Keynote Topics

John’s dynamic and entertaining styles ensures his keynote are always a hit with audiences.  But good keynotes must be more than entertainment; they also require a serious message, a message the attendees can take back to their organizations and put into action.  John ensures that all of keynotes have the right balance of enjoyment and education.

Below are descriptions of three of John’s most popular keynotes. John will customize these talks to meet your needs or develop a new based on the conference theme.

Social Knowledge: Are you ready for the future?

For the past two decades, public and private sector executives have struggled to develop effective ways of sharing what their organizations know. Driven by concerns such as the impending retirement of baby boomers, the troubling economy, and a host of other challenges, many leaders have sought ways to share knowledge with stakeholders. Despite the best efforts of many innovative leaders, few have achieved the desired level of knowledge sharing. Today, ample resources exist for the leaders who wish to manage their organizational intellectual property.

But what about the future? Will today’s baby-boomer based practices pass the test of time? Are our current processes the most relevant ones for the next generation of organizational leaders? We are seeing some very promising results from third-generation knowledge projects, which focus on connecting people and facilitating collaboration. Many organizations are now reaping the benefits of using social media. These emerging tools and techniques provide flexible, agile, and intuitive solutions for connecting people with people and facilitating coordination, communication, and collaboration.

In this talk, John will focus on what we should be doing now to ensure the next generation of organizational leaders know what we knew. In other words, are we creating organizational memories today, which will be useful to the leaders who follow us?

If Knowledge is Power … why am I always in the dark?

Join John for this thought provoking, entertaining, and interactive examination of knowledge sharing in action (or is that inaction!).  Building on his experiences as Director of KM of Canada’s Defence Team and more recently as the Chief Knowledge Strategist of Sagology, John will share his thoughts on what works and what does not.  Learn how to apply his simple rules for knowledge sharing.

The talk focuses on how organizations, large or small, public or private, may use knowledge management techniques to improve organizational effectiveness. In other words, this talk examines how KM may be used to create competitive advantage.  Our dynamic presenter describes the past, present, and future of KM. After briefly relating the genesis of KM, illustrating that this is not just a passing fad, John describes his Torri model, including the TLC of KM – technology, leadership and culture.

Building on this foundation John will examine in an interaction fashion how knowledge is created, transferred, and exchanged, through technique such as organizational storytelling, communities of practice and after action reviews.  Next, he will consider the important component of measurement. This exciting and stimulating talk culminates with a series of suggestions of what can be done “next Monday” as well as in the future to improve organizational effectiveness through the application of simple ideas in complex environments.

Simple Ideas that Work in Complex Environments

For several years, John has had the great pleasure of speaking to groups of organizational leaders about management.  Specifically John spoke about how leaders may reap the benefits of creating and sharing organizational knowledge. Over the years, his talks have changed.  Initially, he spoke about rather complex cognitive theories with the hope that folks in the audience would take his words of wisdom and single handedly transform their organizations.  After many sessions of watching yet another audience grin politely as he delivered my sermon, he realized that he was contributing to one of common themes of his talks – information overload.

As it turns out much of what John was talking about was simply lost in the translation.  At first, he wondered if it was the audiences . . . because it certainly could not be him!  After each presentation he would spend hours answering emails from individuals with questions such as “I really enjoyed you talk; however, I am not really sure how to implement the ideas you were discussing.  Do you have any examples of these ideas in action?”  After many nights of responding to similar questions, he realized (finally) that he was making the whole thing seem very complicated.

John began to respond to question with short stories that illustrated the point he was trying to make.  Most of these stories were based on real organizations – although he would often change the names to protect the innocent, like Joe Friday from Dragnet.  One day John had an epiphany – why wait until after the presentation to share these stories. He decided to transform my talks to a series of stories that explained the (unnecessarily) complicated theories I was describing.  The rest, as they say, is history.

This was the genesis of a presentation entitled Simple Ideas that work in Complex Environments.  The premise was rather simple (pun intended) . . . to describe some ideas, many of which were grounded in complicated cognitive theories, which seemed to work in complex environments. This talk is a collection of the stories that have resonated very well with organizations leader. This set includes original stories, classic stories, stories from great leaders, stories based on television commercials, stories that have helped guide a great organizations and much more.  Although the origin of each story is very different, John believes that they all share the common theme of simplifying complex environments.  Of course, you are the real judge!