, “it is illegal to import potatoes into England and Wales if you have reasonable cause to suspect that they are Polish” (it’s the ascent that gives them away) or; in July 2013 a law was passed in China that states “it is illegal for adult children to ‘not’ visit their parents ‘often’” with a footnote that “they are also required to attend to their parent’s spiritual needs” (Wow – though technically they did invent zen).

Our Cloud Strategy “La La La La La La La”

Our Cloud Strategy “La La La La La La La”

It had to happen eventually.  The first fatal accident in a Tesla self-driving car.  And of course some commentators have been quick to jump on ‘The Sky-Is-Falling’ bandwagon like ‘The Guardian’, who suggest consumers will ‘second-guess the trust they put in the booming autonomous vehicle industry’.  And I’m sure Henry Bliss would agree; if he were still alive.  Mr. Bliss has the unfortunate distinction of being the first recorded person in US history to be killed in a motor vehicle accident on September 14, 1899.  Like the recent Tesla accident, at the time many commentators were no doubt quick to voice alarm and FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about the dangers of this emerging ‘horseless-carriage’ technology.  At first glance it seems a natural, even appropriate human reaction, to treat new and strange contraptions with skepticism; for some that means sticking our fingers in our ears and yelling: “la la, la, la, la, la”?  

Did anyone notice when we went deaf, dumb and blind?

Did anyone notice when we went deaf, dumb and blind?

I was struck recently by how many organisations have forgotten how to use the three best communications and information gathering devices on the planet; our eyes, ears and tongues. We’re relying instead on a plethora of gadgets in an attempt to glean what is going on within our organisations and the wider world.  This was underscored for me recently; and possibly ironically, by the linked story on a New Zealand news website of a NZ school that has erected a sign warning drivers to look out for texting teenagers.  The presumption being of course that they’re not paying any attention at all to what is going on around them.  The story made me smile; with perhaps just a hint of smug condescension.

Digital Transformation - a faster horse won’t cut it

Digital Transformation  - a faster horse won’t cut it

I still meet the odd business-as-usual (BAU) ‘Digital Transformation Denier’.  Frankly I think the jury is out.  The digital transformation wave is hitting the beach now.  The question; in my view, is not ‘is it happening’ but rather ‘do I want to be on the wave or left behind’?  The key question then is ‘how to catch the wave’?  This blog is directed at that last question.

When it works, we don't notice

When it works, we don't notice

Grant Reid wrote: “Hi Martin, I'm curious, how did the internal perception of GIS team change after they made this useful data available to the public? For example, did funding for GIS increase? Did people start bringing new opportunities to the team?” 

Great question.  Firstly, many commentators like to point out that the situation at CERA was unique.  My response has always been: ‘Maybe; but success demands no explanation, and failure not alibi’.