Tools We Use

It goes without saying that each client has different needs.  Sometimes we get into high level strategizing, just as often we roll up our sleeves and implement. Here are some examples  of tried and tested tools, methods, and techniques Shayegan Innovation  use,

Knowledge  Imagineering’ ©  

A unique Shayegan Innovation approach to developing your knowledge strategy. This thought-provoking approach brings together the ‘imagination’ and the engineering’ required to effectively implement a knowledge strategy.

What is an imagineer? Walt Disney coined the term. Imagineers are the people who design and build theme park attractions. They have the challenge of thinking creatively about what people might want. Imagineers use their imagination to entertain us. BUT imagineers have a serious side too. Their sophisticated engineering knowledge is used to ensure that roller coaster rides we enjoy so much, actually work and more importantly are extremely robust.

Your company’s ‘know how’ resides in your people, in your systems, in your processes. In fact, there is a lot of that elusive stuff called knowledge inside your organization. This approach helps you find that knowledge and make the best use of it.

State  of the art electronic meeting technologies  

We facilitate knowledge meetings and events (from 6 to 300 people) where each participant is given their own laptop and/ or electronic voting pad. Imagine getting rid of flip charts and post-it notes and being able to capture everything that happens electronically.

But its more than that, people can safely input their ideas onto their laptop and although it gets shared in real time with the group, no-one knows who made that comment because it can be done anonymously. The idea then gets judged for its own merit not because of who made it. The other benefit is that everyone can enter ideas at the same time – the floor doesn’t get dominated by just a few participants.

It is fast and fun and more time can be spent actually discussing the results and what has been said. We really believe these are great knowledge sharing tools in the right context.

Knowledge  mapping techniques  

These techniques are becoming more popular in the knowledge management arena. We use mapping as a way of looking at your organization from a knowledge perspective.

If you were to draw a picture which pinpointed who really held the knowledge and where knowledge moved from and to, what would it look like? Would it look anything like your organization chart?
How does your knowledge flow in your organization?
How do people in your knowledge networks communicate?
How can we analyze them?
What are their motivations?
How can we enhance these networks?
By mapping and exposing knowledge networks you are able to see and measure knowledge in your organization.

Organization  diagnostic tools  

Many diagnostic tricks sit in our toolbox; some are adapted from the business world and others from the academic research community. These include the well-known SWOT analyses, force field analysis, PMI and other strategic tools.

– There are other quantitative and qualitative methods we use  such as
– Competency profiling
– Critical incidence interviews
– Surveys
– Ethnographic research and more

Application  methodologies for knowledge systems  

Again, some tried and tested  approaches familiar to our IT colleagues, including:
RAD (rapid application development), a methodology for compressing the analysis, design, build, and test phases of a project into a series of short, iterative development cycles
JAD (joint application development), highly focused workshop(s) bringing together business users and technology. A process originally developed for designing computer-based systems
Information requirements analysis and other tools for identifying the specifications for new technologies

Language  and communication tools  

We utilize a number of techniques to help organizations and individuals really delve into the way that people communicate and share their knowledge.
NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) studies the structure of how people think and experience the world
Clean language is a questioning technique which helps individuals understand how they construct knowledge
Discourse analysis is concerned with language use in social contexts, and in particular with interaction or dialogue between speakers
These are all useful techniques to use for developing communications strategies.

Individual  and team psychometrics, including MBTI

It seems absurd to look at knowledge without recognizing that people as individuals have an awful lot of influence on organizational knowledge.

We utilize psychometric and other personality profiling to help clients look at the development of individual knowledge skills and building of knowledge communities. We use tools such as,

– MBTI
– Belbin
–  Margerison – McCann

Advanced  facilitation skills  

We are trained facilitators and understand when to intervene and how to help our clients through what will sometimes be difficult knowledge challenges.

What makes a first class facilitator? Many things we would say.  For example,

– Ability to draw out contribution of all those involved
– Make people feel comfortable and recognize different opinions
– Challenge ideas in a constructive way
– Know own shortcomings not constrained by own limitations
– Timely contribution and ability to keep activities on track
– Active listening and observing skills
– Well organized and able to respond to the unplanned events as well
– Decisive
– Sense of humor

In essence, facilitation skills are essential for anyone who wants to work collaboratively today.