KM Guru – Larry Prusak

April 21, 2009

I had the opportunity to meet one of KM’s biggest thinkers and practitioners, Larry Prusak, at the Working Knowledge conference. Larry along with Tom Davenport run the Working Knowledge Center at Babson. Soon Larry will be retiring from the Babson Center, and Brook Manville will help Tom continue their research.

This was Larry’s last Working Knowledge conference as co-founder and he prepared a brief talk reflecting on his observations and experiences in the KM field.

Here they are as best as I could summarize:
• Knowledge is social
• Trust within the group is a key ingredient to success in KM
• Learning is the vowel of which knowledge is the verb
• History counts, it provides boundaries and what is possible
• Innovation, Collaboration and Learning
• Companies experience amnesia when KM works
• Democratization of knowledge is here to stay
• One economics, many countries


Poetry in an MBA Class?

April 18, 2008

Well its been 3 weeks since I started my part-time MBA in the Babson Fast Track program, and so far its been a blast! We’ve started out on two softer subjects around 1) Leadership & Human Behavior and 2) Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. These have been very eye opening. We’ve been reading a lot from the IDEO Innovation books by Tom Kelley. Both have been very interesting reads. Another interesting concept is PO by Edward DeBono. These are things I expected in a well rounded MBA program like Babson. However I was floored when as part of a class wrap-up session our professor quoted this poem.


They may see the good you do
As self serving.
Continue to do good.

They may see your generosity
As grandstanding
Continue to be generous.

They may see your warm and
Caring nature as weakness.
Continue to be warm and caring.

For you see, in the end,
It is between you and God.
It never was between you and
Them anyway.


So what does all this have to do with KM? Well certainly the poem spoke to me about my work with communities of practice and building a KM program at HDS. I often wonder if its just easier to be a little more mean/nasty in trying to overcome roadblocks. I read this poem and it reconfirmed for me that I was taking the right approach. As all KM practitioner’s know (and I’m learning) its hard to understand if you’re making a difference and are being appreciated. You border on frustration, almost ready to give up and then something goes your way and you remember why you wanted to expose others to the benefits of KM. The poem did that for me this week.

First Day of School

March 25, 2008

This past week I began a two year part time MBA program at Babson College. The Fast Track program is designed for the busy professional who doesn’t want to give up his/her day job to become a full time student. It includes both distance / e-learning and face to face classes.

Our kick-off week entailed about 55 hours of classroom discussion, learning our way around the IT infrastructure supporting the classes and meeting our new classmates. Our 2010 class has about 95 students, broken into two sections. From here on out its mainly online with a couple weekends of face to face time.

It was great to meet all the new students, everyone was excited to begin their new MBA classes. Never having been a fan of school, it was refreshing to attend classes with students actively participating and really adding valuable insights based on past experience to some of our discussions. Perhaps this is the difference between undergrad and graduate courses. The average work experience for a student was 13 years! So its great to be able to absorb and learn from such a deep pool of knowledge.

It should be a very interesting experience, and I hope to apply all of what I learn to furthering my personal KM objectives as well as those at work.