Looking & Recording in Different Ways

robephoto
More of an art day than the last few sales sales and more sales.
Spent an hour at the V&A this morning drawing.

robesketch
And was struck by the difference and similarity between the two images I created of the same robe.
robeclouds
Especially in contrast to the “reality” of the photograph. I know this isn’t a new idea in art but in management (even Kmanagement) it’s rarely this clear to me.

Looking & Recording in Different Ways

robephoto
More of an art day than the last few sales sales and more sales.
Spent an hour at the V&A this morning drawing.

robesketch
And was struck by the difference and similarity between the two images I created of the same robe.
robeclouds
Especially in contrast to the “reality” of the photograph. I know this isn’t a new idea in art but in management (even Kmanagement) it’s rarely this clear to me.

Kmanagement (the ‘K’ is silent)

It came to me on the tube this morning. We were between Pimlico and Victoria and it made me giggle and snort (to the annoyance of my fellow passengers) which is when I know that it’s good enough to blog.

I’ve been rattling on recently (less so here, more to anyone who will listen to my voice) about the trouble with talking about Knowledge Management – yes it’s true that “so what is knowledge management” is a useful opener to another conversation, say “how can I help you out with your current problems and as the merest by-product you give me a large amount of cash” but it also can end up as an argument about all sorts of other things (explicit & tacit, what’s a knowledge worker, personal or corporate etc. etc.) that take us… forward… very… slowly…

So, Ladies, Gentlemen and those who aren’t sure… I give you Kmanagement (the ‘K’ is silent) I pronounce it ‘ manidjmunt’ but I grew up in Birmingham, so I can’t be trusted – those in the know may like to add a little glottal stop where the ‘K’ is, a little beat to distinguish Kmanagement from Management.

Because IMHO that’s all it is – it’s ()management for today as opposed to management for yesterday. The thing I want to be talking about is not so much “how do you manage tacit knowledge?” or the such like, but rather how do I manage this organisation, or hey, just my team, given that everything I learned on business courses told me to manage this way and every instinct I have tells me that I need to do something different – because I’m not managing manual workers and production lines, I’m managing clever, talented, wild-thinking people who are currently creating the next great version of what this organisation really is.

This is how it’s going to be here for a while – thinking about what Kmanagement is and what it isn’t.

For starters:

  • Kmanagement isn’t control
  • Kmanagement isn’t either/or
  • Kmanagement is about people not machines (and people, even groups of people aren’t machines nor do they behave remotely like machines)
  • Kmanagement is about being creative and innovative
  • Kmanagement is about nurturing creativity in your group
  • Kmanagement isn’t about mine is bigger than yours – it’s about if I put yours together with mine, we get something even better
  • Kmanagement is about what works, today, for you

Lloyds TSB New Web Site – uh oh.

I bank with Lloyds TSB – both as a personal customer and as a business customer. I’m also a Mozilla user. One of the big reasons for me switching to Mozilla is that I believe it’s more secure than that Microsoft thing and particularly when dealing with my bank over the interwebnet, security is important to me.

They’ve just changed their website. When I went in this morning it says, in a page entitled “Lloyds TSB You First – Browser compatability” (my bold):

“Welcome to Lloyds TSB

Sorry, but at the moment our site does not fully support your browser. This may mean that some pages within the site may not display correctly.

We are working towards ensuring that most up to date browsers are supported in the near future.

This will not affect your ability to log on to Internet banking, and you can continue to browse most areas of the site. Click here to continue through to the homepage.

We’ve revamped the entire site and added new tools and calculators – making it even easier for you to make the most of your money.”

but not to get at it – when I clicked on Business Banking, I had a long wait and then a login page into which I put my details then an error and an 0845 number to call, if this problem persists. For me, this problem doesn’t need to persist for me to call. But first I thought I’d have a go with IE – got as far as handing over my memorable details and then 404.

Danny, the friendly and helpful chap on the Glasgow Helpdesk told me this was because the server was down and that they are working on it and please come back in an hour.

I will, but I’m blogging it first.

I then asked Danny if he could point me in the right direction for complaining about the browser compatability problem. He took a while to check with his supervisor about Mozillo (sic) and then came back to me to say that he would pass my comments on to the “Concerns Team” and that they would call me, but I might not get a call for up to 5 working days. I could not surpress my mirth – I’m sorry I giggled.

Sooo…. what do you think the rest of my day is going on? That’s right, my friends, generating enough revenue to avoid going into my overdraft this month so that I can close this account and find someone else who really puts me first.

Sales, sales and more sales

Sat and listened to the rock-and-roll sales training spectacular that is Mike Southon‘s Sales on a Beermat. Well worth the time and effort to get to Ludgate Circus for 08:45. Great fun and extremely useful – if you have to do sales and you haven’t had this experience then get onto ecademy and do it, as soon as you can.

Luckily, I already had a coffee booked in with my favourite customer, Stuart Dickenson of DfES. The time in Victoria St *$s flew by, catching up on how the rest of the 5-year-strategy launch went and what’s going on now.

On the way back I jumped off the bus in Trafalgar Sq and walked up to the office – snapping for the photoblog as I went.

Perfect Path Creed Redux

Thinking about elevator pitches this morning – of which more later.

OK – I sell knowledge management consulting. That means I do workshops, awaydays, mentoring, interim management, public speaking and some poor clients occasionally commission me to write them a report.

But what differentiates me from other KM consultants who do those things? Well I am a bit different, personally – I don’t know how to describe it but you get a flavour of that from reading what I write here. And I think a bit differently (I swing wildly along the techno-fetishist fluffy bunny spectrum).

I also mainly help public sector clients – and the things they need are sometimes very different from commercial folk (though often frighteningly similar).

The creed is getting refined and this is how I wrote it today as the elevator doors squeak to a close behind me:

I believe that much of the pain we feel as managers in modern organisations comes from trying to apply management thinking and methods that are 100 years out of date and which were developed to solve a very different set of problems.

My understanding is that nobody has worked out a one-size-fits-all set of techniques for managing people in knowledge-based organisations and that it’s possible (probable?) that no such o-s-f-a set exists.

What I do is help people work out what are the right techniques for them and their colleagues to use today and to see how they can really use them for organisational benefit – however they may perceive that.

My experience has been that this usually requires them to find ways of being comfortable with their own creativity, and to nurture the creativity of others around them, while at the same time coming to feel at home with technology that is evolving very very quickly.

“ding”