What KM Can Learn From Airplane Pilot Training

Carla O'Dell's picture

Let me alert you to a fascinating interview I did with Elizabeth Swan on how people learn and the implications for knowledge management, innovation, and accelerating the rate of organizational learning. The conversation started because we discovered that we both enjoyed the same book, How We Learn by Benedict Carey of the New York Times. 

‘The Martian’s’ Andy Weir on premortem planning for a manned NASA mission to Mars

Carla O'Dell's picture

Like many of you, as the weather cools and the summer fades, APQC is knee-deep in strategic planning. Since APQC has access to many best practices, we try to follow them. One is to conduct a premortem on planned investments, a technique borrowed from project planning, in which one attempts to imagine what could go wrong and decide how to avoid or mitigate those risks. Doesn’t this go against the socially acceptable stance of being an optimist?

Want Change Management That Works? Have a Clear Simple Message

Carla O'Dell's picture

I know I am not Steve Jobs. But I am a pretty good version of myself. According to Nick Tasler, change management consultant and keynote speaker at APQC's upcoming 2015 Process Conference, that might be ok.

To Make Change Management Work, Clean out your Organization's Closets (aka priorities)

Carla O'Dell's picture

Have you noticed how hard it is to get rid of things even though you never use them? Think about the last time you cleaned out your closet or garage. Are you still holding on to an out of style sweater or a bicycle you never seem to get around to riding?

Psychologists call this common human weakness “the endowment effect” because we endow things we already own with more value than we would otherwise. It makes it very hard to let go of something probably not serving you anymore.

‘The Martian’ author Andy Weir on Learning and Applying Knowledge

Carla O'Dell's picture

"I'm gonna have to science the ##$^ out of this!"

So says Mark Watney, lead character in the best-selling book and soon to be released movie The Martian starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain. Faced with death, Watney had compelling motivation to become an expert in survival on Mars.

I was curious about how a non-engineer learned enough to write such an accurate book. (According to NASA; I wouldn’t know.)  

Unlearning: NASA Meets SpaceX

Carla O'Dell's picture

As part of my quest to understand how people become experts more quickly in complex scientific and technical disciplines, I interviewed Edward J. Hoffman, chief knowledge officer (CKO) at NASA. This is the second of two blogs on my conversation with Ed. You can check out the first one and learn more about Ed's role here.

How NASA’s Chief Knowledge Officer Drives Change

Carla O'Dell's picture

 As part of my quest to understand how people become experts more quickly in complex scientific and technical disciplines, I interviewed Edward J. Hoffman, chief knowledge officer (CKO) at NASA. Ed ought to know: he founded the NASA Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership and was its director for 20 years before his current CKO gig.

Smart Machines: Could This End Badly for Knowledge Workers?

Carla O'Dell's picture

In the movie Her,  Joaquin Phoenix has a virtual affair with his lovely artificial intelligence (AI) program, voiced seductively by Scarlett Johannsson. 

(Spoiler Alert: This ends badly for the human.) 

The Four Strategic Questions Everyone Should Ask

Carla O'Dell's picture

The motto for strategic planning used to be “Think long-term!” —five, ten, fifteen years out. 

Throw that old adage out the window.  It never really worked, and now we don’t even have the illusion that it might.  No one can predict that far out anymore. If weather forecasts are relatively unreliable more than three DAYS out, what makes you think you can predict global markets, the vagaries of customer tastes, the pace of technology change or the moves of competitors?

Adam Grant on How to Incentivize People to Share Knowledge

Carla O'Dell's picture

At APQC’s recent 20th annual KM conference, the perennial question on how to create incentives for collaborative behavior came up.