|Disco Bill provided the networking opportunities that made possible my transition from a career in evolutionary biology that was going nowhere to a career in content and knowledge management, which in a very surprising way has also made possible my partial transition back into an academic environment. |
Thanks contacts Bill facilitated into the local ferment around the development of the personal computer, since 1990 I have been working for Tenix Defence, mostly on the now completed, largest and most successful defence project in Australia's history - building the ANZAC Ships - 8 for the RAN and 2 for New Zealand. A fixed price and delivery schedule was negotiated in 1989, and Thenix has delivered every ship on time, on budget, every time. More than once documentation issues threatened to delay the project (maintaining and operating modern warships is highly documentation intensive). Solutions I designed solved the difficulties and provided a world-wide state of the art integrated system for authoring and maintaining technical data and knowledge relating to fleet maintenance.
Since 2000 I have been concentrating on areas of organisational knowledge management. I in my own small way, aside from building communities within the Tenix organisation, I have been doing some of the same kind of networking Bill was good at; working to bring together some of people in Melbourne who have innovated some world class software applications of use for managing engineering technical data and content.
I have also forged academic connections engineering and knowledge management interests in Monash, RMIT and Melbourne Universities. As an external advisor, and often working virtually, I have also helped 3 PhD students complete their degrees on KM or organisation theory: at Denver University School of Internatioanl Affairs (Steven Else on organisational transformation of the US Department of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld), University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Information Technology (Peter Dalmaris on methodologies for the improvement of knowledge intensive business processes), and RMIT University Faculty of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering (Susu Nousala on the identification and transfer of tacit knowledge in distributed scientific and technological organisations). I am currently a National Fellow of the Australian Centre for Science Innovation and Society, based at Melbourne University where it is hosted by the faculties of Arts, Science, Engineering and the Bio21 institute.
The conjunction between evolutionary biology, computers and organisations has led me to write a number of research and practice publications - some of which are available on line via my web site - Evolutionary Biology of Species and Organizations (http://www.orgs-evolution-knowledge.net/)
Disco Bill's boundless enthusiasm for ideas and the people who had them led to this shift and drew me together with a number of other like minded explorers such as Tony Smith, Brenton Groves, Barrie Suttcliffe, Joe S., etc., whose various interests have all contributed in one way or another to the formation of the concepts appearing in my publishing efforts.
Thus, I would love to come to this event, but to get away during the day will be very difficult. I am currently heavily involved in helping to bring Tenix Group's recently appointed (and first) CIO up to speed, and will already be out of the office Wed, Thu and Fri next week, and again the same three days on the week of the 23rd. I'm double booked for two events on Wednesday the 25th, the start of a two engineering product data management expo put on by one of Tenix's main suppliers of engineering systems and a KM workshop involving several of Australia's largest companies, and on Friday I am organising a support engineering community of practice meeting bringing together people from Tenix Defence's Aerospace, Marine, Land and Electronic Systems divisions.
Depending on what is in my in-tray, I may be able to leave early on the 23rd, but certainly can't get to Errol St by 2:00 or even 3:00. However, it would be much better if it could be scheduled for the evening.
William P. (Bill) Hall, PhD
Evolutionary Biology of Species and Organizations
Documentation & KM Systems Analyst
Visiting Faculty Associate