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KIM2013 was fortunate to have three highly experienced and knowledgeable plenary speakers, who provided a mix of academic and practitioner perspectives. These were, in order of presentations:

John Edwards,

Aston Business School

Abstract :

Message Received and Understood?

Knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer require at least two human parties, a "sender" and a "recipient". This still applies when some form of codification acts as a bridge between the two parties. At its most basic, it is sending a message of some kind from one person to another. As with all messages, two key questions are: will it be received? And if it is, will it be understood? This plenary talk will focus on the continuing imbalance between the amount of attention paid to the "sending"/supply side of KM (especially knowledge sharing/transfer) at the expense of the "receiving"/demand side. For example, even such a well-known concept focussed on the recipient as the idea of "sticky knowledge", has actually been named in a way that appears to flag it as a "sending" issue.

The good news is that the imbalance does seem to be reducing. However, the historical difference in emphasis means there is often still a disconnection between the two ends of the activity, with a great deal of KM work still focussing on one party or the other exclusively. In the past year I have still seen articles on how to get people to contribute to a repository which don't consider who uses what's there (though the ontology community is integrating the two parties well), or incentives for people to share knowledge that only look at the giver.

This talk will offer some suggestions - based on process considerations - of ways to give the best possible chance that the message is both received and understood.

Short biography

John S Edwards is Professor of Operational Research and Systems at Aston Business School, Birmingham, U.K., and is currently Executive Dean. He has a BA with First Class Honours in mathematics and a PhD in operational research, both from Cambridge University. His main interest in research has always been in how people can and do (or do not) use models and systems to help them do things. He has conducted major research projects with Corus, the Thomas Cook Group, and in the National Health Service.Since the 1990s, he has been researching into knowledge management. At present his principal research interests include how knowledge affects risk management, investigating knowledge management strategy and its implementation; the relevance of technology to knowledge management and the evaluation of knowledge transfer programmes. He has published more than 65 articles in refereed journals, and is founding editor of the OR Society journal Knowledge Management Research & Practice, which in 2011 became the first knowledge management journal to gain an impact factor.


Trevor Howes,

BRM Fusion Ltd

Abstract :

Practitioner insights into realising sustainable benefits from planned change
using collaboration, codification and technology

Analysis, design and delivery of change is mostly delivered by fragmented teams with no clear view of what decisions will add the most value to customers. Organisations are missing out on significant opportunities to cut through confusion, identify co-developed insights and deliver greater results. 

Trevor will describe an approach that brings people and teams together, captures and uncovers implicit needs and key outcomes with design and project information into a single model. This is then used to align teams and perform analysis that shows the impact of different decisions on cost and business benefits expected through the life of the project/ investment. 

Once decisions are made then delivery and on-going change can be managed to maintain a cross-team focus on the delivery of value.

Trevor draws on his KM and change background to describe how this works in practice by drawing on case studies and personal experience of helping organisations deliver greater results.

Short biography

Trevor Howes
is an international authority on realising benefits from change and getting diverse groups to collaborate, work differently and produce significant and sustainable results.

He is the co-author of Knowledge Management - A blueprint for delivery which is on knowledge management and benefits-led change.

Trevor recently led communities in Fujitsu UK and also was the lead for Requirements Management, Business Cases and Portfolio Management areas as well and being on the business consulting group’s management team for five years. He now works with diverse organisations such as IBM in Australia, Network Rail and the Cabinet Office as well as small and medium organisations.

Trevor is also on the core committee of the Association of Project Managers (APM) group for benefits management that helps to shape the future of the profession. He is a Chartered Engineer with an MBA and is also an accredited programme manager.

Trevor co-founded BRM Fusion in 2010, which launched the Realisor software that supports how information from across organisations can be mapped on a single page and then used to drive beneficial change. The innovation requires different professional teams to collaborate and visually map information, creating conversations and insights into where to focus investment and effort.  

The approach and software uses analytics and draws on information, people, process, structure and culture change and is now used globally. Uniting people with engaging information that forecasts benefits and costs over time based on choices the groups make.

One of the major challenges organisations face is getting people to act differently and in a high quality and sustained way. Trevor believes that knowledge and information management is essential to achieving this..


Jay Liebowitz,

University of Maryland University College (UMUC)

Abstract :

Beyond Knowledge Management:  What Every Leader Should Know

Today’s business environment is tumultuous.  We have financial meltdowns, global competition tsunamis, and leadership earthquakes.  Making proper strategic decisions for the enterprise is a challenge for senior leadership.  Organizations are trying to be adaptive, agile, and innovative in order to compete in tomorrow’s marketplace, but it is becoming harder to do so given all the internal and external constraints on the enterprise.  To help senior leaders better adjust to the changing times and to improve their strategic decision making process, there are ten components that can help their organizations gain a competitive edge:  knowledge management; strategic intelligence; globalization; e-learning; social networking; virtual worlds; technology; human capital; relationships; and innovation.   Based on his 2012 book, Liebowitz will highlight some of the key directions in these areas. 

Short biography

Dr. Jay Liebowitz is the Orkand Endowed Chair of Management and Technology in the Graduate School of Management & Technology at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC).  He previously served as a Professor in the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University.  He was ranked one of the top 10 knowledge management researchers/practitioners out of 11,000 worldwide, and was ranked #2 in KM Strategy worldwide according to the January 2010 Journal of Knowledge Management.  At Johns Hopkins University, he was the founding Program Director for the Graduate Certificate in Competitive Intelligence and the Capstone Director of the MS-Information and Telecommunications Systems for Business Program, where he engaged over 30 organizations in industry, government, and not-for-profits in capstone projects.

Prior to joining Hopkins, Dr. Liebowitz was the first Knowledge Management Officer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  Before NASA, Dr. Liebowitz was the Robert W. Deutsch Distinguished Professor of Information Systems at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Professor of Management Science at George Washington University, and Chair of Artificial Intelligence at the U.S. Army War College.

Dr. Liebowitz is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Expert Systems With Applications: An International Journal (published by Elsevier), which is ranked third worldwide for intelligent systems/AI-related journals, according to the most recent Thomson impact factors.  ESWA had 1.8 million article downloads worldwide in 2011.  He is a Fulbright Scholar, IEEE-USA Federal Communications Commission Executive Fellow, and Computer Educator of the Year (International Association for Computer Information Systems).  He has published over 40 books and a myriad of journal articles on knowledge management, intelligent systems, and IT management.  His most recent books are Knowledge Retention: Strategies and Solutions (Taylor & Francis, 2009), Knowledge Management in Public Health (Taylor & Francis, 2010), Knowledge Management and E-Learning (Taylor & Francis, 2011), Beyond Knowledge Management: What Every Leader Should Know (Taylor & Francis, 2012), and Knowledge Management Handbook: Collaboration and Social Networking (CRC Press).  In October 2011, the International Association for Computer Information Systems named the “Jay Liebowitz Outstanding Student Research Award” for the best student research paper at the IACIS Annual Conference.  He has lectured and consulted worldwide.  He can be reached at