segunda-feira, 7 de novembro de 2011

KM BRASIL 2011 (Otober 5ty, 6th 7th, 2011

Working at KM Brazil 2011 was a learning experience! We were hired to work as interpreters for the three international keynotespeakers: Jay Cross, Nick Milton and Bob Boiko. Knowledge Management is a subject of interest, and this was a motivational factor that contributed to our enthusiasm when searching for their videos on the Internet. We had received some of their presentations beforehand, but if there was something we can say that was crucial for the job’s success, it was the interaction they all made possible.

Jay Cross is the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning. He wrote the book on it. He was the first person to use the term eLearning on the web. Since designing the first business degree program offered by the University of Phoenix (, he has challenged conventional wisdom about how adults learn. He talked about informal learning, how it happens in our lives and inside organizations. We met Jay shortly before his talk, but we had already found videos where he spoke about informal learning.

Compared to formal training offered by organizations, which follows rigid programs, informal learning is a new way of creating innovation and it happens through good management (managers). Companies should also be more aware of the influence of WEB 2.0 and how will continue to grow as the great converser of human beings. There is an acceleration of knowledge sharing and knowledge availability, which is more conducive to informality (web jam, feeds, wikis, blogs, tweets, social bookmarking…). It seems there is an evolution here. These activities are flexible, based on a self-service platform (text from the presentation) and there are plenty of them. It seems people will have to assume more responsibility for their own learning. After all, in Jay’s own words, “People can train you but they cannot learn you”.

Nick Milton is a director and co-founder of Knoco Ltd - a Knowledge Management consultancy comprised of seasoned knowledge management practitioners, mentors, and coaches. Knoco Ltd has been delivering successful and sustained Knowledge Management implementation to clients since 1999. Nick Milton focused on showing us how to create an organizational culture to support knowledge management. It is important to understand that sharing knowledge and asking questions can be met with resistance due to many factors. Employers/Employees wonder whether implementing knowledge management will represent a burden to their day jobs. The counter argument to this view is quite simple. It is important to seek, share and re-use knowledge for the good of the organization, but the best tools in the world will not work if people really don’t want to use them. There is an urge to change knowledge emphasis inside the organizations and it can only be done by taking into account the individuals that work in them and are part of them. The old culture considers knowledge a personal property or advantage. People can perceive new knowledge as a threat to their own knowledge and admitting ‘I don’t know’ can be thought of as a sign of weakness.

Shifting to the culture of “we know”, perceiving knowledge as collective or community property and advantage, will make the same individuals feel that sharing knowledge helps them, that new knowledge improves personal knowledge and that admitting “I don’t know” is the first step to learning. Nick Milton also showed a video (leadership from a dancing guy – available on YouTube), which was a successful way of showing how to create a movement and how following great ideas is important for implementing or creating something new. The role of the leader treating his followers as equals and being easy to follow – even instructional - is very important. But without followers no movement is created, and leadership has been over-glorified. All people in the organization are important for the creation of a culture that supports knowledge management. Nobody should be left apart.

Boiko is the founder and president of Metatorial Services Inc., and is a faculty member of the University of Washington Information School. Bob has sat on many advisory boards and is the recipient of many awards including the 2005 EContent 100 Award for leadership in the content management industry. He is author of two editions of "The Content Management Bible" and "Laughing at the CIO: A parable and Prescription for IT Leadership". Bob is internationally known for his lectures and workshops.

Bob Boiko presented the theme ‘Social Media and Information Strategy’. He linked the concepts very intelligently. Presenting the importance of information and how it can and should be developed strategically, he was able to show that social media and its applications should be included in a company’s strategy. If we deliver the right information to the right people in the right way, it will help us meet our goals! In order for any information strategy to succeed it is important to know the company’s user. Some people are speaking (creating information), others are ‘listening’ (consuming information), some are responding, and others are repeating. Whenever choosing your social media channels (facebook, twitter, Wikipedia, Linkedin, blogs, etc), align your company strategy to your user’s behavior: inform listeners, facilitate responders, promote speakers and supply repeaters. The importance of information strategy is the same as any strategy. We need to find out how to use our key resources to meet our goals. To use social media in a strategic way we need to know our target public user behavior. Although the three key-note speakers spoke about different topics, they all complemented one another - a great contribution for the Brazilian Society of Knowledge Management. We all left very motivated to create, share and learn!

sexta-feira, 21 de outubro de 2011

Second Amcham Administrative Assistant Lecture in Englsih

Administrative Assistants have a very exciting professional life nowadays. They delegate, prepare presentations, manage projects, plan events and conferences, train and supervise staff and are the gatekeepers for access to the Executive Boards of companies.

On October 20th we had our second Administrative Assistant meeting at Amcham (Curitiba) in English. We started talking about all the activities they perform and the importance of information and knowledge in their personal and professional lives. Much of what we know has been learned informally through experience, but knowledge management plays a very important role inside organizations. If we think about training and delegating, it would add a lot to the quality of our professional and home lives (can you imagine kids that actually helped with the housework?). What is news is that there is a lot more available in the market, WEB 2.0 came and is here to stay, and we are being led to improve our skills and become more responsible for our own learning.

We also talked about leadership and saw a video that Nick Milton shared at KM Brasil 2011 (you can find it at You tube - Leadership from a dancing guy). It shows how a movement is created in 3 minutes, the role of the leader and the role of the first followers; the importance of embracing followers as equals and the courage of both the leader and the follower. Actually, leadership has been over-glorified. In the end, there would be no leader without followers. The power of change is always in the hands of the ones who stand out in the crowd and dance, together.

Then, we had a look at the companies. Interested in increasing turnover and retaining knowledge, they push a lot of tools and theories on to their staff in an attempt to improve their management. The problem is that the best tools will not work if people are not willing to use them. A shift in organizational culture is what would make the difference. The shift from “my” knowledge to “our” knowledge, from “keeping” to “sharing”, from “being afraid of showing weaknesses” to “asking questions”. Asking and sharing is the first step towards learning. And this was what really made all the morning’s work rewarding: all agreed that despite not being an easy task, this was a path worth following.

segunda-feira, 29 de agosto de 2011

The New kind of Administrative Assistant

Our first English Lecture for the Executive Secretary Committee at Amcham was a success. We intend to repeat it and present topics for discussion and interaction so as to promote networking, desirable skills and fluency in English.

Nowadays, the so called "secretárias executivas" in Brazil can decide for an upgrade in their status in the companies, as they assist managers and CEOs entering in the global market. They can play the role of a business facilitator, being able to communicate in different languages and understanding cultural differences. There is, in fact, a demand for this pro-active employee who is able to translate their bosses and companies. Intraentrepreneurial skills, in fact. Entrepreneurs who act inside organizations. Caroline and Flavia at On The Road and Cenira at CNH are very good examples of this kind of professional. They are up-to-date and always searching for new opportunities of interaction.

A bit about Entrepreneurship....

Studies made on Entrepreneurship show that people can be taught how to develop the desired profile of an Entrepreneur, which means having an assertive an assertive and self-motivated attitude towards their goals and objectives. One characteristic of an Entrepreneur is internal locus of control. entrepreneurs believe they are not simply pawns of the environment where they are inserted, but rather, that the outcome of events and situations are susceptible to intervention. In other words, that they have the skills and capacity to intervene effectively in certain situations or influence events.

A window to discussion and participation:

I would like to ask the participants to post about their experience and what they would like to discuss in our next meeting! You can also post a bit about yourselves, like photos and interests!

9 JUNHO 2011

IN ENGLISH - Contrua seu futuro

O primeiro encontro em inglês será uma oportunidade de melhorar sua fluência e aprender mais a respeito das vantagens competitivas da carreira na área deSecretariado Executivo. A nova secretária executiva é aquela preparada para encarar responsabilidades extras e que não se importa em correr alguns riscos. Sendo assim discutiremos sobre esse setor de negócios e às oportunidades que existem nesse campo tão exigente.

On the Road
Mestre em Administração Estratégica pela PUC Paraná. Foi professora do curso deSecretariado Executivo e Relações Internacioniss na Universidade Tuiuti. É fundadora e administra a On The Road Curso de Idiomas desde 1993.

Dâmaris Feld

An innovation is the successful commercialisation of an invention

On August 26th, I worked as an interpreter (English-Portuguese) for C2I at Cietep. It was about LCI (Low Cost Innovation). Frank Wagner and Flavius Sturm from Fraunhofer Institute for Engineering, in Stuttgart, Germany presented many case studies and some methodologies. The Value Curve, the Morphological Box, Story Tree, Core, Target Cost, Lotus Blossom and Kano proved to be very useful tools when deciding for innovative products to be introduced in an ever changing market. As it was a workshop, the participants could use the tools to create solutions and alternatives: different brand of wine, an alternative dinner and an electrical bicycle.

The Story Tree called my attention for its metaphoric quality, and therefore, educational properties. Comparing a business solution to a tree, you can imagine the soil, the branches, the weather it will be exposed to and the fruit it can bear. Fascinating concept! Not only organizations could benefit from that, but schools, teaching children how to think business.

And some tips....

When is the right time to think of LCI?

you see that certain customers are unhappy with the current (high price) market offerings (“Our customers are going for cheaper alternatives…”)
you feel that there are potential future customers, who cannot afford the current products.
(“This could be interesting for… if only…”)
the current products offered on the market are quite homogenous and/or come in extremes.
(“There is only… or…, nothing in between.”

Be innovative ... and make do!!!!

You can find more information about the Institute at

...and if you have any experience on innovation to share, please do!

sexta-feira, 27 de maio de 2011

Working in an event like #CICI2011 is pure adrenalin.

Working in an event like CICI is pure adrenalin. We knew it would be a challenge to organize the translation
of a large number of events*. There were 12 of us interpreting (translating to andfrom English and Spanish) and three additional staff members
, who struggled to organize the logistics that wo
uld allow us to deliver the best possible work over four gruelling, twelve-hour days.

Interpreting Theodore Gordon, Fritjof Capra and Nicholas Christakis was both an honour and a challenge, and there were high expectations of our work. We also interpreted talks and lectures about digital networks, social media, ETC twitterers meetings, urbanism, coolworking, architecture and design, green cities, and sustainable solutions. Unfortunately, it is impossible to write about everything but this is an attempt to p
resent our view of some of the best moments of thinking the Web of Life.

The conference opened with Jaime Lerner emphasizing that interpersonal communication should be simple and that the same principle applies to u
rban solutions. He suggested that it is possible to bri
ng about concrete improvements in a city over a three-year period. We had watched his TED presentations and he was very consistent in his line of thought and with his imaginative examples: thinking of the city as a turtle, considering
the electric dock-dock car, and the role of the automobile and public transportation. He took the audience for a ride through
a near future of great possibilities. For those who would like to know what the dock-dock is and to know more about his ideas, have a look at this

The first major lecture, held by Theodore Gordon, was a great surpris
e! The audience was introduced to an extremely optimistic eighty-year old, interacti
ng with his audience enthusiastically through a live videoconfere
nce. Theodore spoke about the latest advances in
technology and biotechnology with promise to improve our quality of life. He demonstrated how small the Earth can be, pointing out that happiness is
what you make of your life, and that technology’s role is to facilitate this.

On the third day, twitterers crowded rooms and it was a great surprise that their association (ETC) was urging its members to have physical meetings once in a while, and stressing the importance of doing this. Fernanda Musardo conducted their meeting as if it was a non-stop orchestra, recreating twitt
er communication with pen and paper. In his presentation, Gil Giardeli showed the audience the power of p
oetry, and Luli Radfather gave an impeccable presentation on “ Where are social networks taking us?”. So
mething to be remembered from Luli's presentation: “we are living in crazy times. Imagine riding a motorcycle and trying to observe all the details. It is impossible! We have to focus on the path”- ON THE ROAD ahead…

Everybody says good things about our dear city of Curitiba, but we ca
nnot pretend that Curitiba has no flaws. Rodrigo Rocha Loures pointed out that despite Curitiba being considered a model city, its carbon emissions are too high – we would need two planets to absorb the carbon emissions that would be generated if all cities were like ours. We can be proud, but we
must be realistic - we have a long ROAD to travel and education will play a fundamental role in bringing about change.

Capra attracted a great number of fans, dedicated followers and admirers. His holistic view of networks is the expression of truth: we will never guarantee our existence or improve our quality of life if we disregard human
relationships and the interactions that take place in nature's processes. One of the main intuitions of his systemic thinking was the percept
ion that networks are unified patterns of life. We do not need to invent sustainable communities from scratch. Instead we can mirror ecosystems, e. g. sustainable communities of vegetables, animals and plants, which are all already here, in our “household". And how can we do it? Awareness should begin in childhood, through ecoliteracy,
through understanding the principles of the organization of ecological communities and using those principles for the creation of sustainable human communities.

Christakis made the last presentation and it was a great finale for the conference. We had seen his TED presentation as well, and knew about his research on the hidden influence of social networks, which is fascinating. He reminded us that human behaviour cannot be taken for granted, changeable at the same speed as new technologies. Some dimensions of our behaviour are inbuilt. Some people are outgoing, others are introverted, but we still have a few best friends, independently of our 1000 “friends” on facebook. What we do have is a huge virtual network, which offers non-stop access to information - but this does not make us so different to our ancestors when we
talk about real networks. Eventually, network power is potentialized in the idea of the seedling – what we plant is what grows…and it is the ties between people that make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. So, what if we plant goodness?

When I look back at the event I see a great complex network of people being entertained and stimulated to think differently, and an event where knowledge management was running information cars on a rollercoaster of entrepreneurship education.

Translating the event was a challenge worth tackling!

Liane Grassi

*On The Road was responsible for most of the interpreting during the conference, with some other companies also involved.

segunda-feira, 28 de fevereiro de 2011

Educational Entrepreneurship and Technology

Today, due to the new competitive landscape, Educational Institutions are forced to loosen their ties to solid educational tradition and join the new fads: technology, new gadgets, social media....
But is that (that) bad?... or (that) good? What lies under this (un)comfortable feeling? Are teachers the way we know going to disappear? Are students going to rule and exert authority over methodology and teaching subjects? Where is the resistance grounded?

It is a good opportunity to think over concepts we have been boasting all around. Let's start with entrepreneurship, for example. All the talk about creative destruction (Shumpeter), risk tolerance, perseverance, innovation can be put in practice when buying technology (a smart board, for example), bringing internet and social network to the classroom, walking the long path of distance learning. We knew it was coming... are we ready to go? It is about time we recognize we have to learn while doing, everything is changing and so will we.

A new world is already here and it unfolds at every step we take towards its demands, every single question we bring to the table: what strategies can we search to motivate teachers to leave their comfort zone? And social network? what do we actually know about it? who uses facebook, tweeter, blogger, foursquare....? Are all students into it? Can we reach them with social media?

Checking one more concept: what is social network? social network is an internet tool that allows the reader to engage with the writer or with an online community and in public .....okay...

So it takes us back to the market. First of all, our internal market: Who are our teachers? Who are our students? What are their needs? What communication sources have they been using? What risks are we (decision makers) prone to take? ....hum... it is not all unknown. Innovation is not trowing all we know in the bin and start from the scratch. We KNOW, we've learned that education is an ongoing practice, we are educators. Knowledge is the fuel of decision making. We cannot close our eyes to the past and cannot dare to do it to the future. The path ahead is the one of innovation, passion and education. We decided to keep going and we are enjoying it!

Have a look: great presentation using technology, 200 years in 4 minutes: