Handling of propensity models

So, at the height of the 2010 election madness in Australia I used the Centrebet odds for each seat to model the propensity for various outcomes. This model showed a 30% propensity for delivering a hung parliament, slightly less likely than the predicted propensity for a Labor majority of 45%.

But what did these figures show us? How could they help to guide our actions?

Prediction markets and Oz Election 2010

On the eve of the 2010 Australian Federal Election, I can't help but jump on the bandagon of those predicting the result. But I'm going to take a slightly different approach.

Back in 2008, there was a flurry of interest in "the wisdom of crowds" and the power of predictive markets. Despite being skeptical about their efficacy, Dave Snowden nicely outlined the key properties of an effective prediction market:

1. You need diversity of opinion, each actor needs a private opinion,

State of KM 2010

Knowledge Management is a strange discipline, riddled with conflict and contradiction. At present there are two main schools of KM:

  • the empiricists, who expound idealised KM practices without needing to ground them in theoretical reasoning
  • the theorists, who see KM as the psychological and sociological search for a Grand Unified Theory around organizational dynamics and individual behaviors

Why is KM failing?

There is a dangerous habit that pops up in KM writings from time to time, and that is blaming "the organisation" for failing to recognise our brilliance. Most recently seen in Steve Denning's article Why do great KM programs fail?, Steve complains:

Knowledge work as art

Jim McGee writes:

The ideal knowledge work product is exactly what your client asked for and could only have been created by you ... The primary challenge [is] "how do we ... create this?" instead of "how do we produce the same thing ... again?"

The new journalism

This is a bit of a diversion from my usual posts, but I think it's important. Jay Rosen recently wrote a ripper article dismantling many of the ways that political journalists tend to distort, rather than promote, quality political debate.

What's the difference between file management, document management and records management?

My boss asked me this question just the other day. I think most professionals in the space intuitively understand that they are different, but we don't often articulate why.

My take on the difference is below the fold.

Delivering value as a Knowledge Manager

James Robertson makes an excellent point about the need for Knowledge Managers to be realistic about the outcomes they can achieve:

Effectively using generalists

Bob Lewis has written an excellent column on the benefits of generalists (as opposed to specialists) for work that involves practices rather than processes. Bob's talking about software development, but the principles he espouses are broadly applicable to the modern enterprise:

Disciplines of KM

There's a fantastic post by Tim Wieringa over at Green Chameleon which tries to Explain Knowledge Management in Five Disciplines. The disciplines listed are:

  • Information Management & Search
  • Collaboration
  • Workflow Definitions
  • Networking
  • Training & Learning