Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stalking Bloggers

I guess one sign that bloggers are entering "the big time" in the media world is the recent entry by Kathy Sierra that she has received death threats.

It's sad. It's disturbing.

And it makes one think twice about putting oneself in the public eye.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/27/07

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Scrum and Organizational Change

Agile expert Pete Behrens has an entry at his blog , The Agile Executive, about Scrum and organizational change that is well worth a read for anyone in the organization development field.

Scrum has some interesting parallels to OD:

- Scrum is a participatory method

- Scrum is a coordinated effort to effect change

- Scrum facilitates collaboration

- Scrum emphasizes learning by focusing on "what went well, what went wrong and what the team wants to do differently in the next work interval."

There is even a Scrum Master, which sounds like something out of Tolkien and MiddleEarth...but that's just me.

Added Note: Just discovered The Change Management Blog. The latest entry is on this week's Nexus for Change in Ohio.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/20/07

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Do You SpeedGeek?

One of the great benefits of being an active participant in the blogosphere is that you interact with such diverse people, from many fields, from all over the world. And you learn so many interesting new phrases, such as:

- Get the moose on the table - Roughly the same as "the elephant in the room."

- Bite through the sour apple - A flavorful Dutch saying for delivering bad news.

And today's find, SpeedGeeking, a rapid-fire and fun way to rapidly find out about all the projects going on in a company or department.

I will look for a way to try this.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/15/07

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"If I can contribute, I will do."

Lately, as a step in developing training courses for a client, I have posted some queries at LinkedIn Answers. I'm happy to report that I have been getting good responses from folks all over the globe.

After sending a slew of "thank you" notes, one person responded, "If I can contribute, I will do."

I like that philosophy.

If more of us acted on it, and contributed our talents where we can, this world would be a much better place.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/13/07

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Media Consumption

Nimmy got tagged by Patrick (who was tagged by Dave and so on) to disclose her media consumption habits. Well, no one tagged me (can you tag yourself?), but I want to play.

Books - I have always been one of those people who reads too many books all at the same time...and ends up finishing only a few. Currently I have several going at once on the topic of consulting.

Print - Every day, I read the local paper, The Home News Tribune, and the best newspaper in New Jersey, the Star Ledger. As for magazines, I read Time magazine faithfully, as well as Rolling Stone.

Web - Every day I also get news from the web, including Google News, as well as The Daily Grail, Cryptomundo, The Anomalist, Fortean Times, and Posthuman Blues. I use Bloglines to keep up with such favorite topics as organizational change, learning, and effectiveness.

Radio - NPR is probably my favorite, though I do enjoy talk radio which is plentiful in the NY market. The food guy, Mike Colameco, on WOR is very good.

TV - My TV tastes are very specific. For entertainment, I watch 24 and House. For news, I watch Hardball.

Film - This is probably the media area of my greatest passion: I love movies. Always have. I rent movies via netflix and keep up with the latest in movies via IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

To keep the sharing going, I hereby tag the following: Astha Parmar, Mike Schaffner, Greg Deatz, Lisa Haneberg, and Phil Gerbyshak.

Added Note 3/8/07: Gautam got tagged by Nimmy and, in reading his post, he says "trust KM people to want to know how people keep themselves informed, heh, right?" Good point. Though I wonder, in this day and age, if there are many people who are not "KM people."

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/7/07

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Good Ride or Bad Trip

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about consulting...

- what is it? how is it different from being an employee? a technician? a contractor? a line manager?

- why do clients engage consultants? how do clients judge consultants?

- what does it take to be an effective consultant? how do effective consultants operate?

...and getting other people's perspectives on such questions (using LinkedIn). Plus I've been reading some really good books (e.g. Steele's Consulting for Organizational Change, Block's Flawless Consulting, Rasiel's The McKinsey Way, and Weinberg's The Secrets of Consulting) and I have another one on order (Maister's The Trusted Advisor).

One of the findings so far is that clients evaluate consultants on both results and process. With regard to process, clients tend to invite back those consultants that:

- communicated clearly and often
- facilitated a change process, and
- were easy and enjoyable to deal with ("good ride")

Other consultants took their clients on a "bad trip."

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/6/07

Monday, March 05, 2007

When Professional Worlds Collide

Being a history buff, and having a particular fascination with religion, ancient history, and archaeology, I watched the controversial program "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" (last night on the Discovery Channel) with great anticipation. I was not disappointed. It was well told by filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, with a mix of science, dramatized vignettes, and unexpected surprises. Though it raises more questions than it answers, I was spellbound and hope to see more attention paid to this mystery.

Immediately after the program, there was a follow-up discussion hosted by TV journalist Ted Koppel. Jacobovici, one of his partners, and two academics were invited to participate. From the get-go, Koppel and the academics went on the offensive, tearing into Jacobovici. I watched it for a while, but after sensing the sour tone of the conversation, I turned it off and went to bed.

It sounded to me as though the academics were ticked off that an outsider (Jacobovici) was mucking around in their sandbox (archaeology). Who does he think he is to open tombs and conduct research without the proper sanctioning?

The other night I went to the movies to see the new crime thriller "Zodiac" which tells the true story of the killing spree that terrified San Francisco back in 1969. Part of the drama is the conflict between the San Francisco police and the San Francisco Chronicle news reporters, both trying to solve the mystery, but each frustrating the other. The newspapermen thought it was their job to investigate and get the story for their readers, but the police found the newsmen to be a nuisance, getting in the way of proper police procedures.

In both of these cases, the lost tomb of Jesus and the Zodiac case, professional worlds collide. Filmmaker vs academic archaeologists. News reporters vs police.

In both cases, there is a search for truth. And in both cases, we are left with unresolved mysteries to wonder about.

Is there a way to mediate? To help bridge these professional worlds, so that instead of conflict, we can reach collaboration? And maybe discover the truth?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/5/07

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Framework for Spread

Via Lorri Zipperer's blog Patient Safety: Focus on Information and Knowledge Transfer, I have learned a new phrase: framework for spread.

What is it, you ask?

According to this Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) white paper, "A key factor in closing the gap between best practice and common practice is the ability of health care providers and their organizations to rapidly spread innovations and new ideas. Pockets of excellence exist in our health care systems, but knowledge of these better ideas and practices often remains isolated and unknown to others."

So how do you spread good practices across a healthcare organization?

Zipperer mentions a few ideas for the framework for spread, including:

- sharing of stories,
- facilitating dialogue,
- convening learning groups and journal clubs,
- building knowledge maps

What else? What other KM practices can help this framework for spread in hospitals...and other organizations?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/3/07

Friday, March 02, 2007

Blogging, KM, Health, and Inner Peace

Just rounding up some good stuff I've been reading in the blogosphere . . .

IT executive Mike Schaffner has listed ten reasons why he blogs. Good list.

Bill Harris has a wonderful example of a successful approach to KM that capitalizes on some aspects of human nature (e.g. that people like to be asked for their ideas and advice).

Dr. Ellen Weber of BrainBased Business has a great blog on health and the workplace.

And Peter Vajda of SpiritHeart has an article called "Dissatisfied With Work? Perhaps It's You" that offers much good food for thought.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/2/07

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Combat Overwhelm

Feeling overwhelmed at times? This article has some good ideas, including:

- listen to music
- drink water
- laugh

An interesting one is "make more mistakes." Sort of a Thomas Edison strategy, I guess.

Some others that work for me:
- daily prayer and meditation
- daily spiritual reading

And one more:
- don't isolate yourself. Reach out to others. Connect. Ask for ideas.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 3/1/07