9th Annual Midwest KM Symposium: Part 4 – Dan Ranta

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

July 20, 2023

This is the fourth in a series of posts about the Midwest Knowledge Management Symposium held June 16, 2023 at Kent State University. This post is about the second presentation in Track 2 (Technology and Digital Transformation) delivered by Dan Ranta, who traveled from his home in Guatemala to give his talk.

Daniel Ranta has 25+ years of experience in KM strategy, collaboration, content management, portal design, social networking and measuring business results. He has worked as a KM Leader for large, global companies and as a consulting practice leader in KM. His experiences across industries in understanding corporate challenges and cultures and accelerating the movement from strategy to action are well known and often written about in the KM space. He is currently a KM advisor and consultant.

Transforming Existing Communities: Chasing Context Using Text Analysis and SNA presented by Dan Ranta

Dan covered the following topics in his talk:

  • Challenges and gaps
  • People: Recognition of contributors and brokers is the accelerator
  • Taxonomy: Expertise/Experts and Capabilities/Competencies
  • Uncovering business pain points
  • User experience leverages and clusters expertise based on skills
  • Collaborative technology organizes knowledge and disseminates to solve problems
  • Connections lead to the end game: a learning organization across the value chain with networks of people sharing knowledge that is mission-minded and purposeful

He made the following key points:

  • KM is fundamental to going digital.
  • Leadership + Behavior = Purposeful Collaboration.
  • Tacit knowledge is always more important than Explicit knowledge.
  • World class communities with governance are central to designing and implementing KM in the workplace.
  • Governance of context defines how to balance the formal (e.g., Adaptable Communities, Agile Interactions, Collaboration, Innovation) and informal (e.g., Frameworks. Roles, Methodologies. Processes) types of knowledge.
  • Sharing tacit knowledge helps employees handle situations that do not fit cleanly into established processes and structures.
  • Text analysis of CoP discussions helps define a taxonomy of capabilities and competencies.
  • Users can suggest new topics for the taxonomy.
  • SNA reveals knowledge brokers already doing the work so they can become CoP leaders on a local level.

Dan provided an example of analyzing connectivity of CoP members using Social Network Analysis (SNA) to answer the question: What if the top 10% of knowledge brokers left the company? A sociogram showed that a serious amount of connectivity would be lost.

He described applying a multidisciplinary approach to construct the Platform CoP taxonomy:

  1. Step 1: Use text analysis to do heavy lifting from a corpus of plain text like a CoP discussion extract.
  2. Step 2: Once the text analysis is completed, we corroborate the pre starter taxonomy using CoP expertise/experts.
  3. Step 3: The new/refreshed CoP is launched, and we continue to listen to CoP membership who makes taxonomy recommendations that are reviewed and approved by CoP leadership.

Every CoP member is asked to nominate expertise (not experts):

  • Expertise is a domain of fundamental knowledge that you have acquired through application, experience, and/or studies. It’s what you know about.
  • Experts are officially designated authorities in sanctioned areas of expertise.

The same errors kept coming up, resulting in the same questions being asked in the community over and over. So before asking questions, the KM team encourages community members to search for existing questions. Questions are resolved and then marked with a checkmark. The acronym FAST promotes the desired behaviors:

  • Find: Seek trusted, validated knowledge content (self-service)
  • Ask: Ask an expert; peer-to-peer problem solving (Network Discussions}
  • Share: Contribute what you know
  • Trust: Develop trusted, global relationships

Dan views the end game as the transformation of organizations through these stages:

  1. Hero
  2. Systems
  3. Networked
  4. Fearless
  5. Learning

As usual, Dan’s presentation was filled with practical advice and examples. He has been a frequent contributor to the SIKM Leaders Community. You can read his posts and view his presentations and facilitated session:

Part 5 of this series will feature Rajesh Dhillon. Part 3 featured Valdis Krebs.

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

Please enjoy Stan’s blog posts offering advice, analysis, and insights drawn from many years as a KM practitioner. You may want to download a free copy of his book, Lucidea’s Lens: Special Librarians & Information Specialists; The Five Cs of KM from Lucidea Press, and its precursor, Proven Practices for Implementing a Knowledge Management Program. Learn about Lucidea’s Presto, SydneyEnterprise, and GeniePlus software with unrivaled KM capabilities that enable successful knowledge curation and sharing.

Similar Posts

Leave a Comment

Comments are reviewed and must adhere to our comments policy.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This