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Common Knowledge

How Companies Thrive by Sharing What They Know

Breakthrough research on knowledge transfer reveals five proven methods for making knowledge sharing a reality - which are right for your company? While external knowledge - about customers, about competitors - is critical, it rarely provides a competitive edge for companies because such information is equally available to everyone. But internal 'know-how' that is unique to a specific company - how to introduce a new drug into the diabetes market, how to decrease assembly time in an automobile plant - is the stuff of which sustained competitive advantage is made.

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CompanyCommand

Unleashing the Power of the Army Profession

This book provides the lessons learned from setting up the U.S. Army's premier community of practice, CompanyCommand. Written by the developers of the community it tells inspirational stories of knowledge sharing across the U.S. Army and provides a step-by-step "how to" in creating an community.

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Perspectives on Dialogue

Making Talk Developmental for Individuals and Organizations

There is a growing sense today that organizations and the people that make them up are, to repeat a figure of speech recently used by Robert Kegan, in over their heads. As diversity becomes the rule and change the sole constant, complexity is increasing. It is generally agreed that the only effective response to this complexity is development: both at the individual and organizational level. One frequently practiced but imperfectly understood developmental activity is talk. This paper looks at the relationship between talk and development in organizations, noting the ways that developmental talk--or, as it is often referred to, dialogue--differs from the skilled talk that goes on all the time.

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The Organizational Learning Cycle

How We Can Learn Collectively

Complete with five new or revised chapters, the second edition of this book on the workings of organizations delves into the infrastructure required for top performance, using new case material from, among others, BP and the US Army.

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Helping Leaders Take Effective Action

A Program Evaluation

Information Coming Soon!

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Dialogue at Work (The Mike Pedler Library)

Information Coming Soon!

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The Latest From Nancy's Blog

What Clients Say

"Nancy provides strategic insights to ConocoPhillips. Her ideas spawned our knowledge sharing program (still flourishing today). She was instrumental in getting our execs onboard: a company that connects and operates like a global company would drive business value..."

Dan Ranta
Director, Knowledge Sharing, ConocoPhillips

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"I am impressed by Nancy’s work on knowledge transfer and sensemaking. Her recent work on collective sense making, harnessing collective wisdom to handle organizational complexity, is ground breaking and fascinating..."

Eric Tsui, Professor, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and
VP Hong Kong Knowledge Management Society

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“I know that Nancy understands better than anyone the difference between mere talking and real communication. She is expert at helping groups of people speak listen authentically and intelligently as an important step toward shared understanding, effective problem solving, and innovative thinking..."

Don Cohen
Managing Editor, NASA ASK Magazine

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"HEMA Academie is the largest online academy in the Netherlands, we made the course "Common Knowledge Organizational Learning" because of an interview with Nancy. She is gifted with a special kind of energy and has the power to analyze complex problems as an enthusiastic team player..."

Drs. Helma van den Berg,
Head of production, HEMA Academie

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"Working with Nancy, I've seen first-hand the power of collective sensemaking. Bringing analytic tools to bear provided new insights into interdependent activities, overall system functioning, and leverage points. Collective sensemaking helps teams work smarter."

Mike Silver
SVP of Corporate Operations, HealthInsight

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"Nancy pulled off a great feat at the US Army KM conference. She got the whole room talking, all 200 of them! It broke the mold of presentation after presentation. The feedback was overwhelmingly, "Let's do more of this at the next conference."

COL Charles Burnett
Deputy Director, Center for Army Lessons Learned, Fort Leavenworth, KS

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"Her approach to collective sensemaking drives how we teach knowledge management, facilitate communities of practice, and coach highly effective teams of leaders. There is no better way to create competitive advantage in the 21st Century knowledge environment."

Mike Hower
Chief Learning Officer, Strategic Knowledge Solutions, Inc.

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Recent Client Successes

The US Army KM conference had a very traditional format, three or four speakers in a row, with a few minutes of Q&A then on to the next speaker. Working with the conference design committee, we introduced interaction opportunities spread throughout the conference that made a huge difference for participants...
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Ecopetrol, the largest company in Colombia, held a Technological Environment Forum to build a knowledge management strategy for the company through the work of more than 100 leaders. The Forum contacted Nancy and asked her to come to help them understand effective knowledge management strategy...
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Huawei had twice attempted to implement KM without having achieved the results that had hoped for. When Huawei contacted Nancy, they knew they wanted to focus on the human side of KM, drawing on what people were learning through their on-the-job experience and how to spread that knowledge...
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The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. I have had the pleasure of consulting to IHI, particularly in the area of “spread” for over 10 years. But until recently IHI has not had a knowledge management program or staff...
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We were able to help save the knowledge developed in the canceled NASA Constellation project. Working with NASA’s Dave Lengyel, we brought together engineers from all 10 NASA centers to develop a knowledge capture strategy...
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