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Digital generations bring knowledge to life

Volume 1
Issue 5
Your expertise
is about
to expire.
Here’s help.

Part II: Saving the company Desperation American Muslim

Workarounds will save Let’s look at the Breaks down
dysfunctional benefits. barriers wherever
company. she goes.

You don’t need

training –
when training
isn’t the answer.

How conversation brings KM back to people

Knowledge Cafés
Wouldn’t you just love to tap these phones?
Transfer the passion
Your organization recognizes the value of knowledge. A great deal of money
has been spent on process and systems. But too many of your people aren’t
enthusiastic adopters.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could transfer their energy from those outside
social networks they love and get the same kind of knowledge-sharing and
collaboration going at work? You can.
Smart People bridges the gap
Smart People magazine taps into the social networking craze and connects
the energy to the work place. It’s a cool tool to help people realize the
benefits of both networking and knowledge working.
Now you can co-brand the magazine with special features specific to the
organization. Then you make it available to all your knowledge workers, even
clients and suppliers. They’ll love it, and it will change the culture and the
way things get done around your place.
Smart People and Smart Organizations
Contact Smart People publisher, Jerry Ash
for details. Or call him: 813.335.1355

Volume 1
Issue 5

Cover story
4 Sugar rush at the
WORKING Knowledge Café
How conversation is
bringing KM back to the
6 When you don’t need training people.
Management often tries to fix a
problem with training when training
isn’t the answer.
8 Rules of engagement
When leading people, teams, and
organizations there aren’t any 9 Popping pills
referees but you break rules at your How far should a company go to
own risk. improve its workforce?

Also in this issue CHOOSING

Eight norms of readers 3
The Knowledge Factor 40 10 Part II: Saving the company
KM Six Pack People will change the organization
Part Four of a series of by finding workarounds to the
six articles introduces dysfunctional processes in their
newly engaged organizations.
employees and
managers to the basics 12 Online marketing
of knowledge-based Retail and home shopping brands
enterprise. adapt to connect online with the
“empowered consumer.”
13 Packaging
Made in China and absolutely re-usable.
Consumers turn to other countries for the
green solution.



14 American Muslim
Breaks down barriers by using her knowledge to build a bridge
between different faiths and cultures.
16 Why are some people smarter?
It’s in the genes, but learning adds more cortical modules
improving cognitive skills.
17 Getting to know yourself
Researcher describes theories behind self-knowledge and
shows we can get to really know ourselves better.
18 Same as cash
Become a black belt negotiator and make yourself
another $5,000-10,000 a year. Other cultures do it!
19 Is your avatar fat?
Find out why and learn what you can do about it.

20 Attention! 23 Don’t mess with
Your expertise is about to human nature
expire. Scare you? Well, How come there’s no
you may already be mention in the MBA
obsolute. This one will classroom of the
scare you straight! importance of co-evolving
22 The world is open relationships?
Anyone can learn anything
from anybody anytime. Here’s a look at
23 Emotional contagion
You can either spoil my day or
how the Internet is changing education make my day – facial messages
worldwide. bounce back.

26 Desperation 27 Innovating every day 29 Let’s hear it
is the mother Here’s how to succeed by
for the men!
thinking differently in dozens
of invention Women are less
of real-life situations.
Let’s look at likely to share
what benefits we their creative
receive when we work online. Why
find ourselves in a are men’s voices
desperate situation. disproportionately


About Smart People

Following the eight norms of our readers
The editorial policy of Smart People magazine follows the “Eight
Norms of Net Geners” as described by Don Tapscott in his book
Grown Up Digital. We include Digital Pioneers and Catching Up
Jerry Ash Digitals. This is a new media publication in every sense of the word. It
Managing editor is published online using the interactive channels of Web 2.0 to
Michele Ash enable ‘prosumers’ – people who want to have a hand in shaping the magazine – to collaborate on content and direction.
Technology by The Eight Norms we use as our guidelines are:
Boris Jaeger Freedom: Net Geners demand the freedom to choose. The more the
Graphic design by
better. The Internet has enabled that right and we eagerly compete in
Associated Professional Services that environment.
Customization: The magazine will continue to evolve as Smart
Social network hosts People representatives host discussion groups in the social networks
Facebook Ning and advocate changes in the magazine.
Daniel Delgado Avigdor Sharon
Alan O’Neill Scrutiny: We expect smart people to examine our value and
Twitter determine whether our magazine is unique and worth time and
Linkedin Jack Ring
Skip Boettger Alice MacGillivray
money. And, we expect to be continually tested.
John Veitch Integrity: To earn your trust, Smart People must deliver quality,
Boris Jaeger mixxt
Boris Jaeger relevancy and truth by sharing the best of knowledge and
information from the most reliable of sources.
Collaboration: Smart People magazine has been developed in
collaboration with social networkers in an open, online worksite.
Entire contents copyrighted, 2009, by Associated
Professional Services, publisher. All rights are Our prosumers continue to be our ‘board of directors.’
reserved. Contents may not be republished (in print Entertainment: We learn and we do our best when we’re having
or electronically) without permission of the publisher.
fun. Smart People magazine is deliberately quick and lively and full
Opinions expressed are those of the writers and may of meaning, all at once.
not represent the opinion of Associated Professional
Services or Smart People magazine. Speed: No one ever said magazines were speedy. But they’ll say it
Smart People magazine about this one. The magazine may be a periodical, but the flow of
Associated Professional Services conversation is now.
1811 Atrium Drive
Sun City Center, Florida 33573 Innovation: There’s never been anything like Smart People magazine.
Phone: 813.634.4397 We dare to be different because we think differently and we urge
our readers to think differently too. We heed the Eight Norms because we believe in them.

Tom Davenport Jane Dysart David Gurteen Alice MacGillivray Robert Wendover The Smart People Magazine Board of Directors is being
Information Library and Knowledge Smart People Generational
Technology Information Science Management Networkers Studies carefully and methodically constructed to assure broad
representation of the personal and professional interests
of our audience, ranging from experts to ordinary smart
people. We invite suggestions and assistance. Contact
Jerry Ash:



Sugar rush at the Knowledge Café

How conversation is bringing KM back to the people
David Gurteen’s Knowledge Café, hosted by chocolate manufacturer Cadbury at its headquarters
in Bournville, England, brought together people to discuss the role of conversation in business.
By Joanna Goodman David Gurteen was organizing What is a Knowledge Café?
a Knowledge Café to discuss: What According to David Gurteen,
What brought me to the UK’s most is the business role of conversation and “A Knowledge Café is designed
famous chocolate manufacturer? how do we encourage more productive to engage people with a subject
I have been experimenting conversations within our organization? or theme. We start with a short
with microblogging on Twitter. He used Twitter to invite talk and focus on one or two open
My growing list of connections is people to participate in face-to-face ended questions.
broadening my reading on IT and conversations about conversation. Participants break into groups
KM, I am inspired by the quotation The tweets in advance of the to discuss the theme and questions
tweets and I’ve also discovered a event promised a lively debate as and then reconvene into one large
couple of good restaurants. tweeters bandied jokes around group for a final discussion. The
Recently, I decided to explore the names of popular Cadbury Café is not about making decisions,
further. Anyone interested in chocolate bars “Will we have to but about gaining a better mutual
technology will be aware of the Wispa?” asked one. “Will the understanding of a topic or issue.”
webinars, seminars, white papers presenter give us a Twirl?” quipped The idea is to replicate
and other resources promoting another. the atmosphere of casual, but
social networking as a way of Nearly 50 productive discussions between
people met at friends and acquaintances in a café
the Cadbury or around someone’s kitchen table.
It’s about using informal
engagement to promote empathy
and understanding, thereby
reflect the
building productive (working)
relationships and avoiding and
origins and addressing (potential or actual)
its expansion problems.
into a global
brand with Cadbury KM: using
Victorian science and technology
buildings to create magic
surrounded Louise Tirre, from Cadbury’s
by a huge hi- global knowledge management
tech campus. technology and engagement team,
You can explained how Cadbury uses
immediately science and technology to create
boosting your business – and your see why it magic.
knowledge base. inspired the Roald Dahl novel Louise travels around the
So it’s interesting – and a little Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. world supporting Cadbury’s
ironic – that I discovered on Twitter After a short networking communities of practice, which
a KM event designed to promote session, where samples of Cadbury among other things, discover tastes
face-to-face communication, both chocolate lifted the mood, we sat and preferences of consumers
in its own format and in its subject down at tables of six for a brief in different regions and use this
matter. introduction to the Knowledge information to develop brands of
Café. chocolate, candy and gum.

KM at Cadbury has developed n The right working environment in learning and
a variety of resources helping facilitates casual interaction. The sharing knowledge,
and encouraging people to share dilemma in terms of workplace by the Internet and
information and expertise across design is that although it even by Twitter!
the business to develop, share and is important to encourage We discussed
reuse ideas. collaboration, people need to be how in the world
Communities of practice able to work without distractions of email, social
around different specialisms share n Having separate meetings for networking, instant
knowledge and drive innovation. discussion and decision-making messaging and Joanna
Cadbury looks outside the is a useful way of stimulating texting, we can Goodman is a
business and the industry too. Its open, trusting conversation. bring the art of London-based
Open Innovation Team focuses on n Productive conversations are conversation back freelance writer
collaborating with people outside not necessarily face-to-face. to the workplace and editor
Cadbury through Web sites that Virtual teams can work too; – not just having specializing in
seek input on developing recipes, success depends on buy- conversations, the legal and
processes and products. in. For example at Cadbury, but having business sector.
Cadbury is not just about people put themselves out to conversations that She has written
new ideas. Some of its traditional add value. extensively on
join community of practice
products are its most successful teleconferences, notwithstanding The value may technology,
brands. the time difference between or may not be
and knowledge
The KM team leverages 200 participants. in terms of ROI,
years of inventing chocolate and making money communication
the company’s origins as a family Bringing KM back or saving time. and corporate
business, reflected in its values to the people Conversations social
and culture and representing a Knowledge Cafés are a add value in ways responsibility.
significant part of the brand. fantastic networking opportunity, that are difficult Contact Joanna
whether they are public or within to measure: at joanna.
The conversation organizations. by avoiding goodman@
Each table discussed the topic In business, they are misunderstanding,
and after a few minutes, one or two particularly useful for bringing creating synergy
people moved to another table and people together during and after between people
discuss the same topic in a different mergers, to build relationships and making their lives easier,
group. Finally, the whole group between individuals and teams reducing hassle and helping to
discussed key themes and issues. and transfer tacit or experiential create a great place to work.
For example: knowledge. Nor is it just about
n Internal competition between They also benefit educational organizations. Knowledge Cafés
individuals and teams establishments and communities can work for just about any special
represents a significant obstacle of practice and interest. Open interest group.
to productive conversation in Knowledge Cafés like the one “The outcome for participants is
business. Potential solutions at Cadbury promote inter- what they take away as individuals
include recognizing and organizational and inter-personal that they can act on and do
rewarding collaboration and knowledge transfer, helping people differently,” explains David.
giving people credit for their in different roles, organizations The World Café is a case in
ideas. It is useful to set the and sectors learn from each other, point,,
ground rules at the start of the offering fascinating insights into having developed a process where
conversation. different approaches to internal people get together to discuss social
communication. issues like sustainability – the object
Knowledge Cafés bring KM of the exercise being making our
back to the people. KM experts, world a great place to live.
scientists, engineers, civil servants, To find out more about Gurteen
educators, charity workers and Knowledge Cafés, visit www.
creatives were drawn to the
Cadbury event by our interest


WORKING When you don’t need training

By Michele Martin with a couple of managers practice what happens is that
who were engaging in sexual managers realize at the last
When management finds harassment. minute that they’re supposed
that staff are not engaging in Rather than disciplining to be doing staff training at
work behaviors desired by the the two offenders, my boss certain times during the year,
organization, they often turn insisted that we needed to so they run around trying to
to training as the response run a training course for all of find a topic and a trainer to
for “fixing” the problem. But the managers in the company satisfy the requirement.
training frequently isn’t the (over 50 people). Ongoing professional
answer. Since they had never done development is very much a
I want to share five sexual harassment training necessity in today’s economy.
situations that won’t be before, running a session But it can’t happen just to
resolved by training. wasn’t a bad idea. prove that you’re providing
But it wasn’t the complete training to staff.
1. To make up for poorly answer to the problem, either. It needs to be part
designed work processes What was really needed was of a larger professional
Many organizations to use a corrective action development planning process
have poorly designed work process with the offending that has clearly identified
processes and customer flow. employees. specific skills that staff need.
These processes have often I’ve found that And arranging for the
been jerry-rigged to meet many organizations training should be done
regulations or accommodate are uncomfortable with thoughtfully, not haphazardly.
some shortcoming. confronting an employee who
Staff have often developed is not engaging in desired 4. When performance
workarounds that take them work behaviors. expectations have not
closer to their goals or that If a few people are having been properly developed
can be done more quickly and a problem with coming back I’ve written previously (in
it is these workarounds that from lunch on time, the next other publications) about how
management doesn’t like. thing you know everyone performance expectations
But generally the reason is in a training on “time are the real drivers of staff
that staff aren’t adhering management.” behavior and how they must
to a work policy or process Training should never be be properly formulated to
is because the process isn’t a replacement for corrective be effective in encouraging
working. action. It’s frustrating to the staff to engage in the work
They know perfectly well people who are behaving behaviors you desire.
what they should be doing, appropriately and the staff People respond to the
so lack of skill isn’t their with the problem generally systems in which they operate
problem. don’t believe that the training – they tend to do what they
Instead, they find that the is directed at them. are rewarded for doing and
process is not working for to not do the things that are
them, so they devise some 3. To satisfy a ignored or punished.
other way to get their job “requirement” I can train until the cows
done. for professional come home, but if staff are
development not going to be rewarded for
2. As a replacement One of my clients contracts using the skills I’m teaching,
for corrective action to a large government agency then it’s unlikely that they will
Several years ago when that requires periodic staff actually use them on the job.
I was the HR manager for development. Before you get someone
a large manufacturer, we Although in principle in to do a training session,
had some serious problems this is a good thing, in first make sure that you’ve
set the right expectations So when is training the How many times Michele Martin
for performance that will answer? For training to be have you participated works with
encourage workers to use what effective, these conditions in computer training individuals
they’re being taught. must be met: three months before the and
n Staff must lack skill in the computer arrived on your organizations
5. When you don’t have area in which training will desk? to transform
management be provided. How much did you professional
understanding and buy-in If people don’t know actually remember? ‘Nuff development
I can’t tell you the number how to properly perform said. experiences
of trainings I’ve conducted a task, then training can n Work processes have been using blogs,
that supervisors and managers teach them how to do that. adjusted to incorporate the social
had no clue about. But if there’s some other use of the new skills. networks,
This is invariably a reason that staff aren’t If staff are being wikis, social
recipe for frustration and behaving in a certain way, taught how to use new bookmarking
confusion because staff don’t training won’t help. tools, then the use of those and other
understand why they’ve been n Performance expectations tools should be embedded Web 2.0 tools.
sent to a training about which have been clearly set in their daily work. Blog: http://
their managers have no real and the training that’s If they are being michelemartin.
knowledge. provided clearly leads to taught specific ways to
They know that the skills staff being able to meet engage with clients, then
they’re learning will not be these expectations. work processes should
used or reinforced on the job n Managers have a clear support staff in being
if their managers don’t know understanding of what able to engage in those
anything about these skills, so is being taught in the behaviors.
to them, the training becomes training. If you can meet these
“nice to know,” rather than n There’s a plan for ensuring conditions, then it’s time to
“need to know.” that staff have the tools, offer training. If not, then
And in most organizations, resources and supports to you need to rethink what
there’s no time for “nice to use the new skills when you’re doing and make some
know.” they return to the job. adjustments to your plan.
As I said earlier, training
only works when performance
expectations have been clearly
articulated and the training
supports those expectations.
For this to be the case,
managers must know what’s
going on in the training
sessions their staff are
attending. And they must be
able to incorporate what staff
are learning into the daily
work of staff.
Without management
understanding and buy-in,
there will be little transfer
of training to the job. Which
means that training has pretty
much been a waste.


Rules of engagement
Follow the rules, bend or break them, or ignore them
By David Garic

In a desperate championship game, a football coach calls a play – a special play he knows will
work. The ball is snapped. The quarterback drops back to pass and throws to a running back
who catches the ball while he is behind the line of scrimmage. The running back stops, sets,
and throws a completed pass 30 yards downfield to a wide receiver, putting the team in scoring
Wait! The officials are huddled in the middle of the field and then a yellow penalty flag
ascends into the air, Illegal forward pass. The previous play is voided and the team is penalized.
Surely the coach must have known that this type of play was against the rules. Or did he?
If this very same play had been run the previous season it would have been perfectly legal
and within the rules, but an off-season rule change made this play illegal. Yet, the coach was
unaware of it. He didn’t know the rules. It proved to be a costly mistake since his team lost when
the opposing team scored a last second field goal.
When it comes to leading people, teams, and organizations, there aren’t any referees present
to make sure we follow the rules. Over and over again, leaders call the wrong plays without
even knowing they’re breaking the rules. All leaders are different and all leaders lead
differently. Fortunately for us there aren’t very many rules for leading.
So, just what are these rules and why are they so important?

Rule #1: Leaders cannot motivate people

Leaders repeatedly fool themselves into thinking they can motivate people by
offering them some form of tangible reward or by instilling fear in them. In both cases
they are wrong.
Leaders cannot motivate people. What leaders can do, however, is be
motivational. Consider this: All of us are self-motivated. We all do what we do
because we, for a multitude of reasons, are motivated to do it. You see, the key for
leaders when it comes to motivation is not believing that they can motivate
people, it’s that they understand what motivates people, what drives them, and
create the opportunities for them to satisfy those motivations.

Rule #2: Check your ego at the door

Leaders whose focus is egocentric take significant risk. Over and over
again, leaders who behave as though their followers exist solely to serve
them inevitably tumble from their exalted status. They fail to realize that in every
circumstance, any influence that leaders enjoy is a direct result of the willingness of
their followers to allow themselves to be influenced by leaders. If followers aren’t
willing to be led, the leaders are powerless. Effective leaders focus on the needs, wants,
desires, and expectations of their followers; every action they take is intended to
help followers satisfy those needs, wants and expectations.

Rule #3: Do it right

Leaders have a moral responsibility to their followers to ensure that what
they require of their followers is within ethical boundaries. Succinctly, they must
create and maintain the ethical climate within which they operate. Simply by virtue
of their authority and position in an organization, leaders can wield significant amounts
of power. Misusing this power can produce horrendous and often deadly results. They

are expected to define what is right and what is wrong, and when they choose to ignore what is
right and expect what is wrong, they place their followers in harm’s way.
To do it right, leaders must:
n Define a clear, understandable set of guidelines for their followers. Give examples of what is
right and what is wrong.
n Define and determine ahead of time what the rewards are for ethical behavior. Conversely,
determine ahead of time the consequences for unethical behavior.
n Monitor the level of stress and pressure followers are performing under. Determine what the
optimal level of stress is and seek to prevent it from increasing.
You can choose to follow them, bend or break them, or ignore them. Whatever choice you
make, the rules are the rules, and they are as real as Newton’s law of gravity. Like Newton’s law,
the rules have a predictable effect on how successful or unsuccessful any leader will be. As long
as people are in positions of responsibility, attempting to influence other people to achieve a
goal, or to get the job done, the rules will be there.

David Garic develops and trains leaders in organizations and is the author of Leading from the Front.
Web site:

Popping pills to enhance workforce

How far should a company go to improve its workforce? What
type of “self-improvement” culture should an organization
In the Summer 2009 cover story for The Conference Board
Review, writer Michael Schrage seeks to address these
questions – and the many uncomfortable and
provocative issues they raise. “Organizations
may soon be forced to rethink everything they
thought they knew about improving talent
and bringing out the best in people,” writes
“All over the world, the best-performing people in the
best-performing organizations always look to get better at to outperform and overachieve,” Schrage points out – from
getting better,” says Schrage, a research fellow at the MIT concert musicians popping beta blockers to calm anxiety
Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, Boston. “In to beauty pageants paying for contestants’ breast implants.
tomorrow’s global markets, being the best will increasingly The corporate realm is no different, particularly with Western
depend on ready access to the best technologies, the best companies facing competition from those in less-regulated
(and presumably legal) drugs, and the best coaching and countries.
mentoring money can buy.” “The irony here is that tomorrow’s business leadership
Indeed, most firms think nothing about supplying their has no choice but to enhance its performance around how
workers with free coffee. Is it now time for HR to dole out it enhances performance – or forfeit its people and best
caffeine pills too? Of course, that’s only the onramp to a opportunities.”
road fraught with ethical dilemmas. Companies will face far
more difficult decisions when it comes to recommending to The Conference Board Review ( is The
its executives self-improvement techniques – counseling, Conference Board quarterly magazine of ideas and opinions
coaching, and yes, even drugs. for business leaders. The full article is downloadable at
As it is, “strategically awkward decisions around To contact author
personal enhancement are found everywhere talent strives Michael Schrage:


CHOOSING Part II: Saving the company

How ordinary smart people will change the organization
In Part 1, August 2009 issue, presents a bleak picture of the state of business management
in the U.S. Part II digs deeper.

By Dave Pollard organizations in the 1990s. only customers had access to)
Senior managers expressed and sophisticated, interactive
In the 1980s and 1990s, most concerns that email would public Web sites.
organizations invested in be a scourge, and many They found to their
three new technologies, attempted to limit its use. chagrin that decision-makers
mostly reluctantly: fax, email They were right about it being in most organizations were too
and intranets. a scourge, but not successful busy to visit their Web sites,
Fax was a faster and in limiting its use. and that most of the people
cheaper browsing the Web pages they
way to send Managers thought email would be a had so carefully crafted were
job-seekers, students doing
marketing scourge and they were right. papers, the competitors and
materials to
customers and the media.
Corporate intranets were So here we are in 2009,
to receive orders, and send
used at first to automate the and the principal information
instructions to and collect
two dominant types of shared flows in most organizations
performance data from remote
organizational information: are still exactly what they were
operations, and it was not
policies and procedures, and in 1975.
an expensive technology to
directories. What’s changed:
Eliminating hard-copy n Instead of typed memos,
Its heyday was a mere
manuals and directories instructions are now sent
was a welcome change, but to employees by email;
Email and
intranets quickly became performance data is sent back
massive repositories for up to management by email,
millions of context-free or captured electronically
archived documents that were automatically.
of almost no use to anyone but n Peer-to-peer conversations
in most
the author. are still mostly real time
The consequence has been and face-to-face or voice-to-
an explosion in complex server voice (or IM); asynchronous
technologies, taxonomies and conversations in email threads
search technologies . . . for are arguably the least effective.
information that almost Email has allowed more
no one finds to be of conversation with colleagues
any value. Documents outside the organization.
touted as “reusable best With young workers much
practices” were dumped learning occurs through
into the corporate intranet and such conversations, though
abandoned. IT security in most large
To try to connect organizations prohibits
to customers, many many of the social media
organizations in the 1990s used by young workers to
and 2000s have invested in communicate outside the
‘extranets’ (Web sites that organization, nullifying much

of this advantage and creating do it for them), there has If that were the end of the
considerable animosity. been a swing back to re- story, we could just shrug off
n The library has been intermediated research, as KM as another business fad
largely supplanted by the most employees learned and move on.
intranet, but it is now much they lack the significant But there is something
harder to find things and competencies needed to do happening in organizations
there are fewer information quality research. today that is beginning
professionals able to help Young workers tend to to improve the quality
you find stuff, so searching still do their own online of information and the
Dave Pollard
takes longer and is less research, but only until effectiveness of information
is former chief
effective. The intranet in they find an appropriate flows that matter, something
most organizations is still intermediary and reach that creates a second
used principally for the same officer of Ernst &
the level at which they opportunity for KM people to
two purposes: looking up Young, coaches
are permitted to delegate actually do something useful.
policies and procedures, and entrepreneurs
research. What is happening is
directories. and writes “How
n Most marketing material that people are beginning to
n Email has allowed a to Save the
is now sent by email and manage their own information
massive increase in the World” which
also duplicated on the and information processes.
amount of work delegation ranks high on
organization’s public Internet People are finding
between employees in most the blog lists in
site, but in these electronic workarounds to the
organizations. Canada – http://
forms it is mostly unread. dysfunctional processes in
It is easier to delegate
In other words, in adding their organizations. They
work when you don’t have com/0002007
to the volume and complexity are finding ways to draw on
to face the person you’re of information systems, we people in their growing online
asking to do it, even though have added relatively little networks to do their jobs
the chance of it being done value, and in some cases better.
well is less. Email also allows actually reduced value. The They are realizing that
much more procrastination in reason for this is simple: if tomorrow’s workers
organizations – people
send requests for We could shrug off KM, except people – by necessity – are now
information to others
Friday afternoon, as managing their knowledge and information on their own.
an excuse to put off
working on a project until the 1. We have not done will end up working in a
next week. anything to substantively dozen different jobs in their
There is considerable improve the ability of lifetimes, they need to take
evidence that email has senior management to responsibility for their own
had a significant negative manage the business learning and their own
effect on productivity and (i.e., to manage cash knowledge, and take it with
work effectiveness, because flow, share price, risks or them from one job to the next.
there is no accountability opportunities). Increasingly, they are
to the sender for time of 2. We have not done keeping their knowledge
the recipients that has been anything to substantively in their own personal
wasted, and because it costs improve the effectiveness repositories, and in their own
nothing to send an email of any of the information personal networks.
to an unlimited number of flows that matter in
recipients. organizations, or the In Part III, October issue, learn
n After a period of quality of the information. how smart people are changing
disintermediation (people We have, in short, the organization one person at a
doing their own on-line implemented a solution that time.
research instead of having addressed no problem. We
librarians, assistants or introduced new KM tools
information professionals because we could.


Online marketing
Retailers engage power of Internet shopper
A new report published by n 45 percent of customers online strategies such as
Experian, a global information are single purchasers, with expanding email marketing
services company, suggests figures rising as high as 75 and search strategies, and
that retail and home shopping percent in some cases. targeting lifestyle and social
brands need to adapt in order n 60-70 percent of “best” networking sites, traditional
to connect online with “the customers have not catalogue retailers have
empowered consumer.” purchased in the last 12 generally not been as quick to
The report, titled months, signifying that adapt.
“Engaging Online with the companies are taking As a result, online
Empowered Consumer,” one or two seasons to fashion retailers have seen
highlights that the rise of Web recognize that high value a 31 percent increase in UK
2.0 and social networking, customers have lapsed. Internet traffic over the last
price comparison sites and n 30 percent of customers 12 months compared to just
online discount codes have all generate nearly 70 percent one percent for traditional
led to consumers expecting of revenues. catalogue companies
greater value and service Experian’s report suggests according to Hitwise.
levels. According to Experian’s that brands need to encourage Marie Myles, director
report, the reality is that many repeat purchasing and of marketing consulting
retailers and home shopping loyalty by blending offline for Experian’s Integrated
companies are failing to live and online insights to dictate Marketing division,
precisely how and when a commented: “Our new
company engages with today’s report lifts the lid on why
increasingly-savvy customers. engaging online with the
For example, insight empowered consumer is a
from Hitwise, an Experian business imperative in today’s
company, found that online tough economic climate. The
shoppers are evolving – with fact that online retailing has
27 percent of online shoppers grown by 40 percent in the
over 55 years old in 2008 last 12 months underlines
compared to just 12 percent in why brands must change the
2005. way they communicate.
According to the report’s “While ‘wow’ factors will
authors, the biggest problem be memorable and generate
is that while many companies conversations, innovations
have a multi-channel in marketing and brand
up to consumers’ multi- marketing strategy in place, loyalty will be lost if the
channel expectations. more often than not it operates basics continue to be ignored.
Using the home shopping in isolation of the rest of the Greater emphasis needs to be
sector as an example, brand portfolio. placed on the exploitation and
Experian’s analysis reveals The result for the application of existing data
the harsh reality of customer consumer is a fragmented assets. The enhanced insight
engagement: experience with inconsistent derived from this approach
service levels and value and the move to a coordinated
propositions. customer contact strategy will
Online consumer lead to more profitable and
behavior is changing rapidly longer relationships between
and while online fashion brands and consumers.”
retailers have embraced


Made in China and absolutely reusable
In our western societies take two bottles, has a handle brand characterized by
almost all food and drink and, as it is easy to carry, creativity and a fresh design
products are packaged. avoids the use of a shopping attitude.
Packaging is useful for bag.
hygienic reasons and helps The material is attractive
to dramatically reduce food- and transparent and the
related illnesses, but it is all container can easily be reused
too often over-designed and as a small suitcase, storage
wasteful. unit, a bowl or even as a
Only Germany has hung pendant light.
onto the tradition of reuse It can also be taken
systems and 60 percent of all back to the shop to stock
beer, mineral water and soft up supplies or to friends’
drinks is coming in refillable houses and parties. When
bottles, which can be reused the container has reached the
up to 40 times. end of its first cycle, it is 100
In China, consumers are percent recyclable.
starting to adopt western Jamy Yang was recently The brand constantly
consumption patterns ranked as one of the Ten stretches the boundaries of
and growing amounts Excellent Young Chinese beauty and human needs,
of packaging are rapidly Designers recognition. as well as the interaction
becoming a major issue. He studied and worked in between design and everyday
Over the last two decades China and in Germany and life.
the Chinese economy has received various international At the core of
been enjoying growth design awards including 2002 organization’s work is the
rates of 8-10 percent. In this Germany Red Dot Concept redesign of oriental culture,
period of growth and boom Gold Award and 2008 Design the rethinking of modern
environmental issues have For Asia Silver Award. life and reuse of everyday
been in the background, but Yang is represented by material.
there are new and sustainable Y-TOWN, an independent
trends emerging.
Absolut Vodka has been
one of the most iconic brands
since the 1980s and it defined
Reader exchange – Departing knowledge won’t come back
an era and generation as Alan O’Neill wrote: I was listening to the BBC1 News and heard this quote from an LDV
much as the Pet Shop Boys (van maker) worker who has just been made redundant: “The knowledge is going and it
and the fall of the Berlin Wall. won’t be coming back.”
Last year the designer This echoes what I have been saying for years about knowledge management “By
Jamy Yang was given the the time you realize you need Knowledge Management, it is too late.”
opportunity to design the When are companies going to wake up and recognize that the key knowledge resides
promotional package for in the minds of their staff, the Smart People. It has value, it is useful, but most importantly
Absolut Pears for the Chinese . . . it can be lost.
market. Jerry Ash replied: The digital culture outside the workplace provides freedom and
The design is a 21st opportunity and that’s what digitals will demand when they go to work. Enabling
century interpretation of knowledge to work. Isn’t that what we’ve told the C-level they need to do – enable, not
the classic Absolut bottle just manage?
in combination with reuse
functionality. The pack can

American Muslim
LIVING Breaks down barriers wherever she goes
“I want to help bring from Karachi to a small town John’s University in Queens,
peace and harmony to in Oman. Non-Omanis were applied for her immigration.
the world,” says Ayesha not permitted to attend college What should have taken
Siddiqui, who is proud to there, so at great financial no longer than ten months
be an American-Muslim, a sacrifice Siddiqui, who now ended up taking three and
Pakistani-American and a lives in the Bensonhurst one-half years; she finally
New Yorker.  section of Brooklyn, was sent arrived in New York in 2000.  
“I’ve lived in the Middle back to Pakistan to study. Before their marriage,
East and here; I feel I can be a Her father had always Siddiqui’s husband said he
bridge between different faiths supported her education would send her to college
and cultures.”   endeavors and she never here. By 2002, though, she was
Coming from someone disappointed him, graduating a mother of two and thought
else, this could sound like at the top of her class in every it wasn’t possible.
a lofty dream. But Siddiqui, school she ever attended.    Two years later, her
34, a married mother of two “My father would tell husband urged her to pursue
sons, breaks down barriers me that I was his life savings her education. “He convinced
wherever she goes.
Named New York City
College of Technology’s (City
Ayesha Siddiqui says her religion is not narrow-
Tech) 2009 valedictorian, she minded. Her husband totally supports college
is the first Pakistani Muslim and career. Women talk to men and Islam is a
female student to receive this
honor in the history of the religion of peace.
“I have always worn the when I’d worry about the me to go back to college.
hijab, the head covering that finances,” she noted. “He Having been given this
Muslim women wear,” she would say that education is second opportunity to study
explains.  money well-spent.”  and have a career, I wanted to
“People I meet have a lot It’s not surprising that do something different.”  
of questions that I am always Siddiqui, the oldest of five Siddiqui, who was on her
happy to answer, like ‘How children, aspired to join the school’s debate team in Oman
come you are going to school foreign service when she and used to sing, act and host
when you have a husband and graduated with a bachelor’s shows there, always enjoyed
children?’ ‘How come you degree in political science drawing and making greeting
talk to male students?’ and ‘Is from Karachi University in cards for friends and family
Islam really about killing other 1996.  and posters for school events.
people?’   “I wanted to earn a Recalling this, she decided
“I stress that my religion master’s degree in mass to get her college degree in
is not narrow-minded,” she communications and graphic design.   
continues. “My husband eventually represent “I loved it from the first
totally supports my going to my country as an day of class and knew it
college and having a career. ambassador,” she says.   was for me,” she said. “I
Women can talk to men who While studying for truly believe that effective
aren’t family members. And, Pakistan’s civil service exam, visual communication can
Islam is a religion of peace; we she got married. Her husband, help resolve issues, conflicts.
don’t condone killing.”   who grew up in Karachi and Graphic designers have a
When she was six years earned a master’s degree in responsibility to society
old, Siddiqui’s family moved medical technology at St. because design is a universal

language – it speaks to so “I was so bereft,
many people.”    I thought of giving
Siddiqui worked hard and up,” she says. And
earned her associate degree then she felt her
at Kingsborough Community father’s presence and
College in one year with a GPA his words, 
of 3.97. “I raised you to
She finished the be a strong woman.
requirements for her bachelor’s Go back and focus.
degree in communication Find your strength.” 
design at City Tech in “And I did. By
two years and is the first pulling myself out
advertising design and graphic of the sadness, I am
arts student to be named stronger than ever
valedictorian in City Tech’s before. And that’s
history. the message I gave to
During the entire time, her graduates,” continues
whole family back in Pakistan Siddiqui, who
– parents, inlaws, siblings delivered her
– were committed to her going valedictory address
to college. at City Tech’s June
Her mother-in-law, who is commencement in
in her seventies, visited often the WaMu Theater
to help out. But it was up to her at Madison Square
and her husband to come up Garden.
with a way to make it work.   “Find your very high expectations of
“My husband and I strength within your me. Sometimes, my husband
have no relatives here, so we weakness and remember would tell me not to push
really had to coordinate our nobody is perfect. Treat myself so hard. But I said no, I
schedules. He worked the everyone with respect.”   have to do my best.”
night shift – 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 During an internship And she has.
a.m. – as a technical specialist at the Women’s Press
in Maimonides Medical Collective, Siddiqui found her New York City College of
Center’s blood bank and also professional path; she’d like to Technology (City Tech) of The
had a weekend job. be a graphic designer for non- City University of New York
“That’s so we’d have the profit organizations.  (CUNY) is the largest public
money for me to go to college “I learned so much there, college of technology in New York
and he could be home for especially how to survive with State, US.
the children while I was in limited resources.” 
school,” she explained.   Siddiqui, who earned a Padcast: http://www1.cuny.
“I cooked meals for 3.98 grade point average out edu/forums/podcasts/?p=650
my family every day,” she of a possible 4.0 at City Tech,
adds. “When my chores were misses phoning her father to
done at 9 or 9:30 at night I let him know her grades, but
would start my homework, his death made her realize
often staying up until even more how supportive
midnight. Then I would get up her husband, children and
at 6 a.m. and start again.”   mother-in-law have been.   
Her studies almost “My sons are so proud
derailed this past fall when of me. When I got my only
her father died in Islamabad, A-minus, my oldest son
where her parents moved after wanted to know what went
her father retired.  wrong. Both of them have


Why are some people smarter?

Learning capacity can increase intelligence
Why are some people smarter Cognitive plasticity is determine how effectively our
than others? the capacity to learn and brain distinguishes events.
In a new article in Current improve cognitive skills such This ability to differentiate
Directions in Psychological as solving problems and events may be what enables
Science, a journal of the remembering events. us to learn cognitive skills.
Association for Psychological Mercado argues that the One implication of this
Science, Eduardo Mercado III structural basis of cognitive proposal is that experience
from the University at Buffalo, plasticity is the cortical can be as important as
The State University of New module. Cortical modules genetics in determining
York, describes how certain are vertical columns of intellectual capacity.
aspects of brain structure and interconnected neuronal cells. Specifically, structural
function help determine how Across different areas changes of cortical modules
easily we learn new things, of the cerebral cortex, these generated by development
and how learning capacity columns vary in the number and learning experiences may
contributes to individual and diversity of neurons they also contribute to individual
differences in intelligence. contain. differences in intelligence.
Identifying how cortical This research has
modules help us learn important implications
cognitive skills may help for improving educational
explain why variations in this techniques and can
capacity occur – that is, why potentially lead to new
people learn skills at different methods for rehabilitating
rates and why our ability to patients suffering from brain
learn new skills changes as damage.
we age. In addition,
Studies examining a understanding how cortical
number of different species modules function may lead
have shown that, on average, to new ways of increasing
a larger cortex predicts intelligence.
greater intellectual capacity. However, Mercado
The source of this cautions that “new
correlation is unclear, but technologies for increasing
Mercado believes that a “more cognitive plasticity have
expansive cortex provides ethical. Implications.
more space within which a He concludes, “The
larger quantity and greater phrase ‘changing your mind’
diversity of cortical modules may soon take on a whole
can be distributed.” new meaning.”
In other words, Mercado
notes, when it comes to
intellectual potential, it is not
the absolute or even relative
size that is important, but
how many cortical modules
(with various types of
neurons) are available.
These features of cortical
organization and function


Getting to know yourself a little better

How well do you know Although it can be fairly as something that cannot be
yourself? It’s a question many simple to assess how people’s breached.
of us struggle with, as we try attitudes change over time; However, he remarks
to figure out how close we that is, have them predict that “self-knowledge is less a
are to who we actually want how they will feel at certain matter of careful introspection
to be. time and then actually than of becoming an excellent
In a new report in measure their feelings at that observer of oneself.”
Perspectives on Psychological time, it is more difficult to Wilson suggests some
Science, a journal of the measure people’s current self- ways that can help us learn
Association for Psychological knowledge accurately. more about ourselves, such
Science, Some as really attempting to be
psychologist To know more methods of objective when considering
D. Wilson
about yourself, try to acquiring
our behaviors and trying to
see ourselves through the eyes
from the see yourself through information of other people. Another way
University the eyes of other on a person’s of knowing ourselves better
of Virginia feelings or their is to become more aware of
describes people. personality findings from psychological
theories are to compare science.
behind self-knowledge (that reports from their peers Wilson concludes, “Most
is, how people form beliefs and study their nonverbal of us pay attention to medical
about themselves), cites behavior. findings that inform us about
challenges psychologists However, Wilson our bodies (e.g., that smoking
encounter while studying it, has “great faith in the tobacco is harmful), and can
and offers ways we can get to methodological creativity” learn about our psychological
know ourselves a little better. of his “fellow social selves in the same way.”
The study of self- psychologists” and is
knowledge has tended to confident that questions raised For copy of “Know Thyself” and
focus on how accurate we by these types of experiments other articles in the Perspectives
are at determining our own will be answered in the next on Psychological Science
internal states, such as our few years. special issue “The Next Big
emotions, personality and Although Wilson Questions in Psychology,” visit
attitudes. acknowledges all the
However, Wilson notes interesting findings that have
that self-knowledge can come out of new technologies,
be broadened to include such as fMRI, he cautions that
memory, like recalling how those type of studies may not
we felt in the past, and be very relevant to studying
prospection, predicting how issues associated with self-
we will feel in the future. knowledge.
While a number of There are a number of
researchers are conducting theories that aim to describe
studies that are applicable to self-knowledge by a dual-
those various facets of self- process model, pitting the
knowledge, Wilson observes unconscious against the
that there is not much conscious.
communication between Wilson notes that these
them, one reason this field is theories are pessimistic in that
challenging to investigate. they view the unconscious


Same as cash
Become a black belt through negotiating
By Michael Soon Lee symbolizes purity and lack of same thing by doing your
knowledge like a seed waiting homework about the party
How would you like an extra to germinate. you are bargaining with.
$5,000 to $10,000 or more a Likewise, in negotiating For example, if you’re
year? there are indicators that buying a diamond ring, what
‘This money can be you are a novice such as not are the attributes that make
earned simply by becoming being aware that everything one more valuable than the
a better negotiator, yet most is negotiable under the right other and what’s the lowest
people in the United States circumstances. price you can find the one you
rarely take advantage of the Not only cars and houses want on the Internet?
power of bargaining, except can be subject to haggling in The third belt is green,
on rare occasions when the United States, even such which symbolizes the seed
making large purchases like items as death and taxes can beginning to sprout.
cars and houses. be negotiable as well. For In martial arts you learn
In other countries, instance, if you can negotiate how to warm up by stretching
like Asia, people negotiate better healthcare, your muscles so you don’t
everything everyday and save you are likely to injure yourself.
thousands. live longer and if In negotiating you warm
Negotiating is you can reduce up by building rapport with
like a martial arts your taxes, you the other party through
contest where instantly increase small talk. Many amateur
power, your standard bargainers miss this step,
leverage of living. which is crucial because
and The author people like to do business
regularly with people they like.
receives a The fourth belt is blue
“good patient” symbolizing the plant
discount from reaching for the sky. In
his dentist martial arts you practice
because he always your punching and blocking
pays his bills techniques.
promptly and, when At this stage in the
timing representing clients before bargaining process you learn
can the IRS, has gotten the to respond to offers in a way
mean the agency to forgive tens of that doesn’t give away your
difference thousands of dollars in intentions. For example, if a
between back taxes. seller offers you a five percent
winning and The second rank discount you should reply,
losing. is usually the yellow “You’ll have to do better than
In martial arts the belt and represents the that.”
black belt symbolizes mastery seed reaching for the sun and This implies that their
of the craft and there are getting ready to grow. offer isn’t good enough
seven major belts that you In martial arts you without you putting anything
must master before being prepare for a contest by on the table yourself.
awarded the highest honor. spying on your opponent The fifth belt is usually
Beginners in martial arts to find any weaknesses. brown calling to mind the
start out as white belts. This In negotiating you do the plant becoming firmly rooted

into the earth. In martial arts be unfair fighters who will actually 10 degrees of black
this is the stage when you kick you when your back is belts each one harder than
learn to use time effectively in turned or even hit you below the last. In negotiating you
a tournament. the belt. can never stop learning if you
Negotiators at this level Similarly there are dirty want to be a master.
know that it’s crucial to set fighters in negotiating who There are many ways
deadlines for the other party try to trigger your emotions to improve your bargaining
otherwise there is no pressure by insulting you or those skill such as going to garage
to come to agreement. who will try to renegotiate a sales and flea markets
Savvy bargainers know contract after signing it. and to constantly look for
that if you give people all day Experienced negotiators opportunities to bargain.
to make up their minds they do not allow themselves to
will take all do. get emotionally involved and Michael “Soon” Lee, MBA, is a
They are also aware that protect themselves against nationally recognized professional
the one with the least time renegotiations by always speaker and author of the book
pressure usually wins. saving something for the end Black Belt Negotiating™. He
The sixth belt is red for such events. has negotiated everything from
symbolizing the setting sun The final belt is black multi-million dollar real estate
and the fact that the plant has meaning that the highest level transactions to major motion
matured. of skill has been achieved. picture deals and even discounts
This is the stage where However, just like in on gas for his car. He is President
martial artists learn to always martial arts, the learning of EthnoConnect™. Web site:
be on guard because there can never stops. In fact, there are

Does your avatar make you look fat?

Creating a Second Life avatar, or virtual representation of For this study, researchers interviewed 29 residents in the
oneself, that is thin and physically fit may encourage individuals Second Life virtual world. Half the participants were interviewed
to become healthier and more physically fit in their real lives, by a thin avatar and half by an obese avatar.
according to a study by researchers at RTI International. The study also found that participants interviewed by the
The study, published in the August issue of the Journal thin avatar were more likely to report that their own avatar
of Virtual Worlds Research, found support for the idea that shape was thin than those interviewed by the obese avatar.
individuals are more likely The average body mass index
to engage in physical (BMI) reported by participants
activities in their real lives was also higher when
if their avatars in Second interviewed by the obese
Life engage in physical avatar than was reported by
activities. those interviewed by the thin
“Based these on avatar.
preliminary results, it The researchers suggest
seems likely virtual reality that the ease of manipulating
users may adjust their the size and shape of one’s
identity to be consistent avatar in Second Life gives
with that of their researchers the opportunity
avatars,” said Elizabeth to understand social factors
Dean, research survey surrounding issues such as
methodologist at RTI and obesity, body image and
the study’s lead author. physical fitness.


Attention: Your expertise is about to expire

LEARNING In the old days, people hoarded knowledge as a hedge against colleague competition or
obsolescence. But the shelf life of knowledge and expertise is short-lived in the fast-paced
environment of the 21st century. Be careful not to let yourself go beyond your expiration
date. Here’s what a consultant may be telling your boss. It’s just as relevant to you.
By Ross Shafer and the loss of your most I passed on that valuable
talented co-workers and staff tidbit to a chain of successful
The headline got your members. seafood restaurants. They
attention didn’t it? It’s scary So what can you do about immediately started running
to think you might actually keeping your edge? How their radio ads at 3:00 p.m.
become obsolete. can you continue to grow Planting another meal
What’s really frightening when the trends seem to be option in the minds of the
is to already be obsolete and outpacing you? listeners (when they are
not even know it. starting to think about dinner)
You see, it doesn’t matter Attend the wrong has caused their restaurant
that you’ve been an expert in convention business to climb.
your field for 20 years. Or that Yes, I’m actually asking
you are a leading expert in you to “crash” a big general Best practices are
your field, today. meeting at a hotel near you. a moving target
What are you doing to Find out what big convention What works today might
make sure you’re an expert is in town. Dress well. Show not work tomorrow. I heard
tomorrow? In 10 years? up. Tell “security” at the Jack Welch tell a group of tech
You already know that door that you don’t have executives that when he ran
technology changes weekly. your badge but that you General Electric he would
You know that today’s didn’t want to miss the guest actually penalize a manager
workforce consists of four speaker. (All true). for not being forthcoming
wildly different generations. Ninety-five percent of about a better way he/she was
And, you just heard your the time you’ll be able to doing things.
competition recently went sit down and soak up some That policy became an
“global” information that will likely inside joke at G.E.
– or has started revolutionize your business. A manager would call
franchising. In my job I get the Jack’s office and say, “Hey, I
Bold growth opportunity to attend 80+ think we’re onto something
begs to ask bold conferences and conventions really cool in Des Moines.
questions . . . each year. I have a front Please tell Jack so I don’t get
like, “Am I still row seat to a myriad of best caught with it.”
relevant?” practices. And then do I my Companies like 3-M are
Are you best to cross-pollinate them at never satisfied with exceeding
relevant to your the next conference. sales goals on today’s great
customers, your For example: I went to products. They take enormous
clients, your a grocery convention and pride in the fact that 30
patients, your found out that 42 percent of percent of their products
colleagues or grocery shoppers still don’t didn’t even exist four years
your employees? know what they want for ago. They innovate to remain
If you aren’t dinner at 4:00 p.m. relevant.
important to your I was at a Kodak camera
core (and vital) constituents, meeting in the late ‘90s where
you are destined to experience a top sales executive stood
a withering market share up and told the group, “Don’t

be freaked out by digital They want you to know Have a meeting with
photography. It’s a fad.” they often feel helpless, out of the Millennials in your
Endorsing that kind of control, and anxious about the workforce. Ask them what
irrelevance has diminished purchase; especially if it’s a Web sites they surf. Ask
their stock value, their high-ticket item. them where they spend their
employee recruiting, and their You may be a person weekends and off time. Ask
market share. who sells homes, computers, them to help you set up a
I wonder if the folks at or BMWs all day long. But Wikipedia page or upload
Polaroid had similar denial your customer may only homemade company videos
toward the digital revolution. buy an item that huge two to to YouTube.
four times in their lifetime. Young people are relevant
Stop losing sleep Creating a trusted emotional by design and peer pressure.
over technology connection with your They embrace change because
If you have email, a Web customer is the only recipe for change means “better.”
site, a reliable server, and the long-term customer loyalty.
ability to sell products and
services online, you’re doing Listen to our culture
great. Don’t just subscribe to
You’re better off your industry magazines.
worrying about the human Every month, go to your local
communication skills of your newsstand (or
work force. go online)
With the rampant and read a
proliferation of cell phones, variety of
voicemail, email and text publications
messaging, more and more of you normally
your customers and clients are wouldn’t read.
craving human contact. Pick magazines about
They want to talk to science, medicine,
human beings. They want sports, money, guitars and
a trusted relationship with women’s issues.
you so they can stop “dating” Get a sense of what our
your competition. Honestly, culture is talking about. How
they could care less what are they spending their time?
Remember, they’re anxious to
generation of routers and How are they spending their
download software upgrades.
switchers you’re running. money? Listen to people talk
If you take an active
They want you to listen to at the supermarket, the drug
interest in paying attention
what they need – then consult store, the fast food restaurant,
to life and humanity,
them on their choices. the hardware store . . .
obsolescence will never be
your problem. Plus, you’ll
We teach Customer You’re listening for
have plenty of time to focus
Empathy™ classes “buzz.” Buzz is the new stuff
on more important crises . . .
… instead of customer everybody is talking about.
like your hairline?
“service” because today’s You want to be buzz.
customers want you to Ross Shafer is a TV personality
understand their point of view Young people know
turned business consultant and
before, during and after the about buzz
conference speaker/humorist. Web
transaction. They are often early
adopters of technology,
games, phone services and
anything fun and interesting.
Their shorter attention spans
demand it.


The world is open

Anyone can learn anything from anybody anytime
A new book by an Indiana that have made economic Bonk also discusses a 21-
University School of globalization much easier. year-old behind a free online
Education professor takes a Bonk’s book provides a book catalogue who already
comprehensive look at how framework for understanding made his mark on the Internet
Web technology is changing the availability of education by helping author “Real
worldwide education. through Web technology with Simple Syndication,” or RSS, at
The World is Open: his own list of 10. age 14.
How Web Technology is “With it, people
Revolutionizing Education, can go down the list Collaboration is from birth
written by Curt Bonk, not of ‘flatteners,’
professor of instructional as Friedman talks to death – from K-12 to the
systems technology, about, but of workplace.
documents the many ways ‘openers,’ as in the
in which he says innovations doors becoming Not only is education
open for education,” Bonk changing in the places where
said. the Internet is available,
“By having that list of 10, the resources available on
it is a somewhat succinct list the Internet are changing
from the potentially hundreds education even where the
that could be listed, so as not Internet is not available, Bonk
to overwhelm people with the said.
possibilities.” People are taking
The 10 key trends Bonk knowledge to remote places.
explores include “Web “For instance, in Western
searching in the world of e- China, I talk about the ‘1kg
books,” “availability of open Project,’ where people go
source and free software,” on the Web, volunteer their
and “real-time mobility and time and visit schools in
portability.” The beginning Western China, and bring one
letters from each trend spell kilogram of stuff with them,”
“WE-ALL-LEARN.” he said.
The book documents “These kids don’t have
numerous stories of e- Internet access. But really, the
learning, from the founding Internet’s enabling them to
of Wikipedia to a high school get education that normally
student who took coursework wouldn’t happen.”
traveling with her family at In the book, Bonk points
sea. out how the different trends
have made it possible so Extensive interviews have especially impacted
“anyone can learn anything include a young millionaire worldwide education,
from anyone else at any time.” in Tapei who made a fortune particularly open courseware
The book is inspired by first translating Lord of the and open education resources
the best-selling work of New Rings books and then used on the Web. Shared online
York Times columnist Thomas that money to translate video and “wikis,” online texts
Friedman, “The World is open courseware from the that readers can contribute to,
Flat.” In the book, which Massachusetts Institute of are having a large influence.
came out in 2005, Friedman Technology into Chinese and
documented 10 “flatteners” make it available for free. NEXT PAGE


Don’t mess with human nature

By Charles Ehin The last time I checked should receive the utmost
we’re supposed to be firmly attention instead of machine
Think for a moment about anchored in the Knowledge metaphors like the Industrial
your most memorable work Age. So what gives? Age functions of
and life experiences. What How come there still is management.
aspects of those events almost no mention in the What’s most
ultimately surface as most classroom of the importance disturbing about
meaningful? of co-evolving relationships the lack of focus
My guess is that the which is such an important on human nature
episodes are closely linked part of human nature and is the fact that
to mutually rewarding one of the most critical most of the work
relationships. components of the innovation in any enterprise
“Things” seldom enter the process? is accomplished in
picture. Why? I guess it’s hard informal networks
But guess what? Nearly to stop a charging rhino (old where meaningful
all business schools, at least habits are hard to break). “unmanaged”
at the introductory levels, It may also be because relationships are the
are still focused on the four relationships are emergent name of the game.
functions of management – and, therefore, are hard to In the May issue of
planning, organizing, leading track if they can’t be included Smart People, I mentioned
and controlling. in financial statements. my discovery of the
These functions were Organizations and social “organizational sweet spot.”
originally introduced by networks are composed of Is it any wonder that in
the two most prominent people. They are organic the sweet spot mutually
management gurus at the entities, not machines. supportive relationships and
beginning of the 20th Century! Therefore, human nature NEXT PAGE

Anyone can learn anything from anybody anytime

CONTINUED not only are the methods that the world is open by
“The fact is that of instruction changing, having a lot of free content,”
collaboration is from birth to technology is also altering the Bonk said.
death these days,” Bonk said. way we learn things. The site, http://
“You have to do it in K-12 “If all you have in your, features
schools to survive oftentimes, tests are dates and states links to resources and
and also in workplaces.” and capitals – which you references from the book,
“The vast majority of can easily have access to and some excerpts, as well as a
people going online are not put on your flash memory book prequel and postscript.
looking at it to take a course, sticks -- what have we really Bonk will soon be adding an
or to get a degree,” Bonk taught people?” Bonk said. e-book “extension” of the text.
said. “They’re doing it out of “So we have new questions The site also links to his
their own personal volition. about education and about personal blog, TravelinEdMan
They’re doing it out of their types of knowledge, levels of (http://travelinedman.
own learning quest, if you knowledge, types of skills,, as well as
will.” problem-solving. What should discussion spaces for readers
Through the testimonies be the goals for education?” to share their own stories
of e-learners, teachers, There is an extensive Web which can be expanded in a
technology leaders and presence accompanying the wiki.
others, Bonk points out that book. “I truly tried to show


Don’t mess with human nature

Professor CONTINUED knowledge grounded in Mind wandering is
Charles (Kalev) unmanagement reign? Put personal experiences), the the other new component
Ehin is an another way: at the sweet spot expansion of social capital deserving a prominent place in
author and the focus of each individual’s (goodwill provided to the organizational sweet spot.
recognized frame of mind shifts from the informal network members Neuroscientists have
innovation “dreaded power of the boss” through valuable information, found that our minds wander
dynamics to “engaging and enjoying the influence and cohesion) and at least fifty percent of the
authority. power of the surrounding co- human nature (fundamental time when we are involved in
His latest evolving networks.” human computation a task, even when explicitly
book is The It helps to keep in mind differentiating between asked to pay close attention.
Organizational that every organization, if it’s hostile and hospitable Interestingly, two regions
Sweet Spot: still in business, has at least stimuli). of our brains become active
Engaging the one sweet spot. The trick is to Recent research has added during mind wandering.
Innovative find it and let it see as much two more key components One is the executive control
Dynamics of “daylight” as possible rather to the dynamics of the system. This area of the brain
Your Social than having it function in the sweet spot – pride and the influences both our conscious
Networks. Web darkness of the bowels of an wandering mind. and subconscious thoughts
site: www.Un enterprise constantly on the Strangely, psychologists toward important goals.
Management. lookout for the controlling until very recently ignored The other region is the
com. hand of management. pride as a basic social default network. Essentially,
Therefore, what’s emotion. That no longer is the this region becomes active
essential is developing an case. during self-referential
organizational context that Researchers analyzed thinking. That is, reflecting
facilitates the emergent unprompted responses to on personal experiences or
(non-supervised) use of winning or losing a sporting picturing yourself in the
unique individual skills and event. They found that future.
talents in concert with other expressions of pride after a The bottom line is that
individuals. win were similar to all nations we innately, consciously or
involved – a slight smile, with unconsciously, reflect on the
head tilt, and hands on hips or here and now and the future.
raised high. In effect, we try to balance the
Most importantly, they current with what lies ahead
found that people tend to on the horizon.
associate pride with higher Now, how do you think
status even when the person this all plays out in different
involved ranked relatively low organizational contexts? That
on the totem pole. is, one based on the firm
Just imagine what a adherence to the functions of
little “natural” pride can management, the other based
do instead of prizes doled on the principles of human
out by management such as nature or sell-organization. I’ll
the “employee of the month let you answer that question
award.” on our own.
That person is eager to What I suggest is that
What makes the sweet start or join another project. we start paying much closer
spot so powerful is its sell- Also teammates will be more attention to Mother Nature
organizing dynamics. The enthusiastic about receiving and leave the functions of
major factors in this churning advice from such people and management where they
process are the sharing of inviting them to join their belong – on the pages of
tacit knowledge (un-codified team. history books.


Emotional contagion – good and bad

By Carol Kinsey Goman
Carol Kinsey Goman,
It started out to be a wonderful day. The sun was shining and I was singing along PhD, is an author and
with my favorite radio station while driving through unusually light traffic to the San keynote speaker who
Francisco airport. Then, as I was turning into the airport parking lot, a driver abruptly addresses association,
pulled in front of me and glared through his rearview mirror. At the ticket counter the government, and
airline employee frowned and sighed as I explained the need to make changes to my business audiences
itinerary. By the time a scowling attendant took my airline ticket, I scowled right back. around the world. Her
latest book and program
My good mood had been contaminated!
topic is The Nonverbal
No one is immune to emotional contagion. Facial gestures and their underlying
Advantage – Secrets
emotions (both positive and negative) are highly infectious and “catching” them is a and Science of Body
universal human phenomenon. We all tend to mimic the facial expressions and reflect Language at Work. 
the mood of those with whom we have contact.  Getting a genuine smile can brighten For more information,
up our day. And angry frowns are upsetting. contact Carol by
We’re hardwired to mimic expressions and emotions and have been doing so since phone: 510.526.1727,
infancy. Nine-month-old babies look longer at their mothers and express greater joy email: CGoman@
when their mothers are themselves joyful. One-year-olds, after watching a videotape, or through
of an actress portraying either positive or negative feelings, will mimic the actress’ her Web sites: www.
expressions and alter their own emotions accordingly. and www.
As adults, we remain susceptible. Swedish researchers found that merely seeing a NonverbalAdvantage.
picture of a happy face produces fleeting activity in the muscles that pull the mouth
into a smile. In fact, whenever we look at a photograph of
someone portraying any strong emotion, like sadness, disgust
or joy, our facial muscles automatically start to mirror that
expression. And it isn’t just a physical response, since our facial
expressions will subtly trigger the corresponding feelings.
A business simulation experiment at Yale University gave
two groups of people the assignment of deciding how much of
a bonus to give each employee from a set fund of money. Each
person in the group was to get as large a bonus as possible
for certain employees, while being fair to the entire employee
In one group, the conflicting agendas led to stress and
tension, while in the second group, everyone ended up feeling
good about the result. The difference was in the “plants”
– actors who had been secretly assigned to each group. In the
first group, the actor was negative and downbeat -- and in the
second, positive and upbeat. The emotional tone of the meetings
followed the lead of each actor – although none of the group
members understood why his or her feelings had shifted. In times of
In my change-management consulting, I’ve noticed that in times of organizational organizational
uncertainty, employees instinctively pay more attention to the facial expressions of uncertainty,
those around them. People search for smiles or frowns to get a better sense of how employees
to interpret and react to a situation, and then they begin to mimic the predominant instinctively pay
emotions. When someone moans about an upcoming change or rants that the company more attention to the
is sure to go under, co-workers can be “infected” with a kind of collective anxiety about facial expressions of
those around them.
the future 
Especially now, in challenging times, we need to make sure we’re part of the
positive emotion solution, and not part of the problem. 


Desperation is the mother of inspiration

CREATING By Bob Goshen be our friend? Let’s look at
what benefits we receive
mindset that says “health
is the most important asset
Everyone has been there at when we find ourselves in a we maintain,” and we
one time or another – the cold desperate situation. will work harder to feed
sweats or the sickening of the n It makes you reevaluate our bodies. Desperation
stomach when presented with where you are. You must as related to health is
a challenge that seems totally immediately ask the sometimes the only way
overwhelming. question, what created this God has of saying, “You’re
The initial shock, the challenge? Is it something too stressful; slow down.”
process of questioning how I did? What principle did n It makes you consider your
could this be happening? I violate to receive this faith. Many have found in
Why did this happen to me? pain? Could I have done those times of great
What am I going to do? And anything differently? desperation they move
for some, is life really worth Was this totally out of closer to spiritual beliefs.
living? An event that causes my control? Desperation The greatest cure for
total desperation! makes you stop and desperation is hope. It is the
Whether faced with the readjust to the now. It only ingredient that can move
possibility of a life-threatening makes you take inventory a person forward from that
illness in yourself or a loved of your life and often puts slippery slope of desperation.
one; or an unfortunate life back into balance. The hope that tomorrow will
downturn in business It forces examination of be a better day, the hope that
that affects yourself, your actions. relationships will get better.
employees and the suppliers n It challenges your And for those who have lost
you’ve built relationships with, character. It either makes a loved one, the hope and
desperation is there. you a better person or a belief in knowing they are in
But you see, everyone has bitter person. It makes a much better place.
encountered the challenges. you lean on the values Whether it is a business
There are those who have lost learned that keep you not coming together or a
a family member or a child secure in your thoughts much larger family challenge,
and have grown past that and actions. It moves you you were placed here on earth
initial desperation. You’ve into a stronger pattern of not to survive but to thrive, to
heard story after story patience and endurance, give light to those who have
about challenges that by beginning to find just none.
would make most how strong you are and Even during the desperate
people no longer how the years have given years of the 1970s when this
desire fellowship you the ability to endure nation stood in “stagflation”
with others, stories much more than thought for more than a decade, when
that would send most possible. the Dow Jones hit 850 points,
people into total n It slows you down. Often when there were gas lines
isolation; yet they the diagnosis of a disease two miles long as we rationed
have stood strong immediately slows a gasoline, and the record was
and have for the most person down. It makes set for bankruptcy, there was
part helped others you look at activities over new inspiration.
who have had the the years and how our For during this time
same challenge they bodies and minds have “Skylab” was put into space,
experienced. been treated. Desperation the Concorde fly from Europe
So what do you learn from related to a health to the United States in less
desperation? How can you say challenge drives you to than four hours, and a young
that inspiration is produced by the deepest core values
desperation? Can desperation and creates a brand new NEXT PAGE


Innovating every day

How to succeed by thinking differently
By Holly G. Green can be a bit mind boggling understanding
and certainly intimidating to of your own
Who doesn’t recognize the ponder how to keep up these assumptions,
need to constantly innovate days. beliefs and
today? After all, just look What does innovation biases – we all
around at all that is new in look like at work today have a lot of
our world in the past few and do you need to spend them.
years. millions for a research and They are
Are you twittering? development department to the thoughts
One million+ others are. come up with the next great that pop up as
Do you have a product or product or service? soon as we see
service video up on YouTube? How can you more someone, hear
Twenty-five million+ people actively incorporate new something or
do. And are you LinkedIn or thinking, new products and even smell a
participating in SecondLife? new options including getting particular scent.
These are just a few of the more done with less into your Making
new social media innovations day-to-day activities? assumptions
that are dramatically Today innovation needs to about possible
changing how people connect be about: solutions to a
and get work done. n Challenging the ways we problem can
Now think about other do things even when it limit creativity,
areas that are changing just as has always worked well; causing
rapidly: technology, diversity, n Continually creating new difficulty.
competition, products, etc. It products, services and At the
ideas that have value for beginning of
stakeholders; any project
n Trying different and novel or when faced with a tough
Desperation ways to deal with ongoing situation, pause for a moment
CONTINUED challenges; and note your assumptions.
n Constantly seeking and What do you believe to be
man who quit college started
implementing new and so and could it be different?
a company called Microsoft.
better ways to achieve Learn to recognize when the
Yes, “desperation is the
results. strongest thoughts appear
mother of inspiration.”
Innovation is more in your head and stop for a
than brainstorming or idea moment.
Bob Goshen is an international
generation. To be truly Ask yourself “What if
marketing consultant, trainer, and
innovative, you have to do . . . I am wrong . . . There is
founder of three corporations. He
something different. And something else . . . It could be
is a former U.S. spy turned global
for businesses, whatever it is interpreted another way . . .
business guru who specializes
you do must have value for at There is more I know/do not
in creating a leadership culture
least one of your stakeholder know about this”?
that gets things done. Bob has
groups (employees,
developed marketing strategies for
customers, suppliers, Ask the right questions
such noted companies as Coca-
partners, etc.). Focus on where you
Cola and Sunrider International.
Key actions you can take want to go (versus where you
For more information visit www. to be more innovative include are or what is in the way). developing awareness and NEXT PAGE


How to succeed by thinking differently

CONTINUED you look at challenges from problem or challenge; it loves
Give yourself a clear target different perspectives. They to dive right in and get the
by describing, as clearly as help change our perception job done by using what you
possible, what it looks like so that the same data has already know or expect.
when you achieve success. different meaning. So, look for successful
Think about which beliefs you approaches that can be
need to move out of the way Stage your field of vision applied to your situation.
or suspend (i.e., “that’s not the Get the right things in What products, services and/
way we do things here . . . our front of you. Adult humans or companies are incredibly
customers will never accept X are very visually driven successful right now? What
. . .”). creatures, but today there are can you adapt from what they
Jot down the most more distractions than ever are doing?
interesting questions you can competing for our time and Original ideas can come
come up with to encourage attention. from recognizing new
thinking differently and make Make sure your targets connections between familiar
your questions open ended are visible to you as much of things and transforming them
and future focused. the time as possible. Get them into something new.
on the wall in your office; In many ways, our own
have them pop up on your brain gets in our way the
task list on your computer most and minimizes our
and PDA. Make sure they are innovation. We can learn to
visible to everyone involved leverage the power of it by
as well. pausing every now and then
If it is not in front of you to:
visually, you probably won’t n Define excellence up front
do it, so take the time to fill (don’t do it over, spend the
your working area with the time to do it right the first
visuals that help keep you time);
focused on success. n Consider different
perspectives and angles;
Connect the dots n Ask simple questions
in new ways to trigger a new way of
Figuring out patterns perceiving;
forms a large part of n Ponder the impossible.
our intelligence. Your
subconscious mind likes Holly G. Green is author of
Consider different closure. More Than A Minute, and
angles When faced with an CEO and managing director,
Pose questions incomplete picture, it works The Human Factor, Inc. She has
to prompt your to complete the mental image more than 20 years of executive
brain to look at by inferring the missing level and operations experience
the same data in a information. in Fortune 100, entrepreneurial
new way. “What Your mind works the and management consulting
would our competitor invest same way on an unsolved organizations. She was previously
in if they were us? What one president of The Ken Blanchard
thing do our customers really Companies, a global consulting
want us to change? What do and training organization as well
our employees think would as LumMed, Inc. a biotech start
provide the most fuel for our up. For more information, visit
success?” Questions help


Study finds men more than women

share their creative work online
A Northwestern University, likely to contribute online and two out of three women
U.S., study finds that men content,” says Hargittai. engage in creative writing, art
are more likely to share their The study titled “The photography, music or film/
creative work online than Participation Divide: Content video generally (and this does
women despite the fact that Creation and Sharing in not relate in any way to the
women and men engage in the Digital Age” recently Web).
creative activities at essentially
appeared in the journal, “So while
equal rates. Information, Communication and creative
“Because sharing Society. output, on
information on the Hargittai and Walejko the aggregate,
Internet today is a form found men were more than is equally
of participating in public twice as likely to share music distributed
culture and contributing to on the Web that they had among men
public discourse, that tells created or re-mixed than and women,
us men’s voices are being were women; and that men the sharing of
disproportionately heard,” were also considerably more such content is
says Eszter Hargittai, assistant
likely to post film or video not,” Hargittai
professor of communication they made when compared to says.
studies at Northwestern women who engaged in film- Of the 61
University. or video-making. percent of the
Hargittai co-authored “Much of the early full sample
the study with Northwestern research about the Web who reported
researcher Gina Walejko. dwelled on accessibility engaging in at
Overall, almost two-thirds and on digital technology’s least one type
of men reported posting their ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’” of creative
work online while only half of says Hargittai. And early activity, 56
women reported doing so. conversations about the Web percent said
However, when Hargittai revolved around its potential they posted at least some of
and Walejko controlled for as a social leveler once access their creative work online.
issues were Not surprisingly – since it
“It appears that lack of perceived resolved. is the easiest content to post
Today, – the most popular type of
skill is holding women back from researchers creative content shared online
putting their creative content out like Hargittai was creative writing. Just over
there,” says Hargittai. – who directs half of the students who report
Northwestern’s engaging in creative writing
Web Use also reported posting their
self-reported digital literacy Project – and Walejko study work online.
and Web know-how, they how people use the Internet, Video was the second
found that men and women who creates content for the most popular creative work
actually posted their material Web and whether or not the to be posted, at just under
about equally. Internet contributes to social 50 percent. Again, Hargittai
“This suggests that the equality. points to the ease of posting
Internet is not an equal In their survey of creative such material. “Video-sharing
playing field for men and content – whether online or sites like YouTube make it
women since those with more offline – the Northwestern relatively simple for people to
online abilities – whether researchers found that on share their own or remixed
perceived or actual – are more average two out of three men videos,” she says.


KM Six Pack #4
THE K FACTOR Company: Not managing but enabling knowledge
This is the fourth in a series of six articles introducing newly engaged employees and
managers to the basics of knowledge-based enterprise.
By Jerry Ash change the old concept of communicate the things they
the firm. do know and get staff to do
Before cultural change in a n Seeing the role of the same with each other.
knowledge-based organization managers as one of Where the company
can occur on the shop floor, communicating, mentoring is willing to change its
the right corporate culture has and enabling, rather than organizational chart from
to be in place in the executive managing. vertical lines to overlapping
suite, creating an environment Organizations in the circles, hierarchy will take
where people are comfortable Industrial Age took big people on a wondrously different
developing new work and put them in little boxes, complexion.
practices. then gave them a half-written Modern-day leaders will
Restrictive procedures and script – the job description build environments of trust
guidelines from the top down – and expected them to play a and mutual respect where
leave little place, if any, for role. creative contribution is the
human emotions, inspiration, The minute they started norm.
know-how and individual or to be themselves, their scripts Such norms in corporate
collaborative adventure in the were stuffed in their faces. culture have, in recent years,
employee culture. Often the most common changed the way staffs work,
Managing today requires misconceptions remain that share, learn, and respond to
knowing what people face in employees have limited clients’ needs.
their jobs and finding ways or narrow capabilities, are These are self-motivated
to reconcile issues and enable untrustworthy or even workers who know their
creative thinking. disloyal – and thus, the need knowledge is important to the
Leading and following for rigid rules. performance of the company
in the KM community is And yet, no one’s goal in and to themselves.
a collaborative up-down life is to do a mediocre job at They are energized and
exercise. There are several a company he or she hates. In committed to increasing
keys to establishing a fact, most want to do a terrific innovation, performance
knowledge-friendly corporate job on meaningful projects at and productivity. They are
culture. The most important a company they care about testimony to the impact that
are: and with people they like. changes in corporate culture
n Seeing the organization The organization that and management practice can
less as a machine operated genuinely recognizes have on the knowledge-driven
by people, and more as the necessity of KM and organization.
an organic and biological builds an environment that
organism composed of welcomes initiative and See Six Pack #1 through 3 in
people, expanding and collaboration will find that a the May through August issues
even mutating with positive change in employee [www.smartpeoplemagazine.
innovative ideas or faster culture – top to bottom – will com]. In the October issue: Not
response times than that of quickly follow and corporate hoarding but managing one’s
competitors. achievements will soar. personal knowledge.
n Seeing the business In the best KM model,
based on individual and managers are valued not
collaborative commerce because they are in control or
instead of corporate know more than their staffs,
commerce, which will but because they can quickly

Economic crunch
affecting your people?
Is doing more with less
stressing them out?
Do something for them
and the company.
Co-brand Smart People magazine
and make it available to everyone –
employees, suppliers, even customers.
It’s one cool tool that reaches out
to the digitally connected
to transfer their passions for social
networking, online learning and
research from the outside-in.
Results: Less stress.
Happier, more creative
and collaborative workers.
And higher productivity
to offset the lean years.

Contact Smart People publisher, Jerry Ash
for details. Or call him: 813.335.1355
If you believe in Smart People, raise your hand!
The people behind this magazine are the vanguard of a volunteer
community intent on helping people leverage the knowledge
and networking power of the Internet to make living, learning, choosing,
creating and working better for all of us. It is an enormous task
we undertake and we need you.
Marketing professionals • Social
networkers • Community leaders •
Prosumers • Writers • Subject
Experts • Collaborators • Partners •
Affiliates • Communicators •
Researchers • Champions •
Leaders • Activists •
– and just plain ordinary smart people

Contact Jerry Ash, Volunteer #1

P.S. As in all sharing, you will get more

than you give by being a part of this grand
project – if you value the learning, growing
and experience to be gained here.