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Brandwave-logo-6.png |Importance of Knowledge | apr '16
29.03.2016
Ever since the publication, nearly two decades ago, of Peter Senge’s monumental bestseller The Fifth Discipline, we’ve been in the age of the “learning organization.” Executives have come to understand that for their companies to stay ahead of the competition, their people, at every level, have to learn more (and more quickly) than the competition: new skills, new takes on emerging technologies, new ways to do old things, from manufacturing to marketing to R&D. Gary Hamel, the influential business strategist, likes to say that one of the most urgent questions facing leaders (and thus their companies) is, “Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?”

It’s hard to argue with this love of learning. But one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, as I’ve traveled the world in search of organizations unleashing big change in difficult circumstances, is that the most determined innovators — the organizations with the most original ideas about how to compete and win — aren’t just committed to learning. They are just as committed to teaching. They understand that the only sustainable form of market leadership is thought leadership. And if, as Aristotle famously said, “teaching is the highest form of understanding,” then they also understand that the most powerful way to demonstrate your position as a thought leader is to teach other organizations what you know — whether they are customers, suppliers, or even direct competitors.
Think of it as the rise of the teaching organization. One of the most compelling examples of this phenomenon is a health-care provider in Seattle called Virginia Mason, a 90-year-old hospital system with 400 doctors and nearly 5,000 employees. Dr. Gary Kaplan, the organization’s CEO, is something of a legend in healthcare circles for the turnaround he’s led since taking charge in February 2000. At the time, Virginia Mason was struggling with deteriorating finances, inefficient processes, and uneven quality. Kaplan and his colleagues became committed students of the Toyota Production System, the blend of management techniques that fueled the rise of the most powerful car company in the world. The CEO led frequent pilgrimages to Japan, adopted the strategies, practices, and management language of its Japanese mentor, and developed a whole new way of running a hospital that it calls the Virginia Mason Production System — a system that has delivered staggering improvements.

In other words, Virginia Mason became the ultimate learning organization. Now it aspires to become the ultimate teaching organization. A year ago, Kaplan created the Virginia Mason Institute and opened the doors of his hospital to the outside word. The Institute leads tours of the facilities and explains how they work, teaches classes in various management techniques, and otherwise shares what Virginia Mason knows with individual executives and entire healthcare systems. The student has become the teacher.

Why bother? “First and foremost,” Kaplan told me, “this is about our vision to be the quality leader in our field and to help transform the field as a whole. Part of our mission as a company is to help improve our industry. But the more we educate, the faster we move as well. This will spur us on, push us to keep getting better, and people will chase our taillights. Our credibility as a company is dependent on our ability to deliver results. By teaching others what we’ve learned, it forces us to keep learning.”

You don’t have to be a huge organization with a full-fledged institute to teach other companies what you know. The founders of 37signals, a fast-growing software company about which I’ve written in the past, have developed a truly original set of ideas about strategy, marketing, and the organization of work — ideas that have fueled their tremendous success. But they don’t keep those ideas to themselves. Through a series of conferences (called Seed), a fabulously instructive blog (called Signal vs. Noise), and even a free e-book on the Web (called “Getting Real“), Jason Fried and his colleagues share their ideas with anyone who wants to learn from them.

Their approach, they like to say, is not to out-market the competition, but to out-teach the competition. Why? Because teaching creates a different kind of presence in the marketplace. It creates a higher sense of loyalty among those who learn from you. And it helps the company create not just customers for its products but an audience for its ideas — in the same way that famous chefs are willing to share their recipes so as to build a following for their overall approach to cooking.

So by all means, stay focused as leaders on what your companies need to learn. But don’t miss the opportunity to share what you already know. The most idea-driven organizations have a chance to become the best teaching organizations — and we never forget our best teachers. 

Source Harvard Business Review









 
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29.03.2016
Managers are bombarded with an almost constant stream of data every day. According to David Derbyshire, “Scientists have worked out exactly how much data is sent to a typical person in the course of a year – the equivalent of every person in the world reading 174 newspapers every single day”.

This overload of data is making knowledge management increasingly more important. Three key reasons why actively managing knowledge is important to a company’s success are: 1.) Facilitates decision-making capabilities, 2.) Builds learning organizations by making learning routine, and, 3.) Stimulates cultural change and innovation.
Facilitates Decision-Making Capabilities
 
Data can offer managers a wealth of information but processing overwhelming amounts can get in the way of achieving high-quality decisions. GE’s Corporate Executive Council (CEC) is an example of how one company put a knowledge management system in place to help executives cut through the noise, share information, and improve their decision-making. The CEC is composed of the heads of GE’s fourteen major businesses and the two-day sessions are forums for sharing best practices, accelerating progress, and discussing successes, failures, and experiences. While information overload or needing knowledge from people in other parts of the company for decision-making can handicap managers, putting in place knowledge management systems can facilitate better, more informed decisions.
 
Builds Learning Organizations by Making Learning Routine
 
In his book, Learning in Action: A Guide to Putting the Learning Organization to Work, author David Garvin (2000) notes, “To move ahead, one must often first look behind”. The U.S. Army’s After Action Reviews (AARs) are an example of a knowledge management system that has helped build the Army into a learning organization by making learning routine. This has created a culture where everyone continuously assesses themselves, their units, and their organization, looking for ways to improve. After every important activity or event, Army teams review assignments, identify successes and failures, and seek ways to perform better the next time. This approach to capturing learning from experience builds knowledge that can then be used to streamline operations and improve processes.
 
Stimulates Cultural Change and Innovation
 
Actively managing organizational knowledge can also stimulate cultural change and innovation by encouraging the free flow of ideas. For example, GE’s Change Acceleration Process (CAP) program includes management development, business-unit leadership, and focused workshops. CAP was created to not only “convey the latest knowledge to up-and-coming managers” but also “open up dialogue, instill corporate values, and stimulate cultural change”. In this complex, global business environment, these types of knowledge management programs can help managers embrace change and encourage ideas and insight, which often lead to innovation, even for local mom and pop business owners.
 
Bottom Line
 
Fortune 500 companies lose roughly “$31.5 billion a year by failing to share knowledge”, a very scary figure in this global economy filled with turbulence and change. Actively managing knowledge can help companies increase their chances of success by facilitating decision-making, building learning environments by making learning routine, and stimulating cultural change and innovation. By proactively implementing knowledge management systems, companies can re-write the old saying, “Change is inevitable, growth is optional” to “Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.”

Source forbes.com



 
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OUR NEWS
Introducing: Brandcell Conversations

The first edition of the Brandcell Conversations was held on Friday 19th of February from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. with the following Theme:  “Innovation in Business”.

Participants from several industries were gathered to discuss the theme with a focus on the Barriers and Enablers for Innovation in Lebanon.

The mix of discussions, guest speakers, workshop and presentations resulted in a very interactive and dynamic morning session that allowed a better understanding of the main barriers facing Lebanese companies and outlining the enablers that would help them innovate: by thinking differently, using new design-led approach and tools mixed with proven strategy solutions as the ones used by the international innovation design consulting firms in the world and by Brandcell consulting in Beirut and Dubai in partnership with Liveworkstudio global design firm.

 


29.03.2016
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Google
offers core and job-specific courses to all its employees. Courses cover an array of topics from personal finances to management, to emotional intelligence.
“Google EDU is formalizing learning at the company in an entirely new way, relying on data analytics and other measures to ensure it is teaching employees what they need to know to keep profits humming,” wrote Joseph Walker in The Wall Street Journal.


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At Hyatt — a dual member of Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work and top 1000 — empathic listening is at the heart of the learning culture.  They created the “Changing the Conversation” training initiative to offer more every day opportunities for professional growth.  


 
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Xerox: Xerox has ranked among the top 10 Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises "Communities of practice are fast becoming the most effective way to connect people who need knowledge with those who have it. They cultivate new and innovative ideas to guide important business decisions.”


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Whole Foods puts its development dollars into building its leadership pipeline. Its Academy for Conscious Leadership is a four-day immersion course offering interactive presentations by both internal and external thought leaders.


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IBM: Competitiveness, profitability and intellectual leadership are the keywords to explain the introduction of knowledge management at IBM. The focus IBM has placed on knowledge management stems from the growing requirements of the company’s services. Because the ability to learn faster than the competition is today’s only sustainable competitive advantage. 
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FEATURED CASE STUDY: ALBA Designers Project
OVERVIEW
Brandcell accompanied the Master’s students of the ALBA Global Design Division on a real life service design project for one of its clients; CFC who was looking for a way to directly influence their customers during the car loan taking process, while maintaining the business partnerships in place.
HOW DID WE HELP?
After a thorough briefing session and overview of the Brandcell approach, the students conducted the field research and interviews and collected the necessary data from CFC and its customers to create an understanding of the actors and factors shaping the current car loan experience in new car showrooms.  A co-creation workshop with the client and Brandcell consultants was then undertaken, and the results of that day were refined into a two-step solution providing a simple and proactive way to achieve the goals that were initially set.
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At Brandcell, knowledge sharing efforts are engrained within our culture. One way to share our knowledge externally is by organizing learning sessions during which participants carry out a number of creative activities such as brainstorming, interactive learning, relationships building, problem-solving, concept creation and a lot more. Our knowledge sessions topics are about Design thinking, Strategy, innovation, Customer Experience, Branding, and leveraging on our years of experience working with several industries.

Types of knowledge sessions:

  • Customized trainings
  • Workshops
  • C-suite facilitation
  • Round table discussion
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FEATURED BOOK
The New Edge in Knowledge
by Carla O'Dell and Cindy Hubert
"The New Edge in Knowledge" captures the most practical and innovative practices to ensure organizations have the knowledge they need in the future and, more importantly, the ability to connect the dots and use knowledge to succeed today. Build or retrofit your organization for new ways of working and collaboration by using knowledge management.


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1.  A clear vision of why you do what you do.

2.  Advanced knowledge and understanding          of what's happening around the world.

3.  Bravery and confidence in making risky             changes.

4.  Speed and momentum in taking action.

5.  People and culture at the core of the                   organization.

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