KM Blog December 2007





Tuesday, December 04, 2007

KM and the 'learning village'

I have just spent three days visiting 'the learning village', in Cotignac, Provence, South France. It is about one hour from St Tropez and one and a half hours from Cannes and Nice. It reminded me of the importance that inspiration, atmosphere and environment makes to the learning and knowledge sharing process.

The learning village is actually a 'village within a village' and was developed by two very good friends and work colleagues of mine, Claus and Viveca Moller.

Whereas I have always known the power of good storytelling to transfer knowledge by, not least, engaging all of our senses, to create a 'high and very rich bandwidth', I had never quite thought about creating the same experience, to 'touch all of our senses' by embracing and combining beautiful natural surroundings, works of art and a more natural and laid back atmosphere.

As Claus and Viveca say 'it is as if time stands still - an experience to be savoured by body and soul'. Claus is an internationally renowned keynote speaker, consultant and management guru. He is a superb natural story teller and educator.

So I now see the learning village as an environment very conducive to creativity and to sharing knowledge.

I am sure that there are some strong principles here that we can take back into our workplaces to make us even more effective knowledge workers. I would recommend their learning village "Les 4 Moulins" as the ideal corporate retreat, seminar and meeting venue.

Meanwhile, I will enjoy the spectacular views, the vineyards, the olive groves, the sculpture park and the art, inspired by Hundertwasser and Gaudi amongst others. The wine is very good too!

I look forward to attending Claus's 6 day 'Practical Leadership' retreat in late March 2008.

Views - nature - art - inspiration - atmosphere - recreation

A great, and very pleasant formula for knowledge creation and knowledge transfer.

Any other thoughts and ideas about inspiring learning environments?

Ron Young

Monday, December 03, 2007

KM and the 'Attention Age Doctrine'

Part 2 by Rick Schefren On Sunday, I downloaded and read the free ebook 'Attention Age Doctrine' Part 2 by Rick Schefren, founder of Strategic Profits, Delray Beach Florida, USA. I was interested because he talks about solid principles, strategies and methods to successfuly create, distribute and sell your knowledge on-line. This report links some of these principles to the phenomena of Web 2.0. Of course, the initial primary messages are about how to gain attention from a world suffering from a 'chronic case of attention deficit'.

As a European, I normally do not warm very well to the often very direct, and sometimes arrogant claims made by many US companies about creating even greater success with your on-line business on the web. I often find them too much 'in my face'.

Rick Schefren is certainly direct with his claims, that's for sure. But he has a reason to do so.You cannot argue with the fact that his reputation, credibility, growth and success is extraordinary and first class. I always have the time and attention, and great respect, for people who actually produce extraordinary results!

So I read the Attention Age Doctrine and, I have to say, I found it to be inspiring and very reassuring. I had, for several years, suspected that much knowledge content should be free on the web, and that's why I became very interested and involved in Open Source Knowledge initiatives.

Here is a quick summary of the points I noted from Rick's Attention Age Doctrine that particularly inspired and interested me. They cannot possibly do justice to his detailed report so I strongly recommend you take a read too. Some of his messages may simply reconfirm what many of us already know and feel, but some are quite new, and some are quite radical. Here are my noted summary nuggets:

* There is a sea change in the Internet marketing landscape

* There is chronic attention deficit disorder, even more information and interruption overload

* So it's all about ATTENTION. Attention is more valuable than money.

* We need to give free and valuable content just to get attention (He quotes the innovative example of a Japanese drink vending machine that offers free drinks in return for your attention to a certain amount of advertising'

* Generally, people are becoming less trusting of marketers and advertising and traditional proprietary owned media, so you have to build a bridge of trust with your prospects - from pitcher to partner; from salesperson to sage

* People give attention to those they trust and they trust those who have demonstrated that they are here to help and provide valuable products and services.

* It's all about peer to peer trust (P2P) and 'word of mouth' is number 1!

* Become a Trusted Advisor, always providing great insights

Social interactivity is changing everything. Web 2.0 encourages people to join in conversations. Media has become HUMAN.

We are transforming from simple communication to in depth conversation; from talking at people to talking with people.

Remember, learning is lifelong and you need much more time as a student than as an expert.

So who are the best known names? Who are getting the most attention? Who are the most trusted?

So Rick's recommended strategic actions, in summary, are:

1. Map your market 2. Monitor your market 3. Join your market

then move towards building your own Community :

1. Build your market 2. Lead your market 3. Sell to your market (by asking them what they really want)

Finally, he suggests the following 4 new rules:

1. Your marketing cannot defeat a Community 2. You can't trick people 3. There is nowhere to hide on the web 4. Your secrets aren't safe

(What comes up when you are Googled?)

"The web is emerging as the biggest lie detector and truth finder"

So the new guiding principle is TRANSPARENCY

"There is a big payoff to being honest, ethical and providing value - and it's huge!"

I really like what Rick says here.

When I started teaching knowledge management through seminars and workshops, I devised a model which had 4 key components

1. Trust - as the foundation 2. Communication - open, frequent and two way 3. Learning - as an ongoing result of open information communications 4. Share - knowledge as far and as fast as you can

So, naturally, I resonated highly with Rick when he finally recommended:

"Trust that by being open with what you know, and by sharing your knowledge and ideas, the world will reward your efforts"

So, if this summary inspires you, I recommend you download his free ebook asap.

I would really be interested in knowing what you think about this.

You have my attention, that's for sure.

Ron Young

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