Archive for December, 2001

What is a Chief Knowledge Officer?

Sunday, December 30th, 2001

Pulled the following note from a great KM book I’m reading. The chapter titled “What is a Chief Knowledge Officer?” closes with the following comment: “If you have ever been involved in a new program or initiative, you know how difficult it is to get things going. It’s like trying to turn a battleship. The field of change management focuses on ways to implement change within an organization despite resistance. Most CKOs regard their ability to master change management as a critical success factor.”
Also, in the section where it talks about where the CKO might “perch” in the corporation, there are four likely places: separate stand-alone office, with the CIO, the corporate training function, or with human resources. In each of the instances where it is part of a larger organization, the author “has seen this work poorly, as the CKO is sent to the back of the business bus. Why take the chance of lukewarm support from someone with other things on his or her mind?” The author goes on to say, “another flaw with this approach is that the CKO’s boss hobnobs with the honchos, not the CKO. At the routine meetings of the senior executives, the CKO’s boss sits at the table, not the CKO. The CKO loses much of his or her needed access. Since gaining support of senior management is a critical success factor for CKO;s, this severly hobbles them.” “Putting a CKO in such a function also sends a message that knowledge management is merely part of a traditional function. It is nothing special, just a heretofore undiscovered aspect of an old friend. It isn’t so important.”

Sound familiar? What are some ways to correct an org chart built by clueless leaders? Are they really open to suggestions from change agents like us?

Site Stuff

Saturday, December 29th, 2001

Taking some time off between the holidays.

Created a few new images in the cybart retro and notions galleries. Also changed around the layout of the framesets to eliminate the creation of new frames every time one of the images is loaded. [I think I may also attempt to use this same approach for the flashgallery as well…]

Noticed that the socialog is working intermittently. Since this is hosted on an external site, I can’t do too much to keep it up and running. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Life goes on.

Uploaded a lot of images to the photo album – including family photos from Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 29th, 2001

I wonder if a certain someone got a “How To be an Effective Leader” book from Santa? oh…wait a minute…doesn’t Santa only bring gifts to those that are deserving???

Draining Life

Saturday, December 22nd, 2001

How much blood do you have to lose before your body flatlines?

opinion whore

Wednesday, December 19th, 2001

a person who feigns attentive listening, and performs sympathetic gestures with the purpose of convincing the person speaking that they are being heard, understood and agreed with; most often resulting in development of false confidence and trust.


Tuesday, December 18th, 2001

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season! Enjoy a cybergreeting from all of us at weidemannia.


Friday, December 14th, 2001

to change the course of a business; increasingly used as a euphemism for laying people off. (courtesy of wired)

Adapt or Perish

Friday, December 14th, 2001

Give a copy of it as a Christmas present to those that could benefit from it. I could give you many names but I have one special person in mind. I bet that many of those on my list already subscribe to HRM anyway. Possession maybe nine-tenths of the law, but having possession does not imply understanding. If we treat the articles as processed data (information) would it not be wonderful if those in positions of leadership turned it into knowledge by applying (contextualizing) it. Sorry, I drifted into a dream state. It must be the spirit of Christmas. I see a parallel here, a modern version of the Christmas story about the past, present and future.

“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.” —H.G. Wells


Thursday, December 13th, 2001

an individual brought into a healthy, teaming environment, specifically trained to remove trust, invalidate relationships, and destroy cohesiveness.

Another Highlighter Please?

Thursday, December 13th, 2001

I wore out a pen underlining all of the relevant topics in the December 2001 special Leadership issue of HBR. I also got a stiff neck from shaking my head back and forth whenever I could match a personally witnessed flagrant violation to the recommended practices.

What Leaders Really Do

Wednesday, December 12th, 2001

Came across the following in this month’s HBR (What Leaders Really Do) about Leadership….”They don’t make plans; they don’t solve problems; they don’t even organize people; what leaders really do is prepare organizations for change and help them cope as they struggle through it” John P. Kotter. If this is a true statement I understand the reasons for some of GWC’s current difficulties.


Wednesday, December 12th, 2001

The bad part about catching THEM saying something significant to your objective is they cannot remember ever saying it and when challenged they will restate it so that it has an entirely different meaning. If corporate support is perceived as being there but in reality is not, it is just a matter of time before those fooled realize it and then they become very cynical.

Grab the Knob

Wednesday, December 12th, 2001

When opportunity knocks, you should answer the door. Occasionally, you may hear one of the corporate leaders state something in public that supports your change objectives – whether they meant to or not. Write it down. If possible, have the person validate the statement. Then, exploit the hell out of the quote as often as you can, sharing it with other leaders, who you know are influenced heavily by your new “spokesmodel”. Like an urban legend, the message should spread quickly and become widely accepted as corporate support.

Change in Behavior is Required

Sunday, December 9th, 2001

The interesting thing about change initiatives is that executives that launch them, I feel, generally do so with all of the best intentions: the optimistic business results, the return on investment to the shareholders, and the notoriety of having made a significant impact to the corporation’s direction.

However, I believe that in every case, they fail to read the fine print embedded into the contract for the initiative. It clearly states “change in behavior is required”. As we know, it is this basic element of change that has the power to undermines the corporation’s leaders. In a lot of cases, they achieved their position doing whatever it was they did – ethical or not – and they’ll be damned if somone else is going to tell them that now that is no longer good enough. It is this attitude that is the root causes for change failure. However, it is only damaging to change, when their resistance goes unchallenged by their superiors, and accountability is non-existant. In other words, failure of business leaders to accept change is not inevitable.

Beware the Ides of December. Watch how well the scythe-wielders perform the tasks at hand. It promises to be a bloody Christmas.

Weight Loss Progam

Sunday, December 9th, 2001

Sometimes just when you think individual behaviors are changing the RIF begins. Those that get the axe are the ones you most influenced or those who are positioned to make change a reality. I remember once during GWC’s 96′ round of layoffs reviewing the names of the individuals being let go and comparing them to those who were generally accepted as being “change agents” or proactively involved in “reviewing and improving” GWC’s methodologies/practices. If I remember correctly about 10% of the workforce was let go and of those being let go about 25% were considered by many to have been the most progressive individuals. This could explain why GWC’s initiative process seems to go in cycles. Just when the process is making a difference the layoffs begin and then it take quite some time for people to recover and begin to see the value of the previous initiative. I do not know if this is a result of a directed effort by those who started the initiatives and then realized the change was going to be larger than they envisioned (more impact) or if they realize it will actually affect them at a personal level. Directing change is much less personal and less threatening than actually making a change yourself. Commitment to change is not something that I have witnessed nor would I say is a cultural characteristic of GWC.

If my observations are correct the Climax Project should be hit disproportionately as compared to the general work force. Do you think Napoleon will be cut?

David’s Work

Saturday, December 8th, 2001

Finally got around to scanning some of David’s drawings. You will find David’s Room completely revamped from the previous version. As new drawings surface, they will be posted. They are also stored in the photo album for safe keeping.

Retro Graphic Therapy

Friday, December 7th, 2001

Formalized the cybart gallery by adding a link to the main navigator. I find creating the retrographics somewhat theraputic. But perhaps it is revealing another side of me.

Change is Constant – Deal with It.

Friday, December 7th, 2001

The nature of our work requires us to never become comfortable that we have accomplished anything. While that may sound cynical, our gains are made in small, incremental ways. Getting a single person to change their behavior and become an influencer to others in their personal network is exactly our mission. The important part is that we spend our efforts in influencing the people that have the most established and relevant networks.

I understand that there are rumors of major management layoffs and reorganization at GWC before the end of the year. No doubt, there will be people leaving the company that had previously been those whom we have developed the closest relationships. Then again, on the other hand, if your influence has targeted the right people, perhaps evidence of our power will be seen when the “old school ideas” are removed from the company.

Watching the game from the stands, I would say it is probably not a good time to go for a beer. You don’t want to miss the next series of plays.

Art Imitates Life

Monday, December 3rd, 2001

For some reason, I’ve seen a number of non-business movies lately that seemed to resonate with my experiences with life in the big corporation. Since we change agents are always seeking metaphors to help clarify and increase awareness in our clients, I thought I would offer a few titles for your enjoyment the next time you browse through the cable movies or stop by the Blockbuster. Check out: Finding Forrester; The Replacements, Final Fantasy. For fun, map the names of the company executives to the key roles in the movie. Would any of your leaders win academy awards? I’m sure there are many more that will be suggested…

or maybe, life imitates art.

global village idiot

Sunday, December 2nd, 2001

an individual who unashamedly posts unfounded, fantasy-based statements – representing them as facts, and when publicly challenged, responds with even more absurd babble. see yahoo message boards for examples.