ACTKM Conference 2009

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This week I had the pleasure of presenting at the annual ACT KM conference in Canberra.

The two day event was as diverse as one could have hoped with an eclectic array of presentations which is indicative I think of one of two things:

1) KM is running out of relevance and things to say, so is transmuting into different disciplines, or 2) KM is now being considered as so much a part of other business that it is relevant who matter what discipline you are involved in.

My view is certainly the latter, as each of the speakers provided evidence of the absolute necessity of knowledge management approaches in each of their subject matter areas. I found every speaker had something interesting to offer and my failure to mention all of them here is simply a product of my erratic note-taking rather than a lack of acknowledgement to all.

So many good points were made by speakers on Day 1, I felt compelled to incorporate some of their astute observation into my session on day 2. Not only does this pay homage to their efforts but it also serves to make me look a little bit clever by association. I like that.

Amanda Horne spoke of Positive Psychology and made the point that it can take take 3 or more good things happening to turn you around from a single bad occurrence. It is for this reason that we routinely think in the feasibility and benefit space before critical assessment when applying the Six Thinking Hats methodology. Due in part to the predominant brain chemistries in play during each of these functions, it is far easier to move from a positive to a negative state, than from negative to positive – try it.

Patrick Lambe, the Mephistophlian KM Sensai from Singapore discussed the roles of faith, magic and culture in KM and posed some challenging questions about how to move KM forward. (Patrick also inexplicably lost his goatee during the conference dinner.) Arthur Shelley, author and expert on animal behaviour, again stressed the importance of conversations in making sense of the world and Mark Schenk did something totally unexpected and got people telling stories. This was done in a Story slam format that elicited some truly amazing stories from the audience.

Convention and any semblance of order were cast aside on Day 2 when a futuristic hypothetical was conducted featuring a range of luminaries from the year 2050. In this session “What happened to KM – looking back at 2020 from 2050” the panel were challenged to postulate on the future of the industry and just where we might be 40 years hence. Michelle Lambert of the KM Round Table made a significant contribution to the panel deliberation and had she not not already carved a place in KM history for herself, she certainly has now.

Many thanks to David, Nerida and the rest of the ACTKM committee for the work they put into the two days that were well summed up by Edgar Tan at the end when we expressed his appreciation not only for the diverse content, but also for the humour that the entire group brought to the sessions over the two days.

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About the Author

Frank Connolly is the Principal of “Think Quick”, a business that adds value through thinking differently. His work history covers all sectors and includes initiatives that have yielded bottom line benefit in the 10’s of millions of dollars.

Current clients range from Exxon-Mobil to Government Depts within Australia to Global NGO’s.

Much of his working life has been split between Australia, the South Pacific and Asia where he has trained and facilitated Lateral Thinking techniques, and been acknowledged by Edward de Bono as one of the foremost practitioners of the de Bono thinking methods worldwide.

Frank believes strongly that if we can improve the way we think, the actions that follow also improve.

Comments (1)

  1. Luke :

    I would have really liked to attend. ActKM is the one conference that I enjoy and get the most out of above all others. Thanks for the memories of previous ones I have attended and hopefully I will get to go again next year. I surely could not miss 3 in a row!

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