PKM and Workplace Transformation

July 14th, 2014

Harold Jarche’s blog tag is “shining a light on workplace transformation”. In his latest post titled “Four Basic Skills”, he cites a report from the University of Phoenix – Research Institute. I’m immersed in developing a new project called Youth Profit – Canada’s network for youth employment.

That said, I thought his post and the accompanying research document titled Future Work Skills 2020, very helpful as I can add that report resources section of our website. We are beta testing the Youth Profit site with a select group of colleagues from around the world and plan to launch in early August.

I’m also working on a project that will feature PKM in a school based research mapping project. This project is designed to address positive mental health, acquiring PKM skills and student achievement. The Phoenix research report connects directly with the at initiative. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting more about those two projects.

In 2011, The Institute for the Future and the University of Phoenix published a report that looked at Future Work Skills 2020 (PDF). The report identified six drivers of change. I’ve added links to examples of each, three years later.

Read more…

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Why PKM: Harold Jarche – making sense of the network era

April 28th, 2014

This video will give viewers a succinct explanation of why personal knowledge mastery is becoming a required skill in the post industrial, knowledge network world we now inhabit. I’m taking part in the current PK Mastery workshop series. It’s an in-depth, hands on program that is giving me a solid foundation for deepening my PKM skills. You can learn more about Harold Jarche’s PKM in 40 Days workshop series here.


Personal Knowledge Mastery Workshop – PKM in 40 Days

April 10th, 2014

As part of my participation in PKMastery in 40 Days work, I’m completing an exercise on creating a twitter community and narrating your work. Here is how Harold Jarche describes this area of PK Mastery.

Finding a Community on Twitter 

Communities are everywhere and there are many deep conversations and knowledge exchanges happening daily all over the world. So how can you find a community on a platform like Twitter? Twitter is different from Facebook and LinkedIn in that relationships are “asymmetrical” meaning that if I follow you, you do not have to follow me. This feature allows you to adjust the signal (good information) and noise (spam or information of less interest) ratio. If you find Twitter boring, it means you are following the wrong people. There are about 250 million active Twitter users, so you should be able to find someone who is interesting!

Narration of your Work

Narrating one’s work does not get knowledge transferred, but it provides a better medium to gain more understanding. Working out loud is a concept that is very easy to understand, but not quite so easy to do. Most people are too busy managing in their information age workplaces and have little spare time to try to learn how to work in the network age. The most important step in learning a new skill is the first one. This same step has to be repeated many times before it becomes a habit. I have learned that the first step of starting to work out loud, as part of personal knowledge management, has to be as simple as possible.

Twitter Community and Narration

I had two full meetings the day I chose to narrate my work. I figured there would not be a lot of diverse activities to write about but in my estimation, some very important things happened that leap frogged my understanding and practice.

I had a few hours before my meetings started so I decided to start my day by making sense out of my twitter account. I had created over a dozen lists at different points in my work and learning. Of course I had moved on with many of my work projects and thinking so those lists were now out of date and many of the contacts were no longer needed. I spent over an hour re-familiarizing myself with Twitter – I’m not a big user! What a job I have ahead of me.

I realized that in sorting out and re-establishing my Twitter account, I’m bringing into alignment the important projects I’m working on and being more clear with my purpose and goals for communicating via Twitter. As mentioned in an earlier PKMastery post, I’ve being woefully negligent by ignoring key people (known and unknown) who I could follow and learn from as well as share with. Now that I know more how to design my lists, find people I want to learn from and share with, I’m much more dedicated to using Twitter as a key part of my online network learning. I liked the Twitter tips from Joachim and a few others in our 40 Days Mastery group.

How to: Build a Community on Twitter – Mashable

The second part of the Twitter exercise was to find and develop my Twitter community. I decided to focus my twitter community search a projects I’m developing. The project is a school based mental health & student success initiative that would use a PKM framework in conjunction with a community based research mapping framework.

Students, in partnership with Child and Youth Workers (in school employees) would learn how to utilize PKM to guide research mapping (seek, sense, share) activities. By using their PKM framework, students would not only learn a process that will help them guide their work while on the pilot project, the PKM framework would be a process they can use in their ongoing student academic activities and continue on as they take on employment and careers.

The broad outcomes sought is a more inclusive, tolerant school community where there is less bullying, mental health stigmatizing and fewer students ending up in mental health crisis situations. So, to sum up, I’m scouring my contacts both online and off so I can connect with them via Twitter. What I do then, I’m not sure yet. At the least I will start tweeting about this pilot initiative and encourage more discussion. A large bureaucracy like the school system moves very slowly. I am taking on a systemic and complex problem and engaging youth in delivering the project. Using Twitter will let me stir the pot, hopefully without ruffling too many feathers.

My second big working and learning experience of the day was that in two conversations with strangers I took the opportunity to explain the pilot project initiative (described above) I was developing. I haven’t had many opportunities to explain the project to people outside my sector so this was a test (probe) for me. What pleased me was that I felt that I explained myself very clearly. People appeared to completely get what I was trying to do with this project. Just seeing that these people grasped the purpose of the initiative and how I planned to deliver the project gave me a lot of inspiration and confidence to keep plugging away.

These experiences made me realize that if ideas sit too long in one’s own head and if not tested out in conversations, good ideas can wither and die. Another take away from those two conversations was that I recognized that talking out loud is as important as working out loud. The final take away is that narrating your work can be a truly powerful and empowering experience. I’ve being writing blog posts for many years but I think getting into a habit of narrating your work on a regular basis will make me a better writer and blogger. It’s also amazing that inconsequential events, upon reflection can lead you to deeper insights about yourself and your work.

p.s. if any readers have suggestions or thoughts about my PKM and Research Mapping in schools initiative, please give me a shout.


Personal Knowledge Mastery – a 40 Day Series

March 31st, 2014

I’m very pleased to be participating on the PKM Mastery in 40 Days series. My work is mainly in the non-profit and public sectors. Social media integration into online communications is the core theme in my services.

Over the past few years I’ve being looking for a compelling and simple framework (process) for my own professional development.  In hindsight, I think my quest was more about re-discovering who I am and what is my business in this new era of working and learning. I’ve being blogging for many years, use and experiment with many social media tool however I believe I’m quite disorganized as a network learning practitioner. To put it bluntly, I’ve recognized that I need to apply more discipline in my practice.

Reading and following Harold’s (Life in Perpetual Beta) work and now his PKM material is very inspiring. For me, the PKM framework makes such good sense and I believe it will be a process to help me become more methodical in my practice. The 40 days of PKM is my opportunity to apply the thinking and process in my work.

I’m very excited to be working on several projects that utilize PKM as a central component.  After much sense making I saw how the PKM framework can operate in conjunction with a community based research/mapping framework that I’m using to engage students as school community researchers examining positive mental health in our schools.

As am developing this project, I’ve realized that the PKM framework can apply with many other cause issues delivered by non-profit organizations. Non-profit workers are always designing new initiatives to address community problems. PKM is a natural fit for their design and collaboration efforts. These workers also have a duty to assist consumers (of their organization’s services) in being effective users of digital technologies and networks.

Given those insights, I’m looking to integrate PKM in my work with non-profit groups so they can follow a process that improves their own professional development and also improve results for their organization.

I’ll continue posting progress updates in the PKM in 40 days workshop series as I’m determined to embed solid and effective practices in my work. I look forward to a very exciting and challenging 40 days.


A New Direction – A New Website

February 10th, 2014


I am changing my website to reflect a new direction in my learning, sharing and professional development interests.

Over the past six months, I’ve being immersed in a long period of reflection about what I want to accomplish in business and as a learner. On another level I realize that I’ve being immersed in a process of re-discovering myself. Through this transition (aka dormant 🙂 ) period, I haven’t  published many posts or shared to any great extent what I’m interested in or how I am applying what I’m learning through my online networks..

Now I’m at a point where I feel ready to put into practice my new vision for my business and my personal and professional development. So, that said, I’m bursting with energy and drive to blog about my journey as a network learner and worker.

The main focus of my work interests this past year is learning about the Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) Framework or Seek – Sense – Share framework that Harold Jarche has so eloquently created. My new website will include the use of that framework as applied in my work and learning activities

I’m involved in several projects that are attempting to address wicked problems related to high levels of youth unemployment and the growing problems of youth mental illness. I have come to recognize how the PKM framework can be an empowering learning process for youth (or any individual) that could help them become stronger and healthier worker-learners.

What can be more empowering and positive  than improving ones ability to find useful and needed information, connect with others, share your knowledge and insights and essentially take control of your own professional development and healthy workspace.

You can get an overview of Harold’s PKM or Seek – Sense – Share Framework in a recent article published in the Inside Learning Technologies magazine

A few books that are giving me inspiration, motivation and energy as I develop my website are:

The Icarus Deception – How High Will You Fly —– Seth Godin

Social – Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect —- Matthew D. Lieberman

Social Learning Handbook 2014 — Jane Hart

So stay tuned – I am working hard on completing my new site by the end of March.

PKM, social learning , , ,

Professional Network Mapping

August 16th, 2013

I participated in professional network mapping session hosted by Harold Jarche. These sessions are part of a series of web meetings on the Connected Knowledge Lab organized by Jane Hart and Harold. While there were a few in attendance at this session, the conversation was stimulating.

After the web meeting, I reflected on how I might create my own maps to organize, build and maintain my professional online network.  The following two diagrams and the dynamic online map will illustrate my approach for filtering and nurturing my online network.

The first diagram is background material used to ground our discussion in the web meeting. The core concepts (mind set) to start creating your professional network map can be further examined in these posts from Harold’s blog. Personal Knowledge Management ,  Network Learning:Working Smarter and As the World Keeps Churning, Work Today is All About Learning.

The Task/Questions section of the map identify the purpose of creating your personal networking map.

In the diagram below, I’ve created domain areas that were useful ways for me to envision my network map.  The little squares in the yellow boxes (visible on the last map in this post) are notes that further suggest how you can interpret those domain areas.

The first three personality types described in the blue boxes (Mavens equating to Geniuses; Connectors to Thought Leaders; and Integrators to Salespeople) are drawn from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. The Doer personality type is added because without someone that can take great ideas and actually do something with those ideas, your good ideas will never get off the ground.

The purpose of posing the questions (blue boxes) is that the questions will help me review my current and future network contacts so I can make sense of my network. I’ll be able to make better decisions about adding and deleting contacts in my map. I think that old saw about seeing the forest for the trees applies here.

As I worked on the map, I was constantly reminded that the map is not the territory. For me, this meant that the richest discoveries where to be found in my examination of the map and seeing connections, possibilities, gaps, overlaps etc.  

Harold’s blog provides background resources that I used to develop my personal network map.  Those posts are called “Building Your Talent Triangle” and The Work of Many.

This is the dynamic online map I made with Mindmeister. It’s an online mind mapping and collaboration mapping tool that is easy to use. You can also invite teammates or others to add to your map. I like the online map because you can easily add contacts to your network, enter website URL’s, notes etc. For example in the Brand You Networks I added this note to explain what Brand You meant to me. “Contacts that inform and strengthen your PKM practices, in particular your ability to communicate with clarity your added value that you bring to your services”.

Click on the Maximize Map to work see how it works and also see the notes and web addresses.

Create your own mind maps at MindMeister

Now I have a template (structure) to filter, refine, discern, imagine and nurture my personal network map. I’ll use my map to filter my contacts and place them in appropriate domains. Most importantly I’ll ponder my map and see if I can discover new ways to grow and guide my professional development and learning.

Collaboration in the Workplace, PKM, social learning

Social Network Learning is Where You Find It

August 1st, 2013

I’m part of the Connected Learning Lab hosted by Harold Jarche and Jane Hart. Over a series of online workshops, I’m practicing how to better utilize my personal knowledge management (PKM) network. I’m an all over the map kind of learner so I’m in great need of a framework to guide my professional development practices and to improve my skills for sharing and working with others. The following anecdote illustrates how I applied  the Seek – Sense – Share framework which is at the heart of  PKM as I visited my local camera store to solve a problem with my LCD camera lens.

My LCD screen protector on my Sony Nex 5 N camera (my best camera ever) was fading and tarnished. While the crappy looking screen wasn’t affecting picture quality it bothered me that it looked so ratty and worn out.

I checked online for a solution and did find some posts about replacing the screen. Before ordering, I thought it best that I go to my local Sony store in the mall to see what they had to say. I chose the first staff I saw and I think I was fortunate because Vincent was the manager of the store and quite versed in the workings of my camera. He explained the Sony warrantee policy (1 year) and how much it would cost me to replace the screen if my warrantee was expired (I was definitely past the one year mark).

As we talked, I believe he sensed how much I like my camera and enjoyed its many fine features. I explained that I’m basically an amateur and most often leave the settings at the Intelligent Auto setting where the camera intuitively makes adjustments to capture the best quality picture. I added that I’d like to learn more about manual focusing and could he show me a few basic adjustment in the shooting mode so I could have a finer control over the camera.

Vincent was very helpful and I learned quite a bit in those few minutes with him. Vincent took the opportunity to explain how he and his staff have just started a group for camera enthusiasts that are interested in learning shooting techniques with their cameras. He asked me if I’d like to join their group for their next field outing. In these field trips, Sony staff provide hands on learning of your camera’s features so you can get better quality pictures out of your camera. I gladly accepted his invitation and gave him my email address.

Vincent explained that the field trips were also supported by an online platform where participants could connect with each other; ask questions, share tips and ideas. Having being part of, initiating and supporting many communities of practice in my work, I gladly gave him my email address so he can invite me to the next field trip outing.

I had no doubts that the Sony story through their hosting of informal learning in the field and online was motivated by the potential of increased sales. That said, sales never came up in my conversation with Vincent. What came across was a genuine love of cameras and sharing staff knowledge for the benefit of photographers. On reflection, I thought what a great example of a business providing a social learning experience for camera enthusiasts.

Now how does this fit into PKM and the Seek – Sense – Share framework. My serendipitous visit to the Sony store to get advice led me to a new network where I can share, learn and increase my photography skills with others of like mind. I also realized that businesses are building and supporting informal learning opportunities that are based on openness, sharing and learning without expectation of making a sale. Later in the day, I went by the Apple store where I saw over fifty people engaged in various stages of learning how to use Apple products. No doubt many of those Apple customers where buying products but the whole feel in the store was one of sharing and learning.

With these insights, I’ve got new stories or examples to share with organizations I work with as they develop social business strategies and practices. I also found a great site that shows how to repair that deteriorated LCD screen on my camera. In the spirit of reciprocity, I’ll pass that resource on to Vincent so he can in turn pass on that tip to his customers.

So there you have it. Social network learning is where you find it. I’ll participate in this new network learning opportunity, both in the field and online. I’ll learn more about my camera, meet people that share my interest and possibly connect with other businesses that are interested in moving their organization towards a social learning/network service.


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Connected Knowledge Lab – improving my practice

June 16th, 2013

A New Direction:

For the past few years I’ve being working with organizations and individuals who seek assistance integrating social technologies into their work. As I do, so I learn and as a lifelong learner, I’ve being soaking up the insights of many people who share my interest in the changing landscape of work and learning.

Lately, I’ve being feeling a strong urge to focus my learning and practice in an area that I believe is crucial to succeed in the 21st Century landscape. My favourite thought leaders on the workplace change spectrum are Harold Jarche and Jane Hart (colleagues in the Internet Time Alliance). There are many others people who I’m learning from however Harold and Jane are two people I particularly resonate with as online mentors.

A framework I find most useful in my learning is called personal knowledge management (PKM) developed by Harold Jarche . Harold and Jane Hart have created the Connected Worker – New Skills for the Connected Workplace web platform where they offer a range of services.  I’ve joined a new platform they recently developed called the Connected Knowledge Lab .

I believe that the PKM and framework and the Connected Knowledge Lab will be a foundation that will help me broaden my connections, improve my network learning practices and enable me to deliver better results in my work with practitioners and organizations. My goal in joining the Connected Knowledge Lab is to sharpen and expand my own connected worker skills. I’ll also apply my PKM and Connected Worker skills (with full attribution to those who are publishing so well in this area) in my workshops, coaching and consulting services.

I see little evidence of organizations in the non profit sector adopting the skill sets that Jane and Harold are so aptly promoting. Needless to say, there is a tremendous amount of work to be done in this area. I’m very glad that the Connected Knowledge Lab has organized these learning opportunities for the public.


Collaboration in the Workplace, PKM, social learning , , ,

Workplace Transformation

June 14th, 2013
Harold Jarche

Harold Jarche - Perpetual Beta

My Snapshot of the Changing Workplace:

The workplace is changing as consumers increasingly use social tech tools to learn, choose, create, decide and search for solutions or answers. I think it fair to say that social tech communication tools are empowering people more than any other period in history. An empowered consumer or service recipient in a non-profit organization expects and often times demand more from service providers. Responding to a more liberated and informed consumer, organizations are catching up to this permanent change in the marketplace. Part of this digital evolution involves the adoption of a new mindset and aligning the corporate values and operating principles with their new mindset.

Organizations are re-framing their strategic vision and putting supportive policies and guidelines in place that empowers staff to connect, share and innovate inside and outside the organization. These proactive organizations recognize that sustaining trust relationships in and outside the organizations plus a commitment to continuous learning and sharing is their greatest asset.

7 Examples of Workplace Transformation:

  • The typical hierarchical work structure is looking more and more de-centralized. It looks more like a flattened pattern or network rather than a pyramid.  The wirearchy model developed by John Husband best describes the changes occurring in business structures;
  • Knowledge workers, empowered by a management structure that supports network learning, sharing and innovating in the workplace are getting things done more effectively by working smarter and more collaboratively with social tech tools. Knowledge workers are using social tech tools to “power” their communications but their skills are not dependent on those social tech tools;
  • Knowledge workers are increasing their participation in communities of practice and learning new skills from these informal conversations. These new skills (also methods, innovations, products etc.) are in turn bringing added value and improved results for the company they work for while making themselves more sought after employees;
  • Social tech tools are now being integrated more logically into the fabric of the organization. Furthermore, social tech tools are integrated to meet specific business goals and long term strategy rather than just to keep up with the competition by creating a Facebook page etc.
  • Social tech tools are enabling sharing, learning and innovating in the workplace while strengthening relationships in and outside the organization;
  • Organizations are becoming more exposed – for better or worse as a side affect of these social tech communication tools. Knowing this, many organizations, realizing that Internet technologies are a permanent part of their business, are loosening their attachment to a control mindset.
  • As the organization learns to listen and hear their constituents via online social technologies, authentic and trusting relationships are formed increasing the organizations value as new practices and products are developed as a result of that dialogue.

If you are interested in contacting me to talk about your changing workplace and possibly implementing changes in how staff or the organization shares, collaborates and learns together, please give me a call.

Image – Harold Jarche PKM


Collaboration in the Workplace, PKM, social learning

What Will I Be

April 9th, 2013

I’m trying to design a new website that reflects what I want to do over the next few years. I am a bit stuck because I don’t really want to use my blog as a business marketing site (not terribly good at that anyway) and I don’t want it just to be an aimless, wandering around site that stops and picks up the latest shiny objects. So what to do.

I saw Hugh McLeod’s latest cartoon today and it helped with my dilemma. I will have a bit of business, a bit wandering around, a bit of pontificating about what I think and a bit of fun. In other words it will be mine and that’s good enough for me.