Knowledge Management Community of Austin (KMCA)

Austin

Back at the first of the year, I had a meeting with Benjamin Anyacho, a Knowledge Manager from the Texas Department of Transportation, at a local restaurant in Austin. I mentioned to him that we need to pool our collective resources and start having a conversation with other Knowledge Managers within the Austin and Central Texas area.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition of many of us to work from home, we have been delaying the start of this KM Community. After talking with each other for the past few weeks we decided that it is actually a good time to start up and have conversations and possibly share ways we as a community can get to a place of the new normal.

On June 25th at 11:30 AM until 12:30 PM Central Time (in the US and Canada) will start the Knowledge Management Community of Austin (KMCA) Knowledge Cafe. We want to brainstorm with other Knowledge Managers within the Austin and Central Texas community towards a possible knowledge exchange. Knowledge management practice is increasingly becoming a sine qua non for business success. Several smart cities and regions are organizing themselves around KM practice and community.

Please register in advance for this meeting:
Zoom registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUudOCqqjIoGdEdvRJGVonwU84W5DzAQVu1 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Information on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/knowledge-management-community-of-austin-area-tickets-106014347768?ref=esli&utm_campaign=201308&utm_source=LinkedInenivtefor001

Benjamin also created a LinkedIn group for this new community of professionals and is located at the following web site: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12436066.

Remote work and Knowledge Management

remote work

Over the past few weeks, a lot of companies across the globe have had to change their views on “telework” or “remote work” policies due to COVID-19, just to stay in business. After all of this, are we going to learn how to transition from the “9-5” work environment of office buildings and cubicles? Are there going to be more “remote work” jobs available in the workforce?

My experience working from home since the COVID-19 “shelter in place” orders started to roll through Texas has been both positive and negative. Here are some of my personal observations over the past month working from home.

Positive

Negative

Spending time with my wife and kids
Home Schooling Kids
Developing ways to organize my business live and home life
"Honey Do List"
Declutter my digital documents
House Upkeep
Finding more opportunities to create a business network
Lack of focus time
Look at my business from a consumer aspect
Not able to study in a quiet environment
Connecting with old friends from high school and college
Not able to go out with friends to catch up in person
Look at my capabilities away from the office
The internet at my house cannot support my business needs and my kids school needs at the same time

One of the major things I have learned from this experience is that is what service can I bring to the table to other companies that are going through the same thing. How are they communicating with their employees (Zoom and Microsoft Teams appear to have increased use quite a bit since this has started)? Not only talking to each other about work but the social interaction with each other is another reason why we work. One of my peers just hosted a videoconference about bringing the team together (completely optional) and just talk about whatever is on their mind (school, hobbies, family, etc.). This company truly cares about their employees well being and being able to do this has actually brought the team closer together.

How is business being done now? How are decisions being made (or are they)? Spending over 21 years in the military there were plenty of times where I had to work outside of the “office space” and still was responsible for reporting up to my leaders as well as coordinating my teams.

As an organization you have people and with that, you must plan on how to interact with them to be able to get your mission and vision accomplished in order to have the business survive. Developing a strategic level Knowledge Management plan for your company in a remote work situation. This can answer questions your employees may have when they are forced to work from home.

When developing this plan some things you want to keep in mind are connectivity, access, capabilities, benefits, and expectations.

Connectivity is not only is your business connected but are your employees able to connect to the company’s internal site to work. Access, is your internal portal, collaboration sites, communities of practice available while working from home? What are the capabilities your employees of working remotely (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.). What benefits is the company willing to offer while working remotely? Finally, what are the expectations (not only from the CEO but the VPs, Division chiefs, Middle Managers, etc.) to ensure the work is being done

Decision-making at a Four-Star Command

This is a presentation Mr. Cannon gave at the KM Showcase 2020. The video from the KM Showcase 2020 will be posted once it gets released from KM Institute

Best Practice for Combined/Joint Meetings: Dealing with multiple classification levels

Sitting in the middle of the Kuwait desert at an undisclosed location. Members of 62 nations came together to pull their resources together against the members of Daesh who were causing havoc within a recovering Iraq and Syria. How did the members of these 62 nations from different backgrounds and culture come together to fend off these rebels out of Iraq and Syria? It was coming together in terms of what each of them can contribute to the effort (money, ground troops, planes, supplies, equipment, intelligence, etc.). These contributions allow the representing nations a certain need to know for issues within their agreed to contribution. A few thousand miles away in Seoul, an Armistice “cease fire” has been going on for the past 65 plus years. There are three separate commands involved with maintaining the Armistice the United Nations Command (UNC), Combined Forces Command (CFC), and United States Forces Korea (USFK). Each of these commands have separate missions but they are all lead by one single U.S. Four Star General it has been this way since 1978. The United Nations Command is composed of 21 sending state nations who provide a representative or resources to the Command. The Combined Forces Command is a bilateral command between the Republic of Korea and the United States military. United States Forces Korea is the joint forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Special Operations) lead for national interest as well as the lead organization under United Nations Command (it is a very unique relationship). As you can see, both situations are similar in terms of how they are structured and the need for maintaining the coalition as well as completing the mission without compromising vital information that would get passed to the advisory (either inadvertently or maliciously). So, the question remains how can a Commander get the vital information they need to make the correct decision at the appropriate time and maintain both the national interest as well as maintaining the coalition. This balancing act can be done through a variety of methods but the one that I have seen most effective is through meeting management. Figure 1 depicts on what the audience should be within the meeting being held. If the information is similar or related, then you can have one meeting starting with inviting all the members of the coalition first and as the information gets more and more restrictive take a short break and excuse those members that are not privileged to the information. This will do two things. First, this construct fosters communication and information sharing with the members of the coalition, thus making all the members of the coalition feel that they have a say n the decision-making cycle. Second, it allows both the Commander and their staff more white space within their calendar to do the jobs they were slotted to perform Table 1 shows an example agenda of how the meeting can be executed. As one can see going through the topics in this manner can save the entire staff time as well as give the decision-maker the information from multiple viewpoints that can affect the mission, the decision and ultimately lives that are out in the front lines implementing these directives. When one develops the architecture for how the meetings will run for a multi-hatted Commander one has to be cognizant of the needs of the coalition, needs of the staff and most of all the needs of the Commander.

2018 Midwest KM Symposium

My presentation on Knowledge Management in a Combined/Joint Environment at the Ernest & Young Facility for the 2018 Knowledge Management Symposium in Cleveland, OH. I really had a great time learning from other KM Practitioners in the US and Canada.  Paper located at WASET presentation located on SlideShare.