November 24, 2008
At the Presidential Inaguration of Babson’s new president Leonard (Len) Schlesinger, Jack Welch gave the guest speech. Jack and Len worked together at GE as part of the GE Path Forward re-engineering of GE. Jack gave a short speech on the current economic crisis and then took a couple questions. One question (I’m paraphrasing here): What do businesses need, yet business schools undervalue?
Jack’s answer (again paraphrasing): Business schools do not emphasize enough of the soft skills needed to succeed. Organizational Development, Human Resources and Communication are the areas businesses desperately need competent and qualified candidates.
Coincidentally the professor, who was asked to welcome our new President, was the department lead in Organizational Development.
You can read more about the inauguration here.
November 4, 2008
I recently attended the Learning Innovation Network conference in New York city. The conference is a joint venture between Jeanne Meister and the folks over at the Human Capital Institute. The event was hosted by Merrill Lynch.
I was invited to present on my experiences with Communities of Practice at HDS as part of a panel with Tracy Dodd from CA. Together we talked about our experiences with communities and the tools we use to support them. I noted that the folks at CA are using SharePoint 2007 to connect their communities.
The coolest part of the conference was the demo of how Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America) uses mobile learning. Merrill Lynch’s application MoBull (great name!) pushes content to their employee’s Blackberries. Read more about the application at CLO Magazine.
Overall I learned a lot. Having never attended a ‘learning and development’ event it was interesting to see how companies can focus on developing their people. I was even more struck by the 70:20:10 rule. I’ll be posting more on that soon.
June 19, 2008
Jeanne Meister at CLO Magazine was looking for experiences on Communities of Practice. Our VP of Academy was nice enough to connect the two of us and the resulting conversation was this article on Communities of Practice in the Workplace.
The article mentions that I’m working on a Community of Practice starter kit. Jeff Maaks now at PragmaticPS and I have been discussing it for some time, so now I guess we have to actually do it!
May 20, 2008
On May 15th, Lynda Moulton of the Boston KM Forum asked me to present on my experiences and journey as I continue to build a KM program at HDS. I focused on how we set about building our first community of practice, a time line for the program and some future goals.
For me, it wasn’t a typical presentation where I speak and there’s no feedback. Since it was a small group and a small room it lead to some great discussion. As I would share my experiences, others would share theirs as well and I took away more as a result!
You can read about what other’s took away:
Knowledge Jolt by Jack Vinson
A Matter of Degree by Sadalit Van Buren
Sims Learning Connection by Ray Sims
I also met David Hobbie author of Caselines, who had some good suggestions for getting funding and support for my KM program.
Many thanks to all who attended and participated in the event, and my apologies for the late start.
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.
IT IS NOT FOR THEM TO JUDGE
They may see the good you do
As self serving.
Continue to do good.
They may see your generosity
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
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.
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.