As I said in my first post about KM Australia, I will endeavour over the next 2 weeks to bring you my highlights from the conference. This post is about the nuggets I have picked out from the case studies and Knowledge Café. I hope to bring you 3 more posts for each of the best keynotes: Dave Snowden, Michel Bauwens and Etienne Wenger….  (Sadly I couldn’t get to everything and naturally could only attend one stream (Knowledge and Collaboration). If I’ve left you out – don’t feel offended – offer your own summary here as a comment.) Implementing knowledge programs/systems   A couple of solid performers who demonstrated how to do these things well – good fodder for those starting out or looking for a refresher or new ideas to help existing initiatives.Cory Banks (Suncorp) “Adopting KM in a program management office”

  • A “Learning to Fly” approach: Learn before – Learn during – Learn after  …..
  • …across two phases – Establish and Grow
  • Focus on people, not technology
  • Reuse, don’t reinvent the wheel
  •  Lead by example 

Mark Blackburn (Department of Defence) and Pat Burne (Holis Tech) ”The journey of a knowledge management system in the Department of Defence”

  • Focus is on knowledge productivity
  •  Took a journey approach (what was, what is and what will be) to outlining strategy on the elements:
  • structure, communities, knowledge connections, systems, help:
  •  Very clear communication (very ADF) but Mark and Pat admitted to plenty of messiness 

Culture, culture, culture….   Always a popular topic at KM conference, working within culture and either shifting it or working within it. Arthur Shelley (Cadbury Schweppes) “Fostering a knowledge sharing culture in your organisation”

  • Instilled great jealousy over the fact that his CoPs are called such delicious names as “The Chocolate Network” or “The Candy Group”
  • Creating the right environment and reasons to collaborate
  • Developing the right mix of behaviours and platforms
  • Loop: Connect > Collaborate > Capitalise
  • Another strong focus on people message 

James Price and Brian Nielson (Experience Matters) “KM, communication and cultural change”

  • Specialise in communication strategies to facilitate significant change
  • Fantastic, practical lessons demonstrating a focus on: what motivates or demotivates your stakeholders, and communicate, communicate and communicate.
  • Case study on the practicalities of renovating an organisation’s document management practices: Reduce 9 linear kilometers of hardcopy by up to 50% to ensure Santos could fit into its new corporate headquarters
  • People don’t mind change, they just hate being changed!

Innovation Cafés!  Great chance to get some insight into how these new facilitation – innovation techniques work. Simon Carter (Colliers International) “Employing Innovation Cafes to generate engagement and momentum”

  • Has been using the World Café process both within Colliers to encourage innovation and with a social change movement Simon started called Catalyst. (Simon – tell us more – NSW KM Forum would love to hear)
  • Q: What would it take for us to be the most innovative company in Australia?
  • Q: What can we, 150 of the highest skilled and wealthiest people in the world, create together to end world hunger?
  • Found café participants were powerfully engaged.
  • Recognises the opportunity the cafes provide to motivate prompt or immediate change in some participants and the need to introduce a method to measure that.

 Dr Helen Paige (Advance Knowledge Networks) Knowledge Cafe

  • A hardy crew stayed on beyond 6pm to join Helen for an engaging Knowledge Café (wisely fuelled with sandwiches, juice and chocolates).
  • We allowed our conversations to roam free on the question “how does the human element contribute to KM?”
  • Stimulating discussion, war stories, funny anecdotes and general playfulness followed with old and new acquaintances. Really the one thing missing in my opinion was the red wine.

 The social approach, where that’s taking us …  Great – a view forwards into use of social computing within an organisation as well as some blue sky stuff with Chris’ fascinating take on what’s next for knowledge… Cheryle Walker (National Australia Bank) “Employing blogs and wikis for knowledge and content management”

  • Brought us a window into one corporate that has experimented in the use of social computing to support learning networks.
  • Wikis suited their disperse (frequently home-based) team well, although can be some reluctance to put in writing what is readily said during teleconferencing.
  • Initially under the radar, their activities outside the firewall have been tolerated by IT.
  • References include, Wikinomics, How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Tapscott and Williams

 Chris Fletcher (Deloitte) “Coming to the edge: A practitioner perspective on the future of Knowledge in a Network Centric world”

  • As promised Chris gave us a stimulating insight into the future, beginning with an extraordinary movie found at
  • Looked at the drivers of a Network World; Web 2.0, rise of the participation culture, economics of change, societal/social change
  • Impact of social capital on knowledge: a change in thinking from content and collection to context and connection
  • The value is not in the delivery of knowledge, but in the alchemy of knowledge, in the ability to connect thoughts that weren’t previously connected”

Your Guest blogger, Serena Joyner

Picture a good party you’ve been to with fantastic music that just keeps coming – the dance floor doesn’t empty till late, and only then when all power is disconnected…… Now picture a really ordinary party – those keen groovers who always get the dancing started are barely given enough time to find their particular rhythm, when whoever is masquerading as a DJ hoses them down with the next dud track. They groan, struggle on in vain or just shrug and give up for good.

Fortunately KM Australia was nothing like that. When every second presentation was a vendor-sponsor, those participants who chose to leave the “dance floor” could retreat to the dedicated networking area, “The KM Arena” and get on with why they were there. Oddly enough my biggest criticism of the event (the high number of vendor presentations, and their deliberate peppering throughout the day) turned out to be the catalyst for the most enjoyable part: the chance to talk, listen and network with so many great people.

It seems a bit unfair to criticise the vendors – they are doing what vendors do – but it is worth Ark Group paying attention to the large numbers of KM participants who chose to exercise their right not to sit through the sales pitches. Guys – technology IS in the toolkit (and I know they pay the bills) – but KM is primarily about people. Please take note.

A few people have already blogged about the conference – some with real rigour:
Dave Snowden, Chris Fletcher, Brad Hinton and Keith De La Rue

For me, I could summarise it down to: great networking, 3 excellent keynotes and some solid practitioner presentations.

I will endeavour over the next 2 weeks to bring you my highlights. In the next post I have captured nuggets from the case studies and Knowledge Café. I hope to bring you 3 more posts for each of the best keynotes: Dave Snowden, Michel Bauwens and Etienne Wenger. See how we go…

Your guest blogger and Ambassador to KM Australia: Serena Joyner

Serena Joyner is our official ambassador to KM Australia, however committee member Brad Hinton is also reporting from the conference. And for those of you like me who couldn’t make it to the conference, don’t forget to catch up with us tonight at our free forum meeting.

Serena Joyner is our official ambassador to KM Australia, however committee member Brad Hinton is also reporting from the conference. And for those of you like me who couldn’t make it to the conference, don’t forget to catch up with us tonight at our free forum meeting.


Patrick will introduce the various forms that taxonomies can take, and how taxonomy representations like thesauri, hierarchies, matrices and facets are related to each other and how they differ. He will also discuss the emerging role of folksonomies, and if compelled to, the role of ontologies in the taxonomy arena. This talk will be based on material from his new book, “Organising Knowledge: Taxonomies, Knowledge and Organisational Effectiveness” (Chandos: 2007) – see below for Patrick’s special book offer for forum members.


Patrick Lambe is President of the Information and Knowledge Management Society based in Singapore, and Founding Partner of Straits Knowledge, a research and consulting firm specialising in information and knowledge management. One of Asia’s most respected knowledge management practitioners, Patrick was originally trained in Library Science. He arrived in KM via a second career in training and development, and has been based in Singapore for 16 years. Patrick is also an Adjunct Professor in KM at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

WHERE: Ernst & Young, The Ernst & Young Centre, 680 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Download a map.

WHEN: 5.30pm for 6pm Tuesday 24th July. 

HOW MUCH: Gold coin donation.


If you plan to attend, please RSVP by e-mail to: rsvp<at> (hint: replace the <at> with a normal @ to complete the email address and please include the date and/or title of the event in the subject line).

For this session, Patrick will be able to bring along a limited number of copies of the book for purchase at A$68 (using author’s discount). To avoid disappointment, when RSVP’ing please indicate your interest in purchasing a discounted copy of his new book. For more information on this book, see