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Reflections on KM Showcase 2020

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Reflections on KM Showcase 2020

Mar 12, 2020   |  By
Liz Herman, PhD PMP CPTC | Senture, LLC

Last week, Senture, LLC staff sponsored, exhibited, and attended KM Showcase 2020 co-presented by KM Institute and Enterprise Knowledge. The Showcase provided an excellent opportunity to meet and engage with KM experts and fully embrace the Learn, Collaborate, and Apply concepts that were evident in conversations in the Exhibit Hall, in speaker presentations from the KM Experts and KM in Practice tracks, and in the plenary sessions.

Fueled by coffee, tea, soda, generous lunches, and afternoon snacks, we shared our own KM work with others, including a successful project with USDA, and absorbed what others shared with us. Many speakers validated our KM thoughts, theories, models, and methodologies. Exhibitors demonstrated new-to-us tools that we can apply to future KM projects. Attendees kindly shared their KM stories—successes and failures—and we grew our KM network considerably in those two days through LinkedIn connections and the exchange of contact information. There was even talk about collaborating on future presentations.

Having spent the last week reflecting on what we learned, we realized that there was a takeaway from every conversation, every presentation, every plenary, and that those takeaways were immediately applicable our ongoing KM work. We’re sharing a few of these takeaways here:

People. Personalization was a hot topic at the Showcase and Jeffrey MacIntyre and Colin Eagan talked about a personalization gap and how to think about the detractors that we might face within our organizations labeled as critic, skeptic, pundit, pragmatist, and box checker. Being able to identify an internal audience in this way is meaningful because it allows us to personalize our message (see how that works?) to move our KM work forward. If we understand that someone is a box checker, we know that there might be some additional work necessary to help that person understand that KM is rarely a one-and-done project. Or that the work is simply over once the technology is up and running.

Process. We heard a collective message about making KM processes easy and even transparent and invisible so that those processes just become the agency way of doing things. Agreed!

Culture. Jen Jensen shared a powerful story about USAA culture and what it means to her. She also gave us an idea for our meetings at Senture, LLC. She said each USAA meeting starts with the Mission and then a story is shared—called a Mission Moment—where a meeting attendee shares an example of an action that embodies the Mission. What a wonderful way to actively promote organizational culture through continued reference to the Mission and shared stories.

Laura Greenlee and Julie Man from Bridgeable shared a KM case study that exemplified how to align KM implementation with an organization’s culture using service design principles. In Bridgeable’s case study, quirky engagement matched the culture. We loved Julie’s beginning rendition of Knowledge Paradise. Who says KM can’t be fun?  

Content. Nestled in the shared content by presenters were some really great phrases that we enjoyed:

  • Perfect is the enemy of good.
  • Invest in search.
  • When you’re building search from scratch, it’s a tough beast.
  • Seek professional help (regarding change management).
  • Address the burning platform (go vanilla, no custom builds).
  • Organizations are managing the wrong stuff (4/5 documents outdated).        

Technology. Thank you to the presenters who used audience polling tools to maintain a high level of engagement. Doug Kalish used Poll Everywhere and we also saw in use (was that you, Joe Hilger?). These are effective ways to engage audience, and we appreciated them. We also appreciated the simple, yet effective approach taken by Mary Little and Kristin McNally with the paper handouts at each table that were meant to spark discussion for their in-session activity. It’s unfortunate that the activity was disrupted by the hotel fire alarm. (If you’re reading this, we’re all safe and were able to re-enter the hotel after a few minutes.) It is always refreshing to hear others share our philosophy that talk about technology should come last in KM and this message resonated with us during Zach Wahl's keynote.

Thank you to those who stopped by to talk about Senture, LLC’s KM work. Thank you to the presenters for sharing amazing content, lessons learned, and ideas to move us forward. Thank you to KM Institute and Enterprise Knowledge for an insightful two days of learning and collaborating. We’re already applying all the good stuff we heard.

We’re happy to talk KM anytime!

About the Author:  Liz Herman, PhD PMP CPTC is a Knowledge & Program Management Leader and Educator with Senture, LLC

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