November 2017 Seminar: The Future for Information and Knowledge Professionals – Tenth Anniversary Seminar

Summary

2017 has been the tenth anniversary of the founding of NetIKX and this meeting was a celebration of this. The programme focused on the situation of knowledge and information professionals in 2017. Talks to set the scene were from Peter Thomson on major changes to the world of work and from Stuart Ward, Chair of NetIKX at its inception, who focused more closely on how KM and IM people can provide value in the workplace in this changing world. Then participants were invited to discuss the key ideas that they thought were the most relevant and put questions to a panel composed of people active and influential in our field.

What are the important trends in employment that we face and what is the role of communities like NetIKX that operate in this field? We looked back over the last ten years to set the scene for the changes we need to prepare for in the coming years. We also involved people from related organisations such as CILIP. ISKO UK and LIKE.
There were two introductory talks and first Peter Thomson looked at major changes to the world of work. Stuart Ward, Chair of NetIKX at its inception, focused more closely on how KM and IM people can provide value in the workplace in this changing world. Then, in a usual NetIKX syndicate session, participants were invited to discuss the key ideas that they thought were the most relevant. After this, to gain a wider perspective, questions based on these discussions were put to a panel composed of people active and influential in our field. These were David Haynes (Chair of ISKO UK), David Gurteen, David Smith (Government KIM Head of Profession), Karen McFarlane (Chair of the CILIP Board), Steve Dale and Noeleen Schenk (Metataxis Ltd, who has also been running a series of meetings on the future of knowledge and information management).

After a lively panel Q and A session, there was time for further discussion and networking over generous celebratory refreshments.

Speakers

Peter Thomson is an expert on the changing world of work and its impact on organisations, leadership and management. He regularly speaks on this topic at conferences and has worked with many groups of senior managers to inspire them to change their organisational culture. He headed up the HR function for Digital Equipment for Northern Europe for 18 years leading up to the dawn of the Internet. On leaving DEC, Peter founded the Future Work Forum at Henley Business School. He was Director of the Forum for 16 years, during which time he studied the changing patterns of work and the leadership implications of these trends. At the same time he formed Wisework Ltd, now a leading consultancy in the field of smart working. Peter is co-author, with Alison Maitland, of the business bestseller Future Work. He is also editor of a new book Conquering Digital Overload, which is about to be published. As a consultant and coach, he works with leadership teams and individuals to help them gain the maximum business benefit from new working practices. As a writer and researcher he is fascinated by the evolving role of leadership and management as we move into the ‘Gig Economy’.

Stuart Ward has been involved with NetIKX and its predecessors for over 15 years. With others he launched NetIKX 10 years ago and was the first Chairman. Stuart has wide experience in information and knowledge management and ICT, gained in business and as an independent consultant; he is interested in strategies that help to maximise the value of knowledge and information for organisations. Stuart began his career in IT and project management and, after developing a keen interest in improving the use of information in organisations, he became Director of Information Management at British Energy. In 1997 he established Forward Consulting to help organisations improve performance through information and knowledge management. He has worked with clients in both the public and private sectors. As an Associate of the IMPACT Programme, he managed their Information and Knowledge Exploitation Group from 1997 to 1999 and then again from 2004 to 2006. He was instrumental in developing the theme of the Hawley Committee: Information as an Asset with practical tools for use in business. In previous roles, Stuart has been a visiting lecturer at City University, Chairman of the Judging Panel for the British Computer Society Annual Business Achievement Awards, and chaired conference organising committees for Aslib. He is also currently an Associate of the College of Policing.

Time and Venue

2pm on Thursday 16 November, The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Pre Event Information

To be added. Also tweets and links to websites and study suggestions not cleared and completed

Slides

NetIKX Presentation 16Nov17 v6.pdf

Tweets

#netikx88

Blog

See our blog report: The Future of Work for Information and Knowledge Professionals

Study Suggestions

Article on Global Trust in Media: https://digiday.com/media/global-state-trust-media-5-charts/

September 2017 Seminar: Closing the Loop on Lesson Learning

Summary

Chris Collison explored the myths and truths of lesson-learning in different contexts, using real examples, both good and bad, challenging us to improve this important knowledge-management practice and make it more than a convenient phrase.

‘Lessons learned’ is a phrase that is a regular feature of news bulletins, sports team briefs and project team meetings – but are they really learned, or are they something of a fig leaf for those who carry responsibility?
What does it take to truly invest in lesson learning in a way which closes the loop and results in real change, improvement and risk-avoidance for the future?

• What does a good project review look like?
• What are the most effective questions to use?
• How do we capture the output of a debrief without sanitising the life out it?
• How do we ensure that there is an outcome for the organisation – that something actually happens?

During the syndicate session that followed, groups tried to identify barriers to learning and sharing, and proposed practical ways to both ‘unblock the flow’ and stimulate a thirst for learning.

Speakers

Chris Collison is an independent management consultant and business author with 20 years of experience in knowledge management, facilitation and organisational learning.

His corporate experience comes from long careers in BP and Centrica. He was part of BP’s KM program, a team accredited with generating over $200m of value through pioneering knowledge management. In 2001 he joined Centrica, working at the top levels in Finance and HR, before becoming Group Director of Knowledge and Change Management.

In 2005 he left the corporate world to establish Knowledgeable Ltd. Since that time Chris has been working as a consultant in the field of Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning, and has had the privilege of advising over 130 organizations around the world. Clients range from Shell, Pfizer and the World Bank to the United Nations, the UK Government and the International Olympic Committee.

Chris has worked as an associate or visiting lecturer at a number of business schools: Henley, Cranfield and Liverpool in the UK, Skolkovo in Moscow, Sharif in Tehran and Columbia University in New York. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.

Time and Venue

2pm on 14 September 2017, The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Pre Event Information

To be added. Also Correct blog link, and study suggestion must be completed.

Slides

No slides available for this presentation

Tweets

#netikx87

Blog

See our blog report: Trust and Integrity in Information

Study Suggestions

See Chris Collison’s book Learning to Fly: https://digiday.com/media/global-state-trust-media-5-charts/

July 2017 Seminar: The Implications of Blockchain for IM and KM Professionals

Summary

Blockchain is a word that is growing in usage – in both the IT and information management worlds. It is one of the most exciting and potentially game-changing technologies. But what is it and what does it mean? And as information professionals what do we need to know? What will be its impact on the management of information and knowledge?

This NetIKX session introduced the concept of Blockchain and how it is shaping the future of operations and data assets. It gave some background, from a technology and information management perspective, to a number of benefits, issues and possible applications of Blockchain. The session also showed a number of specific Blockchain projects that are being developed by The National Archives.

First Noeleen Schenk of Metataxis explained blockchain in terms of information governance and then Marc Stephenson, also of Metataxis, gave a technical overview. They were followed by John Sheridan and Mark Bell of The National Archives, who described a Blockchain project on which they are working.

Speakers

Noeleen Schenk has over twenty years’ experience of working in the information sector as a practitioner, researcher and consultant. Her recent projects have focused on all aspects of information and knowledge management – from governance to assurance, helping clients successfully manage their information and minimise the risk to their information assets. These projects include information security, information and data handling, information risk management, document and records management. In addition to working with clients, Noeleen is passionately interested in the constantly changing information and knowledge management landscape, the use of technology, and new ways of working – helping business identify critical changes, assess the opportunities then develop options and map out strategies to turn them into reality, taking advantage of the opportunities they present us.

Marc Stephenson is the Technical Director at Metataxis. Marc has worked on the design, implementation and ongoing management of information systems for over 25 years, including organisations in health, central and local government, banking, utilities, new media and publishing. He has architected and implemented many IT solutions, ranging from intranets, document management systems, records management systems, and ECM portals. Marc recognises the need to design solutions that deliver maximum benefit at minimal cost, by focusing on the business, users and crucially the information requirements, rather than unnecessary technology and functionality. Marc has a BSc in Computer Science, an MSc in Cognitive Science, and has been a Computer Science Research Fellow at Westminster University.

John Sheridan is the Digital Director at The National Archives, where he leads the development of the organisation’s digital archiving capability and the transformation of its digital services. John’s academic background is in mathematics and information technology, with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Southampton and a Master’s Degree in Information Technology from the University of Liverpool. John recently led, as Principal Investigator, an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, ‘big data for law’, exploring the application of data analytics to the statute book. More recently he helped shape the Archangel research project, led by the University of Surrey, looking at the applications of distributed ledger technology for archives. A former co-chair of the W3C e-Government Interest Group, John has a strong interest in web and data standards. He serves on the UK Government’s Open Standards Board, which sets data standards for use across government. John was an early pioneer of open data and remains active in that community.

Mark Bell is a member of The National Archives’ Digital Research team. Mark has over 20 years’ experience working with database technologies, both as developer and designer, including organisations in government, telecoms, and banking. At The National Archives Mark led the research for the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, ‘Traces Through Time’, tackling the challenges of identifying individuals in historical documents. His research interests also include Automated Text Recognition, and Distributed Ledger Technology, and he will be TNA’s lead researcher on the Archangel project.

Time and Venue

2pm on 6 July 2017, The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Pre Event Information

To be added, also tweet handle and blog link and study suggestion.

Slides

No slides available for this presentation

Tweets

#netikx86
A storify of the tweets sent at the meeting can be found at https://storify.com/NetIKX/the-implications-of-blockchain-for-km-and-im.

Blog

See our blog report: The Implications of Blockchain

Study Suggestions

Information governance -can Blockchain be the answer?
Blockchain Technical Overview
Blockchain at TNA
PDF for these three articles to be linked here.
https://digiday.com/media/global-state-trust-media-5-charts/

May 2017 Seminar: Developing Effective Collaborative Knowledge Spaces

Summary

Paul J. Corney and Victoria Ward introduced a survey that has been run on this topic and used the meeting to obtain feedback on the questions from those attending. Paul will soon be writing a paper on the topic.
Paul introduced the seminar by noting that three years ago he conducted a survey of Knowledge & Information professionals on how effective their work environments were. Many of the NetIKX community took part and then participated in an afternoon workshop in January 2014.

Paul noted that as work has become more virtual, digital workspaces have become the fashion and increasing numbers work remotely in the so called ‘gig economy’ thanks to the advance of technology and it was therefore a good time to revisit the subject of collaborative knowledge spaces.
Paul reported on a more recent seminar, the results of which will be discussed in a Masterclass in Kuala Lumpur at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, where he hoped to get a more in-depth Asian perspective on what makes an effective collaborative knowledge space.

This seminar at NetIKX, conducted together with Victoria Ward, Director of Sparknow, who has been researching knowledge spaces separately and collaboratively since 1999, looked at the findings and their implications for the knowledge & information profession. It drew on joint experience of running many global assignments and featured case studies of good and not so good practice.

After Paul and Victoria has introduced the subject, syndicate sessions were held, but in a slightly different way to usual in that the questions from the survey were posted round the room and those attending were encouraged to add comments to them, Then groups were formed, each group taking one of the questions from the survey. Finally, there was the usual reporting back.
Paul will be writing up the survey, together with some of the conclusions from this meeting. Copies of his slides are downloadable below (the file is about 15 Mbytes) and links to his paper will probably be included in the report that goes into the NetIKX blog.

Speakers

Paul Corney is Managing Partner of Knowledge et al, a Knowledge Trustee of Plan Zheroes (a recently established charity) and Lead, Knowledge Management at Sparknow. He Chairs KM UK and is a regular contributor/speaker on global knowledge management. He recently ran a knowledge capture and retention programme for a UK Government Organisation. He has recently travelled to Sudan, sponsored in part by The World Bank Group and the University of Khartoum
Paul has published numerous articles including Why good knowledge drives good business published by Sage Publications in 2015. He has a distinguished record as a lecturer on knowledge and information management at degree and MBA level. He sits on the BSI KM Standards Committee, providing the UK’s response to the International Standards Organisation’s (ISO) emerging KM Standards. He is also involved in work to consider how social media impacts business.

Victoria Ward is Director at Sparknow, has a background in exchange traded futures and options, first as a broker, then running R&D at the futures exchange in London leading a global futures business. From there via chief operating officer, capital markets, to chief knowledge officer at an investment bank, she founded Sparknow in late 1997.
Victoria founded Sparknow to honour the human spirit in the workplace and to help individuals, groups and organizations find the stories of their experiences and intentions, and use this process and its products to help things move forward. As important as the outward engagement with clients and colleagues around the world working in organizational storytelling, is the internal aim to work together to find a co-operative, mutual, challenging and reciprocal way of being at work in the world together.

Time and Venue

2pm on 18th May 2017, The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Pre Event Information

None

Slides

Paul Corney’s slides (about 15Mbytes)

Tweets

#netikx85

Blog

See our blog report: Developing Effective Collaborative Knowledge Spaces

Study Suggestions

Article on Global Trust in Media: https://digiday.com/media/global-state-trust-media-5-charts/
None

March 2017 Seminar: Gurteen Knowledge Café – Entrained and Entrenched Thinking

Summary

David Gurteen, well known as a keynote speaker and conversational facilitator, ran a Knowledge Café on the topic of Entrained and Entrenched Thinking.
Knowledge cafés are a powerful tool for knowledge managers. David Gurteen is one of the foremost exponents of this method. David defines the essence of a knowledge café thus: “The only hard and fast rule is that the meeting is conducted in such a way that most of the time is spent in conversation – it is not about one person presenting to the group”.

We were privileged that David was willing to run such an event for NetIKX. This knowledge café focused on issues around shaking up people’s ideas and the chosen and challenging topic was entrained and entrenched thinking. This proved to be of interest and value to those who attended, allowing them to explore “thinking out of the box”.
Avoiding [entrenched and] entrained thinking
The concept of an ‘entrenched’ opinion is all too familiar! Someone has a point of view and is ‘dug in’ to defend it – perhaps against an imagined other someone in another trench, with an opposite point of view. When these behaviours get in the way of reasoned discourse and good decision making, we might use conversational strategies to break the impasse.
‘Entrained thinking’ is a less familiar concept, but also hampers good collective decision making and opinion forming.

Normally a NetIKX meeting includes a ‘syndicate session’. The structure of a Gurteen Knowledge Café is different. For this meeting, the following issues were considered:
• What factors in people’s backgrounds, and even professional education, lead to them having a ‘blinkered’ view of the range of available opinions and policy decisions, especially at work? How might this be mitigated?
• When we meet together in groups to discuss and decide, what meeting dynamics get in the way of considering the broadest possible range of opinions and inputs? Could we run such meetings differently and obtain better results?
• What are the first two questions forgetting to consider?

Speakers

David Gurteen is a keynote speaker and conversational facilitator.
He works in the fields of knowledge management, organisational learning and conversational leadership. He gives keynote talks, designs and facilitates knowledge cafés and runs workshops around the world.
He is best known as the creator of the Gurteen Knowledge Café – a versatile conversational process to bring a group of people together to learn from each other, share experiences and make better sense of a rapidly changing, complex, less predictable world in order to improve decision making and to innovate.
He has facilitated hundreds of knowledge cafés and workshops in over 30 countries around the world over the last 13 years.
He is the founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community – a global network of over 22,000 people in over 160 countries and he publishes his regular monthly Knowledge-Letter, which is now in its 16th year.

Time and Venue

2pm on 16th March 2017, The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Pre Event Information

None

Slides

None

Tweets

#netikx84

Blog

See our blog report: Gurteen Knowledge Café

Study Suggestions

See David Gurteen’s website, https://knowledge.cafe/knowledge-cafe-concept
Article on Global Trust in Media: https://digiday.com/media/global-state-trust-media-5-charts/
None

January 2017 Seminar: Information Design: approaches to better communication

Summary

Conrad Taylor and Ruth Miller (long-standing practitioners of information design) presented some simple and practical applications of plain language, computer-based design, and design project management practices to help organisations and businesses to communicate clearly.
Conrad and Ruth looked at how information designers have developed approaches to clear communication (based on research by linguists, psychologists and other specialists). Whether information is written or visual, on paper or online, clear communication helps users find out what they need to know, to help them make informed decisions. Some simple workshop exercises helped promote discussion about ways to tackle everyday communication tasks and challenges.
The following summarizes the approach taken by Conrad and Ruth.

‘Official’ writing is often unclear (to say the least). Let’s assume that it isn’t a ploy to deceive us or hide the facts – rather, as George Orwell suggested, that ‘official’ writers may lack the skills to tell us plainly what we need to know. Concerns arise, nonetheless, when communications produced by organisations and businesses baffle publics and customers, or cause misunderstanding.

Sir Ernest Gowers addressed this problem in 1949 with his inspiring book Plain Words. But as a writer, he had little to say about how typography, visual arrangement and diagramming can help convey meaning, nor about how poor visual design can impair communication. Today, we have a range of devices and software available to help us both to edit text and to improve visual presentation, and they can be put to effective use with a little skill and knowhow.
‘Information design’ emerged as an interdisciplinary approach in the 1970s. It combines craft traditions in writing and design, applied psychology, and engineering methods such as prototyping and testing. Its effect can be seen in street and transport maps, computer interfaces, user guides, tax and business forms, legal documents, financial statements from banks and utilities, statistical graphs – and other types of communication.

Speakers

Conrad Taylor is a keynote speaker and conversational facilitator.
Conrad Taylor, for three decades a computer-based typographer and illustrator, and a trainer in communication design, has been involved with information design for 25 years. As well as empowering people with design knowledge and skills, he has helped organisations by designing suites of electronic stylesheets for document production. He writes on the interface between information management, technology, and design/publishing, and has an aspiration to gather up the stories of how these fields have developed over the last seven or eight decades. Conrad’s site Conradiator contains information on these and many related topics.

Ruth Miller hopped aboard the plain language bandwagon when it started rolling in a large government department in the 1980s. Her creative approach to clear communication has ‘uncomplicated’ much gobbledegook and thorny legal and financial documents in both public sector and agency environments. Most recently, she has applied plain language and simplification skills built up over many years of practice to teach English to refugees. Her mantra is, “clear writing stems from clear thinking”.

Time and Venue

2pm on 26th January 2017, The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Pre Event Information

• To understand the plain-language approach to written communication: the how and why (and successful outcomes)
• To learn how the design features of even simple computer software help us make print documents and web pages user-friendly
• To see design methods as problem-solving and best practice as a way to match business and communication objectives to audience needs

Slides

None

Tweets

#netikx83

Blog

See our blog report: Information Design

Study Suggestions

Sir Ernest Gowers book Plain Words