Please Welcome Fred White to the Knowledge Architecture Team


 

Fred recently joined us as a software engineer and we are happy to have him settling in and finding his groove as part of the Knowledge Architecture team. He has worked in and around architecture and engineering for over 20 years as a management consultant, researcher, and publisher.

Prior to joining Knowledge Architecture, Fred founded Practice Lab, which helped professional services firms securely collect and share business benchmarking data to see how they stacked up against their peers. Fred was also a co-founder of the management consulting firm ZweigWhite.

Fred has a BFA in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. He’s a dad, guitarist, drummer, runner, sometimes blogger, and enjoys cats, new ideas, building stuff, and solving problems.

Fred is currently working on building out Synthesis Search Optimization, the first major component of our Synthesis Analytics platform, which we will be shipping to clients later this spring. He is based in Boston.

Welcome Fred!

Posted: March 4th, 2016 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on Please Welcome Fred White to the Knowledge Architecture Team

Synthesis Search Just Got Smarter

Synthesis 5_1 Hero

  

Synthesis Search Suggestions. Available December 1.

Search Suggestions will be featured in the next release of Synthesis, our social intranet for architects and engineers. Our objective with Search Suggestions is to increase the findability of your firm’s data and improve the speed and accuracy of each Synthesis search. In short, we want to help you find the virtual needle in the haystack.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 1st, 2015 | Filed under: Synthesis | Comments Off on Synthesis Search Just Got Smarter

KA Connect 2015 Conference Videos Now Available

The talks from KA Connect 2015 are now available online.

Enjoy.

Posted: July 13th, 2015 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on KA Connect 2015 Conference Videos Now Available

Introducing Synthesis 5

Synthesis 5 is the latest release of our social intranet for architects and engineers.

We redesigned Search, renovated Profiles, and enhanced the Stream.

Take a look.

Posted: April 14th, 2015 | Filed under: Synthesis | Comments Off on Introducing Synthesis 5

Announcing the Synthesis Mobile Share Extension for iPhone

Our new Share Extension makes it easy to share photos and links on Synthesis Mobile from common iPhone apps like Camera and Safari.

This video provides step-by-step instructions for enabling the Share Extension as well as examples of using it to post a photo and share a link.

The Synthesis Mobile Share Extension is available in Synthesis Mobile 3.1 (the version currently in the App Store) and requires iOS 8.1 or higher.

Posted: March 25th, 2015 | Filed under: General, Synthesis | Comments Off on Announcing the Synthesis Mobile Share Extension for iPhone

Is Your Intranet Mobile?

With Synthesis Mobile 3 you can use the stream to stay connected with your firm’s news, updates, and ideas, compose and comment on posts, and share photos and links—all from the convenience of your iPhone.

In addition, Synthesis Mobile 3 aggregates the most important information about employees, contacts, projects, companies, and opportunities from Deltek Vision, Axomic OpenAsset, and Newforma Project Center.

Sound like a great way for your firm to start the new year?

Contact us to learn more about Synthesis, Knowledge Architecture’s social intranet for architecture and engineering firms.

Posted: December 8th, 2014 | Filed under: Synthesis | Comments Off on Is Your Intranet Mobile?

Announcing our Keynote Speakers

KA_Connect_2015_Blog

Keynote Speakers

  

Social Learning as a Transformative Strategy
Etienne Wenger-Trayner
Beverly Wenger-Trayner

Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner are world-renowned social learning theorists and practitioners. Etienne has authored and co-authored seminal books on social learning, including Cultivating Communities of Practice and Situated Learning, where the term “communities of practice” was coined. Beverly’s expertise is in the design and facilitation of learning in international contexts, including communities, networks, activities, and the use of technology.

Taking Knowledge to Market
Katrina Pugh

Katrina (Kate) Pugh is Academic Director of the Columbia University Information and Knowledge Strategy program and president of AlignConsulting, specializing in business planning and knowledge-based transformation. Kate is general editor and co-author of Smarter Innovation and author of Sharing Hidden Know-How. She consults and lectures widely, and is a lead benchmarker with the Digital Workplace Group (formerly Intranet Benchmarking Forum).

Conference Summary

Senior and emerging leaders from top AEC firms will share case studies, lessons learned, and inspiration on topics such as:

  • Knowledge Sharing and Information Management
  • Scaling Research and Innovation Initiatives
  • Implementing Continious Improvement Programs
  • Managing Social Media and Content Marketing
  • Integrating Internal and External Communications
  • Cultivating Communities of Practice

KA Connect 2015 will take place at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on May 5th and 6th, 2015. We’ll be announcing speakers and program details over the next several months.

Take advantage of Early Registration Pricing while we plan.

Posted: November 4th, 2014 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on Announcing our Keynote Speakers

Why Do Communities Matter?

Wendell_Berry_525Photo by Guy Mendes

I’ve just finished reading “What Are People For?”, a collection of essays by Wendell Berry. I don’t always agree with everything Wendell Berry has to say, but I certainly feel like a wiser and better person for having reflected on his point of view.

One of my favorite essays in the book was “The Work of Local Culture”. There were two quotes in the essay about the responsibilities of a community which I thought were worth sharing with all of you, who are helping to build communities in your firms.

The first is about building a shared memory. The second is about building trust. And as you’ll see, the two are related.

Communities Build Shared Memory

“However small a landmark the old bucket is, it is not trivial. It is one of the signs by which I know my country and myself. And to me it is irresistibly suggestive in the way it collects leaves and other woodland shed dings as they fall through time. It collects stories, too, as they fall through time. It is irresistibly metaphorical. It is doing in a passive way what a human community must do actively and thoughtfully. A human community, too, must collect leaves and stories, and turn them to account. It must build soil, and build that memory of itself—in lore and story and song—that will be its culture. These two kinds of accumulations, of local soil and culture, are intimately related.”

Communities Build Trust

“For example, when a community loses its memory, its members no longer know one another. How can they know one another if they have forgotten or have never learned one another’s stories? If they don’t know one another’s stories, how can they know whether or not to trust one another? People who do not trust one another do not help one another, and moreover they fear one another.”

Shared Memory and Trust Lead to Helpful Community Members

Sometimes I think it is easy to get lost in engagement tactics and product features (how to build communities) and lose sight of the big picture (why communities matter).

Building shared memory and trust so that community members will help one another is a pretty good answer to the question of “Why do communities matter?” in my book.

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 | Filed under: Quotable | Comments Off on Why Do Communities Matter?

A Really, Really Smart Way to Get Senior AEC Firm Leaders to Start Sharing Knowledge on a Social Network

How do we get our senior leaders to start sharing knowledge on social networks?

It’s a great question, and not just for marketing directors and intranet managers. Most of the senior leaders of architecture and engineering firms we talk to at Knowledge Architecture want to share their knowledge on LinkedIn, the company blog, and intranet. However, they have two very valid concerns which need to be addressed:

1) How do I know what knowledge of mine is valuable?
2) Where will I find the time?

Overcoming Content Anxiety

I gave a talk called “Short Passes: 5 Ways to Beat Content Anxiety” at KA Connect 2014 this past June.

One of the tips I shared came from Andy Ernsting, Brand Communications Leader at DLR Group. Andy shared the story of driving early adoption of SquareOne (their new intranet) at one of our client workshops last fall.

Andy’s tip speaks right to the heart of the two questions above—”what knowledge should I share?” and “where will I find the time?”

“We’re just asking you to comment. Once a week.”

In the clip above I paraphrased what Andy told the participants in our workshop. Here’s the key part:

“We’re just asking you to comment. Once a week. We’re not necessarily asking you to write long posts. We’re not asking you to bare your soul, or at least not at first.

But what we want you to do, once a week, is just comment on something. Ask a pertinent question. Answer somebody’s question. Thank somebody for sharing what they’ve shared.”

Why This Tip is Awesome

First, asking a leader to comment once a week is totally achievable. You are giving them a specific and easy way to add value, something a time-pressed senior leader can surely appreciate.

Second, when you step back and think about knowledge sharing, a lot of times, the value is in the comments. Someone is asking for help because they don’t have an answer. A lot of your senior leaders have that knowledge and they want to share it—they’re just not quite sure how to get started.

Finally, once your leaders start sharing their knowledge in comments and see how easy and rewarding it is, many of them will go on to write the LinkedIn, blog, and intranet posts you wanted them to write in the first place.

Want to Learn More?

Visit the KA Connect website to watch more talks, connect with our community, and learn more about our annual conference on knowledge management in the AEC industry.

Posted: October 9th, 2014 | Filed under: General, Quotable | Comments Off on A Really, Really Smart Way to Get Senior AEC Firm Leaders to Start Sharing Knowledge on a Social Network

3 Myths about Content Marketing in AEC Firms

We asked the panelists in the Trends in Web Communications Panel Discussion at KA Connect 2014 to describe the biggest myths about content marketing in AEC firms. Here’s what they had to say.

Myth #1: Content Marketing Generates Immediate Results

“The time it takes to get from committing yourself to offering original content and trying to make that content become meaningful and valuable to the time you’re going to see substantial business outcomes from it can be quite long.

Usually we tell clients it is a three-year window before you start to see the types of business outcomes that you really would like to get from a [content marketing] effort. You’re building something that’s long term and sustainable. I think that sometimes clients are looking for a quick win that’s somehow going to replace their trade show effort or something. They’re expecting that same kind of short-term marketing model, short-term outcome, and it’s just not really the way it works.”

Jason Mlicki, Rattleback

Myth #2: Content Must Be Perfect to Be Effective

“I would say another major myth is about quality [of content]. In certain industries, AEC, probably law firms, the myth is that it’s got to be perfect, excellent quality and you can’t release it until it is.

And then in other industries, consumer products and other things, it can just be anything. ‘Just throw some content out there! It’ll get shared! It’ll go viral! Yaaah!’

So the myth is on both ends of the spectrum, but it’s about the quality of the content. The nature of your industry is going to dictate whether your myth is on one end or the other, but the reality is somewhere in the middle.

It should be of good quality, obviously, excellent quality, but the reality is that it doesn’t have to be exactly probably what you’re thinking it needs to be.”

Bill Shander, Beehive Media

Myth #3: Content Marketing Is Primarily about Generating Leads

“I think it’s important that you don’t think of [content marketing] as sales. The more information you can give out to the community, the more you can share—that’s where the value is. You don’t want it to be too salesy.”

Jaron Rubenstein, Rubenstein Technology Group

“A couple of years ago, I put together a survey of firms that were marketing with content and the prerequisite was that they were actually using that model and were funding it and we were looking at outcomes.

The firm that was the most successful out of the entire audience was a firm whose core web objective was educating and informing. Their entire objective for their website was to educate and inform the clients they want to do business with.

The firms that were focused on generating leads (which in my mind is just the outcome and yield of quality content) had worse performance. It kind of comes down to your fundamental objective needs to be about this kind of open authenticity of, ‘We’re just trying to help.’

As long as you’re just trying to help, at some point, client activities start to happen. But the moment you start trying to accomplish some tangible business objective—you want leads, you want opportunities, you want revenue—the whole thing kind of just doesn’t work as well as it could.”

Jason Mlicki, Rattleback

Want to Learn More?

Watch individual talks from our panelists and the full panel discussion on the KA Connect website:

Posted: September 25th, 2014 | Filed under: Insights | Comments Off on 3 Myths about Content Marketing in AEC Firms