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Getting Back on Track to Thinking Creatively to Make Better KM Decisions


Dan Pontefract, head, learning & collaboration, TELUS, and author of "FLAT ARMY: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization," opened up the second day of KMWorld 2018 with a passionate plea to focus on the moment

In his keynote presentation, “Think Creatively & Make Better Decisions” he proposed a return to balance between the three components of productive thought—dreaming, deciding, and doing—combining creative, critical, and applied thinking.

“Open thinking” is a cyclical process in which creativity is encouraged; critiquing leads to better decisions; and thoughtful action delivers positive, sustainable results, he explained.

The 22nd KMWorld conference is co-located with Taxonomy Boot Camp 2018Enterprise Search & DiscoveryText Analytics Forum ’18, and Office 365 Symposium.

Since his last presentation at KMWorld, he lamented that attention spans are getting shorter, creating a culture of “knowledge mismanagement.”


KM World 2019 will be held November 5-7, 2019 at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC, with pre-conference workshops on November 4.


“We are outsourcing our thinking,” he said. “It’s not getting better.”

With the proliferation of “always on” culture, workers are stressed more than ever before, leading to 77% of employees being distracted at work, Pontefract explained.

Businesses need to balance reflection with action to achieve a sustainable workplace atmosphere that leads to better productivity and free minds.

He stressed that organizations shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes and also allow employees time to breathe and think. Getting organized is the first step to being able to “say no” to balancing an unbalanced workload.

His 10 guidelines for open thinking include:

  • Structuring some time out
  • Being focused on the moment
  • Take action when deemed appropriate
  • Do not reflect to the point of impairment
  • Take breaks
  • Be flexible with verdicts
  • Be organized and prepared
  • Don’t blame having too much information with not being able to find the truth
  • Write things down
  • Dream, decide, do

“You need to be able to pause and marinate in the moment,” Pontefract said.

Many speakers have made their presentations available at www.kmworld.com/Conference/2018/Presentations.aspx.


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