I was preparing a post for my internal (corporate) KM blog and thought it would be good to share that here as well. I've already shared it on Twitter but I realize I have the opportunity to dwell on it a little longer here (read beyond 140 characters), so I will do that.
I came across this wonderful poem here and decided to extract what I perceive to be the 'KM' portions of it for my office blog. Allow me to reproduce that here.
"If you wish to learn, then take some time to teach. If you wish to climb higher, then lift others up. If you wish to be wise, then share what you know" Ralph Marston (I googled for Marston and discovered that he is an author, motivational speaker and personal development expert)
This quote is wonderful and a true reflection of KM in so many ways. When people ask you "What's in it for me?", show them this quote and ask them to introspect on it for a few minutes. Even better, ask them to practice it just for a few weeks and see/feel the difference. I am convinced most of them will 'convert' to KM. I think this quote also goes a long way to show that KM is as much about personal development and individual competence improvement as it is about organizational development and benefits.
Coming to leadership and E 2.0 (KM in its new avatar ;-)) I was going through a nice Twitter moment and came up with this Tweet - "Leadership is as much about tapping into collective intelligence as it is about being visionary, influential & setting the overall direction". Nothing new in it, of course. It is obviously something that a lot of leadership experts have been talking about for ages now - especially after the increase in the number of KM initiatives within Organizations.
But I was pondering over the fact that a wide-spread, exhaustive and intense implementation of E 2.0 tools is bound to really challenge and disrupt the routine of people who don't subscribe to this form of leadership. Most of the time, many leaders (or perhaps managers) are looking to do things very quickly and do not have the patience to consult, discuss, debate, reconsider and change their minds when needed. More importantly perhaps, they have a considerable ego or fear (like most of us human beings) that prevents them from listening to different and opposing perspectives or confessing that they made a mistake or engage in open discussions that pose a challenge in public. But E 2.0 initiatives will forcefully take them through this challenging path. A blog post can be questioned and challenged in public. A solution can be dismissed. An idea can be rejected. And so forth. Leaders must learn to and be ready to face these tough moments. Additionally, they must believe that well channeled collective intelligence is, more often than not, more valuable than individual opinions (even if it is their own) and also have the willingness, energy and the skills to tap into the former. When leaders fail to cope with this challenge, E 2.0 initiatives will fail miserably. In other words, when otherwise well-planned E 2.0 initiatives fail miserably, it can be taken as a sure sign of weak leadership.
Here are some of my random Twitter moments:
It's sad how we want to brush aside the meaning of natural calamities & focus impatiently on how they do not allow us to get on with routine - (In response to the volcanic ash that is throwing people around or rather leaving them stranded) - I observed that most of us react with anger and frustration and wonder why we are not allowed to go about our work/routine when such disasters strike. Even I would do the same. But shouldn't we ideally pause and wonder what the meaning of such a calamity is and what we need to do in order to salvage what is left of Mother Earth? Shouldn't we let that teach us where things are going wrong? Shouldn't we let that change our ways, thoughts and attitudes for the better? I guess there is likely to be a minute fraction of us who make such events life-changing for themselves and for others.
Another Twitter moment: Do we really know how to get to the Truth or see it in a jiffy? Truth is a thoroughly camouflaged impersonator who is also, well, elusive. - I have some really strong thoughts on this. I think most of us make up for incomplete information and fill in the gaps and 'create' our own version of the truth. I find it hard to digest when people jump to their own conclusions and judge others in a jiffy. I would be surprised if even 1% of the people who indulge in judging others as innocent or guilty - celebrities or otherwise - know enough to do so. I suspect for most people it is just a form of entertainment or an ego-boosting exercise. There are rare occasions when I am inclined to listen to and believe such 'judgments' and those are based on clear undisputed facts, availability of multiple angles of the story, reliable statements from the person involved or involved parties, logical and unprejudiced analysis of events, specified intents and potential consequences.
Twitter moment #3: Genuine positive energy that well-wishers shower on you is mega-powerful. It really pays to be compassionate & helpful- w/o any expectations - I am a strong believer in the concept of the existence of positive and negative energy auras around people. I recently witnessed yet another episode that proved this. I think it is really important to work on building a positive and compassionate aura around oneself. It really does wonders. When we are out to genuinely help others and be good to others, it most certainly results in them reciprocating (in intent or action) and the accumulation of such positive and compassionate auras can only result in great things. Trust me. I think each one of us ought to start such a virtual account and try hard to keep up with it till it becomes a natural habit.