Entovation International
Knowledge Agenda Taking Root in Ottawa, Canada

From 13-14 April 1998, Fred Belaire and Blaine Kennedy, Ken-Bel-Tek, Inc., hosted a "Practicum on Knowledge Innovation(TM) Strategies." Other sponsors included OCRI, Silicon Valley North, National Research Council, Industry Canada, JetForm Corporation, NewBridge and others. The full day event with a focus on the 4 C's - Context, Company, Customer and Conclusions - preceded the two day annual meeting of the National Research Council with the theme - Innovation.

The group experimented with a conferencing technology called Grouputer Group Decision Support System designed for structured meetings to guide learning, strategic planning, SWOT Analysis, data collection and more. By capturing real-time insights, participants make their tacit knowledge explicit. For further details, contact Blaine Kennedy.

Another ENTOVATION colleague Cornelius F. Burk and Henry E. McCandless have co-authored an article - "Fulfilling the Need to Know" - which appeared in the Ivey Business Quarterly (Spring 1997) published by the University of Western Ontario. In calling attention to the information responsibility of the Board - not even the CEO - they suggest that the board should be "the directing mind of the enterprise." With public accountability increasing, they outline a process from outlining intentions through resulting outcomes - including a call for performance standards. Certainly this is a new dimension of intangible assets of the firm. For more details contact Neil Burk.

We also learned of the Four-Quadrant Leadership model created by Ruben F.W. Nelson, President of Square One Leadership (Alberta, Canada) which was featured in the January/February 1996 issue of the Planning Review (now called the Strategy and Leadership Journal). This article describes the shift form a preoccupation with administration toward leadership. This is not necessarily new; but the model itself is worthy of current review. It effectively integrates the hard and soft realities with the present and future creating (1) the Intangible Present, (2) the Intangible Future, (3) the Operational Present and (4) the Physical Future.

One might suggest that communication - both technical and organizational - is at the heart of the process of knowledge innovation. In fact, it is included as one of the ten dimensions. 'Communicating for Competitiveness' - a major study of the effectiveness of internal communication in Canadian businesses - was launched by Peter Turner, Managing Partner, Bottom-Line Communicating. This begins with a Media Review Report and Communication Audit and results in Debriefing and Communication Guides. Contact Peter Turner for further details and participation requirements.

Practicum interviews conducted for the Ottawa Citizen by reporter Michael Lewis featured the seminal meeting for two days. '"Investors need to look beyond the balance sheet for the hidden indicators of a company's wealth, "according to globetrotting Amidon.' In addition, a live radio BMM broadcast by John Lacharity delivered the message on the morning business channel in Ottawa, Canada. Describing the nature of kaleidoscopic change (i.e., 5th Generation), Amidon affirmed that "it is not the speed of change per se, but the compounding effects of multiple changes happening simultaneously...and we are operating with 3rd and 4th generation management techniques." Contact: Fred Belaire for further details.

More telling may be the recent initiative of Canada by Design. It includes a list of guests currently scheduled in the Visionary Speaker Series. For instance, John Manley, Minister of Industry, presented March 12th - "A National Vision: Designing a Canadian Knowledge Nation." March 26th, Sheila Copps, Department of Canadian heritage provided "Designing a Strategy for a Canadian Knowledge Nation." Other seminars included representatives from Telecommunities Canada, Centre for International Relations (University of Toronto) Environics Research Group, Statistics Canada, Bell Canada, Canadian Cable Television. There was even a session - "Imagined Community." Contact Bryan Davis at the Kaieteur Virtual Institute for Knowledge Management.

In the Ottawa Citizen (4/13/98), a story by Mike Trickey describes the recent thinking of George Haynal, Canada's consul general in new York. "Knowledge is the foundation upon which soft power is built, with the ability to collect, process and disseminate information in a way that attracts others to your point of view being the essence of strategy." He describes soft power at work, whereby traditional values helped influence world opinion." Amidon adds that it is a matter of leadership, what a nation might have to learn from another nation and what legacy might be left.

The day's Practicum was hosted by Tony Patterson, Editor and CEO, Silicon Valley North. In his closing remarks and reflecting on the action item out of the meeting he said:

"The one thing I'm going to do is make a list, in cooperation with all my staff, of the intangible assets that we have but do not recognize, yet alone exploit".

Sound advice for us all.

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1996-1999 ENTOVATION International. All rights reserved.
Reprinted from I3 Update - 19.