Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What is the problem?

I happened to see one of those wonderful-looking Volvo buses on the road today – The ones with a half-glass body, seats at 2 levels, automatic doors, electronic board with the destination and route details and a driver’s-cabin. Couldn’t help admiring it….especially on comparing it with the regular buses that were plying nearby. Why did we not build such attractive, effective (seating, information, driver control) buses in the first place? (Our regular buses come from Ashok Leyland, Tata and the like I guess.) Was it because of one of these reasons or perhaps a combination of some of these reasons? Something to think about, if you ask me…because the reason can never be that we don’t have what it takes to build such buses.


1.       Did we focus so much on just selling the buses and making money that we cared nothing about how the buses looked, how strong they were and how much of information they provided to the users?

2.       Did the government want to spend as less as possible on the buses and keep the rest of the money for “other” things?

3.       Did we not go to other countries and learn from them and decide to scale up our transport system?

4.       Did we not bother to go collect requirements from the users and simply decided to build buses the way we thought was the easiest for us (the bus builders)?

5.       If we had all the ideas, did we not bother to define our bus-building process well-enough to ensure that the final delivery was as good as the ideas that went into it in the beginning stages?    


This may look like paralysis through analysis but I really think this is food for thought, for we probably have the same problems crippling/killing us across all public systems in the country! If we acknowledge that we have a problem, identify the root cause(s) and tackle them, India may be one of the best countries to live in. We have the rest….culture, spirituality, intelligence, enterprise,…..etc. (I am hoping that these things remain with us even as I say it….especially, our culture!)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Krishna's path of one-pointedness - Living with Emotion

It’s been ages since I read even the news. Blogs are out of question. Sometimes, I wonder if I should be leading such a totally cut-off life however much I love my work/job. Anyways, this morning I opened my browser and saw a headline staring out at me right on top of my Google Home Page and decided to spend a few minutes reading it, as it is the kinda stuff I like reading and thinking about.


THE SPEAKING TREE: Krishna's Divine Path of One-pointedness


I like the way the article ends. :-)


The more safe you try to make it the more death-oriented you become because the safest thing in the world is always to be dead. The safest way to exist is to be dead. If you're alive anything may happen. Now only that person who wants everything to happen to him, he's not willing to judge what's good and bad, whatever happens that's fine with me, that's a true devotee; a true lover. He is one-pointed. Calculating people will live in comfort, but they will never know the bliss of existence. Uncalculating people who live in passion know the bliss of existence. They can also live well. But if you brought calculation and always if you think I put this much, how much do I get back? Now you will know only comfort you will not know the joys of life.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Technology Saves KM!! Pshaw!

I am getting to see more evidence of the fact the most organizations are technology-focused when it comes to KM initiatives despite repeated discussions on the inadvisability of adopting the “build it and they’ll come” approach. Why is this so?

Because we are most comfortable doing short-term thinking. Management wants to see the results in no less than a few months. The “best” of results are technical in nature because that is what can be ‘seen’! Culture will take a long long time. Most people anyways don’t understand it, feel they can’t influence it, are not comfortable talking people issues. Process enhancements can be painfully slow as well and moreover, it isn’t easy to convince stakeholders to modify a process unless the results are clearly beneficial (in the short-run again) and the change(s) promises not to be ‘killing’. While the easiest thing to do would be to get some of the existing process requirements, use a product or develop a stand-alone application and throw it into the ring and ask people to use it. You’ve shown something. What does it matter if people jump into the ring and examine the product with sticks and other such equipment, play around with it for sometime and then go away disappointed that it is not embedded in their day-to-day work? What if they see it as temporary entertainment and no more? What if it solves no critical business problem or is not integrated with the rest of the system? Tchah! Watch this space….I may be coming back with more…!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


The discipline of innovation is practiced in many domains, notably the arts and science. When it is practiced effectively, it is invariably done within communities, among diverse individuals who share a common purpose. Energized communities characterize most innovation. Science, at its best, is intensely collaborative. Likewise in business, real innovation is often very collaborative; in fact, many new product innovations come from customers. – Peter Senge, The Discipline of Innovation

Paradox Thinking...Applied on Life

A clear case of paradox thinking....what? :-)

Five steps to a successful km initiative

ITworld.com - Five steps to a successful knowledge management initiative

Good points -

business drivers...yes!!

executive sponsorship...yes!!

analyze knowledge...yes!! (process approach)


implement in phases....yes, of course!

Collaboration - CEOs On Collaboration

InformationWeek Collaboration CEOs On Collaboration: Do As We Say, Not As We Do March 6, 2006

Interesting article! And isn't this particular finding intriguing?

"CEOs cited employees most often (41%) as the source of innovative ideas, but partners (38%) and customers (36%) are close"

And what does the >100% total mean? That sometimes it is the result of collaboration between the employees, partners and customers? ;) Ha ha

Monday, March 13, 2006

Knowledge Management for Better Customer Service....iPOD

How can knowledge management help in a business objective like customer intimacy?


Here’s how I think it can…with an example; A personal one.


I bought an iPOD (finally!) a few days ago. I requested the customer service executive to load some music into the device for me which she promptly did. I reached home and connected it to my laptop and realized I had a problem. I wasn’t able to use it and was told that I’d have to format the device since I was using a windows machine while the initial formatting and loading was done via an apple mac machine. So, all the songs that the customer service executive loaded were erased much to my disappointment. Additionally, I had to call the outlet a few times before I figured out what was wrong and how I could start plugging into music! The information that I got therein were not available in the short manual I received with the product. How could KM have helped in this scenario? Here’s how:


The outlet (and thus the company) could have saved a lot of time, effort and customer dissatisfaction had it adopted KM practices as related to its customer processes. If the company had got a good sample of its technical support staff together into a virtual group and put down the various problems that customers may face and compiled a handy FAQ list for its customer service executives, in this instance, the customer service executive would have asked me what kind of machine I have at home and saved the time and effort that went into the loading of music when I purchased the device. She could have told me how to go about formatting the device on my machine after enquiring the make of my machine. Also, the customer-facing teams could have prepared a FAQ list for its end customers and handed it over to them in hard copy (small pocket book) for convenience…


These are just initial thoughts. Methinks a little bit of thought applied by a team of people used to the customer-facing processes can do a lot more to improve the customer experience by leaps and bounds using knowledge management! 

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

KM Implementation Toolkit

If someone were to present to you an implementation toolkit and in this case a KM implementation toolkit, how would you expect that person to go about it? What should be the constituents of such a presentation? How should it be presented? Any thoughts? Any requirements? Inputs will be more than appreciated! Thanks in advance.

presentation tips....

presentation tips from business week:

µ      don’t read from notes

µ      make eye contact

µ      dress appropriately. a little better than the rest

µ      don’t fidget and sway

µ      Rehearse

µ      don’t stand stiff either

µ      don’t recite bullet points

µ      don’t speak too long. know when to cut out

µ      excitement limited. give them a reason. tell them when to be excited

µ      end on an inspiring note


Give your audience a reason to listen right from the start. Research shows that listeners tend to remember the first part of a presentation and the end. If those parts are what stick, use them to your advantage

some more ideas that I want to add to this list. you decide whether you like them or not.


µ      make the slides creative – use pictures, unusual and innovative representations like analogies, metaphors, similes and other original depictions on the slides to catch attention - of course, relevancy is a must

µ      give the outside context wherever it adds to the authenticity, credibility and interest-levels

µ      concentrate on voice modulation – tone – emotions – work on these three aspects to grab the audience’s attention

µ      tailor your language and vocabulary to suit the audience – technical, business, quality, numbers etc


Monday, March 06, 2006

Apologies...and Good News!



Apologies for the irregularity in my blog posts for the past 5-6 weeks. There were too many interruptions and that gave me little choice.

For those of you who logged in initially looking forward to a lot of KM talk, here’s some good news. You’re most probably going to get lots of KM material and less of the generic stuff in the coming months. I myself am excited about it. Let’s hope for the best and juiciest of KM material….

CMS Players in KMWorld Top 100 Companies

CMS Players in KMWorld Top 100 Companies

Google Dodges Knowledge Management Question

Google Dodges Knowledge Management Question

Mmm! I've always been under the impression that if Google were to tie up all of its products together and customize them a little, they'd make a cool knowledge management product! Open source product perhaps, but an unbeatable KM product nevertheless. I've perhaps even let this thinking brew in me hopes of working on Google's KM product someday.....eh? what?