KM Blog June to November 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Knowledge Management for SME's - free ebook

I am glad to let you know that a new free ebook has been published today called 'Knowledge Management for SME's. I am one of the co-authors and the book was a collaborative effort from KM practitioners in London, Tokyo, Singapore and Taiwan.

The book is published by the Asian Productivity Organization, in Tokyo, and they describe the book below.


Knowledge management (KM) has generated considerable interest over the years. Numerous books and articles have been written on the subject,and many conferences on KM have been convened.

In our attempt to understand how KM may enhance and promote productivity, the APO has also organized three international conferences and several study meetings, seminars, workshops, training courses, study missions, and research on KM practices in member countries. Through these endeavors, we noted that while KM is well entrenched and practiced among large organizations, this is not the case in the vast majority of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Our own research indicated that SMEs are far behind in terms of KM implementation in most member countries and that KM is either poorly understood or understood differently by SMEs. Our experience also suggests that while it is easy to talk about KM, it is not necessarily easy to practice it. This in a sense is compounded by the fact that there is no one “right” way to implement KM. Likewise, there exists very little literature on KM implementation at the SME level.

With a view to assisting SMEs in member countries in applying KM, the APO thus developed an APO KM Framework, as well as a practical and simple approach for implementing KM in SMEs. Knowledge Management: Facilitators’ Guide for utilizing the framework was published thereafter. This casebook is an accompaniment to the Facilitators’ Guide. It describes real-time experiences of SMEs that have successfully implemented KM to provide guidance and inspiration to SME owners and managers and stimulate them to follow these exemplary cases.

The free ebook may be downloaded at:

Ron Young

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Disaster Risk Management and effective Knowledge Management

I have been engaged by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction UNISDR to assist them with more effective knowledge management.

As a first step, I am very keen to make contact with those KM practitioners and KM consultants who have experience in this area and/or who have a very strong interest.

The first step is to find out what work is being done already with KM and DRR.

Are there any communities of KM practitioners in this area?

If one doesn't already exist, I would like to create a forum/community of KM practitioners to help move forward faster with effective KM for disaster risk reduction.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Ron Young

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Knowledge Transfer through a free Global Videoconference on the internet

Its 2pm in Europe, 8pm in Singapore, 9pm in Tokyo and 8am in New York, the same day, 10th September 2009.

I fire up my ooVoo. I click and call the four team members and we all appear on the computer screen in high quality. It looks like the video links that you see everyday on the television news.

Because I can see everyone, it is a very similar feeling to all sitting around a meeting table.

We talk naturally most of the time.

For 50 minutes we work our way through an agenda that includes, as a main topic, an overview of a collaborative work space that we have just set up and all need to start using. As a team of knowledge management and innovation experts and practitioners, we are going to compile a manual and courseware with a list of essential and highly desirable KM Tools, Techniques and Technologies.We aim to complete the first draft by the end of this year.

I think that, for fast and cost effective knowledge transfer, videoconferencing like this must be top of the list for me, as an essential tool.

After the video conference on the internet, I got myself a cup of coffee and reflected for a few minutes. Just a couple of weeks ago we were all together, as a team for the first time, in Singapore. In just a few days, we got to know one another and we started to build relationships, trust and respect, and a sense of optimism in working together. Now, two weeks later, I feel like I have physically attended a further meeting with them all. We agreed to have our second meeting, and first learning review, in two weeks time.

Please follow this blog, labelled 'Planetary Knowledge' and watch this space if you wish to follow my experiences in attempting to develop effective virtual knowledge working.Your feedback is most welcome.

(from the book under developmentPlanetary Knowledge - effective knowledge working in a global knowledge economy)

Ron Young

PS I have absolutely no financial interest in the tools I will describe in this book. I simply wish to openly share my experiences of those that work well.

More information at:

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Global videoconferencing using ooVoo

Today was my first experience of a 5 wayfree video conference using ooVoo.

We were from New York, S.France, Singapore andtwo from Tokyo.

The quality was excellent and, because we each had4 other team members on our PC and Mac screens, itwas a true sense of being together. So much so thatthe video/audio conferencing protocol I was used to,to stop people butting in, or avoid long period ofsilence, was simply not necessary, as we could allnaturally scan each other as if sitting arounda meeting table.

And if thats free video conferencing on the internettoday, totally acceptable, I certainly look forwardto the future developments too.

Ron Young

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Assessing and Developing the Global Knowledge Economy

I am doing some further research into the growth of the GlobalKnowledge Economy, for a paper I am presenting at theInternational Conference on Knowledge Economy in Johannesburg,South Africa in October 2009.

I base much of my primary assumptions on country growth and effectiveness, within the Global Knowledge Economy, on the World Bank Institute 'Measuring Knowledge in the World's Economies' and also their book, Building Knowledge Economies: Advanced Strategies for Development.

I would be most grateful to receive any further links, suggestions and/or feedback that you may have to help me develop an even richer understanding of the Global Knowledge Economy.


Ron Young

Knowledge Management for SME's in Jakarta - some learnings

For the week 10th - 14th August 2009, I was one of three KM consultants / facilitators working with a group of participants from over 20 Asian countries for 5 intensive days of learning, knowledge sharing and practical workshops.

The event, organized by Asian Productivity Organization, APO focused on KM for SME's. My co-consultant/facilitators were Praba Nair, Director of Knowledge Drivers International (Asia) Pte Ltd, based in Singapore, and Naoki Ogiwara, Senior Consultant and "Ba Conductor" for Knowledge Dynamics Initiative, Fuji Xerox Co Ltd, Tokyo, Japan.

There were many new learnings for me, but I thought I would share some of the key principles and learnings, focused on SME's.

1.Generally, the KM education and literature available does not focus enough on SME's so I congratulate APO for this significant initiative.

2. SME's are likely to be very interested in joining 'Knowledge Clusters'as a KM strategy.

3. SMEs are more interested in new knowledge creation and innovation, as they better know 'who and what they know' than larger fragmented organizations

4. SMEs can more readily start 'personal KM and team KM' initiatives

5. SMEs can take much better advantage of the use of (often free) Web 2.0 tools and do not have the same usage problems as large organizations

6. The APO is publishing a book of eight case studies 'Knowledge Management for SME's' in the Autumn and I will provide the link through this blog and website when available (I was one of the team writing the book for APO)

7. I like “Knowledge is sticky – it will not move without a process". Most SMEs need to improve or implement better knowledge processes.

My favourite learning for the week in Jakarta from the opening speech from the DG for Manpower Transmigration for Indonesia was "Our goal is to move from unemployment and earning a wage, to gaining an income through knowledge".

My favourite paradox, when I teach KM is, 'Fun is serious business'. We learn so much more when we enjoy the learning process.

There was certainly much fun and learning by all over the five days.

The group of participants present in Jakarta, Indonesia, have taken the initiative, led by Viki, to 'practice what we have learned' and create a KM forum using the social network at KM-ONEWORLD.

Why not join us?

Ron Young

Friday, June 12, 2009

Google Knol has an automatic audio facility !

I normally check my Google Knol articles once a month.

Today, I noticed that Google have introduced an automaticaudio facility that speaks the article. So people can nowread the article or listen to it or download an mp3 file. Cool.

It's quite a strange feeling to hear an automated voice readan article I have written.

My article 'Knowledge Management - back to basics' has takenon a new form of life.

Ron Young

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