9th Annual Midwest KM Symposium: Part 8 – Linda Lavelle

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

August 17, 2023

This is the eighth and final post in the series about the Midwest Knowledge Management Symposium held June 16, 2023 at Kent State University. This post is about the seventh presentation in Track 1 (People and Processes) delivered by Linda Lavelle.

Linda Lavelle is a knowledge management leader who believes that the best knowledge in an organization can be identified, personalized, and shared to drive successful business outcomes.   

Linda had a 32-year career at Johnson & Johnson where she combined a people and process focus with her project management and innovation experience to create tailored knowledge management solutions. Since leaving Johnson & Johnson in 2022, Linda has followed her passion for knowledge management and started her own consulting firm, Knowledge Dynamics, to help organizations harness their greatest asset – their knowledge.

During her tenure as Director of Knowledge Management and Innovation at Johnson & Johnson, Linda developed the Supply Chain Knowledge Network accessed by over 20,000 employees annually, creating curated, trusted source of Supply Chain knowledge.  She enabled over $50 million in savings by developing and providing oversight of 26 Knowledge Centers focused on key strategic topics. Linda was also instrumental in driving a culture of innovation by leading an innovation collaboration platform that hosted 200 challenges in 81 countries, generated 20,000 ideas, and realized $30 million in predicted savings.

Knowledge Management and Innovation: Partnering to Create Impact by Linda Lavelle

Linda began by presenting six knowledge activities she grouped under the category of Fit:

  • Create
  • Use
  • Transfer
  • Acquire
  • Retain

She then showed knowledge sharing actions using examples from the Fast Track Ideas Innovation Collaboration Platform used by the Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain:

  • Jump into a challenge
  • Learn the process
  • Start a challenge
  • Find out how to participate
  • Use design thinking tools
  • Ask a question
  • Contact community owners

Linda next discussed communities:

  • They are extremely important for the innovation collaboration platform.
  • A central repository of ideas across innovation challenges was maintained.
  • A core working group provided governance.

She differentiated between two types of collaboration:

  • Microsoft Yammer worked well broadly.
  • Microsoft Teams worked for the core team.

There are 26 Knowledge Centers in the Johnson & Johnson knowledge network. They provide a single source of truth through widespread access.

Other Presentations

There were three parallel tracks at the symposium, so I was unable to attend all the sessions. Here are links to the other ten presentations and the associated speakers:

Track 1: People and Processes

  1. You’ve Implemented Knowledge: Now What? by Jessica DeMay and Heather Irvin Hauser
  2. Embracing Personal KM after a 23-Year Career in the U.S. Navy by Cindy Young

Track 2: Technology and Digital Transformation

  1. AI Ethics and its Impact on Knowledge Management by Tony Rhem
  2. Know the unknown faster with Rapid Learning Cycles by Jim Clarke
  3. A knowledge Sharing Portal for a Sustainable Smart City Future by Christina Turner, Kendra Albright, and Bill Edgar
  4. Enterprise Taxonomy: Can Chartis Go from Good to Great? by Darrin Brogan

Track 3: Organization Development and KM as a Profession

  1. Rightsizing Your KM Function: Defining an Achievable Vision that Fits Your Organizational Purpose, Needs and Structure by Ari Kramer
  2. Knowledge Management Made Simpler, But Not Necessarily Easier! Lessons from KM in Practice by Bill Kaplan
  3. Organizational Culture and AI by John Antill – (handout)
  4. To ISO or not to ISO by Patricia Eng

The 9th Midwest KM Symposium was a huge success, and plans are underway to hold the 10th symposium next year. I had the good fortune to be able to help plan the event, give a presentation, distribute and sign copies of my book for all attendees, and attend eight other sessions.

Thanks to everyone who helped by planning, executing, presenting, and attending, especially co-chairs Linda Hummel and Kendra Albright; the other planning team members, Tammy McKenna, Maggie Starkey, Susan Montgomery, Edwin K. Morris, Bill Kaplan, Ninez Piezas-Jerbi, and Guillermo Galdamez; sponsors Lucidea, Enterprise Knowledge, and Bloomfire; keynote speakers Thomas A. Stewart and Zach Wahl; and the host Kent State School of Information.

This concludes this 8-part series. Part 7 featured Maggie Starkey.

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

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.

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